Duane Marrett

Recent Posts

A Thermwood Cut Center May Preserve Woodworking Culture for Cabinet Shops

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 24, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, Woodworking, Cut Ready, Cut Center, No Programming, Culture

Preserve Woodworking Culture With a Cut Center

With the introduction of the Thermwood Cut Center as an alternative to traditional CNC routers for making cabinets, it is interesting to examine the effect this can have on the culture of small custom cabinet shops. 

Before Automating

The Thermwood Cut Center can Preserve your existing culture and enhance your skills and experience.

Prior to automating, imagine that a successful cabinet shop has always depended on its woodworking knowledge, skills and experience (that is really what they sell). They are primarily focused on the characteristics of what they are making and the materials they are using.  The skills and experience they possess have often been acquired over many years and become their major competitive advantage. 

After Automating

Automating can be frustrating at first, but the Thermwood Cut Center can help eliminate that frustration.
Initially, when a shop automates by purchasing a CNC router, by necessity its culture and character change. Skills in working with various materials, dimensions and hand tools give way to new skills required for working with computers, software and files.

A shop can feel that they go from being at the top of the competitive ladder (because of their acquired skill set) to quickly being at the bottom of the ladder (because their new technical skills are initially not as good as competitors who have more experience with the software and technology).

This can make the transition somewhat intimidating and the decision to automate more difficult.  A Thermwood Cut Center can change this... 

Working with a Thermwood Cut Center

Easily make custom cabinets and much more with no programming on the Thermwood Cut Center!A Cut Center has the ability to make all the core products a cabinet shop needs with no computers, no software and no new technical skills.  You simply select what you want to make, right at the machine, and it makes it.

When working with a Cut Center you are focused on the product, its configuration, material and dimensions (not all that different than before). All the technical things needed to make it work are in the machine and pretty much invisible to the user.

It’s like the machine already knows how to make cabinets!

What You Can Make - All With No Programming

A Cut Center doesn't make everything, but it does make a lot:

  • Floating Bedroom Set From the Thermwood Cut CenterKitchen Cabinets in all the common configurations; frame and frameless, single or double sided material, toe kick or toeless, etc.
  • Closet Cabinets (possibly opening a whole new market for many shops).
  • Drawer Boxes with blind dado and dovetail construction, side mount or under mount.
  • MDF Doors (literally hundreds and hundreds of sophisticated designs that can all be made with the standard tools that come with the machine).
  • Cut Center Closet CollectionMoldings (hundreds of profiles that can be resized as needed). These can be straight or arched. Some are even carved.
  • Furniture Stylish office furniture, sophisticated contemporary entertainment wall systems, contemporary bedroom furniture and more.
  • Stair Stringers Make stair stringers and free-standing stairs.
  • Shelving Easily make shelving in most any size.

All this with no computers and no programming of any kind…just make it, right at the machine! 

Also Operate As a CNC Router

You can also operate the Cut Center system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software. 

It is simple to switch between operating as a CNC router and operating as a Cut Center to assure that all machine parameters are properly reset and that the standard Cut Center tooling is properly installed, checked and ready to run. 

Enhance Your Existing Skills and Experience

It is safe to say that a Cut Center can make the bulk of items that constitute the core business of most custom cabinet shops. For other items, there is still that woodworking skill, which still has value and helps you compete. 

Enhance Your Existing Skills and Experience with a Thermwood Cut Center

This means that a cabinet shop can continue its existing culture, preserving its hard won experience and woodworking skills while becoming price competitive by automating its core with little or no effort.

The Thermwood Cut Center is Different in a Good Way

A Cut Center can mean automating without becoming totally focused on technology and programming and software, and without abandoning the skill and experience that made you successful until now.   . 

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

See How A Thermwood Smart Router Can Save You Money

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Mar 15, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, smart-router, Support, save money on cnc router, Cut Ready, Cut Center, QCore, Service, virtual service

Thermwood Smart Routers Save You Money!Most people looking at a router for the first time do not realize that the vast majority of their cost will not be in running the router, but actually in EVERYTHING ELSE required to run the router (preparation, programming, hold down, operating procedures and error handling are the main cost areas).

Ordinary routers do not focus on these areas. They simply rely on the user to take care of them and usually it is not that easy.  Thermwood smart routers address these areas in a big way. They focus on the areas where you spend the most money because that’s where you can make the most money.

Just like a smart phone does more than simply make phone calls, a Thermwood smart router does much more than just route parts. The “more” in a smart router saves material and labor and makes it very easy to use. A smart router may cost a bit more, but is substantially more profitable, making it a much better overall investment. 


Thermwood Smart Router Advantages:

Smart Routers Save Material

  • Thermwood Smart Routers - Your Best InvestmentEasily use material left from the last job
  • Recover from broken tools without scrapping material
  • Smart nesting keeps smaller parts from moving and being scrapped
  • Nest around defects to use damaged or flawed material
  • Save the sheet if parts start moving
  • Warns you if spoilboard needs resurfacing
  • Fly cut spoilboard in the middle of a job
  • Machine back operations on the full sheet
  • Alerts you when running critical parts

Smart Routers Save Labor

  • Smart routers are easier to program
  • Recut parts without programming
  • Easily recover from problems without programming
  • Run at the machine without programming each job
  • During file selection, images help avoid errors
  • Machine operator can safely do other jobs
  • Avoid processing parts one at a time

Smart Routers are Easy to Use

  • Run from virtually any software or any program
  • The same file works on any smart router regardless of size or configuration
  • Smart routers easily process material whose thickness varies from sheet to sheet
  • Smart routers guide you step by step
  • Uses smart labels to make parts easy to sort
  • Assembly marks make parts easy to assemble
  • Smart tooling avoids tooling errors
  • Smart routers manage tooling for you
  • Smart routers machine a profile edge without a profile tool

Smart Routers are Easy to Maintain and Service

  • Automatically manages routine maintenance
  • Helps you recover from errors quickly and easily
  • Maintenance and operating manuals are right on the screen
  • Watch how-to videos for service
  • 3D CAD drawings identify every part quickly and easily
  • Smart routers can be serviced over the internet
  • Smart routers are updated online

Other Differences

  • Smart routers are not limited by memory
  • Smart routers can be monitored and managed with your smartphone or tablet
  • Smart routers use a large touch screen like other modern devices


Request More Information from Thermwood 

Thermwood Total Solution - Reliable Performance and Superior Support You Can Trust

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Routers, Support, QCore, Service, virtual service, Total Solution

What Do You Get With Thermwood?

Thermwood Customer Family - Total Support and SolutionsWhen you join the Thermwood Family, we don't just consider you a customer, but as a partner, friend and family member.  We believe in helping each other through a genuine relationship of mutual trust so that we are both successful.

What Do You Get With a Thermwood CNC?

When you purchase a CNC router from Thermwood, you get a dependable machine, a superior control, reliable performance and the best service and support in the business

Thermwood has been great quote

Our CNC Experts work with you during every step of the process to insure that you receive the optimum machine configuration for your specific application, and that you gain the knowledge and assistance you need to get into production as quickly as possible.  

You Are Never On Your Own

You are never on your own with a Thermwood machine.  Knowing that you have made the smart choice in partnering with a company that you can trust to stand behind you and do everything we can to make your business successful. 

Ken Susnjara Quote - Thermwood Family

Our Machines Just Work!

From Day One, Thermwood machines just work!  Day after day and year after year, our CNC machines will get the job done.  Made in the USA by hard-working Americans building custom machines just for you and not for stock.  And, because we build both the machines and controller, we support everything that comes from Thermwood...one company and one phone number to contact.

Thermwood 5 Axis Model 90 5'x12' CNC Router

Thermwood Model 90 5 Axis 5'x12' Dual Table CNC router


Customize Your Solution

Thermwood works with you on custom programming for your total solutionThermwood's Total Solution means that we can customize your machine operation to suit your specific needs.  Our experienced program techs can create new programs or modify your existing programs, work with you on fixturing and tooling, and much more.  

Our ultimate goal is to provide the best solution possible with the lowest learning curve for you. We'll stay by your side during each step of the way. We also provide phone, email and forum support, always free of charge.

Thermwood Customers IDL Worldwide with their new Model 45 CNC router

Thermwood Customers IDL Worldwide with their new Model 45 CNC router


Superior Support When You Need It

Our Total Solution also means that support doesn't stop with the sale.  We are by your side during your five-day training course at Thermwood's state-of-the-art factory as well as during installation at your facility.  And, if you ever need service or support, we have Virtual Service, free phone and email support, extensive parts inventory and the best support in the business!

Thermwood Training Class in Dale, IN

Thermwood Customers learning programming skills during our five-day training class


The Thermwood Total Solution:

Training and Production Support

  • In-Depth Machine Training at our state-of-the-art facilty
  • Production Start-Up Assistance at your facility with a dedicated CNC Expert
  • Help from our CNC Experts when you need it via phone/email/forum 

Customizing Your Solution

  • Customizable Machine Operation (modify/create new programs and/or machine hardware)

Better Machines

  • High-Performance, Highly-Reliable, American-Built Machines
  • Full Function, High Performance CNC Control (future-proofed with an upgrade path)

Superior Service and Support

  • Free Phone/Forum/Email Support
  • Virtual Service (instantly address virtually anything a service visit can - fast)
  • Free Ongoing Control Updates (not available from others - you're stuck with what you have)
  • Quick Support Visits Directly from the Factory When Needed (single source responsibility)
  • Extensive Spare Parts Inventory with Overnight Shipping

Original Woodworking and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Thermwood Customer Original Woodworking - Bluffdale, UT with their new Cut Center


The Bottom Line:

Thermwood Total Solutions - The Bottom Line

Thermwood Headquarters in Dale, IN
Our systems install fast, start up quick, are easier to use and maintain, produce more and last longer, and just plain work!

The Thermwood Total Solution means that we work with you before you buy, after you buy and into the future to make sure you get the best performance and financial benefit from your Thermwood machine.   

 


Request More Information from Thermwood

 

Latest Cut Center Update Adds New Improvements

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, software update, Announcements, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Updated Features, News, Cut Center Updates

Latest Update Summary

Thermwood Cut Center Update

We are constantly adding new features and abilities to the Award-Winning Cut Ready Cut Center.  Our latest update adds improvements for existing Furniture Items currently standard on the Cut Ready Cut Center.

Included in this update are suggestions/recommendations from current users, along with several design changes. These changes will result in better nesting and handling of material thickness changes made by the user.

Below are the collections/items that were improved in this latest update:

Floating Bedroom Collection

This is a collection of unique contemporary bedroom furniture that appears to float above the floor without visible legs or support. It presents a simple elegant style that compliments any contemporary setting.

Cut Ready Floating Bedroom Collection  

Office Collection

This is a collection of stylish, attractive adjustable sized office furniture for the home or small business.

Cut Ready Office Collection

Cut Ready Office Collection

Closet Collection

This is a collection of components designed for the modern elegant closet, but with applications in many different areas.

Cut Center Closet Collection

Drawer Boxes

We've also improved some aspects of Cut Ready's Dovetail Drawer Boxes.

Cut Ready Drawer Boxes

Entertainment Centers

This is a sophisticated collection of contemporary entertainment wall systems inspired by high-end, incredibly expensive Italian designs.

Cut Ready Entertainment Center

Suggestions Wanted

Do you have a great design idea? Want to see something added to Cut Ready? Let us know! We are always looking to improve the functionality and ease of Cut Ready, so we appreciate all user feedback.

About the Cut Center

Thermwood Cut Center Nesting Drawer Boxes
 

The Thermwood Cut Ready Cut Center is an exciting alternative to traditional CNC routers for making a wide variety of products including cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers and much more.  Just tell the machine what you what to make and it does it...it is that simple!  NO programming is required. 

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

 

CNC router or Cut Center...Which is Better for Me?

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Feb 08, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, Why Purchase a Thermwood, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Purchase, Affordable

CNC router or Cut Center...Which is Better for Me?

Can I Afford a Thermwood Cut Center?

Nested based manufacturing and CNC routers are well known to most cabinetmakers. Thermwood Cut Centers, less so, but there is a big difference between the two, even though they produce essentially the same products. This difference means that cabinetmakers wanting to automate must make a decision. Which direction is better for them? 

The major difference between a CNC router and a Thermwood Cut Center is in who addresses the details of each cabinet design and how involved the user must be in the underlying technology.

CNC router - the Basics

A CNC router system consists of three fundamental elements:

  • A PC computer able to run sophisticated software
  • A cabinet design software package that can produce the required CNC programs
  • A machine to execute the CNC programs.

With a traditional CNC router system, the user designs the cabinets and addresses all of the design details. They must also become intimately involved with the underlying technology. They are responsible for selecting, installing, learning and running the software.

They must also understand the intricacies of the machine control and operation so that their programs run properly. They must adjust and maintain machine parameters, select and set up tooling and deal with vacuum hold down and the spoilboard.

Thermwood Cut Center - What you need to know

The Thermwood Cut Center is Different in a Good Way

A Thermwood Cut Center consists of a single element - the machine. It already knows how to make cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers and much more just about any way you want.  

It doesn’t require you to learn complex programming to operate, and is so user-friendly that it walks you through every step of the process.  You simply tell the machine what you want to make via an easy to use touch screen interface, and it does it.  No programming is required

Other Thermwood Cut Center Features

  • Thermwood Cut Center Product SelectionWith a Thermwood Cut Center, details of the cabinet design have already been addressed by experienced and seasoned programmers, working with professional cabinetmakers and have been built into the machine. You need have no more involvement with the underlying technology of a Thermwood Cut Center than you do with the underlying technology of your car.
  • The system has been automated and refined to handle areas such as tooling and tool life, vacuum hold down and spoilboard maintenance, error handling and routing maintenance without the user becoming directly involved. The machine guides you, step by step, can show a quick instructional video of every step and can connect with a real live person on the screen should you ever need help.
  • Also, you can operate the Cut Center system as a CNC router in the traditional manner, running programs generated with virtually any CNC software. Thermwood has created a simple way to switch between operating as a CNC router and operating as a Cut Center to assure that all machine parameters are properly reset and that the standard Cut Center tooling is properly installed, checked and ready to run. 

The Main Differences

  • A CNC router is completely flexible, totally controlled by the user who must become directly involved with both the software and hardware.
  • A Thermwood Cut Center makes cabinets, etc that you select and define, and can be run by just about anyone.  Two different approaches, so which is best for you?

The Three Types of Cabinetmakers

Those who like and embrace computers, software and technology.   
They will only be happy if they have the total flexibility, capability and control of a CNC router and a powerful design software. Using the car analogy, this would be someone that builds custom or race cars. They also likely have the technical skill and experience needed to take full advantage of the possibilities of the underlying technology with little technical risk.

Those who really dislike technology.  
They just don’t like it, and really can’t or won’t work with computers, parameters or software. They just want to make cabinets, etc. They are strictly woodworkers. Clearly the Thermwood Cut Center works better for them. It allows them to enjoy the financial benefits of automating without totally disrupting what they are used to. It could very well help them stay in business in an ever more competitive market.

Everybody else.
These shops are in business to make money by making cabinets. They neither love nor hate technology. It is simply something you learn in order to automate and make more money. The decision here is not as easy.

The Fine Details of Each Approach

If you compare the initial investment cost of the two approaches, they are about the same even though the Cut Center looks more expensive at first. In the end, you will spend about the same amount of money for either, although you will spend it in different places.

Get into production quickly with the Thermwood Cut Center

A Cut Center is tooled and ready to make cabinets on day one. For a fair comparison, with a CNC router investment, you must add the cost of a vacuum system, a design computer, design software, technical training for the software, technical training for the machine, programming time to create the cabinet programs and tooling. When you consider everything, your money investment will likely not be much different between the two systems, although you will likely have invested more time in getting the CNC router into production. 

With a Thermwood Cut Center - there is No Programming!There is also a cost difference in operating the two systems that can tip the scales one way or another. A CNC router needs a CNC program for every job. This means it needs a programmer to create those programs. A CNC programmer will cost more each month than the total lease cost of a Cut Center. Also, after five years, the lease cost of a Cut Center becomes zero. Most likely the cost of a programmer will go up over the same period. 

There is also the matter of technical risk. With a Cut Center technical risk is low. Everything has been developed, tested, refined and it is ready to make your products.

With a CNC router, everything needed to make it work from creating the CNC programs to selecting tooling is your responsibility. Clearly there is more technical risk with a CNC router.

Another Factor

The Thermwood Cut Center comes standard with a huge library of products to make.
The Cut Center is set up to make a lot more than just basic kitchen cabinets. There are closet, bath and utility cabinets as well as furniture such as shelves and shelf walls, entertainment centers and entertainment walls. There are also drawers, slab and MDF doors and drawer fronts and custom sized moldings, both straight and arch. The selection is quite large and making any of these is quite easy.

If you don’t need these things, this may not be important, but with a Cut Center you can make a wide variety things with little effort. They are already in there. These things can also be made with a CNC router but only with significant additional investment in time and effort. Thermwood has invested thousands of hours in developing and testing these items. To duplicate them will require thousands of hours on your part.

From an operating standpoint, you do not need a computer, software or a software programmer for a Cut Center. Also, the machine operator does not need the same level of technical skill and training that is required to operate a CNC router.

The Bottom Line 

In the end, the decision is likely a philosophical and emotional decision since both systems offer the huge benefits of automating cabinet production.  It is the learning curve that separates them.

The Thermwood Cut Center might be the machine for you if you don't have extensive programming experience or have experience and want both the flexibility of a CNC router and the ease of use of a Cut Center.  

A CNC router might be for you if you have extensive programming experience and want the total flexibility, capability and control of a CNC router and a powerful design software. 


What our Cut Center Customers Think...

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Original Woodworking with their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the Donovan Mumma of Byrne Custom Woodworking and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Arkansas Wood Doors and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Jody Wilmes and the guys at Bednark Studio and their new Thermwood Cut Center

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

 

Latest Cut Center Update Adds Cut Ready Publisher and Other Features

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Feb 01, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, software update, Announcements, Cut Ready, Cut Center, Updated Features, News, Cut Center Updates

Latest Update Summary

UPDATE_PIC.jpgWe are constantly adding new features and abilities to the Award-Winning Cut Ready Cut Center.  Our latest update adds a powerful tool to the Cut Center - the integration of the Cut Ready Publisher.

What is the Cut Ready Publisher?

The Cut Ready Publisher gives eCabinet Systems users a seamless way to integrate their own designs into Cut Ready! 

  • Simply open the Publisher from within eCabinets, Drag and drop the designs you want to transfer to the Cut Center, and press the Publish button.
  • Your designs will appear in the Cut Center under "My Content".  You will now be able to resize and cut your design just like any other Cut Ready Item.

Please visit the eCabinet Systems website to download the Publisher and eCabinet Systems update.

Watch the video below to see how easy the Cut Ready Publisher process is:

Other Updated Features:

  • Standard Frameless Base Cabinets can now be resized in height, while maintaining proper Drawer Front Heights
  • Standard Frameless Tall Cabinets can now be resized in height, while maintaining proper Drawer Front Heights
  • Removed Merge Material Pages for simplicity
  • Limited, eventual removal of Tool Verify Screen when returning from CNC Access
  •  Integrated a new Stair Stringer Interface

New Stair Stinger Interface:

New Cut Center Stair Stringer Interface

About the Cut Center

Thermwood Cut Center Nesting Drawer Boxes

The Thermwood Cut Ready Cut Center is an exciting alternative to traditional CNC routers for making a wide variety of products including cabinets, closets, furniture, doors, drawers and much more.  Just tell the machine what you what to make and it does it...it is that simple!  NO programming is required. 

Click for More Info on the Thermwood Cut Center

Thermwood Partners with RUAG to Develop Advanced Satellite Production System

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jan 25, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Partnership, RUAG, Satellite

Thermwood Corporation

Thermwood Corporation of Dale, Indiana has entered into an agreement with RUAG Space to supply advanced equipment that applies RUAG’s revolutionary new insert placement technology. RUAG Space, headquartered in Switzerland, is the leading supplier of products for the space industry in Europe, while also building a strong US presence. 

Following the JEC innovation Award in Houston in 2015, RUAG Space has been able to land its first substantial order based on its insert placement technology. This contract anticipates the delivery of structures for 900 mega constellation satellites by the end of 2020.   This represents the largest mass production of satellite structures in history. 

In November, 2016 RUAG officially opened a new manufacturing facility near Cape Canaveral in Titusville (FL). RUAG Space plans to start manufacturing the satellite structures in early 2017. Comparable to an automotive chassis, this structure serves as the backbone for all other modules on the satellite. 

Ruag Manufacturing Facility in Titusville, FL

This new facility will utilize Thermwood’s new machining and insertion system in a 24/7 manufacturing environment. Apart from the purchase agreement for the next generation of automated machining, potting and insert machines, RUAG also signed an exclusive agreement for North America with Thermwood to provide to third parties this new platform for automated insert placement. The inserts and process licenses will be available from RUAG Space. 

Thermwood systems are used in the aerospace industry worldwide to process a large variety of applications for aircraft, spacecraft and the military. Thermwood also offers large scale additive manufacturing systems to these same industries.

Thermwood APM Insertion System for RUAG

About Thermwood Corporation:

Thermwood Corporation, located in Southern Indiana and established in 1969, offers both three & five axis CNC machining centers ideally suited for the production, fabrication & trimming of wood, plastics, non-ferrous metals, composites and other advanced materials.  Thermwood also offers a Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) system for 3D printing reinforced thermoplastic composite materials for producing industrial tooling, molds, patterns, masters, plugs and fixtures for various industries.  Thermwood is deeply involved in CNC and Additive Manufacturing technologies and development, incorporating a high level of smart control technology in its products. 

About RUAG Space:

RUAG Space is Europe’s leading supplier of space products to the industry. With 1,200 people employed at 10 locations in Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Finland and the USA the RUAG Space Division achieved some total sales of 310 million Swiss Francs in 2015. RUAG develops and markets internationally sought-after technology applications in the fields of aerospace and defense for use on land, in the air and in space. 55% of RUAG’s products and services are destined for the civil market and 45% for the military market. The Group is headquartered in Berne, Switzerland. It has production sites in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Australia and the USA.  


Request More Information from Thermwood

Watch a Thermwood Model 43 CNC machining Brazilian IPE with ease!

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jan 18, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Model 43, Video, IPE

What is IPE?

IPE (pronounced ee-pay), also called Brazillian Walnut, originates in some parts of Central and South America. It is as hard as nails (up to three times harder than cedar), and is so dense that it often needs to be pre-drilled in order to connect pieces to each other. It has a similar fire rating as steel and concrete, and is one of the densest hardwoods (it won't float in water). It is naturally much more fire resistant than softer woods and resists scratches, mold and insects.

IPE is tough stuff, but the 3 Axis Thermwood Model 43 has no problem with it.

Watch Thermwood Model 43 5'x 10' CNC router machining Brazilian IPE with ease!


About the Thermwood Model 43

Thermwood Multipurpose Model 43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Thermwood 
Multi-Purpose 43 is a highly flexible, entry-level three axis CNC router made from fully stress-relieved structured steel for nested-based custom cabinets, custom furniture, nonferrous metals, aluminum, acryllic, plastic sheets, etc. 

Request More Information from Thermwood

 

Thermwood Signs Agreement with Navy's Fleet Readiness Center East

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jan 06, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, 3D printing, LSAM, 3D Print, Thermwood LSAM, Navy, Agreement

Thermwood Corporation

Thermwood Corporation of Dale, Indiana has signed a formal Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Fleet Readiness Center East located at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and part of the Naval Air Systems Command, to conduct a two-year, joint technology development effort centered on Thermwood’s emerging Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) technology.

Thermwood’s LSAM machines are large-sized industrial additive manufacturing or three-dimensional printing machines that are available in sizes up to 100 feet long. These systems use a “near-net-shape” approach for making parts in which parts are first 3D printed at high speed to a size slightly larger than needed and then trimmed to final net size and shape. Thermwood’s LSAM machine consolidates printing and machining on the same machine using dual gantries. Dual controls allow print and trim operations to be performed simultaneously, each on different ends of the table.

“We are excited to work with the FRC East and are confident that, working together, we can achieve significant advances and results,” said Thermwood Founder, CEO and Chairman Ken Susnjara. “I am confident that this program will benefit us both while further advancing the state of the art.”

Thermwood has been in a continuous research and development program developing additive manufacturing equipment and technology, and in September announced a line of large scale additive manufacturing systems called LSAM. The dual-gantry, high-wall machines are available in sizes from 10-foot-by-10-foot to 10-foot to more than 100-foot with print capability from 150 to 500 pounds per hour.

3D Print and Trim on the Same LSAM Machine 

 About Thermwood Corporation:

Thermwood Corporation, located in Southern Indiana and established in 1969, offers both three & five axis CNC machining centers ideally suited for the production, fabrication & trimming of wood, plastics, non-ferrous metals, composites and other advanced materials.  Thermwood also offers a Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) system for 3D printing reinforced thermoplastic composite materials for producing industrial tooling, molds, patterns, masters, plugs and fixtures for various industries.  Thermwood is deeply involved in CNC and Additive Manufacturing technologies and development, incorporating a high level of smart control technology in its products. 

About Fleet Readiness Center East:

For more than 60 years, the Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East aboard MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., has played an important part in national defense.  Our workforce has earned a reputation of excellence in providing world-class maintenance, engineering and logistics support for Navy and Marine Corps aviation, as well as other armed services, federal agencies and foreign governments. Our skilled workforce uses state-of-the-art technology to ensure that FRC East is without equal in providing quality, cost-effective support. 

Fleet Readiness Center East

Thermwood LSAM Produces Solid, Void-free Parts 

About the Thermwood LSAM

About the Thermwood LSAM 

Click for More Info on the Thermwood LSAM

Thermwood Adds Thermographic Imaging to its Additive Manufacturing Machines

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Nov 29, 2016

Tags: Thermwood, Video, Monitoring, 3D printing, LSAM, 3D Print, Thermographic, Thermwood LSAM, Camera

Thermwood has added thermographic imaging as a standard feature to our large scale additive manufacturing machines (which we call LSAM "L-Sam"). This addition makes it easier to adjust and control the printing process, resulting in the best possible printed structures.  

Know and Control the Temperature

In order to print high quality, void free large scale 3D printed structures, the previous layer must be cool enough to support the new layer without distortioin, but must also be warm enough to fuse completely with the new layer as it is applied. To accomplish this, we must first know and be able to control the temperature of the surface throughout the printing process. There is a narrow range of temperatures for each material where 3D printing is optimal. The goal is to continuously operate within that range.

Real-time Full Color Thermal Image of the Part
 Thermwood LSAM Real-time Full Color Thermal Image of the Part

Thermwood’s new thermographic imaging system shows the operator a full color thermal image of the part as it is being printed. In this image, different colors depict different surface temperatures of the part. With our system, a green color, is assigned to the ideal range of temperatures for the material being printed. The thermal image is displayed on the control screen in a movable, resizable window. The goal is to continuously print on green. 

Easily Adjust Print Speed and Temperature

Easily Adjust Print Speed and Temperature

Once print temperatures are known and the ideal print temperature can be identified, Thermwood’s print head control makes it easy to adjust printing parameters to achieve the ideal print surface temperature. If the part becomes too hot, fan cooling can be increased or print speed can be reduced to allow more cooling time between layers. If the part temperature becomes too cool, print speed can be increased or cooling can be reduced. 

LSAM High-Output Print Heads Are Important

Thermwood’s high output print heads are also important to quality printing of large parts. In the past, trying to print large parts with low output print heads presented a different thermal problem. Slow print speeds prevented the print head from returning to a point before it becomes too cool to achieve a proper layer to layer bond. With Thermwood’s high output print heads (our largest prints up to 500 lbs/hr) this is no longer a problem. Really good quality large thermoplastic composite parts can be made. Our new thermographic imaging system provides temperature guidance and helps the operator to consistently achieve the desired results. 

Three Different Thermographic Camera Mounting Locations

Three Different Thermographic Camera Mounting LocationsThe thermographic camera can be mounted in three different locations. The first is a fixed position on a stand, inside the machine, looking at the part. The second mounting position is on the print gantry. This works well for parts that are too large to view as a single image. The camera can also be mounted to the print head itself, for special applications. Image output from the camera is integrated with Thermwood’s print gantry CNC control and the full color temperature image is displayed on a resizable window right on the control display itself. A touch screen allows the operator to touch any point on the image and read the exact temperature of that point. 

LSAM Produces Solid, Void-free Parts

Thermwood LSAM Produces Solid, Void-free Parts

Using this technology, Thermwood has been able to produce large tools that are solid and void free enough to maintain vacuum without sealing or surface coating. This simplifies production of the tool, allowing accurate machining of the surface without having to deal with distortions that might be caused by variations in the thickness of a coating. 

Print and Trim on the Same Machine

3D Print and Trim on the Same LSAM Machine

Thermwood offers a line of dual gantry additive manufacturing machines which both print and trim parts on the same machine. These machines can be up to 100 feet long with print head output rates from 150 to 500 pounds per hour.  


About the Thermwood LSAM

About the Thermwood LSAM

The Thermwood LSAM is used to produce large to very large sized components from reinforced thermoplastic composite materials.

Although suitable for producing a wide variety of components, Thermwood is focusing on producing industrial tooling, masters, patterns, molds and production fixtures for a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, foundry and boating.  

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