News and Updates

Composites Classroom

  • 3D Printing and Prototyping: The Aerospace Race Is On

    In late 2014, Reuters published an article detailing how Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works opened up its manufacturing facilities for the first time in history. The importance of that decision is monumental in a number of different ways. For on ...
  • 2 Practical Reasons Behind Composite Prototyping

    Last fall, students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) were fully engaged in a project intended to create a number of composite sled prototypes. The project was facilitated by the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturi ...
  • Green Driving: Combining Composites and Renewable Energy

    For all the talk of revolutionizing the auto industry by introducing renewable energy sources, we are surprised that so little progress has been made over the last decade or so. There seems to be so much potential that industry movers and s ...
  • Hard Tooling vs. Soft Tooling: What's the Difference

    The words 'tool' and 'tooling' mean a lot of different things throughout the broad arena that is industry and manufacturing. In the tool and die industry, for example, tools can be both the dies used in manufacturing and the actual mech ...
  • 3D Composite Printing: Why Not Just Print the Parts?

    Composites World Magazine ran a great piece a couple of years ago introducing the concept of 3D printed composite tooling. The article, written by contributor Sara Black, focused primarily on how this new method of toolmaking benefits the a ...
  • A History Lesson in Prototyping from de Havilland

    Rock West Composites has the ability to produce a cost-effective rapid composite prototype that can be critical to a customer's development of a new part or product. Yet despite all the advantages of prototyping, it can be a hard-sell at ...
  • How Prototyping Fosters Collaboration

    There is a buzzword in modern business we would bet just about everyone involved in composites hears frequently. That word is 'collaboration'. Consultants are constantly telling us how important collaboration is. We hear about it from sen ...
  • With the Olympics Over It is Back to the Composites Drawing Board

    Those of us in the composites industry enjoyed the Winter Olympic Games as much for the equipment the athletes were using as the performances they turned in. Composites were on full display in everything from skis to snowboards and bobsle ...
  • The Future of Composites: Breaking Down the Barrier to Entry

    Rock West Composites will be the first to admit that the best way to promote composite products like carbon fiber is to talk about their high strength, stiffness and ultra-lightweight properties. Just about everyone in manufacturing kno ...
  • Recycling Carbon Fiber Starting to Pay Off

    We work with clients in a variety of industries ranging from sporting goods to aerospace. So when we sell a carbon fiber block or tube, we don't necessarily know what that material will ultimately be used for. What we do know is that so ...