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.

Using Precision Board PBHT to Make PPE

Did you know that our high-temp PBHT Precision Board Urethane is a fast and easy to use tooling substrate that is excellent for use when forming plastics parts used in medical devices, face shields and other critical PPE?  With 1 to 3 working day lead times on most standard size blocks, we can help you get your new tooling made in DAYS, not weeks.

Monster City Studios in Fresno, California, used our high-temp PBHT Precision Board to form a plastic face shield as part of a push to support hospitals and help alleviate the shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment).  They shared photos with us and their process in creating a face shield prototype using Precision Board HDU.


UPDATE: Check out this story by the local Fresno, California ABC News station on their face shield efforts!

Monster City Studios forming plastic over the molds to make face shields / Courtesy ABC30 Action News Fresno.

From the Monster City Studios Instagram:

“Doing some prototyping after hours. Making a form for vacuum forming some hospital essential equipment. Let’s hope all goes well. We’ll see in the morning!”

Another update from their Instagram:

“Made some progress on this form today and started the next! Thanks again @coastalenterprises ! This needs just a touch of polishing before it is ready for the vacuum former.”

An update from their Facebook page:

“We now have PETG face shields with forehead protection in .030 and .060 thicknesses! Frame by PRUSA, cast by Monster City Studios.”

“We have vacuformed PETG face shields with forehead cover! Coastal Enterprises Company @healthdataengineering We can produce in quantity. Want info?”

And just today (4/9/20), another update on the process on their Instagram:

“We are making face shields at MonsterCity Studios! These are vacuum formed with PETG on a mold made from @coastalenterprises 48lb precision board! First prototype came together quick. Now time to hone and speed up the process!”

Email us at or contact our technical sales department at (800) 845-0745 to see how we can help and to answer any technical questions you might have about using Precision Board PBHT for forming plastic parts on PPE.  We’ll update this post with Monster City Studios progress, so check back to see how it turns out!

Harley Quinn Heats up San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Thinking about using Precision Board HDU in combination with other types of materials for a project?  We talked to James A. Powell, VP of Design at Monster City Studios in Fresno, California, about a recent project his team worked on involving both Precision Board and EPS (expanded polystyrene AKA ‘bead foam’).  He needed quick turnaround on a high-profile assignment for DC Collectibles.  They used Precision Board because it was not only easy to work with, but required a lot less cleanup and allowed them to hit their completion date.  James tells us more about his cool project and how he used mixed media to achieve both his creative and timeline goals.

DC Collectibles approached James and Monster City Studios about doing a character statue for San Diego Comic-Con International.  They hadn’t decided on a character, but once they chose Harley Quinn, they sent the digital files over to James, and by this time, it was a really short turnaround.

“We had a little over two weeks to make it.  Because we had such a limited amount of time to fabricate the statue, we used Precision Board HDU in combination with EPS.  It made cleanup easier on the parts of the statue made from Precision Board, including the plaque, gun and master for the smoke.  It’s much easier to work with Precision Board because it is smoother and requires less sanding,” said Powell. “Use of PB really helped in completing the detail parts. Anything else would have taken longer to mill, sand and detail,” he added.

James and his team created Harley in pieces and then assembled her around a steel frame composed of 1″ tubing with steel wires going into her fingers.  Harley had bolts welded to her frame and she was also bolted to the base.  The entire statue was hardcoated with Polyurea, sanded and then bondo’d.  To attach different types of materials together, EPS and Precision Board in this case, he used Pur Stick, an expanding polyurethane glue, which he says is a tacky version of home insulating foam, but with a really small bead of a 1/4″ or less.

“Pur Stick doesn’t expand a lot, so you don’t have to worry about the glue expanding and pushing the pieces apart.  Typically you need to clamp your materials together to ensure they don’t separate,” Powell said.

The gun assembly, including her hand, cuff, gun and smoke were all made out of PBLT-6.   This was fabricated separately and then attached to the main body. For the smoke coming out of the gun, they made a master mold out of PBLT-6. The smoke was given a Polygem hardcoat and then sanded. That piece was then molded and cast in resin.

The plaque was made out of PBLT-15, covered with PB Hard Coat and then primed and painted.  They knew they needed something strong to attach the plaque to the base, given the heavy foot traffic it would see on the convention floor.

“We used Rare Earth magnets, which are super strong, and put them inside the plaque.  There were magnets inside the base as well.  This allowed us to attach the plaque to the base and help it handle the accidental abuse from people walking the convention floor,” said James.

The Harley Quinn statue was so popular that she made the news, featuring in both The Orange County Register (photos below courtesy Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG) and CBS News Fresno.

Monster City Studios is a fully equipped design and fabrication company, located in Fresno, California.  They work in multiple markets, including theme parks & attractions, museums, experiential marketing, retail & restaurant, hospitality & leisure, aquariums & zoos, and last, but not least, trade shows & displays.  We love the wonderful things they create using Precision Board HDU and highly recommend them.  Visit their website or give them a call at 559-498-0540.

UPDATE: The Harley Quinn statue has now found a home at the executive offices of DC Comics in Burbank, CA.

“He who kills with one leap…”

A well-known company in the theme park and display business, Monster City Studios (MCS) of Fresno, California, has been in business for over 15 years and produces high quality advertisement displays. Using Precision Board Plus, MCS has begun a new project that took Coastal Enterprises by surprise.

A geometric Jaguar is quite the odd concept, yet MCS has been able to give a realistic touch to this piece. Routed out of PBLT-30 for durability, this Jaguar head weighs almost 100 pounds! From the tip of the nose to the back of the head measures 19 inches, the base of the head to the top is 21 inches, and the width is 16 inches.  Following up with great hand-detailing, it’s no wonder it will be one of the main displays for a new mall being built in Arizona. With a coat of resin and paint, the Precision Board will be brought to life!

Fresh off the Frog 3D CNC

Fresh off the Frog 3D CNC

Cleaned up with hand detailing

Cleaned up with hand detailing

The finished design waiting to be coated and painted.

The finished design waiting to be coated and painted.

Pictures don’t due justice for the true enormity of this piece. From head to tail, the replica is 8 feet long and the rock base it is sitting on is 16 feet long. The word ‘impressive’ comes to mind, but so does ‘intimidating’ as the power of this animal is captured really well. Here are a few more pictures and a video of the product in process.

Click here to watch the jaguar’s legs being machined

The Jaguar's paws

The Jaguar’s paws

The legs and feet being attached

The legs and feet being attached

The structural support for mounting the Jaguar

The structural support for mounting the Jaguar

The rock that the Jaguar will be mounted on

The rock that the Jaguar will be mounted on

The piece is to be placed in a new mall being built  in Arizona and rightfully so for one of the jaguar’s natural habitats.

A sketch of the finished product.

Monster City Studios has been a fan of Precision Board Plus for over 3 years now and will continue to represent the product to it’s fullest.