"Electroimpact is developing a new technology based on old technologies. Named SCRAM, or Scalable Composite Robotic Additive Manufacturing, the system is an integration of an FFF 3D printer and a thermoplastic AFP machine. The system is comprised of an accurate robot, a rotating build platform, and a climate-controlled build chamber. The end effector carries multiple material systems to print a soluble support material (the “tool”), a continuous fiber tape, and a chopped fiber material. Each print starts with the robot depositing the support material on the build platform. It then automatically switches to printing continuous fiber and chopped fiber-reinforced material to produce the part. The continuous fiber is deposited using “in-situ consolidation”, in which the tape is laser-welded to the substrate material and compacted in process. The resulting continuous fiber-reinforced parts are on the order of out-of-autoclave levels of porosity."
Read more from the JEC Group: http://www.jeccomposites.com/knowledge/international-composites-news/printing-continuous-carbon-fibre-true-3d