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Fundamentals of Working with Composite Materials & Hands-on Workshop


This class will cover instruction and a guided hands-on workshop in use of composite materials. Some of the materials you'll handle in the class include polymer epoxies, fiberglass,strengthening/thickening additives, and carbon fiber. These are the same materials used in performance Automotive, Marine, and Aerospace industries.

The  mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird spyplane, the Boeing Dreamliner, and Formula F1 race cars are some of the cool things that are constructed of the same composite materials you'll be developing skills and making stuff with.

Consumer and hobbyist applications with composites can vary.  Typical projects and applications range from art, furniture, enclosures, cases to high speed rockets and ultralight UAV's. Composites can be excellent repair materials for home, vehicle and furnishings when properly applied.


Course & Workshop Outline

  • Project planning and set up.
  • Materials selection
  • Proper and safe handling of epoxy and materials.
  • Mixing/pot life/cure times
  • Basic bonding techniques-Hands On
  • Basic laminating techniques-Hands On

Hands-on Workshop project: To be determined based on class size and skills. Sorry we won't have the time or resource to build a Formula One but we promise the project will be something you'll be proud of!


No matter how careful people are, they always manage to get epoxy on their clothing and shoes. The epoxies we work with will NOT wash off and any smears or spills will become permanent features. It is highly recommended that attendees wear something like painting or gardening clothes that they dont mind getting irreversibly damaged/stained by epoxy.


MakerBar will be offering an intermediate and advanced level composites class/workshop in subsequent months. These higher level workshops will build on the knowledge and skills developed in this class. These classes will offer challenging, cool projects.


There will be a 20 minute break in the class and you'll be provided a fun, high tech mystery snack!


John Foberg. John is a mechanical engineer with experience designing and fabricating High powered rockets with composite materials.

Teaching assistants:  Luke Krill and Travis


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  • John F.

    Thanks Matt! As everyone requested some suppliers
    my favorite supplier (and lowest cost) is Soller Composites LLC
    They have all the supplies you could ever need for composites work. West Systems epoxies, Carbon fiber and fibergalss fabrics in all sizes, shapes and weaves. The owner Jon Soller, is a great guy and very knowledgeable. He's always personally answered any questions I've had regarding application and use of materials in my projects.

    The other supplier I frequently use is West Marine boat stores.
    The stores stock the West systems epoxies and additives, and various sizes of fiberglass fabrics. There are several local in NJ and a very nice one on 37th street in Manhattan
    West Marine is more spendy but you can touch/feel/explore and is convenient
    Other options are Jamestown distributors who carry Various Epoxies and fabrics

    Any questions email me

    1 · April 9, 2013

  • Matt

    Great class, thanks! Look forward to the next one.
    Now that its unexpectedly 80F today, Ill be playing around with these epoxies much sooner.
    Please post your favorite suppliers when you have a chance.

    April 8, 2013

    • Nick R.

      +1 for suppliers

      April 8, 2013

  • John F.

    Glenn, Cory, Nick thanks for your positive feedback!
    I think the workshop went well too. This is because ALL the participants took a proactive role in making it a success. Excellent job and teamwork guys!
    Everyone jumped right in on the hands-on portion and did a fantastic job on the workshop projects. After class I re-reviewed the projects which came out very nicely.
    Also all your comments and questions were right in tune with the subject matter. And a very special thanks to Luke and Travis who both stepped up and help guide and teach the workshop.
    MakerBar will definitely host a Fundamentals Part 2 class. I'd like to develop a workshop series to culminate in the class constructing a MakerBar themed composite rocket rated for Mach +1 flights. I'm working the curriculum to build on what was learned in this class.
    1) Cutting/machining the the raw carbon fiber laminate stock you guys made in part 1 to make finished rocket fins
    2) Carbon fiber layup on 38mm and 54 mm diameter cardboard

    April 8, 2013

    • John F.

      3) Alignment and Root bonding fins to airframe. 4) Laying professional grade fillet epixy welds at the tube/airframe joint. Again thanks, it was a pleasure working with such an enthusiastic group. Hopefully you can use the skills/info from this class in one of yiu projects.

      April 8, 2013

  • Nick R.

    The class was great -- Started a follow-up project (with Travis) of a carbon-fiber Pi case. This would make a great 2~3 part class IMHO.

    April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Excellent! John is a great teacher and communicator, and the rest of the MakerBar members who helped were also very friendly. I'm looking forward to the followup workshop.

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • Glenn M.

    Great workshop! Thanks, John, for an interesting and educational experience. This is my second meetup at Makerbar and I appreciate the members for making it enjoyable and productive. Time flew! Look forward to next installment of this workshop.

    April 7, 2013

  • Luke K.

    Missing my iPhone. Please let email me at lukekrill-(at)-mac-(dot)-com know if you accidentally picked it up. It will lock if it connects to the internet.

    April 7, 2013

    • Luke K.

      Never mind. Found it in my car.

      April 7, 2013

  • Glenn M.


    April 6, 2013

  • John F.

    Thanks to all who signed up already.
    Talking with the general Makerbar community, it seems there was concern about this class being too COMPLEX/difficult and needing requisite skills. That is definitely NOT the case!

    Any skill level is ok, and everyone will have fun developing some useful/cool skills after completing the workshop. The two main workshop projects are shaping up to be:

    1) Reinforce PET bottles with fiberglass and carbon fiber. The 'uber' PET's will be used in upcoming high pressure water rocket project.

    2) Construct carbon fiber airframe tubing and fin stock for a future Makerbar themed rocket designed for speeds up to Mach 2! Plus if you think have a project thats applicable to the subject matter, bring it in and we'll see what can be done.

    March 31, 2013

10 went

Your organizer's refund policy for Fundamentals of Working with Composite Materials & Hands-on Workshop

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled

Additional notes: Note: Of the $65 class cost, approx $35 of that is materials. Actual cost of materials will be announced the Friday before the event begins.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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