No-tooling composite production – Curve Works’ adaptive mold cuts costs

ZOETERMEER, September 2017 ~ Growing automation in the composite sector is aimed at lowering prices. Francois Geuskens, owner of Curve Works, says 50% of the cost of single composite piece goes to pay for tooling. “We skip tooling,” he adds. “That saves time and money.”

High tooling costs are common in making one-offs and small series of 3D composite structures. Curve Works makes singly and doubly curved composite and plastic panels through a pin-bed based reconfigurable mold.

no tooling03“We can manufacture a complete set of unique panels from one single mold and deliver affordable panels for prototypes, one-offs and small series production,” says Geuskens.

His specially designed manufacturing facility includes convection and infra-red ovens for optimized heating depending on the materials being processed. The benefits include elimination of tooling costs, fast delivery, lower costs and maximum flexibility for last-minute design changes.

Curve Works is nominated as one of 100 most innovative companies in the Netherlands and is also in the running for an award from the German Federation of Reinforced Plastics (AVK). In June, it received a Dutch government innovation grant. “The funding is for research into the feasibility of making complete boats from composite panels from our adaptive mold,” says Geuskens. “We explore the connections between panels and their tolerance.”

no tooling02

Curve Works plans to make a day boat from 6 panels and seeks to get approval from Lloyds, Veritas and other classification outfits. Geuskens sees a great future in composite panels for hull construction. “It is important that builders, but especially also designers, get to know the possibilities of panel construction on an adaptive mold.”

Corporate snapshot

Curve Works makes affordable, fast small-series composite products using new technologies and materials. With its unique adaptive mold, Curve Works can deliver affordable composite panels for prototypes, one-offs and small series production. Curve Works directors Tahira Ahmed and Francois Geuskens will be at METStrade to discuss adaptive tooling opportunities. Or you can email them: info@curveworks.nl

Curve Works BV / Cobaltstraat 25 / 2718RM Zoetermeer / Netherlands / +31 79 3602870 / www.curveworks.nl