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Symmetrix Composites announces technical partnership with America's Cup Challenger American Magic

by Symmetrix Composite Tooling 25 Oct 10:10 PDT
Patriot, American Magic's second AC75 foiling monohull, practices on the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand, site of the 36th America's Cup next March © Will Ricketson

Symmetrix Composite Tooling, a full-service composite tooling manufacturer of complex and innovative designs, is proud to announce a Supplier/Technical Partnership with New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup next year in New Zealand.

Utilizing Symmetrix's large format CMS Poseidon 5-Axis CNC machine, the company produced the patterns and molds for American Magic's two AC75 foiling monohulls as well as the towering, 26-meter tall mast.

While building custom boats from molds is nothing new, the technology implemented in this build was innovative. By using the 26-meter long by 6.2-meter wide milling machine the team at Symmetrix was able to produce full scale master patterns to within sub-millimeter accuracy. The patterns were then used to create high-temperature carbon-fiber molds from which the hulls of American Magic's two boats were built. This unique process allowed the build team to maximize the dimensional accuracy of these impressive tools for yachts competing at speeds reaching 50 knots.

"Accuracy and reliability are an important part of building an America's Cup-winning design," said John Barnitt, President of Symmetrix Composite Tooling and a three-time winner of the America's Cup. "Timelines are compressed when it comes to build schedules and the testing phase, so a good collaboration is vital to the synergy between suppliers and the team. We've had that with American Magic."

The technical partnership between Symmetrix Composite Tooling and American Magic first began when the company helped create a mast for the team's testing platform, The Mule, in 2017. The plugs and molds were developed for the first hull, DEFIANT, that launched in Rhode Island in September 2019, followed by the second and final hull, PATRIOT, which launched October 16 in New Zealand.

"We are proud to officially partner with Symmetrix, who participated in creating all three of American Magic's boats," said Rob Ouellette, Chief Operating Officer for American Magic. "Having Symmetrix located just down the street from our production facility in Bristol made this a natural partnership, but in truth we could not have found a better tooling supplier anywhere in the world. With the help of Symmetrix, we have been able to add another chapter to the long and proud history of America's Cup boatbuilding in Rhode Island."

"The American Magic boatbuilders are clearly some of the best 'out of autoclave' composite processers in the world and being tasked to build the carbon tooling for DEFIANT and PATRIOT was very special for us," said Barnitt. "The program checked all of the boxes for Symmetrix - the size and shape of the hull, geometry verification, tight tolerances, matching thermal expansion and, of course, the tight timeline. This is a fantastic, results-proven partnership for Symmetrix Composite Tooling."

Founded in July 2010, Symmetrix Composite Tooling has manufacturing locations based in Rhode Island, North Carolina and Nevada.

The headquarters, in Bristol, R.I., is a 40,000-square-foot facility purpose-built for CNC digital fabrication. It features the company's large format CMS Poseidon 5-Axis Machining Center, climate-controlled spray booth, and steel fabrication/carpentry shop. It also houses an extensive array of pattern and tool making essentials such as a resin impregnator, gel coat spray and CSM guns, 2KM meter-mix paste machines, vacuum pumps, and hydronic post curing equipment.

The Statesville, North Carolina location came online earlier this year and is a 40,000 sq. ft. facility purpose-built for CNC digital fabrication. It features a new large-format (26m x 6.2m x 3m) CMS Poseidon 5-axis machining center, identical to our machine in Bristol RI. It also has Laser tracker metrology for geometry verification, an 8m x 3m Climate Controlled Paint Booth (27m x 6m on order), digitally controlled modeling paste metering, mixing and dispensing, vacuum and infusion equipment, metal fabrication and welding, gelcoat, chopped fiber application and spray gear, and a fabric resin impregnator.

The Nevada Innovation Center, located in Carson City and opened in Dec. 2017, is a 13,300 sq. ft. facility that features the Ares 6026 5-Axis Machining Center, climate-controlled spray booth, and steel fabrication/carpentry shop. It also includes pattern and tool making essentials, along with 2KM meter-mix paste machines, vacuum pumps, and post-curing equipment. Symmetrix recently broke ground on a brand new, purpose-built facility in nearby Minden, NV designed to match our two other Centers for Composite Innovation.

Symmetrix Composite Tooling is a privately held company, wholly owned by President John Barnitt, and leads the way to the future of composite tooling.

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