LSAM (pronounced L-sam) represents an all new technology for large scale 3D printing of thermoplastic polymers. While other large scale additive efforts attempt to scale up small, filament-fed desktop printer techniques, LSAM is, at its core, designed for additive manufacturing of large structures using a fundamentally different approach
LSAM is different. The print process is different. The machine is different. The print head is different. The control is different. The software is different and the resulting parts are different.
LSAM is intended for 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.
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. Print head output determines how large a part you can print. Polymer cooling determines how fast you can print each layer.
Parts are printed on a patented “Bead Board”, virtually eliminating cooling stresses and part warping. A patented compression wheel totally fuses layers together while generating highly precise print bead dimensions, measured in thousandths of an inch.
3D Printing in process at Local Motors by LMI Knoxville, TN Microfactory
Trimming in process at Local Motors by LMI Knoxville, TN Microfactory
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.
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.
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.
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, 20188) - 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 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