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3D Printed Continuous Fibre Composite Research at Deakin University: Design and Analysis Methods for UD, Hybrid and Pseudo-Woven Ply Architectures



At Deakin University we have been researching the performance of continuous fibre 3D printed composite structures and a summary of three research activities related to this research theme are provided herein. 3D printed continuous fibre composites can be used to realise significant gains in stiffness and strength compared to an equivalent component fabricated using a neat thermoplastic. To investigate the performance of these materials both commercially available and customised printers were used to fabricate composite laminates and the behaviour of these laminates evaluated experimentally. Finite element and analytical models were used to predict the mechanical response. These approaches were originally developed for thermoset matrices, however, the models have shown to be capable of predicting the behaviour of 3D printed carbon fibre and hybrid carbon-fibreglass thermoplastic composites. These validated models can be used to generate design charts to identify feasible UD and semi-woven textile architectures, thereby, allowing designers to tailor the ply architecture and stacking sequence to meet specific design requirements.


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