3D printed honeycomb material.

PCH is a new generation of material that I've been working on for several months now.
It is a hybrid material made of glass fiber or carbon fiber laid up on a 3D printed honeycomb structure. What makes the strength of the material is actually the printing material. It is what I call PYCABS: a mix of ballistic grade Polycarbonate and ABS.


The result is a bullet proof material that is both very stiff and shock absorbing.
I am quite proud of this as it is the first time that I come up with something as original and high performance as this. As far as I am aware of, this is unique in the industry.

The advantages of this material are the following:
  • 3D printing allows for extremely complex shapes to be created.
  • The resulting composite structure is light, stiff and shock absorbing.
  • The full digital production chain enables a fitting tolerance of 0.2 mm.
  • The production time is short, and material cost reasonable.

The limitations are the fact that the part size cannot be bigger than the printing bed. In my case: 20 cm by 30 cm.

Here is a video of an AD Diamond door structure printing:

An example of a fairly complex door structure designed by CAD:

And the printed result. The glass fiber layup is on the other side of the door and makes the part quite white:

The door attaches to the main strut with CAD designed clips that conform to both the strut shape and match the door reinforcements. The full digital process allows for a fitting tolerance of 02 mm.

I am finishing the Diamond doors kit with this technique first, then I will carry on to the Scorpion, Super Scorpion and Phoenix

The materials used on the pictures above is PYCABS. I am also working on other materials like:

Carbon fiber reinforced ABS
Carbon fiber reinforced PLA
Carbon fiber reinforced PYCABS
New formulated NOVALAC resin based filament ( NEFCAR )

All these materials are more difficult to print and subject to nozzle clogging ( except for the last one ) but will provide amazing results.

Also for information, the university of Harvard is working on a similar project with slightly different techniques but fairly similar results.

Have a look here:



The honeycomb pattern is controlled and viewed in 3D before printing. A layer-by-layer view of every part is generated for this purpose.


On the picture above, one can see the first two layers ( in blue ) being offset from the next ones ( in red ) to improve gluing performance of the part.

I am also working with mathematicians whohave implemented new 3D honeycomb generation patterns. These exhibit compressibility resistance in 3 directions instead of 1 direction for classical nomex/ paper honeycomb.

The algorithm used can be tweaked to generate a larger thickness ondulation and thus create 3D honeycomb cells exactly similar on x, y and z axis.


3d honeycomb JR 8711 servo bracket printing. from Oli Ni on Vimeo.