As the UK distributor for Thermwood’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) solution I’m going to make a somewhat shocking statement: the LSAM is not for everyone. There are however a lot of organisations who could see huge benefits. Thermwood have the widest range of thermoplastic large scale 3D printers available in the world today and continue to develop new models to help more organisations gain access to this world class technology.
What exactly is Thermwood’s LSAM?
Thermwood’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing Solution has been designed to create industrial production large-scale components, moulds and structures using composite materials.
The Thermwood LSAM is a large-scale 3D printer of polymers that works in a two step process (unless you buy the print only version). On one gantry the object is first 3D printed, to near net shape, layer by layer at the perfect temperature to fuse together. Then on a second gantry a 5-axis router trims the part to its exact size. The part can be printed either vertically, horizontally and now at various angles to best suit the design.
Because of the near perfect print, material wastage is reduced by over 60% with completion being in days rather than the months it can take traditional methods.
Which organisations are using an LSAM?
Unfortunately for us the majority of organisations who have purchased a LSAM have got NDA’s in place. This means that we can’t shout from the rooftops about who actually is successfully using the 3D printing technology.
There are however a select few who we can tell you about and the unique advantage that the LSAM is bringing to their business.
Local Motors purchased a LSAM 1040 to 3D print parts for their innovative autonomous shuttle bus, Olli. The bus is now being used in several American University campuses as well as being trialed in Spain. Reducing material wastage was a key component in Local Motors choice to purchase an LSAM.
Read the case study here
Legacy is the premier source for aerospace and automotive 3D printing solutions. From rapid prototyping to aerospace modelling and manufacturing, Legacy 3D printers use revolutionary technology to make whatever is needed, quickly and efficiently.
Legacy have a LSAM 1020 with vertical layer printing (VLP), this enables them to print huge components only limited by the length of the bed.
Boeing have two LSAM 1020’s following some successful moulds being manufactured by Thermwood and tested. Boeing are able to print vertically and horizontally on both of their LSAM machines.
Boeing Research & Technology engineer Michael Matlack said “use of Thermwood’s additive manufacturing technology in this application provided a significant advantage, saving weeks of time and enabling delivery of the tool before traditional tooling could be fabricated.”
Airtech are one of the largest manufacturers of vacuum bagging and composite tooling materials in the world. Airtech have offices in America, Luxemburg, the UK and China with LSAM 1040’s in both their American and Luxemburg facilities.
As well as creating parts for themselves Airtech offer a 3D printing service for large scale tooling and moulds across the world.
Read the full case study here.
* Photo credit: Airtech
Dimensional Innovations – LSAM 1020 – dimin.com
Dimensional Innovations design and build immersive and engaging experiences for their clients. This often involves using their LSAM 1020 to 3D print large structures that come together to create a real wow factor, including the Las Vegas Raiders Memorial Tower.
Read the case study here
A world-renowned provider of tooling and assembly systems for the aerospace and defence industries.
With the plan to bring the benefits of additive manufacturing into the aerospace industry Ascent Aerospace purchased their LSAM 1040 with VLP option in 2020. With their tooling expertise and their LSAM Ascent believes they can significantly reduce lead times compared to traditional methods, giving them a huge competitive advantage.
From show stopping structures to autonomous vehicles and moulds for aerospace parts, the Thermwood LSAM is being used across sector to set these (and several other) organisations apart from their competition and at the forefront of their industries.