Family-Themed Cruise Line Debut’s New Water Slide


Who do you call if you’re a discerning family-themed cruise line looking to build a state of the art water slide featuring a signature element from one of your most beloved and iconic characters? The answer is FormaShape 3D Architectural Design Solutions of British Columbia. The design called for a giant replica of the white-gloved hand from everyone’s favorite cartoon mouse supporting the main structure of the slide. Patrons had to immediately recognize the hand, so every detail of the larger-than-life appendage became important, right down to the fingers, 3 of them, and thumb…..good trivia question!

Finished Precision Board Plus plug showing bonded segments used to construct the machining block

Because of its strength, rigidity and ease of machining, FormaShape chose to machine the FRP tooling plug from Precision Board Plus (both PBLT-4 and PBLT-8). Once the CAD design was approved by the client, the toolpath was fed into their 5-axis CNC router to machine the segmented plugs that made up the hand. According to Sean Conneely, Custom Fabrication Manager at FormaShape, new systems were developed for both the segmented plug and moulding techniques used on this project. In addition, special fabrication techniques had to be developed for both the plug and moulded parts. The precise Open Moulded process used by FormaShape ensures that the final FRP panels that make up the finished hand are within +/- 1mm of the Precision Board Plus machined plug!

Precision OM process used to manufacture the FRP segments that make up the hand


Having designed, engineered and manufactured the entire slide, the job of installation naturally fell to FormaShape – Whitewater West Industries. Check out their websites at and for more examples of their work.

FormaShape attaching the slide flume to the supporting hand


Did you know Coastal Enterprises makes support fixtures?

Coastal Enterprises will fabricate a support fixture for any Precision Board Plus tool. This support tool can be used for tool transport, CNC machining, lay up of composite laminate, oven/autoclave curing, final inspection, and every other process procedure. Support structures are designed with all-direction casters, leveling jacks, and tool hold down attachments that can be tightened during machining, etc. and loosened during oven/autoclave cycling. The custom hold down attachment allows independent movement between the tooling block and the support fixture.

Call us at (800) 845-0745 for more information or send us drawing of your tool.

Kenworth Truck Hood. Nice Rig!

There’s a saying around Diversified Manufacturing of California, Inc.’s facility in Vista California. “You say it, we make it!” That’s the kind of “can do” attitude Thane Rivers, Founder, President and CEO of DMOC has instilled in his highly accomplished team of designers, programmers and fabricators. They’ll not only make it, but make it right.

Take the DMOC customer who produces body parts for Kenworth big rigs. They needed a highly precise mold to cast their FRP hoods from. The DMOC team created a 3D drawing to customer specifications with all the “hard points”. Next, they mocked up the general shape of the model by bonding sheets of PBHT-20 Precision Board Plus and mounted the tooling block on their 5-axis milling machine.


After a few hours of machining, the completed part was “digitally” inspected using approximately 200 sample points. The result? A finished pattern that is within 1/10 of a millimeter at all points of the CAD drawing! Molds are then cast from this “validated” pattern, from which hundreds of Kenworth FRP hoods will be made and shipped around the world. And due to DMOC’s careful process, not to mention the high degree of dimensional stability of Precision Board Plus, these parts are sure to fit properly every time.


Did You Know?

All Precision Board Plus densities possess excellent dimensional stability. The CTE for PBHT-20, the material used on the project above, is a very low 27×10-6 F, making Precision Board Plus an excellent choice as a tooling substrate when tight tolerances are required. For CTE specifications on other Precision Board Plus densities, see our product data sheets.

In addition, Precision Board Plus does not out-gas during the curing process, so it’s ideal for layup tools and mold patterns (see autoclave ramping procedures). To learn more about the capabilities of Precision Board Plus, go to

Need help with a quote? Click here or call us at 800-845-0745