Outside of an advanced Quality Assurance team, metrology – the scientific study of measurement – is not a well-known concept. However, the confirmation that a project is both on track and accurate is essential to the manufacturing process.
Symmetrix Composite Tooling has added high accuracy metrology expertise to its expanding toolbox. For Symmetrix, metrology means verifying that our craftsmen using our large format machining center produce shapes to the accuracy our clients demand. Fractions of millimeter tolerances over tens of meters are the norm and require exacting levels of precision in both manufacture and measurement. With our FARO® laser tracker and Verisurf software, we measure and compare tooling surfaces to the 3D CAD model geometry with sub-millimeter accuracy without limitation due to size for near real-time confirmation that a project is on track.
By coupling today’s laser technology with a modern scientific approach, metrology expertise is a powerful tool with a variety of applications. SYMX can apply this technology and use our laser tracking to ‘Clock in’ and accurately assemble large composite tooling or complex pattern geometries. Even more, Symmetrix can now offer ‘On-Site’ mold verification as a value-added service. Clients can now confidently know their production process is free of errors letting them focus on design and innovation instead of manufacturing complications.
Please join us in welcoming Andrew McDonald to the Symmetrix team.
“Andy brings extensive knowledge and experience to Symmetrix, from closed molding-resin infusion to light-RTM tooling, production as well as prototype tooling. His years of composite tool-making across a variety of industries such as wind, transportation, medical, and marine give him a detailed understanding and confidence that only comes from years of ‘hands-on’ involvement. We are thrilled to have him on the team,” says John Barnitt, President of Symmetrix Composite Tooling. “Andy will have a key management role here at Symmetrix.”
In his new role, Andy brings two decades of experience in large scale composite mold making, Light RTM and heated epoxy tooling work to help expand Symmetrix’s composite tool making capabilities. As the former Tooling Manager of TPI Composites Inc., he is listed as inventor for multiple patents in heated tooling technology.
“Having worked as the guy on the shop floor with a table of offsets, to the guy in the office with a customer, I have the comprehensive understanding of composite products and whole manufacturing process,” says Andy. “Symmetrix’s proven track record of delivering complex composite solutions and verifying large scale geometries to submillimeter accuracy is pretty easy for me to get enthusiastic about.”
Andy grew up in California and studied Manufacturing Engineering and Plastics at Western Washington University before moving to the “right” coast. He is an automotive enthusiast and a Formula 1 racing fanatic. He lives with his family in Rhode Island.
Incredibly fast sailing yachts are being built with composites, and they’re setting new records in ocean-going speed. Daedalus Yachts is taking this concept of fast cruising a step further by adding green technology to power the systems on its Daedalus 80. This new technology eliminates the need to stop for fuel, extending the cruising range of the Daedalus 80 indefinitely.
Symmetrix was called in to shape and fabricate a modular tooling solution for ‘Phase One’ of the construction process; building canoe bodies and the structural wet deck surfaces. The 23 female molds not only fit together seamlessly but stand up to the post-curing process required for pre-preg carbon construction. The hulls are female-molded, vacuum-cured carbon and epoxy foam sandwich construction. The infused carbon-fiber molds match the thermal expansion properties of these materials, ensuring accurate final shapes for the hulls.
The Daedalus 80 is currently under construction in North Carolina. Read more on their website.
Valkyrie Systems Aerospace came to us to shape a prototype of their latest unmanned aerial vehicle. The “Eagle” is amphibious, hovers like a helicopter, and flies with the power of a fighter jet.
Utilizing our 360-degree tooling capabilities, we created a precise one-quarter scale model of the Eagle. Our 5-axis machine, combined with the experience of our engineering and build teams, allowed us to create geometry that would otherwise be impossible to remove from a mold. In addition, the machined piece is more accurate than a hand-built model and was shaped in a matter of hours.
Cut from a single block of foam (with the exception of the winglets), the one-quarter scale model has a wingspan of 7.7 feet, measures 5.2 feet from nose to tail, and has a body height of 1.6 feet. The winglets were cut separately and shaped with keyways for attachment to the wings.
To learn more about this UAV, visit the Valkyrie Systems Aerospace website.
For nearly 30 years, 12-Meter yachts took center stage at the America’s Cup. The last 12-Meter was built in the late ’80s, but a meticulously restored fleet of “Twelves” continues to race in Newport, RI, thanks to a group of enthusiastic owners.
Enterprise (US 27), built in 1977, is the latest 12-Meter to undergo restoration. This includes adding a newly redesigned, fully optimized keel. Sparkman and Stephens was engaged to do a performance analysis and design the new keel; Symmetrix was brought in to create an accurate pattern.
The Symmetrix pattern will be used by the Broomfield foundry to create a cast concrete mold. Lead is poured into this mold to create the keel.
Twelve Meters race under a complex rating rule that takes many factors into consideration, including weight and volume of underwater surfaces. Precise shaping of the mold is critical; if it’s off by even a fraction of an inch, too much (or too little) lead will be used, throwing off the keel weight. Symmetrix’s precise CNC shaping of the pattern ensures that the molds are accurate, which in turn ensures that the keel meets the size and weight calculated by Sparkman and Stephens.
The refit of Enterprise will be completed this spring, in time for the 2018 racing season.
“An unprecedented fusion of art, architecture, design, location, and luxury,” is how Zaha Hadid Architects describe its 62-story residential tower, One Thousand Museum, currently under construction in Miami. Symmetrix’s Composite Innovation Center in Nevada is creating the molds that Kreysler & Associates will use to construct FRP panels featured on the top floor of this fascinating architectural project.
The panels will become a wall that arches up and over the pool and event spaces located in the Aquatic Center at the top of the building. Not only does this wall curve from floor to ceiling; it has a water drop pattern that continues around all four sides of the building.
The direct-to-mold tooling is comprised of 65 unique parts. The tooling is optimized to deliver the high aesthetic requirements for the project as well as to meet their production schedule.
The curved wall is just one incredible detail in this ground-breaking project. Its overall construction is so challenging that the building is featured on the PBS series “Impossible Builds.” Construction of One Thousand Museum is scheduled for completion later this year.