The adaptive mould
Curve Works uses reconfigurable tools, or adaptive moulds, to create curved shapes from 3D drawings with a high surface quality, fast and efficiently. The digitally adjustable surface is a pin-bed mechanism with a rubber interpolation layer on top, allowing a smooth curved surface. The process from 3D drawing to shaped mould takes less than 4 minutes.
Our adaptive moulds are built to our specifications by Adapa A/S, a game changer in tooling.
We worked together with Adapa to achieve mould systems that is perfectly suited to process a broad range of composite materials. A laser projection system mounted above the mould allows us to define the part net-shape for trimming.
The adaptive mould technology also allows us to develop new processing techniques that would otherwise not be possible.
The following specifications apply to the adaptive moulds:
Thermoform/cure materials up to 180oC
Singly curved and shallow doubly curved shapes within ±1mm, complex doubly surfaces within ±2mm.
The minimum radius of curvature for single curved shapes is 250mm, which means that shapes having a similar of larger curvature will fulfill the criteria for moulding. The minimum radius of curvature increases for doubly curved shapes and is dependent on the complexity of the product.
|Panel size:||Typically up to 3.60 x 1.56 m. Larger sizes are also possible depending on shape.|
Heating and curing capabilities
We have a number of heating and curing equipment at Curve Works:
- Surrounding the adaptive mould, we have built a large 30 kW oven for thermoforming and (post-) curing of panels. The oven is 6.25 x 3.5 x 2.0 m and can be opened and closed from the sides and ceiling. In this way we have full access to the mould and can heat the panels in-situ.
- Two stand alone convection heating ovens, or hot boxes, for preheating thermoplastic, reinforced thermoplastic and foam core panels. The hot boxes are 4.0 x 2.0 x 0.4 m and can go up to 200°C.
- Surface heating blankets for on-the-mould heating, capable of reaching 200°C.
- An infra-red heating panel for thermoforming purposes.
- Panel of Ultra-Violet (UV) lights for extra fast curing of special resins.
Processing of materials
With our processing equipment, we shape the following materials:
- Fibre reinforced plastics
- Solid surfaces (Corian, Hi-Macs, Betacryl)
- Laminated wood
We use close-mould processes which are safer and more pleasant for our employees and the environment.