The scientists at Impossible Objects have developed a unique 3D printing process, and it appears the market like it: they were just awarded USD$2.8M.
Impossible Objects has apparently developed a new 3D printing process they call, Composite-based Additive Manufacturing, or CBAM. The word “composite” is the giveaway: CBAM is capable of 3D printing composite materials such as carbon fiber, kevlar, fiberglass and polyester. The process also works with a “wide range” of other materials, including silk, wool, PEEK and more.
These materials are definitely not common among other 3D printer offerings, so the parts produced using CBAM can have material properties different from those produced on any other 3D printer.
They say “Fiber reinforcement spans the entire plane of the object.” and “Directionally optimized for where strength is needed most.” This suggests that the process involves laying down lengths of substrate material during printing, similar to the approach used by Mark One, who exhibited a carbon fiber 3D printer last January.
Impossible Objects says the CBAM process is also much faster than other 3D printing processes, but we have not yet seen any specific benchmarks.
The new infusion of cash should permit Impossible Objects to continue developing their product, which is clearly directed towards the manufacturing market.