An organization backed by the CIA that calls itself Arevo is hoping to guide a revolution in manufacturing that makes use of 3D printing to construct merchandise in a extra environment friendly and cost-effective method. The Silicon Valley, California startup just lately picked up $12.5 million in funding to assist pursue this aim and has revealed a formidable proof-of-concept product to assist show its capabilities. That product is a carbon fiber bike body that would give us a glimpse of the longer term for the biking business.
According to Arevo, its bike body is the primary to be 3D printed utilizing carbon fiber. The firm makes use of 3D printer technology, paired with a custom-built robotic arm and web-based software program, to create merchandise created from proprietary uncooked supplies. The robotic arm is ready to print out shapes in a single cross utilizing a thermoplastic materials that’s melted into strands of carbon fiber that helps bind every part collectively. The finish result’s a motorbike body that prices about $300 to make, which is significantly lower than what most bike producers pay.
When most biking firms got down to create a brand new carbon fiber body for his or her newest bicycles, they need to first create a mildew of what the body will appear like. That mildew usually prices between $60,000 and $100,000 relying on a variety of variables. Once that mildew is constructed, employees fill the mildew with particular person layers of carbon fiber, that are mixed with resin, into it. The mildew is then positioned in an industrial oven to bake the resin into the carbon to bind every part collectively. The total course of takes an excessive amount of time and is pretty labor intensive, making a carbon fiber bike body very light-weight, however costly.
Arevo, which was initially funded by In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit enterprise capital agency backed by the CIA, says that it might scale up its manufacturing course of to be used in a variety of totally different initiatives. While the carbon fiber bike body is a sign of what the corporate’s and software program are able to, it might additionally reportedly construct merchandise as giant as the fuselage of an aircraft. It may also 3D print components for house autos and different complicated machines, too.