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About composite Materials

Carbon fiber, fiberglass, and Kevlar are three of the most common fiber materials used for composites in industry. As we covered in the Physics of 3D Printing, the fibers are like spaghetti – thin, brittle, and easy to snap if bent. These fibers are almost never used by themselves – they are woven into sheets, wrapped into rods, or formed into custom molded shapes with the help of a matrix material to harden the fibers into an optimized shape. When many fibers are bound together to create larger structural elements, forces can distribute and disperse loads along the lengths of all of the fibers.


Composite materials types avaialble

Carbon fiber-filledIt is considered by many to be the most efficient fiber for creating composite materials. Indeed, materials made from this fiber have high stiffness, high tensile strength and good chemical resistanceNatural100 - 150 micronsLight weight & High strength
Fiberglass-filledfiberglass offers good mechanical properties. In addition, it is considered to be a good electrical insulator and has low thermal conductivity. It is more comparable to other polymers: for example, it is 11 times more rigid than ABSNatural100 - 150 micronsLight weight & High strength
Kevlar-filledOne of the most wear-resistant materials, known best perhaps for being one of the first materials used for bulletproof vests. With good mechanical properties in traction and fatigue, Kevlar is mainly used to manufacture parts exposed to strong vibrations and needing to resist abrasionNatural150 micronsAbrasion resistant

Quick Overview

ProcessesLead TimeColorTolerancePriceApplications
CNC MachiningAs fast as 3 daysWhite & available in all major colors.With drawing: as low as +/- 0.005 mm No drawing: ISO 2768 mediumQty & Precision dependentImpact-resistant applications, production-like parts (pre-injection molding)
3D Printing2-4 Days based on sizeWhite & available in all major colors.FDM - 150 µm
SLA - 40 µm
Lowest in marketStrength & complex geometries
Injection Molding20-30 DaysWhite & available in all major colors.As low as +/- 0.030 mmQty & Precision dependentHigh strength, Good surface finish.

Design Recommendations

Services NameMax SizeMin SizeMin ThicknessUndercutsRadii Depth
For CNC MachiningMax Part Size: 600 mmMin End Mill Size: 0.8 mmMin Wall Thickness: 0.5 mmUndercuts: Square profile, full radius, dovetail profilesRadii: Depth: Depth must not exceed 12x drill bit diameter. For end mills, depth must not exceed 10x tool diameter.
For 3D PrintingMax Part Size: 500x500x500 mmMin Hole size : 1 mmMin Wall Thickness: 1 mmMin Feature Size : 3 mmRecommended fillet & Chamfer angles : > 45 Deg
For MoldingMax Part Size: 500x500x500 mmMin Hole size : 0.5 mmMin Wall Thickness: 0.5 mmRibs should be 40-60% the thickness of outer walls and should still maintain draftMinimum draft angle of 0.5°, or up to 5°, for faces with medium textures

Frequently Asked Questions

Continuous carbon fiber 3D printing is strong enough to replace aluminium at half the weight.

  • High-Strength Tools & Fixtures
  • Brackets & Mounts
  • Inspection/CMM Fixturing
  • Bespoke End-Use Parts
  • Functional Prototypes

In 3D printing, it’s possible to print with two reinforcement types of fibre, chopped and continuous. In the case of chopped fibre, small strands, less than a millimetre in length, are integrated into the polymer material. The percentage of fibre used, and the base thermoplastic determine how strong the final part is.
In the case of continuous fibre, long strands of fibre are mixed with a thermoplastic, like PLA, ABS, Nylon, PETG and PEEK during the printing process. Parts 3D-printed with continuous fibre are extremely lightweight, yet as strong as metal.


But composite parts are light weight in nature with improved properties.



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