Tru-Design announces partnership with Composites One to expand market for 3D printing finishing

Tru-Design, a Tennessee-based 3D printing coatings specialist has signed a distribution agreement with composites materials company Composites One. Leveraging Composites One’s North American distribution network, Tru-Design seeks to expand its market for its material coatings and finishes. 

Tru-Design’s coatings for large 3D printed parts

To achieve a desirable finish, 3D printed parts often require post processing such as sanding, chemical treatments and priming. Costly, time-consuming and labor-intensive, post-processing is a developing area in AM in great demand. Now, automated processes for coloring, smoothing and strengthening 3D printed parts are available in the market. 

Tru-Design focus on coatings for large-area additively manufactured products. Collaborating with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tru-Design has developed a special line of coatings catering a variety of large printer polymer-based substrates. Its coating technologies for surface finishing and vacuum integrity has been awarded two R&D 100 awards. 

Designed for 3D printed end-use parts and working surfaces of manufacturing tools, all coating products feature very high adherence. Its high build thermoset TD Coat can be applied up to an inch thick, masking the ‘corduroy’ texture of 3D printed objects. For high temperature vacuum services, TD Seal can be used in autoclave processes up to 176C and carbon fiber prepreg tools. The newest TD sand high build primer can hide texture of higher resolution prints in room temperature or up to 176C.

“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,” said Tru-Design’s CEO Rick Spears. 

Inside Tru-Design’s facilities. Image via Tru-Design.

Partnership with Composites One

The Composites One partnership focuses on the sale of Tru-Design’s material coatings and finishes designed for large-format 3D printed tools or cosmetic parts. Headquartered in Illinois, Composites One has five distribution locations in the U.S. and one Canadian distribution location. The company offers a variety of value-added services such as closed mold technologies, technical applications reviews, and regulatory compliance assistance. Currently, Composite One’s network of composites fabricators and molders spans 41 locations in North America.  

Dave Smith, Vice President of Marketing of Composites One, comments, “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.”

On 22 August, the two companies will hold a webinar “Coatings Make Machining Easier: Innovative Finishing Solutions for 3D Printed Molds, Tools, and Parts” with Polynt Composites. Vice President of Operations of Tru-Design, John Miller will be speaking at the online seminar with Neil Smith from Composites One and Rick Pauer from Polynt.

The primary topics include surface issues resulting from fast large-format 3D printers, coating options for 3D printed parts and thermoset coatings for high-temperature applications. An overview of current plastics 3D printing to an in-depth presentation of proven finishing methods will be presented. In particular, the webinar will discuss the techniques for enhancing surface cosmetics, ensuring vacuum integrity, filling in defects due to starts/stops, flow issues and air voids. Register for the webinar here

To further introduce Tru-Design to its clients, Composites One will be bringing Tru-Design’s technologies to CAMX in Anaheim, from 24 – 26 September. During the Knowledge is Power demo in booth U24, a 3D printed tool featuring Tru-Design’s coatings will be showcased.

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