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Q: What is the difference between the light duty (LD) and heavy duty (HD) frames

A: The LD frames are made with the highest quality nylon, which is UV stabilized and fortified with chopped carbon fiber (CFF). The CFF gives the material not only additional mechanical strength, but an extremely beautiful luster that only carbon fiber has. The HD is additionally strengthened by a continuous strand of fiberglass as opposed to chopped strand (think bathtubs, old corvettes, etc…) or blankets (think surfboards, car repair kits, etc…). The fibers are laid down as a single strand at the exact location that needs to be strengthened. For example, in the frames the strands wrap around the joining screws and continues around both arms to make sure the stress experienced by the arms are transferred directly to the bolts holding the frame together.

Q: What is chopped carbon fiber (CFF)?

A: CFF is a fortifying additive used in 3D printing to give the base material additional strength and luster.

Q: Is there a difference in surface finish between the LD and HD models?

A: Yes there is. The LD version is printed .2mm at a time while the HD version is printed .1mm at a time. The HD version takes more than twice the time to print compared to the LD version, which is why the HD version is more expensive.

These are prototype prints used for testing. On the left is the HD version while on the right you can see the LD version. If there were no fiber reinforcement, the finer levels would be slightly stronger, because of the fact that there are twice as many levels. NOTE: Even though it may seem kinda rough from the picture, each level or step in the HD model is .1mm/.004in, which is the thickness of a human hair or a sheet of paper.

Q: What is continuous fiber reinforcement?

A: Continuous fiber reinforcement is a patented technology that is revolutionizing 3D printing. Never before has a 3D printer been able to make a part with strength equal to or at times exceed the strength of a metal, which in this case is aluminum.

This is a simple example example of continuous fiber reinforcement. Individual layers can be custom designed to maximize strength, which is what has been done on the TX/PA Frame HD model. There are several continuous woven sheets under each bolt hole in addition to a continuous fiber running the complete circumference of the part to make sure the stress from the arms are always transferred to the stainless steel socket head bolts and to the other frame members. All the components are working together to make a frame with the highest strength to weight ratio.