Crafting the Future with Carbon Fiber: An Inside Look at Common Fibers
In this episode of the Capacity podcast, Fulcrum CEO Sunny Han sat down with Ann Mountjoy, the founder and CEO of Common Fibers, a vertically integrated carbon fiber manufacturing shop in Seattle. With its versatile capabilities and a unique approach to manufacturing, the company has become a front-runner in the evolving carbon fiber industry.
Common Fibers operates out of a 20,000-square-foot facility with specialized buildings for laying up carbon fiber parts, machining plugs, and painting finishes. They take a customer's idea from concept to a completely finished product.
Carbon fiber is a material that’s both lightweight and incredibly strong, making it ideal for a wide range of applications, from aerospace and automotive to consumer goods. It's no longer just for Formula One cars or Boeing planes; it's making its way into everyday life.
One of the key differentiators for Common Fibers is their expertise in crafting molds, which are essential for shaping carbon fiber. They use cutting-edge techniques like 3D scanning and CNC machining to ensure the most accurate and efficient production process.
Unlike traditional manufacturing shops, the company maintains a culture where everyone is cross-trained in multiple roles. This craftsman-like approach originated from their initial years, focused on custom projects, and has evolved into a resourceful and collaborative work environment.
Whether they’re crafting a single prototype or preparing a batch of 10,000 units, Common Fibers applies the same meticulous engineering and planning to every project. This balance between innovation and efficiency is what sets them apart in an industry that often demands both.
Ann works alongside her husband, whom she met while building super-mileage cars in college. Their unique skill sets and collaborative problem-solving have become the backbone of their business success.
Common Fibers is a shining example of the possibilities that open up when you combine material science, ingenuity, and a commitment to learning. If you're intrigued to learn more, make sure to listen to our full podcast episode to hear Ann go into even more detail about their daily operations, projects, and the future of the carbon fiber industry.