Additive Manufacturing CRP celebrates 25 years of professional 3D printing activity in Italy

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

Italy — In the mid-90s CRP Technology set out to be the first industrial company in Italy to use 3D printing processes. Since then, the family-run company has been making its mark with the development of high-performance 3D printing materials for demanding applications.

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Energica Eva electric motorbike 3D printed front nose finished and used for pre-production series
Energica Eva electric motorbike 3D printed front nose finished and used for pre-production series
(Source: CRP Technology)

In 1996, company founder Roberto Cevolini invested in a sinter station for Selective Laser Sintering and was the first in Italy to do so. To be able to use of this novel technology as extensive as possible, Cevolini and his son Franco founded CRP Technology, a subsidiary of Roberto Cevolini & C. CRP Technology including an R&D department for material development.

Franco Cevolini, states: “Purchasing an industrial 3D printer wasn’t enough for us, we wanted to make a major and stronger contribution: we decided to create a family of 3D printing materials suitable to manufacture high performing parts and applications, which could meet the needs of our F1 customers.”

Intake manifold functional prototype
Intake manifold functional prototype
(Source: CRP Technology)

The managers soon realised that the only limitations to the possibilities offered by Selective Laser Sintering was the processability of the materials. For this reason, they developed their Windform range of composite materials, suitable for professional 3D printing.

In 1999 Windform, the name born out of its primary purpose as a wind-tunnel material, was the first hybrid polymer-metal composite (filled with Aluminium) to be used for functional prototyping. This material also paved the way for transforming rapid prototyping into rapid manufacturing. Backed by the success of this material and its further development, the Cevolini family decided to found an American subsidiary in Mooresville, the heart of the southern industrial and manufacturing hub surrounded by aerospace and motorsports communities.

CRP USA started manufacturing on-car and wind tunnel components for racing teams using Windform materials, and has taken this expertise to new heights to produce parts for the space, entertainment, automotive industries and highly advanced sectors.

Meanwhile, the Windform family comprises twelve materials separated in two lines, suitable for fulfilling the needs of highly advanced and demanding sectors, including aerospace and defense, robotics, medical, motorsports and automotive.

Important progress has been made in the sector of additive technologies with the development of Windform materials, such as outgas tests for use in space, patch testing for the medical sector, fashion and design and testing of non-conductivity, expanding the use of these in all areas in which a highly durable material is required, offering the possibility to process it with high precision CNC machining.

In 2010 the company decided to invest in the new field of sustainable vehicles and created Energica, the first high-performance electric motorcycle Made in Italy. Engineer Livia Cevolini, CEO Energica, “The foundations of the Electric Motor Valley had been laid, and we have been the first to help create it.”

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