The SolidExperts Blog

Replacing Aluminum Parts with 3D-Printed Carbon Fiber

Recently, a major shortage of aluminum amongst industry suppliers has led to steep price increases. Since January 2021, the aluminum prices have increased by over 50%, and experts project increases to last through the next two years.


According to Jyske Bank, the worldwide aluminum shortage can be traced back to increased material consumption due to three factors: increased spending on consumer goods due to stimulus packages, increased investments in sustainable technology which rely on use of aluminum (such as wind turbines, electric cars) and Chinese production and consumption of aluminum.


In light of this aluminum shortage, Markforged Carbon Fiber offers a suitable alternative, as many of our customers use it to replace parts made out of machined aluminum. Carbon Fiber has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of our reinforcing fibers. Six times stronger and eighteen times stiffer than Onyx, Carbon Fiber reinforcement is commonly used for parts that replace machined aluminum.


When laid into a Composite Base material like Onyx, it can yield parts as strong as 6061-T6 aluminum. As a material, it is extremely stiff and strong, and can be automatically laid down in a wide variety of geometries by Markforged 3D printers to produce optimized parts.

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To learn more about Markforged 3D Printers, contact an expert at The SolidExperts.

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