Katana Tooling Takes Shape

From virtual to reality.
The magic is being worked by Aptec Composites.
Images courtesy Alex Kryger.

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Hull plug/pattern (above) and deck plug (below) machined ready for surface finishing.

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Notice the bonding flanges for mast tubes and centreboard case, as well as all deck features, integrated in the tooling to ensure accuracy and repeatability.
The mould flanges and locating features to close the hull and deck mould together are also machined at this stage.

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There is an interesting tradeoff between material cost and the expense of surface finishing.
In the case of larger simpler shapes we found it more economical to use an easy to machine stable but comparatively low cost material and go through the process of sealing and hand finishing to get the required surface finish.
Smaller and more detailed tooling will be machined from metal or plastic, requiring only a final polish after fine machining.
Where the parts must be made at high temperature, plastic plugs will be used to make female moulds in the same material as the eventual parts.

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