Salvatore Cicero and Theophile Peju
Beginning with additive manufacturing as a process for creating composite materials, the research aims to develop a technical textile by combining thermoplastics with industrial felt. The textile is reinforced by extruding fibres of polymer materials by using Robotic Additive Manufacturing. Through the research, a new technique called ‘push and print’ has been developed. The combination of the fibre placement with the forming process is the novelty of this process. The robot places the filament by pushing the felt at the same time, freezing the fabric into a final shape. Furthermore, since this technique is mouldless, bespoke double-curvature shapes can be easily achieved without the use of expensive and wasteful moulds.
The prototypes developed throughout the research are demonstrations of this novel printing process as well as working prototypes to explore the dynamic capabilities afforded by the process. The composite is lightweight, self-supporting, and its performance-informed reinforcement pattern can be designed according to requirements like structural behaviour or choreographed movement.
1. Extruder operating push and print of the composite material
2. Feltscape, tactile experience of the composite material
3. Robotic cell, an overview of the setup