Technical Tooling is grounded in the Pacific Northwest, the hub of aerospace manufacturing. We feel lucky to be surrounded by a community of people who share the same passion we do for this industry.
Our team will always rise to (and often seeks out) a challenge. It's why Technical Tooling's talented and committed team strives to uncover the next advancement in vacuum tool fixtures and layup molds. We haven't stopped exploring and experimenting to find the next material technology. We continue daily to find solutions that reduce process time and costs for our customers while always delivering superior performance. Beyond our laser-focused goal to continue innovating, we work hard to uphold our quality and customer satisfaction reputation.
Redefining Aerospace Composite Tooling
"Like most great innovations, Technical Tooling's material technology was born out of necessity. "
A very specific scenario shaped how Technical Tooling began and why we continue to find ways to enhance composite production's accuracy, integrity, and performance.
Technical Tooling was initially in the business of fiberglass master patterns and molds, predominately for the aerospace industry, but this also included marine and automotive.
Until one day, we were presented and accepted a challenge that shifted our company's path and, ultimately, our future.
The Breakthrough Solution
Determined to solve it combined with a bit of science and a lot of experimenting, Technical Tooling made an innovative tooling advancement in vacuum fixturing. The solution was to provide structural integrity across a flat surface; this also works with complex geometries. VACU-GRIP™ was born and is now used as the primary contact surface for all of our vacuum fixtures. Its application is perfect for manufacturing plastics and composites to hard metals with a high-rate of performance without degradation over years of operational use.
Our technology continues to evolve and gain traction with composite part manufacturers; we have found ways to reduce the base material's CTEs and density. Achievable through this chemistry, our tool's stability and minimal movement within the 350 degrees Fahrenheit range make it ideal for autoclave layup tools. We have found ways to marry surface coats to the porous base material, ideal for short-run production tools and prototyping. RAVIN™ layup molds become a perfect substitute for Invar tooling, maintaining many of the repair/modifiable characteristics of VACU-GRIP™.
As the aerospace sector continues to elevate and composite manufacturing progresses, we will be alongside them to address their challenges and provide next-level solutions.
A Challenge We Set Out To Solve.
While working with a thin, delicate part made of phenolic that had no additional space for clamping during the machining process, vacuum fixturing was the only option. The tolerance requirements of the part were so precise that aluminum seemed to be the only option. Unfortunately, the part experienced slippage across the metal work surface and the bruising and delamination around the v-groove channels.
The need was a fixture that spread vacuum across the entire part, sheer holding strength. Additionally, the fixture had to be dimensionally stable and not subject to excessive expansion due to heat variances or moisture exposure.
Technical Tooling was founded in Tacoma, WA in 2003 by Bob Read, an experienced fiberglass mold fabricator and tinkerer. The Company served the marine, automotive and aerospace industry for over a decade before it made some technological material advancements. Bob took on new partners in 2016 to help develop a market for its new tooling solutions. Since then, the company has expanded its production capacity and continued to grow. Technical Tooling was issued is first patent in 2019 for its vacuum fixture technology (U.S. Patent # 10,300,569) and subsequently for its layup mold technology (U.S. Patent # 10933594) in 2021. The Company continues to develop intellectual property and considers innovation its primary core competency.
Today, Technical Tooling is a proud member of multiple local industry associations including The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), The Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC), and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing of the Puget Sound (CAMPS), and participates in many others associations and events supporting our industry. Technical Tooling is an ITAR registered Company and became AS9100 Certified in 2022.