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Cal Poly Classmates Launch Kickstarter Campaign for Carbon Fiber Technology

Posted on: 03/05/2014
A team of classmates from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) are taking one more step on their journey to commercialize their unique carbon fiber technology by launching a Kickstarter campaign on March 18.

Their company, Common Fibers, started as an idea tossed out as the students were making the long drive from Seattle to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California, for a new semester. “It was a simple revelation that carbon fiber could be made more functional by creating hinges within the material itself,” said Ann Livingston-Peters, TMS student member. “It took another year to actually determine how to create such a hinge. After trying many methods, we discovered that the most effective way to create a hinge in carbon fiber was to use a laser. From that point on, the application list only grew.”

Livingston-Peters and the student team that eventually assembled around the idea competed on the Cal Poly Supermileage Team, giving them the opportunity to first test the hinges in a real application. Their technology went on to win the Technical Innovation Award at the 2013 Shell Eco-Marathon in Houston, took second place at Cal Poly’s Innovation Quest, and was accepted into the SLO Hot House FastTrac Program.

Livingston-Peters notes that the CF-Lex Hinge Technology developed by Common Fibers offers a number of applications, including fold up wheelchair ramps, airplane wing flaps, and automotive hinges. The Kickstarter launch, however, focuses on a set of simple consumer goods, including an iPhone 5 wallet case.

Kickstarter is an online funding platform for creative projects.

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