Vertical Layer Print Additive Technology
has successfully demonstrated
a fundamentally new
approach to large scale 3D
printing using its patented
Vertical Layer Print (VLP)
technology. Vertical layer
printing prints on a vertical
rather than horizontal plane,
allowing parts to be printed
which are much taller than
would be practical using traditional
print. Parts over 20 feet tall
have already been printed on
Thermwood’s larger LSAM
Thermwood’s LSAM large scale additive systems typically
feature high walls, a fixed table and moving
gantries. On these machines, when parts need to be vertically
printed, they are printed on a vertical moving table
and supported by stainless
steel belts which slide on the
main table. Last year
Thermwood introduced a
lower cost LSAM system, the
“MT”, which has a fixed
gantry and a moving table.
Vertical printing on this system
requires a fundamentally
With this new approach,
parts are printed on a support
structure which is fixed
to the back and rides on the
moving table. A second 5’ x
10’ print table is mounted
vertically to the back of the
main table. As the part grows, the moving table pulls the
part onto the support structure. Using this approach, the
LSAM –MT can then print parts up to 5’ (Z Axis) x 10’ (X
Axis) x 10’ (Y Axis).
To validate this approach, Thermwood has recently
printed parts from both low and high temperature thermoplastic
material. The first part printed was from carbon
fiber reinforced ABS. This type of material is ideal
for parts that operate at or just above room temperature
such as industrial tooling, fixtures, foundry patterns and
a variety of structural components.
A second high temperature part was then successfully
printed using Techmer blended 25% carbon fiber reinforced
PSU/PESU. The high temperature PSU/PESU part
printed weighed 1,190 pounds, about the limit for a moving
table system. The print time to complete the part was
16 hours and 40 minutes.
Parts made from PSU, PESU, PEI or other materials
that are processed at high temperatures are typically
used for molds and tooling that operate at elevated temperatures,
often in an autoclave using pressure and vacuum.
Thermwood’s ability to print large parts that
sustain vacuum to aerospace standards without a secondary
coating make this even more valuable.
Both the MT and Thermwood’s larger LSAM systems
can both print and trim on the same machine. Parts are
first printed at high speed and then, when cooled, machined
to the final size and shape.
The larger scale LSAM machines can theoretically vertically
print parts that weighed up to 50,000 pounds,
which means there is no practical weight limitation and
VLP equipped machines up to forty feet long have been
built and delivered.
For more information, contact Duane Marrett,
Thermwood Corporation, 904 Buffaloville Rd., Dale, IN
47523, 800-533-6901, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.thermwood.com.