Traditional ways of fabricating prepreg into shapes is time consuming and expensive. Therefore, the full advantages that a continuous fiber reinforced composite can bring to an application were limited to those specific applications where production volumes were low, and costs were not the overriding concern.
While no material is 100% predictable in any new design, continuous fiber composites are the most predictable type of composite material. Why? Because the fiber orientation can be known, and controlled. Unlike molding compounds, continuous fiber materials do not have flow or knit lines.
One way to make composites workable in large volumes is to machine parts from sheets or other stock shapes such as tubes or rods. These stock removal techniques can create intricate geometries, and do so with moderately high throughput. However, these techniques limit the design flexibility because the fiber orientation is fixed in the shape. And, stock removal techniques can generate too much material loss to be economically viable in some cases.