Thermwood partners with General Atomics to generate significant cost savings
Machine: Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing (L-SAM)
Material: Carbon fibre filled ABS
Product: Trimming tool
Company: General Atomics
Thermwood produced a new CNC trim tool on its Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (L-SAM) system for General Atomics with a significant cost saving of $50,000 when compared to traditional methods. The tool was printed from carbon fibre filled ABS in 16 hours, with a total machining time including trimming of 32 hours.
General Atomics, based in San Diego but working worldwide, develop advanced technology solutions for both the American Government and commercial ventures including the design and manufacture of unmanned aircraft and satellite surveillance.
The CNC trim tool for General Atomics was produced using Thermwood’s L-SAM ’10-20’ model. With the ability to print to near net shape on one gantry and trim with precision, using a 5-axis CNC router on the second gantry, the L-SAM can reduce material costs by up to 60%.
Because of the speed at which the L-SAM works it is a much more efficient way of producing parts, whether they be rapid prototypes or full scale working products. In the case of General Atomics the total lead time for the tool was reduced from 6-8 weeks to less than two. This allows for companies to react much quicker to changes and demands of their customers.
With reduced costs, quicker production times and offering vacuum integrity without the need for a coating, the L-SAM offers a number of advantages over traditional production methods for industrial scale carbon fibre filled tools and parts.