Design and Robotic Fabrication of 3D Printed Moulds for Composites

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Velu, Rajkumar
Vaheed, Nahaad
Raspall, Felix

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University of Texas at Austin


3D printing technologies have a direct impact on manufacturing the composite structures and in particularly fabrication of molds. Molds produced through additive manufacturing methods would greatly improve product features. The material selection and process conditions involved for producing mold tooling, mainly towards Automated fiber placement (AFP) work cells. In this study, the main objective is to improve the design and fabrication of composite parts through complex molds as well as to assess and improve the production workflow through the development of an effective design environment for the existing fiber placement operation. A robotic arm will be used to hold the print surface and to follow a pre-programmed print path with a stationary extruder to fabricate the mold tooling. This paper will present a review on the selection process for mold materials and the initial experimental work carried out to investigate required properties of 3D printed molds.


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