Advanced Manufacturing Skills Center

Rigid Composite Structures

  • Longboard Project
  • Entry Level - No prerequisites
  • 1.5 Credits

Course Overview

The goal of this course is to learn to understand and create lightweight rigid structures that can span large distances with minimal distortion, such and an airliner floor paneling, walkways, support beams and similar.


Boeing Australia students with their longboards
Boeing Australia students with their longboards

We've worked hard to find products for classes that are analogous to many important aerospace elements, and not rely on simple a test coupons for training. The often complex flexibility of a snowboard was based on the flex profile of a composite wing. The solid carbon fiber frame we use in the Industrial UAV Systems course is similar to many solid CFRP body parts that are drilled and fitted throughout composite aircraft. The composite longboard can be likened to many tertiary aircraft, marine, wind power structures where weight and cost might be an issue. Longboards have proven to be perfect for demonstrating how composite products can be incredibly stiff yet with a resiliency to deflection needed to survive typical abuses. By using low cost core materials to separate the more advanced (and expensive) load bearing composite surfaces students will learn how cost can be significantly reduced over solid CFRP yet still retaining appreciable strength. We'll also discuss how choosing the right core material can be critical for applications where the installed fasteners need to support weight without collapsing the structure.

This is an entry level class and anyone interested in composite manufacturing is welcome to register.


  • Functional properties of Fiberglass, Carbon Fiber, Kevlar and other fiber reinforcements
  • Resin Types
  • Composite layup methods
  • Core materials
  • Core fabrication
  • Composite stackup concerns
  • Tooling preparation (cleaning, release agents)
  • Vacuum bagging
  • Curing methods
  • Sanding and Polishing
  • Painting
  • Overview of Fusion 360/CATIA, CAD/CAM software
  • CNC Milling


Check out our gallery of class pictures
Longboard Gallery

Class Dates and Times

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New Students

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Returning Students

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Class Search & Registration

Contact Damian Cianci at if you have any questions.