New Moving Table LSAM
At its 50th Anniversary Gala Open House, Thermwood
introduced and demonstrated an all new LSAM additive
manufacturing machine model, offering even more choices
for large scale additive manufacturing applications. Called
LSAM MT, the new machine offers an all new configuration
and significant advantages in certain applications.
Unlike standard LSAM systems, which feature dual
gantries operating over a large fixed table, the MT features
a single fixed gantry mounted over a moving table.
Available with either a 10’ x 5’ or a 10’ x 10’ table, this
configuration offers several significant advantages, not the
least of which is a dramatically lower price.
Near net shape printed tools dramatically reduce
machining time for many companies currently machining
tools from solid blocks of material. This frees up significant
machining capacity which is already purchased and
installed. For these companies, it makes no sense to purchase
additional machining capacity with their additive
system, since the change to additive frees up more than
enough existing capacity to handle everything they can
print. With this in mind, Thermwood decided to offer both
“Print and Trim” and a “Print Only” versions of the MT.
Selecting the best size and configuration for an LSAM
depends on two major factors plus some additional considerations.
These are the material being printed and the
size of the parts needed. Of these two, the material being
printed is the most significant.
Additive manufactured parts are printed in layers. The
speed at which a layer can be printed depends primarily
on how long it takes for the polymer being printed to cool
enough to support the next layer. This layer cooling time
depends on the polymer and is not affected by the size of
the part. Each layer of a particular polymer takes the
same amount of time, regardless of how big it is.
LSAM print heads can print faster, sometimes significantly
faster than needed for most parts. Often it can
print two, three or more parts in the cooling time
required for each layer. The large machine is only printing
a single part, one layer at a time, making it two or three
time slower. To print the part in one piece, the large
machine must operate continuously, around the clock,
sometimes for days.
With the MT, several different segments of the same
part can often be printed in a single shift. Depending on
the item being printed, it is possible to print as much in a
single shift as the large machine, printing a single part,
can do in 24 hours. For large parts made from bondable
materials, often the smaller, less expensive machine is a
Materials intended for high temperature applications,
PSU, PESU, PEI, Ultem®, etc. generally are resistant
enough to solvents that they can’t be effectively bonded.
Even if they could, few if any, adhesives exist that can withstand
the operating temperature or the thermal cycling
these materials experience. For these applications, the
machine needs to be large enough to print the part in one
piece, even though it could be slower. The larger machines
also offer the ability to print and trim at the same time,
which may be beneficial in some circumstances.
For more information, contact Duane Marrett,
Thermwood Corporation, 904 Buffaloville Rd., Dale, IN
47523, 800-533-6901, E-mail: email@example.com, Web: www.thermwood.com.