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Author Topic: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts  (Read 2692 times)

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Offline Brandon121233Topic starter

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Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« on: May 25, 2010, 12:47:40 PM »
Hey guys, yes I know it's been forever... I'm doing summer work for the Army Research Lab VTD Unmanned Vehicle Microsystems Team, and the scope of the project involves creating composite structural parts which have flexible thin film power sources and collectors embedded in them thus serving as both the structural component and power source for the robot. Needless to say this important for micro-robots which have very limited room for bulky power packs, and where power to weight ratios become a big issue. Right now I need to work on proof of concept parts, while the clean room is set up in our building for me to do materials research on graphene based supercapacitors.

I myself have never made any carbon fiber parts, but that needs to change. I'm aware of the overall process of making a part, but I'm not sure how well this scales down to very small parts. For now I want to make two objects: an "origami" hexapod crawler, and a basic mini airfoil. The hexapod is roughly 3 by 2 inches and uses a laminate cardboard-plastic sheet with many laser cut joints to fold into a crawling 3D structure, I wish to make this out of carbon fiber and embed one of these http://www.powerstream.com/thin-lithium-ion.htm in the composite. There are two problems I am aware of, the first being that to my knowledge carbon fiber cloth cannot be cut on a laser cutter. And the second this needs to be realllllyyy thin (less than 2mm and the battery is 1mm already). Does anyone know if there are very thin small scale sheets of carbon fiber material available for like hobby and small detail part use? Is there a good way to cut out detailed cured composite layers? The second part will be an airfoil for a micro flyer probably around 3 by 5 inches with a simple airfoil curve to demonstrate the flexible properties we wish to obtain. Same issues here, it needs to be thin smooth and of high detail.

Thanks in advance- Sweeney
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Offline Brandon121233Topic starter

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Re: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 03:45:56 PM »
To give you an idea of where we're headed check out this article and video http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_5-2-2010-10-26-39. We want to make a more advanced form of that idea for small scale applications.
Hell, there are no rules here—we're
   trying to accomplish something.

                                                                              —Thomas Edison

Offline little-c

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Re: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 05:24:36 AM »
http://www.carbonology.com/dry-fabrics-c-24.html

look at these guys. they do loads of carbon fiber stuff so should be able to help you.

Offline Brandon121233Topic starter

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Re: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 09:02:57 AM »
Does anyone know much about Kevlar composites, like if they could be cut on a laser cutter? http://www.shopmaninc.com/kevlar.html the thinest they sell is .101 mm and I'm hoping that a laser cutter will chew right through that with minimal fringing. Any ideas, or am I walking into unknown territory and will probably have to make a report of my findings?
Hell, there are no rules here—we're
   trying to accomplish something.

                                                                              —Thomas Edison

Offline little-c

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Re: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2010, 01:00:49 PM »
kevlar is normaly cut then cured in my experiance. its not known for its ease of cutting. and you really are walking into areas that most people here cannot afford to go.

Offline Brandon121233Topic starter

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Re: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2010, 02:36:11 PM »
True but the prices of carbon fiber and kevlar have come down considerably in the past few years.
Hell, there are no rules here—we're
   trying to accomplish something.

                                                                              —Thomas Edison

Offline amando96

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Re: Small Custom Carbon Fiber Parts
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 04:44:24 AM »
robotmarketplace

sell carbon fiber, loads of diferent thicknesses, and sample packs.
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