The Hanson Group (Alpharetta, Ga.) introduced MONOCEROS lightweight structural material (pat. pend.), specifically designed to function as either an economical tooling surface or a lightweight structural core (4 lb/ft3). Porous yet dimensionally stable, it is fire-retardant and is chemical-resistant. As a lightweight tooling medium, 1.5-inch/38-mm thick MONOCEROS sheets can be bonded together, using epoxy or urethane contact adhesives, and, after application of commercially available surfacing putties and pastes or sprayable coatings, are easily machined. MONOCEROS enables rapid heating and cooling of the tool surface and offers high-temperature stability (350°F/177°C maximum, 250°F/121°C continuous), with a negligible coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). This material is reportedly economical at $3.50/board ft and is available in standard 4-ft by 6.5-ft (approximately 1.2m by 2m) sheets. Custom sizes are available, prebonded by special order, in sizes up to 40 ft long by 6.5 ft wide by 7 ft thick (12.2m by 2m by 2.1m).
Editor Pick3D printed tools are in production at Falcon Jet
The trend of employing polymeric additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing for composite tooling is growing.