Carbon fiber applications you can download today!
by Christian on Sep 14, 2023
Carbon fiber composites are a class of 3D printing materials with a huge number of potential benefits. You can read more about those benefits in our recent article on the subject. However, in order to get the most out of them, you need to match them to the right application.
To make that easier, we try, whenever possible, to give examples of relevant applications you can explore. Over time, we have highlighted jigs, fixtures, automotive parts, and more. In this article, we thought we would take it one step further and give you the chance to download many of the parts we have highlighted so that you can print and experience them for yourself first-hand.
All of the parts featured in this article include a link to a Thingiverse page where you can download them, along with info on why they make a good use-case for carbon fiber, and which specific material we printed them in.
The UltiMaker office is littered with dozens of Y-coupler prints in almost as many different materials. The reason is that this part is used as a benchmark print for when we test new materials, in order to help tune material profiles. It has many useful features that can help you to judge dimensional accuracy and visual quality. Check out the Thingiverse page for a full rundown of what they are. It can also be used with our next part, the Y-coupler extender. These two STLs are part of the reason why our carbon fiber material profiles are as reliable as they are!
UltiMaker Y-coupler extender
This part is a companion to the UltiMaker Y-coupler that is used to test its dimensional accuracy. If the Y-coupler slides easily into the extender and if the threads can be tightened properly, then the dimensional accuracy of both prints can be validated. The knurled texture on the extender is also useful for helping you dial in the visual quality of your prints.
Erik Schwartz clutch inlet
The Erik Schwartz racing team partnered with Ultimaker to test composite materials during demanding automotive use cases and this part is a perfect example of the value they provide. The CVT clutch system on Schwartz racing vehicles generates a lot of heat. Belt temperatures can exceed 120 °C. Keeping belt temperatures as low as possible is critical to belt life. This bracket holds a large hose on the frame that acts as an air scoop. Carbon fiber composites have a high heat deflection temperature and printed parts can withstand proximity to high-heat areas without deforming.
Erik Schwartz switch bracket
Racing regulations require a rear cut-off switch for safety personnel to turn off in case of an emergency. This bracket was used by the Erik Schwartz racing team to mockup a sheet metal equivalent. It was also used as an interim part while waiting for the sheet metal version to arrive. Showing how 3D printed parts can serve both as a prototyping tool and for creating end-use parts.
Erik Schwartz helmet blower mount
Keeping the driver cool during a race is paramount. This mount was created byErik Schwartz to hold a blower that pumps fresh air into the helmet of the driver. Composite materials provide the durability and strength required to last during a demanding race. Giving the driver the confidence to rely on his vehicle, so he can focus on winning the race.
UltiMaker cycling computer mount
Handlebar-mounted computers are a common accessory for both hobbyist and professional cyclists. This simple and quick-to-print mount was created by us to demonstrate the types of bespoke parts that can be made with 3D printing and that can also benefit from performance materials such as carbon fiber.
UltiMaker textured mechanical gripper
This sample textured gripper is one section of a multi-part end-of-arm tooling assembly that needs to be lightweight and durable. Both requirements are addressed perfectly by carbon fiber composites.
UltiMaker robotic gripper assembly
For truly lightweight end-of-arm tooling, don’t just 3D print one part when you can instead print the whole assembly. This collection of sample STLs was created by UltiMaker to show how carbon fiber can provide not just the strength and durability, but also the accuracy required to make a complex moving assembly of parts that can increase the speed and maneuverability of your robotic arm.
UltiMaker pipe welding fixture
This part was created by UltiMaker to demonstrate a simple pipe welding fixture. Fixtures are used daily on assembly floors, test labs, and in machine shops. They benefit enormously from being with carbon fiber composites because they can easily be customized for the job at hand, while also being strong enough to keep your product secured in place. To find out more about the benefits of 3D printing your fixtures, check out our dedicated article on the topic.
UltiMaker rectangular bracket
This simple bracket is a part that benefits from the ability to be customized and the quick print times that 3D printing provides, as well as the strength and stiffness that carbon fiber composites offer.
UltiMaker positioning fixture
This is a second fixture part we created to exhibit the benefit of 3D printing your fixtures. Positioning fixtures such as this one need to be highly customized and may need to be iterated on when improving your production process over time. 3D printing allows you to reduce the cost of successive iterations massively. It also prevents the need for keeping a large stock of replacement fixtures. Instead, you can maintain a digital library of fixtures that can be printed as, and when, they are needed.