Setforge and 9T Labs are partnering to replace metals with high-performance carbon fibre composites for automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. Setforge will use 9T Labs’ Red Series equipment to produce CFRP parts with high fibre volume (60 per cent) and low void content of less than one per cent at lower cost using additive fusion technology.
Additive fusion technology enables serial production of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) parts with high fibre volume and low void content at lower cost.
With over 100 years of experience, Setforge, a subsidiary of Farinia Group, is one of the most important global suppliers of high-quality metal components, at high production volumes, mainly in the automotive and aerospace industries. With its partners, Institut de Soudure and the research institute Arts et Métiers, Setforge is working on the development of a new process, called Epither, that aims to produce structural composite parts in high series to diversify its historic production.
“Lightweight and sustainability are becoming more and more important,” notes head of Epither programme, Damien Felix. “As an innovative company, we need to explore new technologies for the future of digital series production. With 9T Labs’ cost-competitive approach, we can reduce part weight and production costs.”
Setforge will use the Red Series to set up a high-volume production solution for light and strong composite parts. Its Red Series subscription is an all-in-one solution that includes hardware, Fibrify software, and application engineering. “Using 9T Labs’composite engineering support, we will find and develop the right applications,” says Felix. “9T Labs’ software makes the process of designing composite parts much more accessible to companies that have not been working with composites.”
The Fibrify software suite uses integrated FEA tools to help quickly define tailored fibre designs optimised per load case, avoiding less-efficient black metal designs. It also allows parts to be structurally validated before being printed, reducing iterations and streamlining development.
“The Red Series subscription provides us with flexibility in process simulation and digital prototyping as well as the potential to extend our patented process to high series production of carbon composites,” says Felix.
“We needed an additional technology to reach our goals. We have found the right level of mastery in both additive manufacturing and post consolidation with Red Series and the great support of the 9T Labs Team. This important step will allow us to substitute metals and scale the production of structural composites to thousands of pieces at a cost competitive structure,” Felix adds.
“Setforge is a great example of an innovative parts manufacturing company creating new market opportunities by substituting metals with structural composites,” explains 9T Labs co-founder and chief business development officer, Giovanni Cavolina. “We are extremely proud to support Setforge in this mission. The combination of 9T Labs’ knowledge in composites and Setforge’s expertise in production will enable serial production using additive manufacturing of CFRP.”