Soluble tooling solutions

KWM were approached by a leading Formula 1 team to provide a tooling solution that would allow them to continue rapid carbon fibre component development without incurring the traditionally high tooling costs.


The Challenge

  • Design tooling for complex carbon fibre component shapes
  • Identify a soluble FDM material for easy post-cure extraction
  • Design-for-manufacture that minimised material wastage

The Requirements

  • Resistant to autoclave curing temperatures
  • Easily soluble cores
  • Repeatable manufacturing process
  • High quality final surface finish

The Approach

  • Client CAD data was first manipulated by KWM’s manufacturing engineers to incorporate support structures that would allow for additive manufacture of the tooling
  • Tooling was then printed using a combination of materials to cater for both the soluble cores and required support structures
  • Printed components were then post-processed by KWM’s FDM technicians to remove support structures and complete surface finishing

The Results

  • Bespoke, soluble tools for composite components
  • Competition-grade post-processing
  • Low tooling investment
  • High flexibility of design