Digital Composites

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) can have a significant impact on the built environment. In addition to the extraordinary weight-to-strength ratio, the main objectives of using CFRP in architecture are its plasticity, functionality, sustainability and aesthetics.

While in theory, CFRP can take any shape, currently the design is limited by the fabrication constraints of mould making. The mould is the most resource-intensive element of CFRP fabrication, and it is particularly challenging and costly for bespoke non-standard shapes.

Details of 3D-printed carbon fiber trajectories along stress lines. Kwon | dbt

The research investigates additive manufacturing (AM), a new digital fabrication process, for the mould-less fabrication of CFRP building components. AM allows to fabricate locally differentiated carbon fiber alignments for efficient reinforcement, to synthesise additional functional layers into the components and to facilitate the fabrication of freeform architecture. In order to fully explore these potentials of AM in CFRP fabrication, this research develops a new three-dimensional printing (3DP) system to expand the existing layer-based AM (fused deposition modelling) to a robotic 3DP process.