Imagine creating fully optimized composite materials with the press of a button. Magnetic 3D printing does just that. No complex fabrication, no sub-par materials. Just custom composites within hours.

Magnetic 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates precisely-tailored composites such as carbon fiber. This method combines the benefits of 3D printing and composites. 3D printing is an incredibly fast, hands-off fabrication process that can form nearly any geometry. Composites are the most advanced materials available, with higher mechanical properties than metals and plastics. Magnetic 3D printing goes a step further by precisely tailoring composites voxel by voxel to create the ideal material for a project.

3D printed injection molding tool on a wood surface
Magnetic 3D printing can produce durable parts in detailed geometries such as this injection mold.

The Purpose of Magnetic 3D Printing

Magnetic 3D printing produces fully customized composite materials. Composites such as carbon fiber have incredible mechanical properties; carbon fiber outperforms steel, aluminum, and engineering plastics in most applications. If everything could be made of composites, they would be. But composites are a less common material because of their traditional lay-up fabrication process, which is time-consuming and expensive.

With magnetic 3D printing, composites can not only be quickly and easily formed into any geometry, but they can also be tailored precisely to meet the needs of the project. Strength, stiffness, weight, and other mechanical properties can be adjusted voxel by voxel. The result is a fully optimized material that saves time and money in fabrication.

Illustration of magnetic 3D printing process
The magnetic 3D printing process uses DLP 3D printing and magnets to create a fully optimized, high-resolution object. Scale bar: (c) 2, 500, and 50 mm from left to right.

How Magnetic 3D Printing Works

In magnetic 3D printing, (a) a digital light processor (DLP) polymerizes a resin with UV light while electromagnetic solenoids apply a magnetic field. The build plate peels after each layer. (b) The printing process aligns and selectively polymerizes groupings of voxels programmed to have specific reinforcement orientation within each layer. (c) Magnetic 3D printing can produce detailed reinforcement micro-architectures such as the Golden Ratio (above) that exhibits clear feature sizes as low as 90 μm.

Sports car black and white detail
Cars that use magnetic 3D printing are faster, lighter, and safer with guided stress cracking.

Applications of Magnetic 3D Printing

Magnetic 3D printing is a revolutionary fabrication method in the automotive industry, aerospace, and product design. In auto design, cars are stronger, lighter, and safer with guided stress cracking, all while saving time and money in fabrication. The same goes for aerospace, where it’s essential to optimize material properties for a safe, lightweight aircraft. Magnetic 3D printing also brings the benefits of composites to injection molding; composites make superior injection mold tools compared to steel, aluminum, and 3D printed plastics. Anywhere composites are found, magnetic 3D printing brings hands-off fabrication and optimized material properties.

Fluxprint is the magnetic 3D printing process that fuels Digital Composite Manufacturing. With DCM, you can have fully optimized composites in hand within hours. This manufacturing method brings all the benefits of 3D printing to fabricating composites—low cost, high speed, limitless geometries, and no machining required. DCM opens up new possibilities in materials, making fabrication faster and products better.