How many parts can be pulled from a Precision Board mold?

When discussing the use of Precision Board as a tooling substrate for thermoforming molds, customers often ask “How many parts can I pull off a Precision Board tool?” That’s an important and straight forward question but the answer can be complex which we will help with in the blog below.  We’ll also give a current example of how Precision Board was used by a company to pivot from their usual theme park work into a completely new application- making face shields from readily available PBHT-48 Precision Board.  In the process, they were able to keep their business open during the Coronavirus Pandemic and pull hundreds of parts from Precision Board molds for PPE.

The number of parts that can be produced using a Precision Board mold is heavily dependent on a number of factors, namely;

  • Process Temperature
  • Cycle Times
  • Material Being Formed
  • Tool Use
  • Tool Geometry
  • The Precision Board Density Being Used

Depending on the part being produced and the density selected, Precision Board can be used to produce short runs of a few parts or thousands of parts in a production setting. That’s one of the best features of the Precision Board line. With 16 different density offerings, all available in high-temp PBHT and low-temp PBLT options, we have a Precision Board option that can fit just about any project’s requirements.

There are many ways to approach your project.  You might decide using a lower density Precision Board option coated with a more robust surface coat best fits your needs or perhaps a higher density Precision Board tool that does not need to be coated at all best suits your budget and physical requirement. Either way, when it comes to selecting the right Precision Board option for your specific job, contact our technical sales team to make sure you get a tool that will successfully pull the number of parts you are looking for.

To help explain in greater detail, we’re going to share a more specific example of a company currently making multiple parts from Precision Board.


This face shield mold was made out of Precision Board PBHT-48. In this application, Monster City Studios (Fresno, CA), who normally produces environments for amusement parks and props for trade shows, shifted their business to producing face shields at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They needed to produce these tools quickly and start making parts right away.  They knew Coastal Enterprises could help.

The PBHT-48 material was on their floor within 2 days from placing an order. Since Precision Board can be cut at accelerated feed rates as compared to alternative tooling substrates, the tools were able to be machined quickly and Monster City Studios were pulling their first parts within a week from placing their order. These tools were sanded with 1000 grit and they were able to get over 300 pulls from the part with nearly no degradation and with no maintenance. After a quick resurfacing, these parts went back into production and they were able to pull 1500 parts on this particular mold before swapping out to another PBHT-48 mold.  You can also read the story about Coastal Enterprises and Monster City Studios on the COVID-19 Industry Updates page on the Composites World website from May 7th.

Give us a call at 800-845-0745 or send us an email at We have PBHT-48 in stock as well as all 16 densities of Precision Board with shipping times of 1-2 days.  Let us help you get back on track with readily available Precision Board HDU.

Coastal Enterprises is a privately-owned company, located in California.  Our manufacturing processes are fully integrated in the United States, which has allowed us to avoid supply chain disruptions and maintain unparalleled market stability. We manufacture Precision Board, a high-density urethane tooling board used in many different applications including composite tooling, prototyping, thermoform tooling, pattern making, theming, dimensional signage and more. It is currently being used in many essential industries including aerospace, defense, transportation, energy and healthcare. You can get pricing, free samples, sign up for newsletters or contact us.

University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project – Eos II

The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project (UMNSVP) recently completed the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge using a vehicle they designed and created from start to finish. Coastal Enterprises was honored to donate Precision Board HDU to the team for use in fabricating their vehicle.  This is their story.  

solar vehicle

The team spent two years developing Eos II, a solar-electric vehicle prototype. They used blocks of PBLT-18 to create the molds for Eos II, into which carbon fiber sheets were laid to create the body itself.

Once the vehicle was complete, the team headed to Australia to challenge some of the best solar car teams in the world in Australia in the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.  Competitors’ vehicles charged primarily from the sun as they traversed some of the world’s most challenging landscapes in this 3,000 kilometer race from Darwin to Adelaide.

The team vehicle had to go through “scrutineering” before race day.  This is a process where a group of scrutineers review competition cars to ensure they are within technical specs for the race and to also ensure safety and fair play.

Some shots of the car getting ready to take off…and on the road during the race.

At the finish line after a long race.

solar vehicle

The University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project was founded by a group of undergraduate students from the U of M College of Science and Engineering in 1990 and competed in the 1993 GM Sunrayce with its first Solar Car, Aurora I. Since then, The Solar Vehicle Project has remained true to its original foundation as a student administered, designed, and built project that teaches members about engineering and management in a complete product development environment. The team has built thirteen solar vehicles, and is one of the most decorated teams in America.

Eos II, the team’s most recent vehicle, exemplifies the change of direction that the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project has taken in recent years. The team was the first American team to compete in the Cruiser Class at the World Solar Challenge. In addition to speed, this class focuses on practicality and number of people in the car. This poses several new design criteria to give the team room to innovate.

solar vehicle

Last year, the Solar Vehicle Project placed fourth in the 2016 Formula Sun Grand Prix and tenth in the 2016 American Solar Challenge, the only cruiser competitor to qualify for either race. Next summer, Eos II will compete in the first ever Cruiser Class at the 2018 American Solar Challenge along the Oregon Trail!

You can see all the updates from fabrication through race day and re-live the team’s racing experience through their Twitter feed and Facebook page or on the official website.

If you are a school interested in a Precision Board donation for your project, please submit a Contact Us form and we’ll get back to you!

Let’s give a BIG “Hand” to ISG

Since 1980, the team at Impressive Signs and Graphics has been making one-of-a-kind pieces using Precision Board Plus. From concept to completion, the ISG team has a natural instinct for turning ideas into compelling realities.


The “Hand” was sculpted using a solid block of PBLT-18 followed by the PB Hard Coat Texture Surface Coating for added durability and texture, then painted for realism.


The “Hand” is a new concept in dimensional advertising, taking the place of the old fashioned “A” Board. “It’s certainly turning heads” says Craig Sorenson, President of ISG. “We plan on reproducing the hand in high quantities and offering them through sign suppliers.” Craig continues, “Coastals Precision Board Plus products are perfect for this application, allowing great detail and a perfect master for us to create a 2-part mold.”



We would like to thank Impressive Signs and Graphics for their continued loyalty and impressive use of Precision Board.

Want to find out more information about Impressive Signs and Graphics? Contact Craig and his team Phone: 253-455-5146 or visit their website.

And remember Coastal Enterprises Company is here for YOU!






Custom Tooling Blocks Save Time, Money: Here’s Why

In addition to manufacturing the largest and thickest sheets in the tooling industry, Coastal Enterprises also offers an additional service to our customers: custom-bonded Precision Board tooling blocks.

“Some of the layup tools we made at Skunk Works were absolutely massive, which meant CNC time was a major factor when determining project deadlines.  Coastal’s custom bonded blocks saved us hours on the CNC and ensured we stayed on time and on budget – they are the true gold standard in tooling efficiency.”

– Jon Sharp, former Lockheed Martin employee and air racing legend, on why custom bonded blocks were their go-to choice for large tooling jobs.

Advantages of custom tooling blocks:

  • Save money by using less material
  • Decrease machining time by being closer to net size from the start
  • Arrives ready for immediate machining

With only a rough drawing of your finished part, we will fabricate a custom block that will significantly reduce waste, bonding/laminating time, and reduce time spent machining.


Save machining time and material cost
By layering the sheets of Precision Board Plus PBLT-40 with just enough excess to accommodate the customers tool design, we saved them hours of machining time. Think of how long it would take to CNC machine a solid block down to this shape! Also think of the cost savings on tooling board. Call us at: (800) 845-0745 with questions on your project!



This custom block is made out of Precision
Board Plus PBLT-10, and was machined into a mold to create one of the three composite body sections for the landspeed record-holding Speed Demon race car (see full article here), operated by George Poteet and Ron Main. In addition to buying less material, they also saved money by eliminating the plug process.

Fore Body 1

A pioneer in the use of soft tooling, Jon Sharp  shared his opinion on the advantages of custom-bonded tooling blocks with us in our previous article featuring him and his time at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.

“Another major reason we were so drawn to HDU for tooling was the greater level of design flexibility that was suddenly available. We used to order our blocks several inches thicker than we needed them, which made the inevitable design changes much less of a headache. Could we have done that with metal? Absolutely not, we would have had to start all over again.”

-Jon Sharp

Whether its a composite layup tool, full-scale model, prototype, sculpture or other project – our custom tooling blocks will help keep you competitive, on schedule and on budget! Please contact us for additional information, or visit our Custom Tooling Blocks webpage.


Knickerbocker Motorsports – Seat Mold

Knickerbocker Motorsports is the premier automotive racing team at Columbia University. These guys build and race Formula SAE race cars.

Very cool!

Recently we were contacted by the President of the Club, Vinod Nimmagadda, asking KDF to help them create the mold for the newly designed racecar seat. they’ll use the mold to create the seat out of carbon fiber. They’ve engineered every aspect of this car and supplied us with accurate 3D drawings and models.

FSAE_SeatWe are cutting the mold out of 15lb Precision Board HDU which was generously donated to the Club by Coastal Enterprises. We started with 5″ blocks of the 15lb Precision Board HDU about 30″x40″.  There are three parts to the mold which we’ll cut individually.  We ran the rough cut with a 1/2″ Foam Bit to take away as much material as fast as possible. We then came in with a 1/2″ Ball for the smooth finish.

photo 1

photo 1 photo 2

photo 5

All done – just a little glue and sanding and they are ready to make their mold.

photo 1

It was a pleasure working with the team, these guys really know what they’re doing,  what a cool project. I hope they send pics once they’re done! Best of luck to Vinod and they gang with their competition!


(Last Years Team)


Published with permission from KDF Custom Graphics. Source.