1997-06-03

Optical Layup Template 972214

The Optical Lay-up Template (OLT) is a device for assisting the manual fabrication of composite parts. It replaces physical templates by drawing, with a low power laser, on a lay-up mandrel where to place the various plies. First implemented in the fabrication of engine cowls, the OLT reduced part variability, reduced fabrication labor time, improved workplace ergonomics, and vastly reduced the flow time for design modifications to reach the production line. This paper briefly reviews the theory and operation of the OLT, discusses recent and proposed applications of the OLT, and mentions the next generation technology.

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