Thermwood has unveiled an all new LSAM additive manufacturing machine model, providing even more choices for large scale additive manufacturing applications. Called LSAM MT, the new machine offers an all new configuration and significant advantages in certain applications. The machine was introduced at Thermwood’s 50th Anniversary Gala Open House.
Unlike standard LSAM systems, which feature dual gantries operating over a large fixed table, the MT (Moving Table) features a single fixed gantry mounted over a moving table. Available with either a 10x5 foot or a 10x10 foot table, this configuration offers significant advantages, and is priced lower.
Despite the lower price, the LSAM MT is still a massive, robust industrial production machine capable of reliable, day in and day out production. Unlike standard LSAM systems, the MT can be configured as a “Print Only” machine.
Near net shape printed tools dramatically reduce machining time for many companies currently machining tools from solid blocks of material. This frees up significant machining capacity which is already purchased and installed. For these companies, it makes no sense to purchase additional machining capacity with their additive system, since the change to additive frees up more than enough existing capacity to handle everything they can print. Therefore, Thermwood decided to offer both “Print and Trim” and a “Print Only” versions of the MT.
The MT is available in two table sizes, 10 foot wide by 5 foot deep, and 10 foot by 10 foot. The 10 x 10 machine actually has a 10 x 12 foot table with a 10 x 10 working area. The extra 2 foot is used to mount an optional Vertical Layer Print table. The 10 x 10 foot MT can be equipped with a new version of Thermwood’s patented Vertical Layer Printing technology.
Since the print technology and print heads used on the MT are the same as used on the larger machines it offers the same throughput, print quality and layer to layer fusion that has made LSAM the leader in large scale additive manufacturing. As with the larger systems, the MT can process high temperature polymers which are ideal for autoclave capable tooling or compression molds for thermoset materials.
With the addition of the MT, selecting the best size and configuration for an LSAM may not be quite as straightforward as it first appears. It depends on two major factors plus some additional considerations. The major factors are the material being printed and the size of the parts needed. Of these two, the material being printed is the most significant.
For purposes of machine selection, reinforced thermoplastic composite materials for room temperature or low temperature applications such as foundry patterns, boat plugs, boat and yacht molds, building structures and the like can generally be bonded securely with a variety of industrial adhesives. For these type of parts, even for really large parts, the smaller less expensive machine may be a better choice. The part can be separated into sections which can be printed individually and bonded into the final, potentially extremely large structure.
LSAM print heads can print faster, sometimes significantly faster than needed for most parts. Often it can print two three or more parts in the cooling time required for each layer. The large machine is only printing a single part, one layer at a time, making it two or three time slower. To print the part in one piece, the large machine must operate continuously, around the clock, sometimes for days. This is not a problem for factories that operate on all three shifts but can present staffing problems for single shift operations. With the MT, several different segments of the same part can often be printed in a single shift. Depending on the item being printed, it is possible to print as much in a single shift as the large machine, printing a single part, can do in 24 hours.
Just like the standard LSAMs, the MT comes complete, fully engineered with everything needed for production operation.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)
Thermwood has unveiled an all new LSAM additive manufacturing machine model, providing even more choices for large scale additive manufacturing applications. Called LSAM MT, the new machine offers an all new configuration and significant advantages in certain applications. The machine was introduced at Thermwood's 50th Anniversary Gala Open House.