Today's guest blog is by Scott Harmon, Z Corporation's VP of Business Development.
One of my recent favorites comes from Red River College in Winnipeg, Canada. Serge Broeska, a student at Red River under the guidance of Leon Fainstein, recently got an article published in a prestigious industry journal called JEC Composites. The subject of their article: “A New Means of Making Dissolvable Mandrels and Patterns, Otherwise Known as ‘Rapid Prototype Composite Tooling’".
In essence, Serge and Prof. Fainstein used 3D printed parts from a Z Corp. 3D printer to make a pattern around which they applied carbon fiber and fiberglass. After the composites had cured, they simply washed the pattern out with water. In the project technical report, they documented huge (90%) savings in time and money to create a composite part vs. traditional tooling methods. In the article, they describe making a frame component, a handlebar, and a water bottle holder using this method.
Thanks to their creativity and hard work, they now have a handful of major composite manufacturers interested in further developing their research.
As cool as this particular application is, the cooler thing is that literally thousands of new students all over the world are using this technology every year. What will they create next?