The size and weight of ion-beam cancer therapy gantries are frequently determined by a large aperture, curved, ninety degree, dipole magnet. The higher fields achievable with superconducting technology promise to greatly reduce the size and weight of this magnet and therefore also the gantry as a whole. This paper reports advances in the design of winding mandrels for curved, canted cosine-theta (CCT) magnets in the context of a preliminary magnet design for a proton gantry. The winding mandrel is integral to the CCT design and significantly affects the construction cost, stress management, winding feasibility, eddy current power losses, and field quality of the magnet. A laminated mandrel design using a minimum symmetry in the winding path is introduced and its feasibility demonstrated by a rapid prototype model. Piecewise construction of the mandrel using this laminated approach allows for increased manufacturing techniques and material choices. Sectioning the mandrel also reduces eddy currents produced during field changes accommodating the scan of beam energies during treatment. This symmetry concept can also greatly reduce the computational resources needed for 3D finite element calculations. It is shown that the small region of symmetry forming the laminations combined with periodic boundary conditions can model the entire magnet geometry disregarding the ends. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.