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26th November 2018, Dale, IN

Large-scale parts with Thermwood’s LSAM

Thermwood Corporation of Dale, Indiana has employed its large scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) technology to produce a large, single-piece tool made of 20% carbon fibre-reinforced ABS for Boeing’s 777X programme, in addition to a submarine nose for the US Navy.

Thermwood employed LSAM with its newly-developed vertical layer print (VLP) 3D printing technology to fabricate the tool for Boeing in one piece, eliminating the additional cost and time required for the assembly of multiple 3D printed tooling components. In the joint demonstration programme, Thermwood printed and trimmed the 12-foot-long R&D tool at its southern Indiana demonstration lab and delivered it to Boeing in August 2018.

Boeing part. © Thermwood Corporation

Thermwood has also entered into a collaborative programme with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division to explore the use of additive manufacturing technology in developing marine models for ship and ship systems testing.

Carderock Division is the US Navy’s state-of-the-art research, engineering, modelling and test centre for ships and ship systems and the largest, most comprehensive establishment of its kind in the world.

Thermwood entered into a programme to explore the use of additive manufacturing technology in developing marine models for ship and ship systems testing. © Thermwood Corporation

The prototype submarine nose printed for Carderock was also made of 20% carbon fibre filled ABS in 11 hours and 45 minutes using the LSAM additive manufacturing system. Both printing and trimming were completed on the same machine.

Because of layer cooling requirements, the print rate for this part was less than half of the maximum rate the machine is capable of. It is expected that, moving forward, this programme will include the printing of additional components using both horizontal and vertical layer printing.

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