FDM for composite tooling – design guide

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FDM (fused deposition modeling) is becoming the technology of choice for rapid production of high-temperature, low-volume, composite lay-up and repair tools, as well as for moderate-temperature production sacrificial tooling. Relative to traditional tooling materials and methods, FDM offers significant advantages in terms of lead time, tool cost and simplification of tool design, fabrication and use, while enabling increased functionality and geometric complexity.

This design guide is focused on tools for hand lay-up, but the vast majority of the principles and guidelines are applicable to other processing methods as well.