You’ve tried to warn your children, your pets, your boss’ thumb that pops up over the cubicle wall and whispers movie quotes to you in a raspy voice. Screaming doesn’t help. Nevertheless, it’s happening. 3D weaving is here (has been) and Lexus is finally showing off the technology which
started an Amish uprising surfaced almost two years ago.
It’s being used to create many parts on the Lexus LFA concept car. Parts being created with the machine include everything from the roof rails and chassis to front pillars and steering wheel. Lexus claims the new technology is reducing work for cutting and laminating from half a day to a mere 30 minutes. Yes, in the time that takes to bake a pizza, you could have a fresh, hot 3D woven replacement parts or a sweet new airfoil for your jeep.
“The Hard Way Is… Weaving a Chassis”
We had to invent a loom, a special type of weaving machine that didn’t exist before. It’s a circular loom. It’s maybe 2 meters across, about 6 feet across. It is able to weave, not a flat piece of fabric, but produces a circular weave that comes out of the end of the loom. And it has just the right thickness and just the right amount of carbon fiber threads at every point to give us all of the structural properties we need for that part of the LFA.
The possibilities for what kind of structures are quite phenomenal. The loom is not simply creating tube of carbon composite. Many shapes can be created…
For example, it can create roof rails by weaving fibres around a core, two layers at time, until twelve layers later a hollow roof rail is produced. – New Scientist