8/4/2015

Large-Scale AM Systems in Development

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CNC router manufacturer Thermwood Corp. (Dale, Indiana) is developing an additive manufacturing system capable of making large, carbon graphite-reinforced composite thermoplastic components.

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CNC router manufacturer Thermwood Corp. (Dale, Indiana) is developing an additive manufacturing system capable of making large, carbon graphite-reinforced composite thermoplastic components. The system will use a relatively large extruder mounted to the machine that will heat, melt and deposit carbon graphite-filled thermoplastic to quickly create a structure which is near the exact final shape. Printed structures then cool and harden, and are five-axis machined to the final net shape. The initial development machine can make parts as large as 10 × 10 × 5 ft.

The new systems are based on Thermwood’s Model 77 semi-enclosed, high-wall gantry machine structures, currently offered in sizes ranging to 60 ft. long. American Khune developed a custom 1.75" plastic extruder which integrates with the machine and is controlled by the same central CNC. A full six-axis articulated additive deposition head will enable building layered structures on horizontal as well as canted planes ranging to 90 degrees from horizontal. With the addition of an optional second gantry, both additive and subtractive processes can be performed on the same machine.

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