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2nd October 2019, Huntington Beach, CA

Airtech invests in new LSAM 3D printing machine

The LSAM relies on thermoplastic extrusion. © Thermwood

The LSAM relies on thermoplastic extrusion. © Thermwood

Airtech Advanced Materials Group, a leading manufacturer of vacuum bagging and composite tooling materials, has invested in new technology in the form of a Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) 3D printing machine with integrated machining capability.

The LSAM relies on thermoplastic extrusion, a core competency of Airtech with nearly 50 years of experience to build on. The LSAM can take tooling from conception to the shop floor significantly faster than conventional methods, according to the manufacturer.

Additive manufacturing uses almost the exact amount of material required, resulting in less touch labour and shorter lead times. Airtech believes that additive manufacturing is a game changer that will change the tooling manufacturing world, especially in the aerospace industry. Large-scale tooling in the form of trim fixtures, holding fixtures, and layup moulds can be designed, tooled, and built faster without compromising on quality.

Airtech has invested in a 60,000 ft2 (5,574 m2) expansion at its Custom Engineered Products division in Springfield, TN. “Airtech has been an extrusion company for over 45 years and is ready to take the next step into extrusion involving additive manufacturing, 3D printing,” said Jeff Dahlgren, President/CEO of Airtech Advanced Materials Group.

“This type of extrusion is similar to what we are doing now with films but will be used to create new tooling with internal heating (OOA) on a large scale, up to 40ft long. We are developing new technologies to help our partners reduce cost and increase productivity.”

Airtech says it is dedicated to driving innovation in aerospace, including several trademarked products and patent pending processes for additive manufacturing. “We are excited to be able to offer numerous new additive manufacturing services and solutions to our customers to further solidify our stance as a leading technical partner in composites,” commented Gregory Haye, Director of Additive Manufacturing, Airtech Advanced Materials Group.

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