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posted 13 March 2016 at 19:32:21

3D printing using metals has been on the increase for some time, but hot on its heels comes a super-strong, lightweight competitor – 3D printing with carbon fibre. The incredible strength and stiffness of carbon fibre, coupled with its lighter weight, chemical and heat resistance, and electrical conductivity, is destined to make it a favourite of the aerospace, automobile and robotics industries, to name-check just a few.

It is claimed that using carbon fibre instead of steel could slash car manufacturing costs by a whopping 80%, although the medium itself can cost around £12 per lb. A group of 3D print companies, including Arevo Labs, Electroimpact and Impossible Objects are now trying to develop cheaper, high-quality carbon fibre filament for the next generation of industrial manufacturing.

It could be some time before this metal usurper is widely and affordably available for 3D printing, but it's definitely one to watch.  

Image © Arevo Inc (