File under “half-baked ideas”. I love 3d printing (and I don’t even have a 3d printer yet, although I have ordered a QU-BD RPM!). The one MAJOR feature lacking in current FFF printing technology (IMHO) is ability to create prints that are “durable”. When I say “durable” I mean - have strength and toughness akin to metals. I’ve spent a lot of spare thought cycles trying to think of a way to add “toughness” (strength) to 3d prints, and I had the following idea.
You can buy chopped carbon fiber (see link below). What if one were to create filament with the chopped carbon fiber mixed in? Then, when you print, assuming the filament still maintained usable melting/flow characteristics, your print would have chopped carbon fibers embedded throughout - creating a carbon fiber composite print. True, it wouldn’t be as good as woven carbon fiber cloth strengthwise, but it seems like it would make the print stronger (but perhaps not any more resistance to abrasion)…?
Thoughts? It’s just an idea (coming from someone who has never used a 3d printer before) so please be gentle if you think it’s stupid…