CFIP technology, developed and patented by the Eurecat technology centre, has won the JEC World Innovation Award in the additive manufacturing category. The prize is recognition of the innovation it delivers since it enables parts manufactured by 3D printing to be reinforced with continuous carbon fibres, thereby increasing their strength and reducing their weight.

CFIP (Continuous Fibre Injection Process) technology “is a new post-processing system based on injecting continuous reinforcement fibres, such as carbon fibres, into parts manufactured by 3D printing or other types of technology”, says Marc Crescenti, head of Eurecat’s Advanced Simulation line and lead developer for this new method.

“The fact that we strengthen the part by means of a post-process method, and not during the manufacturing process itself as other technologies on the market do, brings truly disruptive advantages”, Crescenti points out.

These advantages include placing the reinforcement fibres in all directions and following complex routes mapped out beforehand with complete freedom. “This means we can align them in the most efficient directions and further enhance mechanical performance”, he adds.

It can also strengthen all kinds of materials, including plastics, metals and ceramics, “which makes it possible, for example, to manufacture a titanium part strengthened with continuous carbon fibres”, explains Crescenti.

CFIP technology additionally affords the option of integrally joining different parts with fibre continuity between them, thus providing very high performance joints. This allows for multi-material and multi-process structures by selecting the most efficient material and process based on the requirements in each area of the structure.

This technological solution has been used in several case studies in fields such as aeronautics, the automotive industry and sports. One example of this is a brake pedal which Eurecat has developed by means of integrated joining of different materials and processes.

The JEC World Innovation Awards are presented at JEC Composites, the preeminent international trade fair for composite materials.

Market acclaim

The innovation has also been recognised with the Best International Solution Award for best additive manufacturing technology presented by the Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation World Conference and with the award for the best solution in new materials given by the IN(3D)USTRY fair. The technology was additionally presented at the TCT conference held as part of the Formnext fair.