Carbon Fiber Hood

(last update 04/30/05)

I hope this page helps you understand at least one process for making a composite (i.e.  Fiberglass, carbon fiber...) part.  Though this project seems quite large and complicated it really isn't especially if you are lucky enough to have friends with the right equipment and know how. Jesse and I mostly supplied the labor....lots of sanding!

Before I start, we want to say:
(order defined by process sequence)

THANK  YOU Scott for laser scanning the original Talon Hood
THANK YOU Steve and Tom at Beavervalley Mfg. for their modeling expertise and support.
THANK YOU Tom at Temple Systems Inc.  for cutting our scoop mold on their large bed milling machine.

Using a laser scanner like this one Scott scanned the original Talon hood to create a 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) model.

This is what the scan produced.

Using a CAD software called Unigraphics and the scan information I created this 3D model concept of the hood and scoop .

We decided not to machine the whole hood because we didn’t want to take up valuable machine time especially since Tom was doing this as a favor for us. The illustration above shows the 3D model of the molde for the scoop only.

Using the 3D model of the hood and scoop I subtracted it from a solid block and this is the result. Hopefully, as we proceed thru the process it will become clear why we made this mold and how we intend to use it.

Starting with 2” foam insulation (which can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot) we cut a 4’x8’x2” piece into three 32”x48” pieces. The bottom is 42”x48x1”thk piece of the same foam. All the pieces were glued together using a 3M spray contact cement. This is the finish product sitting on the milling machine ready to be cut.

I'm excited now! Our foam mold is clamped down and we have started the cutting process. Based on the machine software it will take about 40 minutes to rough cut this down to within 3/16” of the finished surface and another 4 hours to remove that last 3/16” over the whole surface.

The machining process on the foam mold is almost done. This final operation is removing the last 3/16" of material at a very slow rate to produce a smooth surface.

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Sensible Design Solutions