How 3D printing is helping the Dark Arts of Composite Manufacture

Graphite Additive Manufacturing have long been synonymous with latest advances in 3D Printing. With our roots in Formula One, Graphite AM was established to provide engineering and design expertise to Formula One teams and the wider Motorsport community. As the Dark Arts of composite manufacture continues to evolve, Graphite AM are running a number of key materials to help our clients gain a competitive advantage.

To form complex mandrels for composite tooling, materials such as SR-30 (FDM) and DMX 100 (SLA) are starting to gain traction and, with the right knowledge and experience, these materials can perform wonders. SR-30 is a sacrificial mandrel and DMX is an extraction mandrel with some unique properties.

Complex pipes and geometries can now be created by building mandrels that are sacfrificial, leaving the composite surround. SR-30 is now being used extensively, but as it is made by FDM there are design limitations. Larger parts and more complex geometries can now be created in highly accurate SLA technology – DMX 100. For any pipe or part that requires a good surface finish on the inside and outside of the part for air flow, water flow, fuel, oils etc., DMX 100 offers an unparelled solution. This unique material is now being used extensively throughout the Formula One grid and Graphite AM are starting to engage with composite specialists about this exciting material.

Along with our ceramic filled SLA resins, such as PerFORM by DSM, these high temperature materials can withstand the temperature and pressure of an autoclave. With builds running daily, an order can be placed and the mould be operational the following day. Ultem is another high temperature FDM filament with unrivalled mechanical properties, ideal for complex moulds. This speed of manufacturing and our design and composite tooling knoweldge is helping our clients to stay one step ahead of the field.

For help and advice about when and where to consider DMX 100, please get in touch with Graphite AM here.


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