Composites One, a specialist in composite materials, and Tru-Design LLC, an expert in coatings for large-area 3D printed polymer-based products, recently signed a distribution agreement. The partnership will focus on the sale of Tru-Design’s material coatings and finishes, which impart professionally smooth surfaces and vacuum integrity for large-format 3D printed tools and cosmetic parts.
Composites One will leverage its North American distribution network to help Tru-Design expand its customer base for its coatings and finishes.
Rick Spears, Tru-Design CEO, said of the agreement: “Our company has been at the forefront of large-scale additive manufacturing since its inception. Our products have been designed to improve the performance of our customer’s 3D printed tooling and provide a broader band of aesthetic options for large scale printed products. With Composites One’s extensive North American distribution network, world-class service and process technology expertise we are excited by the opportunity to expand the reach of our products.”
Composites One, which has 41 locations across North America and is a leading supplier of composite materials, will be showcasing Tru-Design’s technology at the upcoming CAMX event in Anaheim from September 24 to 26. There, visitors will be able to see firsthand a 3D printed tool that has been finished using the company’s advanced coating solutions.
“Composites One embraces the new and innovative technologies that are providing opportunities to composites manufacturers to take their part production results to the next level,” added Dave Smith, Vice President of Marketing at Composites One. “Tru-Design’s advanced material coatings and finishes will allow our customers to take advantage of 3D printed tooling that offers comparable cosmetics to traditional tooling options.”
Tru-Design—with support from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory—has developed a line of coatings for 3D printed components that enable Class A finishes for end-use parts and working surfaces for manufacturing tools. In addition to its coating solutions, the Tru-Design team also designs, tests and manufactures advanced carbon fiber composite prototypes and products for customers. In the past, the company has created parts such as wind turbines, boats and other nautical products, sporting goods, musical instruments, vehicles, automotive parts, medical devices and more.
One of the company’s more notable projects was the production of the 3D printed Shelby Cobra vehicle in partnership with ORNL in 2015. The project saw the partners go from concept to functional vehicle in just six weeks