10/11/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Thermwood LSAM System for Near-Net-Shape Production Now Available

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The additive manufacturing system for large parts features two separate gantries, one for printing and one for trimming.


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Thermwood has announced that its Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) systems are now available for sale. Designed for the production of large to very large reinforced thermoplastic composite parts, the LSAM line uses a two-step near-net-shape production process. First, the part is 3D printed layer by layer to slightly larger than the final size. Then, it is trimmed to exact shape and size using a CNC router. The process operates in free space and does not require molds or tooling.

The high-wall, overhead gantry machines feature a work envelope measuring 10 ft. wide and 5 ft. high. Its length can be as long as 100 ft. or more. Machines include both a print gantry and a second trim gantry, which is actually a five-axis CNC router. Both gantries operate over the entire table surface.

The print gantry features a vertically mounted PH15 print head, developed by Thermwood, that melts and precisely meters the polymer bead. It can process filled thermoplastic composite materials at temperatures ranging to 650°F. According to the company, the head’s triple servo design enables a more accurate print bead, changing the bead dimensions while printing, high output rates, better fusion between layers and a void-free printed structure. It is said to print at rates ranging to 150 pounds per hour.

The trim gantry is equipped with a 12-hp, 3,000 to 24,000-rpm automatic toolchanger spindle and a 10-position ATC. The vertical Z axis stroke is enhanced so that the router head can machine from the print table surface to a point completely over the top of a printed part.

The machine is also equipped with an automatic tool length measurement system, impact resistant head and Siemens intelligent servo drives for both printing and trimming. Each gantry has its own freestanding Thermwood Q-Core CNC for movement, and the print gantry also includes an integrated print head control to manage melt, pressure and metering functions. Special control functions operate the servodrive print head and bead compression wheel, simplifying 3D printing programming.

The LSAM system is well-suited to the production of tooling, masters, molds, fixtures, patterns and plugs for a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, boating, foundry and thermoforming. In addition, Thermwood believes it will find additional applications as various industries become aware of the substantial benefits of large part additive manufacturing.