When J-Tec Composite Solutions needed to produce patterns from CAD for carbon fibre guitars they turned to Express Composite Solutions – and discovered a host of other business benefits, too.
J-Tec Composite Solutions provide composite services, including repair, manufacturing and design. They serve a wide range of customers including automotive, aviation and marine industries.
When an interesting customer project got started on carbon fibre guitars, J-Tec readily engaged with ECS to utilise their CAD/CNC expertise and ability to produce highly accurate tooling board patterns.
High-accuracy patterns to produce production moulds
Jason Newman at J-Tec Composites explains his requirements: “I had a really interesting customer projects to deliver, producing carbon fibre guitar bodies using some existing CAD data. I needed moulds for producing the composite parts, but the first step was to source some high accuracy patterns that I could use to create my moulds.
I’d worked with ECS before so knew they had both the capability and the desire to engage in these types of novel, complex projects – whether large or small.”
Working together for the best solution
Andy Collins from ECS picks up the story: “With the CAD already available for the guitar body, we first talked with James about how he intended to make the moulds and parts so we could develop a plan. Our first task was to choose the most cost-effective material for the pattern considering the moulding method used – Sika M700 polyurethane in this case.
Next, we produced our own CAD for the pattern from the existing mould geometry, and programmed the CAM ready for our 5-axis Sahos machine. Importantly, we could first simulate the machining using CGTech Vericut to ensure in advance that we’d produce the perfect part.
Once machining was complete, the entire surface received a light sanding before being passed to our inspection department for laser inspection against the original CAD model. This produced the customer report showing a colour map of any deviation, which satisfied us that the pattern fully met the specification and could be readied for dispatch to J-Tec.”
Fast turnaround proof of concept
“I’m really happy with the results, and so are my customers based on their feedback”, enthuses James. “They loved the products and the high quality produced”.
James is quick to comment on the business benefits: “Problem solving, design simplification, manufacturing assistance, and general communication, are just some of the attributes that attract our business to ECS.”
On the relationship with Express Composites, James adds: “ECS have assisted and inputted extensively on the project to jointly find the best solution. They’ve really helped satisfy the requirements of both our customers and our in-house projects."
“ECS give us fast turnaround and accuracy, at the right price.”
- James Newman, Engineering Director, J-Tec Composite Solutions Ltd