Thermwood LSAM - Large Scale Additive Manufacturing

An all new technology for large scale 3D printing of thermoplastic polymers

LSAM - Large Scale Additive Manufacturing

Large industrial “Near Net Shape”, composite additive manufacturing machines that can print and trim on the same machine.




LSAM - Large Scale Additive Manufacturing

Large industrial additive manufacturing machines that print and trim on the same machine.
Available Table Sizes:
LSAM machines have dual gantries, operating over a fixed table, and are available with a configuration of 10 foot wide by 20 foot deep up to 10 foot wide (and in increasing increments in length of 10 feet) - up to 100 feet in length.

  • Additive and Subtractive heads on the same machine
  • Working Envelope 10 foot wide, 5 to 100 feet long
  • Standard Horizontal Print Height - 5 foot
  • Optional Vertical Layer Print Height equal to the length of the machine table
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • Powerful, State-of-the-Art QCore SuperControl with Integrated Siemens Temperature Control
  • Ready to run, including drying, conveying, heating, cooling and acillary systems
  • Industry Leading, Patented, Print Technology Produces Fully Fused, Superior Products
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What is LSAM?

LSAM (pronounced L-Sam) represents the industry leading technology for large scale 3D printing of thermoplastic polymers. LSAM utilizes unique patented technology to produce the highest quality printed structures available.

LSAM uses the "Near Net Shape" approach to part production where the part is first printed at high speed slightly larger than needed, then trimmed to the final size and shape. This is the fastest, most efficient method of 3D printing large structures. With LSAM, both printing and trimming can be done on the same machine.

LSAM can process parts from virtually any thermoplastic composite material including high temperature materials that are ideal for molds and tooling that must operate at elevated temperatures. LSAM's unique printing system produces parts that are solid, fully fused, vacuum tight and virtually void free.

LSAM is intended for serious industrial production. It is not a lab, evaluation or demonstration machine, but is instead a full-fledged industrial additive manufacturing system intended for the production of large scale components.

Parts are printed on a patented “Bead Board”, virtually eliminating cooling stresses and part warping. Part printed on LSAM's Patented "Bead Board"

LSAM prints a large bead at room temperature in a process which is essentially an exercise in controlled cooling. Polymer cooling and not print head output determines print speed. Polymer cooling determines how fast you can print each layer. Print head output determines how large a part you can print in the layer time available. LSAM print heads are available that can print well over 500 pounds per hour which means really large parts are possible.

Large print beads plus Thermwood's patented compression wheel create solid, fully fused, virtually void free printed structures that can sustain vacuum in a pressurized autoclave at elevated temperature without the need for problematic add-on coatings.

Parts are printed on a patented Bead Board, virtually eliminating cooling stresses and part warping. The compression wheel not only totally fuses layers together but also generates highly precise print bead dimensions, measured in thousandths of an inch.

The Secret to LSAM Print Quality...A Different Process

LSAM machines are built from steel plate using slot and tab construction

LSAM machines are large, robust industrial structures built from steel plate using slot and tab construction, resulting in an order of magnitude higher strength and stiffness than typical structural steel machine construction. All welded structures are fully annealed using licensed technology originally developed by NASA, resulting in an even stronger, stiffer machine.

LSAM machines have dual gantries, operating over a fixed table, and are available in configurations from 10 foot wide by 20 foot deep up to 100 foot in length.

Linear motion is laser aligned and compensated on all axes and the entire machine is volumetrically compensated throughout its entire working envelope for superior accuracy and performance.


LSAM provides both print and trim on the same machine

3D Printing in process at Local Motors by LMI Knoxville, TN Microfactory

LSAM provides both print and trim on the same machine

Trimming in process at Local Motors by LMI Knoxville, TN Microfactory

LSAM provides both print and trim on the same machine and can print both horizontally and vertically.


LSAM is a complete, fully engineered system, ready to run - with all the accessories and ancillary equipment included.

 

 

 

An Extruder Screw That Works Differently

Traditional plastic extruder screws, designed for steady state operation, do not work for additive manufacturing. In fact, any extruder available today, by itself, will not work for additive manufacturing because of surging. LSAM uses a combination of a patented extruder screw design and a polymer melt pump to overcome these basic limitations.

This approach also means you do not need to change screws to process different polymers. LSAM can process virtually all materials with the same screw and melt pump. A patent pending design using special steel alloys supports processing temperatures of 450°C (Approx. 850°F) allowing the processing of high temperature polymers ideal for autoclave tooling.

A changeable Melt Core means you can, on the same machine, increase print head throughput for really large parts.

Parts can be printed either in the traditional horizontal orientation or, with an optional vertical layer print system, they can be printed vertically, allowing parts to be printed that are as tall as the machine table length.

LSAM has an extruder screw that works differently.
This patented extrusion screw and barrel does not function like a traditional plastic extruder (where most of the heat comes from shear action of the rotating screw).
 
Screw speed is constantly changing in Additive Manufacturing, so the traditional approach means uneven heat.

In the LSAM extruder, more than 60% of the heat comes from the heated barrel and not the screw, so polymer heating is more even.

Since friction between the polymer and screw geometry is not the major source of heat, the screw does not need to be changed to process different polymers.

 

 

 

 
LSAM can print precise print bead sizes - somethying that is just not possible with a traditional extruder.

Precise print bead dimensions, measured in thousandths of an inch, are an absolute necessity for really quality printed structures.


This is just not possible with a traditional extruder. A common problem with plastic extruders, even in steady state operation, is uneven output flow, called surging.

 

 


An Integrated Polymer Melt Pump

LSAM has an integrated polymer melt pump.

LSAM outputs flow from the extruder into a polymer melt pump. This servo driven, fixed displacement pump precisely meters the heated polymer to the nozzle, forming a precise, consistent print bead.

 

High Temperature Capability

LSAM has an integrated polymer melt pump.

Ceramic heaters plus special alloys support print temperatures to 450 C.

 

Temperature-Controlled Compression Wheel

LSAM has an integrated polymer melt pump.
 

Changeable Melt Core

LSAM has an integrated polymer melt pump.
 

Print Both Horizontal and Vertical

LSAM printing horizontally.
 
 
LSAM printing vertically.

Based on Thermwood's Q-Core SuperControl

The LSAM control is based on Thermwood's incredibly powerful Q-Core CNC control, providing unique functions to make the print process easier and more capable.

Temperature control is integrated, so when you load a polymer profile, all the parameters for that polymer, including zone temperatures and pressure limits are set automatically.

The control automatically synchronizes output of the melt pump to machine speed to insure absolutely perfect bead dimensions regardless of machine speed, acceleration or deceleration. 

Through a patent pending process, the control automatically synchronizes the speed of the extruder screw to the output of the melt pump, which is critical to proper operation.

The control orients the compression wheel to the direction of motion eliminating the need to program this function.

The control can automatically adjust the print speed to maintain a consistent layer print time as print geometry changes, dramatically reducing the skill level needed to operate the machine. 

The control also offers simple one-button operation of otherwise complex functions such as melt-start, stop-unload or qualifying a new material. Even with all the advanced capability LSAM is really easy to operate.

Based on Thermwood's Q-Core SuperControl.

LSAM uses Thermwood's Q-Core SuperControl, which is one of the most capable, flexible and powerful controls in existence.

 

Integrated Temperature Control

LSAM integrated temperature control.

LSAM has integrated temperature controls to monitor and adjust real-time temperature.

 

Automatic Process Functions

LSAM automatic process functions
 

Also Includes:

  • Polymer Profiles

  • Motion and Print Synchronization

  • Extruder to Melt Pump Synchronization

  • Automatic Compression Wheel Orientation

  • Layer Time Control

One area that has been historically weak in large scale additive manufacturing has been the lack of truly professional slicing software specifically for the "Near Net Shape" process. To address this, Thermwood has developed a true "Near Net Shape" CAD slicing software that works within Mastercam and provides feature rich operation. With the ability to coordinate effortlessly with the LSAM machine and control, it accepts solid, surface, mesh or 2D geometry in every major CAD software format.

Thermwood’s LSAM Print 3D is a true CAD slicing software that works within Mastercam. It accepts solid, surface, mesh or 2D geometry in every major CAD software format.
 

It offers powerful programming capability including boundary layers in any, or even variable, thickness, solid or sparse infill, stand-alone surfaces and free-form infill.

It offers powerful programming capability including boundary layers in any, or even variable, thickness, solid or sparse infill, stand-alone surfaces and free-form infill.
 

Incredibly complex parts can be programmed by separating them into individual structures and printing them concurrently either connected to or inside one another.

Incredibly complex parts can be programmed by separating them into individual structures and printing them concurrently either connected to or inside one another.
 

The software automatically adjusts for unique printing characteristics of the machine so the programmer doesn't need to deal with these complexities.

It adjusts the width of more than two beads printed side by side.

It adjusts the width of more than two beads printed side by side.

 

 

It compensates for corner pullback caused by the motion of the compression wheel.

It compensates for corner pullback caused by the motion of the compression wheel.

 

 

 

 
Corner pullback compensation works by creating a tangent arc motion moving towards the outside of the corner, starting back at the point where the wheel stops on the bead, and then travels outward by the amount that the bead gets drawn in when the wheel rolls back onto the bead.

Corner pullback compensation works by creating a tangent arc motion moving towards the outside of the corner, starting back at the point where the wheel stops on the bead, and then travels outward by the amount that the bead gets drawn in when the wheel rolls back onto the bead.

 

 

 

 
PESU print with corner pullback applied.

PESU print with corner pullback applied.

 

 

 

 
Posts a finished program ready to print.

Posts a finished program ready to print.

LSAM is ideal for large parts
  • LSAM printed parts are fully fused, solid, and void free.
  • LSAM printed tools sustain vacuum in an autoclave without an external coating.
  • Large parts cannot delaminate, if printed within the isotherm temperature range for that polymer.
  • The system can process virtually all thermoplastic polymers available today.

Much of the technology used in Thermwood's LSAM machines and print process is completely new. Thermwood has already received numerous patents on these revolutionary developments and many more are in the works. In addition to the projects shown on this web site, many other exciting results that LSAM has already achieved are covered by non-disclosure agreements and must be kept secret. LSAM is truly state-of-the-art in the exciting new world of large scale additive manufacturing.

LSAM In the Press:

Composites in Manufacturing(November 12, 2019) - Partners successfully compression mould parts using printed tooling

3D Printing Media(November 12, 2019) - Thermwood and Purdue lay groundwork for 3D printed compression mold tooling

3DPrint.com(November 12, 2019) - Thermwood & Purdue: 3D Printed Composite Molds to Make Compression Molding Parts

JEC Composites(August 20, 2019) - Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing and Thermwood partner on low cost responsive tooling program

3D Printing Industry(August 13, 2019) - ARFL, BOEING, THERMWOOD APPLY LARGE SCALE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TO AUTOCLAVE TOOLS

Composites in Manufacturing(August 12, 2019) - US Air Force, Boeing and Thermwood partner on AM tooling programme

Additive Manufacturing(July 23, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace Invests in Additive Manufacturing

Composites World(July 18, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace invests in Thermwood LSAM machine

Aerospace Manufacturing(July 18, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace invests in new Thermwood LSAM Machine

3D Printing Media Network(July 17, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace buys LSAM composite 3D printer from Thermwood

PR Newswire(July 12, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace Invests in Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing(July 5, 2019) - Thermwood's Vertical Layer Printing Turns AM on Its Side

The Additive Report(July 3, 2019) - Hybrid additive/subtractive manufacturing machine produces large-scale parts

Fabbaloo(June 3, 2019) - Need A Very Large 3D Print? Call Thermwood!

Composites World(May 23, 2019) - Tooling technologies positioned for speed, control

3D Printing Media Network(May 14, 2019) - Kansas-based Dimensional Innovations acquires LSAM 3D printer for 'secret project'.

Tic Toc by Bloomberg(May 13, 2019) - 3-D printing Notre Dame Spire

JEC Composites(May 7, 2019) - Design by fire: Could a Kansas City company 3-D print the Notre Dame spire?

JEC Composites(March 1, 2019) - 3D printed helicopter blade mold

Bloomberg Businessweek(February 16, 2019) - An Ex-Marine Wants to Print Autonomous Vehicles for Your City

Composites World (February 15, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell collaborate on 3D-printed helicopter blade mold

Additive Manufacturing (February 11, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D Print Helicopter Blade Mold

Marine Industry News UK (February 11, 2019) - 3D printer helps launch new line of boats

3D Printing Today Russia (February 11, 2019) - LSAM large format 3D printer prints rig for helicopter blades production

Print in 3D - Italy (February 9, 2019) - Thermwood prints in 3D the largest autoclave ever made

3D Printing Industry (February 8, 2019) - THERMWOOD'S LSAM MACHINES 3D PRINT 20 FOOT HELICOPTER BLADE MOLD FOR BELL

WKRN (February 8, 2019) - World's largest 3-D printer used to print cars in East Tennessee

The Additive Report (February 7, 2019) - 3D printer helps launch new line of boats

JEC Composites (February 7, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D print helicopter blade mold

Aerospace Manufacturing (February 7, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D print helicopter blade mould

3D Printing Media Network (February 6, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D print 20 ft helicopter blade mold using LSAM

Composites World (January 11, 2019) - TAHOE Boats' T16 uses 3D printed tooling from Thermwood

Additive Manufacturing (January 14, 2019) - TAHOE Boats Newest Design Uses Thermwood 3D Printed Tooling

3Ders.org (January 17, 2019) - TAHOE Boats builds first hull with Thermwood 3D printed tooling

Additive Manufacturing (January 17, 2019) - Tahoe Boats Collaborates with Thermwood on 3D Printing for Boat Design

3D Print Media(December 5, 2018) - Thermwood validates direct additive manufacturing of yacht hull molds

Inside Composites(November 26, 2018) - Large-scale parts with Thermwood's LSAM

Additive Manufacturing(November 26, 2018) - Thermwood Collaborating with the Navy to Explore Additive Manufacturing Technology

Composites Media(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood collaborating with US Navy to explore additive manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing Today(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood Corporation and NSWCCD Announce Additive Manufacturing Collaboration

JEC Composites(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood collaborating with the Navy to explore additive manufacturing technology

Composites World(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood and US Navy Explore Additive and Additive Manufacturing for Ship Systems

3DPrinting.com(November 14, 2018) - Thermwood Unveils Vertical Layer Printing For LSAM Machines

Surface and Panel(November 14, 2018) - Thermwood Announces Vertical Layer Printing

Additive Manufacturing(November 14, 20188) - Thermwood Announces Vertical Layer Printing

Manufactur3DMagazine(October 12, 2018) - Thermwood Corporation 3D Prints a Massive 12-foot long 3D Printed Tool for Boeing

TCT Magazine(October 11, 2018) - Thermwood 3D prints and delivers 12-foot-long tool for Boeing

Plastics Insight(October 11, 2018) - Boeing collaborates with Thermwood to demonstrate VLP 3D printing technology

3D Adept(October 11, 2018) - Watch: Thermwood 3D prints 12 foot aircraft tool for Boeing 777X

3DPrinting Pro(October 11, 2018) - Boeing collaborates with Thermwood to demonstrate VLP 3D printing technology

3DPBites(October 11, 2018) - WATCH: THERMWOOD 3D PRINTS 12 FOOT AIRCRAFT TOOL FOR BOEING 777X

3DPulse(October 11, 2018) - BOEING PRINTS ON A 3D PRINTER MOLD TOOLING FOR THE GENERATION OF 777X AIRCRAFT

3D Print Home(October 10, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing 3D print 12-foot-long single-piece tool for 777X program

Additive Manufacturing Today(October 10, 2018) - Thermwood Creates 3D Printed Tool for Boeing 777X Program

Additive Manufacturing (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood Partnership to Demonstrate New 3D Printing Technology

JEC Group (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood partnership to demonstrate 3D printing technology

3DPrintingIndustry.com (October 10, 2018) - WATCH: THERMWOOD 3D PRINTS 12 FOOT AIRCRAFT TOOL FOR BOEING 777X

3ders.org (October 10, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing 3D print 12-foot-long single-piece tool for 777X program

Aero-mag.com (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood Corp. form AM partnership

3druck.com(October 10, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing make a large 3.66 meter 3D printed tool part for the 777X program

3Dprintingmedia.network.com (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood partner to demonstrate new VLP 3D printing technology

CompositesWorld.com (October 10, 2018) - Boeing partners with Thermwood on 3D printed tool for 777X

3DPrint.com (October 9, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing Make Large 3.6 Meter 3D Printed 777X Program Tooling Part

3DPrintingMediaNetwork.com (July 3, 2018) - Local Motors installs massive LSAM composite 3D printer to manufacture autonomous Olli shuttle

3DPrintingIndustry.com (July 2, 2018) - World's Largest Composite 3D printer Installed by Thermwood at Local Motors to Make Self-Driving Vehicles

CompositesManufacturingMagazine.com (July 2, 2018) - Thermwood Installs World's Largest Composite 3-D Printer at Local Motors

AdditiveManufacturing.com (June 13, 2018) - LSAM Speeds Production of Concrete Tooling

CompositesWorld.com (Dec 1, 2017) - Thermwood 3D Prints Large Boat Hull Pattern

3DPrintingIndustry.com (Dec 1, 2017) - Thermwood's's LSAM Process Sets Sail With 3D Printed Hull Pattern

3DPrintingIndustry.com (Oct 23, 2017) - First Ever Polysulfone Mold For Chinook Helicopter Part Successfully 3D Printed

CompositesManufacturingMagazine.com (Oct 22, 2017) - Thermwood Creates Composite Helicopter Part made with Innovative 3-D Printing Technology

3DPrint.com (Oct 19, 2017) - Collaboration and 3D Printing Streamline Boat Production

Composites In Manufacturing (June 26, 2017) - Thermwood 3D Printed PPS Test Panel Maintains Vacuum Without Coatings

3DPrintingBusinessDirectory.com (June 19, 2017) - Thermwood Vacuum Tests 3D Printed PPS Panels Without Coatings

TCTMagazine.com (June 19, 2017) - Thermwood 3D Printed PPS Test Panel maintains Vacuum without Coatings

3DPrint.com (June 17, 2017) - Thermwood Demonstrates Effectiveness of LSAM with 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Parts

TCTMagazine.com (June 16, 2017) - Thermwood Tests 3D Printed Carbon Firbre-Filled PPS Panels Without Coatings

NetComposites.com (June 13, 2017) - Thermwood Enhances Additive Manufacturing Software

3DPrint.com (June 12, 2017) - Thermwood Adds New Features to LSAM Print3D Additive Manufacturing Software

3D Grenzenlos.de (June 10, 2017) - Thermwood stellt Update seiner LSAM Print3D Software vor (German)

AdditiveManufacturing.com (June 8, 2017) - Thermwood Adds Important New Features to LSAM Print3D Additive Manufacturing Software

TCTMagazine.com (June 8, 2017) - Thermwood Announces New Capabilities for LSAM Print3D Software

NetComposites.com (May 30, 2017) - Thermwood Unveils New 3D Print Head Design

3DAdept.com (May 29, 2017) - Thermwood's large-scale additive manufacturing machine improved

3DPrintingIndustry.com (May 26, 2017) - Thermwood Upgrades Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing machine with ton and a half toolhead

3DPrintingMediaNetwork (May 26, 2017) - Thermwood Introduces New Print head for Large Size LSAM 3D Printer

AdditiveManufacturing.com (May 25, 2017) - Thermwood Unveils New 3D Print Head Design

3DPrint.com (May 25, 2017) - Thermwood Introduces New Universal Print Head for LSAM 3D Printer

AdditiveManufacturing.com (Nov 30, 2016) - Thermwood Adds Thermographic Imaging to its Additive Manufacturing Machines

AdditiveManufacturingToday.com (Nov 29,2016) - Thermwood Adds Thermographic Imaging to its Additive Manufacturing Machines

prweb.com (Sept 29, 2016) - Thermwood Introduces LSAM: Large Scale 3D Additive Manufacturing Systems

NetComposites.com (Sept 20, 2016) - Thermwood Has Successfully Tested the 'Ultra High Output' PH50 Print Head on the LSAM

CompositesWorld.com (Sept 15, 2016) - Thermwood successfully tests composite thermoplastic print head on LSAM

WoodworkingNetwork.com (Sept 14, 2016) - Thermwood successfully tests ultra-high output PH50 3D print head

Engineering.com (Sept 12, 2016) - Hybrid 3D Printer-CNC Machine Offers a Cut Above the Rest

NetComposites.com (Sept 6, 2016) - Thermwood Offers 3D Additive Manufacturing Program with LSAM Machines

3Ders.org (Sept 1, 2016) - Thermwood introduces new massive LSAM 3D printers with CNC technology

3DPrint.com (Sept 1, 2016) - Thermwood Corporation Introduces LSAM: Large Scale Additive Manufacturing with a CNC Twist

WoodworkingNetwork.com (Aug 31, 2016) - Thermwood debuts large-scale 3D additive CNC machines

Videos

Thermwood and Bell 3D Print Helicopter Blade Mold


Thermwood LSAM 60mm Melt Core Initial Testing - ABS


Thermwood Validates Direct Additive Manufacturing of Yacht Hull Molds


Thermwood LSAM 3D Printed Unclassified Scale Nose of a Submarine for the US Navy


Boeing 777X Aerospace Trim Fixture via Thermwood LSAM Vertical Layer Printing


Thermwood LSAM 3D Printed Boat Hull Pattern


Thermwood 10'x20' LSAM 3D Print/Trim Concrete Mold Timelapse


Thermwood LSAM 10'x10' 3D Printing Two Parts Simultaneously


Thermwood LSAM Time-Lapse Video 3D Printing and Trimming Mold


Short Clip of Thermwood LSAM 3D Printing and Trimming Four Parts at Once