Custom Carbon Fiber Parts: Automotive Research, Design, and Planning

custom carbon fiber

Since its introduction to auto parts in the 1980s as part of a Formula 1 car design, carbon fiber has become a growing part of the auto industry. Industry experts and hobbyists alike often design and commission custom carbon fiber parts for their vehicles.

If you’re an enthusiast or custom parts manufacturer getting started with carbon fiber, you might not know where to begin. What makes for a good carbon fiber design? Do you have a solid plan for your process?

Don’t know where to begin? Keep reading. We’ll walk you through the basics of getting started on a custom parts project.

Starting Your Custom Carbon Fiber Project

Getting started with your project requires paperwork and a focus on the design process rather than digging right in with materials and measurements. What do you intend to accomplish with your project?

Setting clear, narrow goals helps avoid scope creep. Scope creep occurs when you start with a simple idea and keep adding bells and whistles until it becomes so large and complex that you’ll never finish. A lot of projects die over scope creep, so taking the time to set clear, achievable goals can help any project.

If you’ve never used carbon fiber in a project before, consider a single part such as a carbon fiber fender. Avoid committing to full-body refits unless you have confidence and experience with auto projects.

Taking on a custom carbon fiber project for an auto shop customer? Make sure to communicate about the customer’s goals as well. Knowing that your customer wants better fuel efficiency, for instance, will narrow down your design decisions.

Research All Steps

Whether you’re an auto shop looking for a prototyping partner and a fiber source or an enthusiast looking for an auto shop, do your due diligence. Find partners and products that meet your requirements.

Consider Prototype Design

We all hated it in English class, but making first drafts mattered there and it matters here too. Prototyping allows you to identify failure points in your design and find places to improve aesthetics or cut costs.

Remember that for prototypes or one-off designs, sharp edges don’t translate well to carbon fiber. Make sure all curves allow for easy contours.

Know Manufacturing Capabilities

When you make the part itself, make sure you know what capabilities your manufacturing partner has. If you need a specialized fiber layout for optimal performance, check that your partner company can deliver on that layout. If you’re interested in carbon fiber printing, check with all interested parties to ensure it fits the project you’re working on.

Getting Accustomed to Custom

Custom carbon fiber parts can make a car lighter, more fuel-efficient, and more attractive. Whether you’re looking for a gorgeous aesthetic with a unique weave like a fish weave or an ultra-light vehicle with the highest possible performance, go into your project with a clear sense of what you want and what you can achieve.

If you know what you’re looking for out of a carbon fiber project, contact us to get a free quote. We handle big and small projects for a wide range of verticals. Whether you’re a large auto manufacturer or a small sports hobby shop, we have the right solution for you within your budget.

About the author