Carbon fiber (CF) is an amazing material that provides a lot of strength for very little weight, making it very useful for a lot of applications, ranging from rods in CoreXY 3D printers to model- and full-sized rockets. The model rocketry hobby is the reason why [Andrew Reilley] developed his own CF tube winding machine called Contraption. A tutorial video (also embedded below) shows how this machine is prepped for a winding run, followed by the winding progress and finalizing before admiring the result.
The entire machine’s design with 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components is open source, as is the TypeScript and NodeJS-based Cyclone software that creates the toolpath specifying the parameters of the tube, including number of layers and the tow angle.
As a wet winding tow machine, the carbon fiber strands are led through the liquid resin before being wound onto the prepared mandrel. During winding some excess resin may have to be removed, and after the winding has been finished the tube is wound with shrink tape. This is followed by a heat gun session to shrink the tape and letting the resin cure. Following curing, the tape and mandrel are removed, resulting in a rather fancy looking CF tube that can find a loving home in a lot of applications, except perhaps ones that involving crushing outside pressures like those found deep below the ocean surface.