• Overview  

    Executive Summary

    3dfabtech

    3dfabtech

    3dfabtech

    Following is a summary of our target customer types for each of our offerings:

    Product Line Target Customer
    PhaseLok Materials Existing users of washout mandrels: braiders, filament winders, VARTM/RTM composites
    Prototype fabricators of small duct, hollow parts: auto racing builders, auto aftermarket
    PhaseLok Mandrels Existing users of washout mandrels: braiders, filament winders, VARTM/RTM composites
    Production fabricators of small hollow parts
    Foam filled structures (replace foam for hollow part)
    RTS Units Traditional (auto/aero/defense) prototype and tooling houses. (Including Kirksite molds)
    Prior RTS sales (aerospace composites)
    Prior RTS contacts (aerospace composites)
    Automotive aftermarket, auto racing
    RTS Consumables and Maintenance Existing and future RTS users (especially depots)
    Mfg. Consulting Services Funded Mfg R&D from 1st Tier company with cooperation/assistance of Wright Patterson, etc.
    Technology transfer / Licensing
    Component Parts Secondary aircraft structures like ducts and struts (hollow).
    Aircraft-like recreational parts (bikes, etc.)
  • About 3dfabtech  

    3dfabtech is developing patented and patent-pending technology to create tooling solutions that emulate phase change structures. RTS beds can be made to go from soft to hard and back again. PhaseLok materials withstand high-temperatures and processing pressures yet can be dissolved with tap water.

    3dfabtech is staffed with engineers, researchers and production-minded operating executives who have joined together to further develop, manufacture and support this revolutionary tooling technology.

  • 3dfabtech Solutions:  

    Re-formable
    Tooling Systems

    - Immediate pattern duplication
    - Mold creation for prototypes or production
    - Re-formable repeatedly

    “Wash-out”
    Mandrels

    - Soluble mandrels for fabrication of trapped features – especially for composites
    - High temperature processing capability (>750oF) and easy wash-out with tap water

    Manufacturing
    Consulting

    - IDevelopment of new tooling and manufacturing processes – especially for advanced composites
    - Synergistically combine existing technologies

    Fast Tools and
    Prototypes

    - Affordable, same-day tooling from patterns
    - Molds and prototypes in days – not weeks
    - Advanced composites structure prototypes

    RTS Re-formable Tooling

    PhaseLok™ Wash-out casting media

    Tooling Solutions Custom Fabrication

  • Wide Range of Tooling & Parts









  •  

    Manufacturing Process Development  

    “Best Value” results from integrating part, manufacturing process and tool design

    Tooling (Mold) Fabrication

      Rapid & conventional composites tooling:
    • Part characteristics drive tool design:
      -Rate, quantity, processing temperature &s; pressure, dimensional requirements, etc.
    • Tool “design and build” balances part characteristics with program constraints for “best value” tooling solution:
      Total cost (tooling &s; parts), schedule, risk and tool longevity

    Prototype Part Fabrication

      3dfabtech fabricates prototype and low-rate initial production parts:
    • Tool-proof parts for tool and process verification
    • Low rate production – especially when tooling costs exceed total lot parts cost
    • One-stop shop for speed and focused responsibility
      -No “finger pointing” between tooling house and parts fabricator

    Wide Range of Applications

      3dfabtech brings aerospace tooling &s; processes to a variety of markets:
    • Manned &s; un-manned aircraft structures
      - Design, build, repair
      - OEM and aftermarket
    • Automotive and mass transit
    • Recreational products
    • Wind energy
    • Medical equipment and models
  • Contact Us With Any Questions   or Propositions  


      View Map

  • RTS  

    RTS “Reconfigurable Tooling Systems” are a paradigm shift in tooling for prototype or short-run manufacturing. RTS creates a tool from a part or pattern at room temperature that can be subsequently hardened for high-temperature use. RTS tools can be used once, many times, or stored indefinitely. When no longer needed they can be returned to a “slurry” state and reformed into new tools.

      RTS features:
    • Immediate pattern duplication
    • Tool creation for prototypes or production
    • Re-formable again and again


    Immediate pattern duplication



    Tool creation for prototypes or production



    Re-formable again and again

    Patterns can be copied in minutes and use immediately for low pressure forming processes such as wet-layup of composites. The formed bed surface can be heated to harden it for vacuum-bag, autoclave processing or even casting of metals such as zinc and aluminum alloys.

    RTS is ideal for making transfers splashes, rapid prototype tooling and multiple mold shapes for similar part geometries

      Typical applications include:
    • Fabricating parts, molds or transfer splashes at temperatures to 350oF.
    • Composite material hand-layup, vacuum bag or autoclave cure of dry fabric or pre-preg; for production or repair.
    • Resin transfer molding (RTM, VARTM, LRTM, etc.)
    • Vacuum forming molds.
    • Bonding and assembly fixtures, vacuum holding fixtures.
    • Part holding fixtures for inspection.

  • PhaseLok™

    PhaseLokTM is family of rigid casting materials to create soluble “wash-out” mandrels, especially suited for high-temperature fabrication of composite structures with trapped features.

    PhaseLok is provided ready to use as a water-based damp mix. It is odorless, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

    Consolidated mandrels are structurally stable yet can be rapidly washed away using tap water even after exposure to processing temperatures in excess of 750oF

      PhaseLokTM key characteristics:
    • Lightweight
    • Single component
    • Machinable, repairable
    • Accurate reproductions
    • Zero shrink upon consolidation.

    Contact us for specific product data sheets: info@3dfabtech.com

      Applications include:
    • Internal mandrels for fabricating ducts, pressure vessels and tubular struts.
    • Zero-shrink splashes for drape forming and vacuum forming
    • Hardened stamping dies when densified with resin and cured after original consolidation.
  • Tooling & Manufacturing Expertise  

    3dfabtech fabricates tooling and structures of a variety of non-metallics:

    • Advanced composites (vacuum bag / wet-layup, oven cure / prepreg, closed-mold, RTM, etc.)
    • Unreinforced plastics (epoxy, silicone, urethane)
    • Syntactic materials (custom and off-the-shelf)
    • Core materials (foam, honeycomb, non-wovens, elastomerics)
    • Wash-out and melt-out cores & mandrels (water soluble to eutectic alloys).
  • Wide Range of Markets  







  • Technology Overview

    Innovations

    3dfabtech is developing a new class of material formulations that can undergo a reversible room-temperature transition - going from liquid-like to solid with no change in volume. 3dfabtech personnel have extensive experience in materials science and composites, and are now engaged in combining the transition material technology with 'universal' tooling concepts for the composites industry.

    Reformable tooling can take the contour of any shape pressed against it. Prototype tooling can be prepared in five minutes or less and can be repeatedly transformed into different contours for different parts. The tooling can take a splash or negative that can be turned into a positive on another reconfigurable tool. It can be 350°F capable, can be given a CTE to match any materials system, and will be capable of use under vacuum and up to100 psi.

    Brief on Transition Material Properties

    3dfabtech has patents pending on its unique approach to formulating liquid-solid materials systems. A transition material can take on the properties of nearly any particulate fill material used in its formulation. It can have the stiffness, temperature resistance and CTE of hard tooling materials or the elastomeric properties of 'soft' tooling.

    Transition materials will be tailored to a user's exact specification to include CTE and mechanical properties. In a liquid state these materials are formed around a master model, part or tool. The materials are then transformed instantly at room temperature to a solid state with no change in volume.

    Since the change is accomplished at ambient temperature, a 'splash' can be taken from any stable material, such as foam block, wood, the part to be replicated, or a rapid-prototyped part from stereolithography (STL), fused-deposition modeling (FDM), laminated object manufacturing (LOM), or any machined or hand-worked material.

    Concept tests of 'quasi-stable' transition materials have also been made, showing that the development of 'toolable' transition materials are possible, with the material being progressively sculpted to shape. When transition materials with three properties are developed (liquid, solid, quasi-stable state), the option will exist to go directly from 3D CAD to a formed pattern or tool without resorting to rapid prototyping, machining or hand fabrication of patterns.

    Early tests have been made on tailoring the physical properties of these materials and utilizing them for both dimensional capture ('splash' tools) and the creation of male and female molding tools. Light fill can be used to create large-scale universal splash tools - including sectional tools - that can be manually transported and positioned, with 'limpet' application under partial vacuum to conform the liquid-stage tool to a surface before transition to the solid stage.

    In like manner a variety of 'melt-out' mandrels can be produced for wide-ranging applications as tool inserts. In the future the prospective user will be free to specify a desired set of physical properties, such as a CTE matching that of the composite structure to be produced. The materials should be tailorable so that properties including CTE's and dimensional stability match those of all current tool materials. Potentially infinite variations of the physical and chemical properties, including tailored CTE, stiffness, elastic properties and temperature resistance are possible.

    Tooling Applications

    The company's innovative transition materials, tooling designs and application concepts will provide for the creation of a wide variety of instantly formable and reconfigurable tools. The materials can be contained permanently within elastic membrane elements or can be transferred in a liquid-like state from flexible containment to holding tanks and back.

    We expect these materials to open up realms of free thinking about tool design as dedicated engineers begin working with them (see Concept Demonstrator below). Though our perspective is at present limited, we advance the following concepts:

    • Modification of tool - add or subtract contours; blend two shapes into one; form controlled-thickness offset; instantly create matched-tool set.
    • Transfer from positive to negative repeatedly with no loss of accuracy.
    • Reinforcement - make patterns over properly sized plug; lay, form and consolidate preforms between male & female tools; apply light tack-release forces to develop patterns w/ actual materials.
    • Rapid hard-shell forming - thermoform and heat-cure prepregs in one operation.
    • Form over honeycomb or core material; foam between skins & cure under pressure.
    • Scale complex parts up or down by transferring dimensions.
    • Perform a wide variety assembly tooling functions, holding, positioning, clamping & pressing operations.
    • Use in rapid field repair tooling kits - patch tools can be formed quickly without the use of chemicals and temperature controlled materials.

    Potential tooling forms, in either hard or soft tooling, include:

    • 'Splash' tooling of any scale, including segmented exterior and separable mandrel elements. These can be tools that are pressed against a surface by partial vacuum, or they can be internally pressurized to capture interior contours.
    • Open Molds of any size, including multi-part designs. These can be suitable for VIP, VARTM and 'Light RTM' applications, with permanent bags or caps being formed by matched tooling (see below). These can be temperature-controlled with liquid lines or heater elements embedded beneath the tool surface.
    • Collapsible mandrels & core tools will be offered for hollow body forming. When pressure and temperature capable these will be available for filament-winding applications.
    • Trapped tooling can be fabricated in one piece without multi piece jigsaw puzzle metal tooling. This reduces not only tooling cost but also tool assembly and disassembly.
    • Rapid prototype tooling of multiple part configurations can be made from one tool, vastly reducing cycle time in prototyping or fabrication on R&D parts or materials.
    • Matched tooling for pressure forming and thermoforming. Temperature-controlled tools will be available.
    • Closed molds with two or more mating components will be available, as will a variety of internal mandrels for use in conjunction with these molds. While initially offering 'light' pressure molds, continuing transition material development will provide RTM-capable tooling and eventually injection-mold tooling.
    • Autoclave tooling: 3dfabtech is looking for partnering companies to accelerate this development.
    • Bonding fixtures can be formed to fit individual parts contours and part to part variations to ensure that pressure can be applied uniformly over entire surfaces and eliminate dis-bonds.
    • NDI inspection part holding fixtures can be formed.

    Concept Demonstrator and Follow-on Systems

    3dfabtech has developed a concept demonstrator for the composites industry offered to all interested parties under license. This demonstrator was produced by a partnering company with an extensive background in aerospace and commercial composites tooling development and fabrication