Thermwood 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Jun 08, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Scholarship, 2017

Thermwood is proud to announce Lyssa Smiddy and Gabriel Fehribach as our scholarship recipients for the Class of 2017.  This year, Thermwood has increased the annual scholarship to $2,000.  Since the introduction of these renewable scholarships, Thermwood has awarded over $200,000 to students wishing to further their education. 

Lyssa Smiddy Bio

Gabriel Fehribach Bio

Thermwood would like to congratulate all seniors of the Class of 2017 and wish them the very best in their future studies and endeavors! 

Thermwood's Patented Assembly Marks and Color Coded Labels Simplify Putting Cabinets Together

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Jun 06, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, CNC Router, Cabinet, Assembly Marks, Save Money, Patented, Color Coded Labels

Current Problems When Assembling Cabinets in the Field

Creating the components of your cabinets is one aspect of the job, but you also need to be able to assemble them quickly and correctly.

Many cabinet shops manufacture cabinets at one location and then assemble and install at another (the customer's home, etc).  When you flat-pack an entire kitchen's worth of cabinets so that it stacks neatly, it can quickly become confusing and frustrating to then put everything together correctly in the field.  

First, Sorting the Parts For Each Cabinet

Sorting parts for each cabinet can be difficult without Thermwood's Assembly Marks

A typical nested based job consists of hundreds of parts representing perhaps dozens of cabinets, all intertwined into a series of nests.  Your first task is to separate the parts into individual cabinets.

This is normally done by placing labels on each part. Each label has a text statement with the cabinet name. Simply read the name and sort the cabinets by those names - sounds easy, right?

Not So Easy

While this sounds simple, it actually takes quite some time. You must read each label on the stacks of parts you are sorting to find the matching names for each cabinet (this can be a problem if your worker(s) don't read or speak English). This reading also takes time and parts sometimes have similar names so mistakes can be pretty easy to make.

The Solution

Time is money, and Thermwood has the solution to save you both in the form of our Patented Assembly Marks and Color Coded Labels.

Color Coded Labels Speed Up Sorting Time

A nest of parts with Thermwood's color coded labels.

Thermwood’s approach prints a color bar on each label with a different color for each cabinet. (put the red parts with the red parts and the green parts with the green parts, etc.). This simple idea allows you to sort cabinets two to three times faster. This offers a significant productivity improvement. 

Bar Codes for Remaking Scrapped Parts

Each label also has a unique bar code that can be scanned to remake any damaged part(s) easily and quickly.

Thermwood's color coded labels.

Assembly Marks Speed Up Assembly Time 

Thermwood's Patented Assembly Marks are a significant productivity improvement when it comes to actually putting the cabinets together. Simple cabinets are not all that difficult to assemble, but as cabinet designs become more complex, with fixed partitions, shelves or other features, determining exactly how to assemble the parts can become difficult.

Generally you must create and print assembly drawings, and sometimes even with these drawings, the process of sorting out the structure can take significant time.

How Assembly Marks Work

Cabinet parts with assembly marks are easy to put together.

Thermwood’s approach machines unique assembly marks into each joint to define which parts mate together. These marks are hidden once the parts are assembled.

Assembly marks are totally hidden when the cabinet is put together.

Non-Skilled Workers Can Easily Assemble Cabinets

Assembly drawings aren’t needed and in fact, totally non-skilled workers can easily and quickly assemble even the most complex cabinets.

One shop owner asked his cleanup man to assemble a cabinet as a test. This totally unskilled “cabinetmaker” assembled the cabinet quickly and accurately with no drawings or instructions. For most jobs this represents a significant productivity improvement that could rival the machining process itself. 

The Bottom Line

Thermwood's approach can save you significant time and money through the use of Assembly Marks and Color Coded Labels to improve your accurancy and productivity when sorting and assembling your cabinets out in the field. 

Request More Information from Thermwood

Thermwood Adds Important New Features to its LSAM Print3D Additive Manufacturing Software

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, May 30, 2017

Tags: Announcements, 3D printing, Additive, Updated Features, LSAM, 3D Print, Thermwood LSAM, Additive Manufacturing

Thermwood has added significant new capabilities to its LSAM Print3D additive manufacturing software. Thermwood’s software is a true CAD based slicing software which operates within Mastercam to generate additive printing programs for Thermwood’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM, pronounced L-Sam) machines.

Unlike most other slicing software which generates net shape programs for small thin print beads and only works with .STL files, LSAM Print 3D works with true CAD file formats commonly used in industry, including solids, surfaces and meshes. It is designed at its core for industrial “near-net-shape” additive manufacturing applications with features tailored to large parts printed at high rates using large print beads. 

LSAM Print3D Software

Near Net Shape Additive Manufacturing

“Near net shape” additive manufacturing is a two-step process where the part is first printed at high speed to a size slightly larger than needed and then trimmed to the final size. Net shape software can be made to work for small “near net shape” parts provided small print beads are used, but net shape software doesn’t work for large structures printed at high speed using large print beads. LSAM Print 3D is specifically designed for large scale “near net shape” industrial applications. 

Concurrent Printing Feature

A new concurrent printing feature has been added with which multiple parts can be printed concurrently, dramatically improving throughput as well as offering some interesting new possibilities. 

How It Works

The system operates by printing the first layer of each part, then the next layer of each part and so on. While this appears rather simple at first, it is not quite as straightforward as it first appears. If all the parts are made essentially the same way, it is, in fact, simple. But in many cases, different parts may be printed differently, using different printing parameters and/or layer definitions. One part may be totally solid, the next completely open. One part may have thin walls the next thick walls. The software allows each part to be independently designed without regard to the others and can still print them concurrently. 

LSAM Print3D Slicing Controls

The major production improvement that results from this new ability is due in large part to Thermwood’s high output print head and large table sizes. Versions of Thermwood’s print head have been tested at output rates of over 500 Lbs/hr. To understand how this works, you must understand the unique nature of Thermwood’s print system. Unlike traditional FDM printing techniques which print slowly onto a heated table in a heated environment, Thermwood’s LSAM machines print at such a high speed that the process must be continuously cooled rather than heated. All the heat in Thermwood’s system comes from the print head. 

Using Thermwood’s print system, the current layer must be cool and stable enough that the new layer doesn’t distort it, but must also be warm enough that it fuses completely with the new layer. With carbon fiber filled ABS for example, even with fan cooling, it requires at least a minute and a half wait time between layers. Higher temperature materials can generally be printed at somewhat faster rates but, Thermwood’s high speed print head prints most part layers, even large parts, in much less time than that.

Instead of pausing or running really slowly to accommodate the minimum wait time between layers, multiple parts can be printed in the same amount of time, provided there is enough available table space. Thus, the faster the print head and the more available table space, the more parts you can print concurrently. With this new feature, the ability of the software to concurrently print dissimilar parts is not a limiting factor. 

Print Parts Side by Side or on Top of Each Other

Many times, really large parts or molds are made in sections that are then combined into the final structure. Multiple sections of these type of parts can now be printed at the same time, reducing print time for large structures by as much as 80%, while still adhering to the minimum time between layers dictated by the thermoplastic material. In addition to dramatically reducing average print time, there are other important aspects to this new capability that aren’t obvious at first. 

With LSAM Print3D, Print Parts Side by Side or on Top of Each Other

As an example, when you need a more complex part, you can design it as two or more separate parts and then print them next to each other or even on top of each other so that they fuse together during the print process, resulting in a single complex structure that would be difficult to program and make any other way. Internal supports are no longer restricted to just standard infill patterns. As interesting as this is, it gets even more involved. 

Differences Between LSAM Print 3D and Other Slicing Software

Current FDM slicing software focuses primarily on the outside shape of a part. Infills may be used on the part interior, but there are real limitations to the use of standard infill patterns.

Thermwood’s new software capability can begin printing a part at any layer above the table top. There is an interesting reason why you would want to do this.

Break Up Complex Parts Into Multiple Individual Parts

LSAM Print3D software supports an all new way to design and print parts with highly complex interior features. It does this by using a fundamentally different approach to part design and printing:

  • This new approach begins by breaking up complex parts into multiple individual parts and then printing the parts concurrently inside or even on top of one another.
  • To accomplish, this some layers may not begin printing at layer one, but may instead begin printing somewhat above the bottom layer (for example - to print a large part with a solid bottom and interior features, you would begin by printing the solid base and then add the interior features, which would be separate parts).
  • To do this, you need to begin printing at the level of the already printed base which is in fact, a distance above the table top.

This opens a whole new world of part design to additive manufacturing and dramatically broadens the capability of the underlying technology.  

With LSAM Print3D, you can break up comples parts into multiple individual parts

 

 

With LSAM Print3D, you can break up comples parts into multiple individual parts
With LSAM Print3D, you can break up comples parts into multiple individual parts
With LSAM Print3D, you can break up comples parts into multiple individual parts

Other Interesting Features

Design interior walls as part of a CAD part design, and have LSAM Print3D automatically recognize these as single bead interior support walls

Another interesting new feature is the ability to design interior walls as part of a CAD part design and have the software recognize these as single bead interior support walls and automatically develop a program to print them as designed. The software has also been taught specific operational characteristics of the of the LSAM machine which it automatically takes into account when generating a slicing program.

Automatically Generates a CNC Program Ready to Run on LSAM

Output of the LSAM Print 3D software is a CNC program ready to run on the LSAM print gantry. No additional CAM or post processing software is required. 

Automatically generates a CNC program ready to run on LSAM

Ongoing LSAM Development

Thermwood maintains an ongoing additive manufacturing software development effort and expects new features to be developed and released on a regular basis.

“We are at the very beginning of this new technology” says Thermwood’s Chairman and CEO, Ken Susnjara. “There is still a lot of unexplored territory and challenges to address”. 

Click for More Info on the Thermwood LSAM

2017 Thermwood Dealer Conference and Awards Dinner

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, May 26, 2017

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Dealer Conference, CNC Automation, Tech Con, AAI, 2017, CNC Solutions, Thermwood India

Thermwood Personnel and Dealers during the 2017 Dealer Conference

We recently held our 2017 Dealer Conference at our headquarters in Dale, IN. The purpose of this annual event is to get all of our domestic and international dealers together in round-table informative sessions to discuss sales strategies and also to present the exciting changes and new products we plan to release in the next year.

Of course, the conference isn't all work and no play!  It also gives everyone a chance to socialize and catch up on news, as well as the opportunity to award our top sellers special prizes at the awards dinner. 

Huge Pork Chop during Thermwood 2017 Dealer Awards Dinner

Yum!  Huge pork chop at the Thermwood Dealer Awards Dinner

This year, our top dealership was Automation Associates, Inc.  Second and third places went to Tech Con, Inc. and CNC Automation.  The award for the dealership with the Most Improved Sales for 2016 went to CNC Solutions, LLC.  The award for top International Sales went to Thermwood India.  Congratulations, guys!


1st Place AAI

Pictured above are: (l-r) Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Mark Drone (Automation Associates, Inc) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).


2nd Place Tech Con

Pictured above are: (l-r) Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Glenn Suss (Tech Con) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).


3rd Place CNC Automation

Pictured above (l-r) are: Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Andrew Legault (CNC Automation) and Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood) Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).


Most Improved - CNC Solutions

Pictured above are: (l-r) Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Phil Marker (CNC Solutions) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).


Top International Sales - Thermwood India

Pictured above are: (l-r) Dennis Palmer (VP Sales for Thermwood), Kishore Dabhade and Vishnu Dabhade (Thermwood India) and Jason Susnjara (VP Marketing for Thermwood).


Cut Center Demonstration

Thermwood personnel, domestic and international dealers attend a Cut Center demonstration during the 2017 Dealer Conference.

2017 Dealer Conference Training

Thermwood personnel, domestic and international dealers during the 2017 Dealer Conference.

Thermwood Unveils New 3D Print Head Design for LSAM

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, May 23, 2017

Tags: Announcements, 3D printing, Additive, LSAM, 3D Print, Thermwood LSAM, Additive Manufacturing

New Print Head Design for LSAM

Thermwood Corporation has unveiled a new design for the print head on its large scale additive manufacturing machines which it calls LSAM, (pronounced L-Sam). This new “Universal” design print head can be equipped with any of three interchangeable “Melt Cores”.

The print head is large by industry standards, being over 10 feet long and weighing one and a half tons, but despite the size and weight it moves at speeds up to five feet per second. The print head is designed so that the “Melt Core”, which consists of a feed housing, extruder and polymer melt pump, can be changed should higher or lower print rates be required.

New Print Head Design for Thermwood LSAM

Universal Print Head Installed on LSAM Development Machine

Thermwood has installed a universal print head on its current 10’ x 10’ LSAM development machine with a 40mm Melt Core and has successfully printed composite tooling masters from 20% Carbon Fiber filled ABS, and has printed actual autoclave tooling from both 50% Carbon fiber filled PPS and 20% Carbon Fiber filled Ultem using this print head. 

Universal Print Head Installed on LSAM Development Machine

LSAM is DIfferent Than Other Thermoplastic 3D Printers

The print head is a critical element in Thermwood’s additive manufacturing process which functions differently than other FDM thermoplastic 3D printers. Most thermoplastic additive manufacturing systems print with a relatively small print bead onto a heated table in a heated environment. The heated environment is needed to keep newly printed layers from getting too cool to properly fuse with subsequent layers.

In Thermwood’s approach, the only heat source is the print head itself. A heated environment isn’t required. The process prints a large bead at such high output rates that the printed layer must be cooled rather than heated to achieve the proper layer to layer fusing temperature. The entire process is essentially an exercise in controlled cooling and produces large size, high quality, virtually void free printed structures.

Each layer is printed at a rate that allows it to cool to the ideal temperature before the next layer is applied. If the layer becomes too hot, print speed is reduced to allow more cooling time. If it becomes too cool, print speed is increased to reduce cooling time. 

Real-Time Thermographic Image Display

A built-in thermographic imaging system displays a real time thermal image on the CNC control screen which aides the operator in achieving and maintaining the ideal print temperature during the print process.

Real-Time LSAM Thermographic Image Display

Temperature Control Module Integrated into LSAM

The LSAM Universal Print Head can process material at temperatures up to 450oC. It uses an electronic temperature control module integrated within the print gantry CNC control, allowing full integration of temperature and pressure control with exclusive features of Thermwood’s print gantry CNC control, better supporting processes unique to 3D printing.

Temperature Control Module Integrated into LSAM

Three Melt Core Choices for LSAM

Thermwood offers three melt cores for its print head, each with a different maximum print rate. The maximum print rate determines the longest bead that can be printed during the available cooling time between layers.  This cooling time varies depending on material, amount of fan cooling and geometric shape of the layer, but the faster the print rate the more material that can be laid down within the cooling time between layers, so faster print heads allow larger parts to be printed, but don’t really print parts faster.

Fastest Printing With LSAM

Even the standard 40mm LSAM melt core is generally so fast that it must be slowed on most parts to keep from printing a layer so fast that it doesn’t have sufficient time to cool properly between layers. In this case, often multiple parts can be printed in the same time it takes to print just one.

The LSAM machine is equipped with a standard 40mm Melt Core which includes a patented 40mm high speed extrusion screw coupled to a corresponding melt pump and deposition head. This standard configuration processes over 200 pounds of material an hour, depending on the specific material and is suitable for parts that have a print layer lap length of up to 200 feet while printing a standard bead that is .200 inch thick and .830 inch wide. This configuration has proven more than adequate for virtually all large parts today.

If even longer layer bead lengths are required, higher output Melt Cores are available. A 60mm Melt Core can process 50% more and a 70mm Melt Core has operated at rates of over 500 pounds per hour, which Thermwood expects to increase.

The fastest speed at which a part can be printed is determined by the cooling time required to reach the proper bonding temperature between layers and not by the output of the print head. Larger print head outputs simply allow larger parts to be printed within the cooling time between layers.

High output melt cores do, however, have a minimum operating speed so may not be suitable for smaller parts. If both small and really large parts are required on the same machine, the melt core can be changed from one size to another in less than a shift. 

New 10'x20' Demonstration LSAM Under Construction

This print head will be installed on a new 10’ x 20’ demonstration machine currently under construction at Thermwood. Production machines come standard with the 40mm Melt Core.

New 10'x20' Demonstration LSAM Under Construction

Thermwood’s LSAM machines both print and trim on the same machine using separate gantries. The new approach to print head design adds even more flexibility.

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

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

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.   


Click for More Info on the Thermwood LSAM

Latest Cut Center Update Adds Resizing Corner Cabinets and Much More

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, May 09, 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.  

Included in this update are suggestions/recommendations from current users, along with several updates features. 

 

Resize Width/Depth on Corner Cabinets

We now offer the ability to resize the width and depth of Corner Cabinets.  This works for both the Cut Center's standard Frameless and Face Frame cabinets.  When you enter in different values, the software will show you the front opening dimensions.

Thermwood Cut Center now adds the ability to resize corner cabinets

Thermwood Cut Center now adds the ability to resize corner cabinets

Now Turn Air Assist On/Off

Air Assist helps with locating sheets of plywood onto the table by creating a “pillow” of air underneath the material (this works very much like an air hockey table).  However, this requires a vast amount of air, which could potentially affect other machinery in your factory.  We’ve added the ability to turn this Cut Center feature Off if needed.

Thermwood Cut Center now adds the ability to turn air assist on or off manually

New Run Screen Interface

We have also redesigned the Run Screen which gives Cut Ready a sleek, cleaner look while running your jobs. 
Bonus:  We’ve also added more information to this screen such as:

  • Total Job Time
  • Current Sheet Time (a widely user-requested feature) 
Thermwood Cut Center now adds a more informative run screen interface

Save Shapes Jobs

Another user request is the ability to save "Shapes" jobs.  Prior to this update, there was no way to re-run a previously entered "Shape" job.  We've now added this ability.

Thermwood Cut Center now adds the ability to save Shapes jobs

Manually Check for Updates

Much like your smartphone, Cut Ready always notifies you when there is an update available (free for the life of the machine.)  Updates usually include new/better functionality and additional content for you to make.  Cut Ready automatically checks for updates approximately every six hours, and now you can manually check yourself whenever you want - from the About section.

Thermwood Cut Center now adds the ability to manually check for updates

Boxes Added to Cut Ready Library

Of all the things Cut Ready offers, we missed a simple one.  Boxes.  Offered in a variety of construction methods, we now offer boxes, stackable boxes, boxes with handles, cubes, vertical or horizontal grain, etc. for you to make.
Thermwood Cut Center now adds a variety of boxes to the Cut Ready library

Patches/Fixes

Thermwood Cut Center Patches/FixesCertain circumstances can cause ANY software to malfunction.  In addition to adding more benefits to you, we also try to identify any issues and address them asap.  Below are the latest patches/fixes with this update: 

  • Fixed - Blind Dado Undermount Drawer Boxes were calculating the back capture hole incorrectly when choosing them from the “For Something Else” selection. 
  • Fixed – When using Off-Fall for a Job, the Sheets page displayed an incorrect number of Off-Fall / Added Sheets. 

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

 

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

 

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

Thermwood Successfully Tests "Ultra High Output" PH50 3D Print Head

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Sep 14, 2016

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, 3D printing, Additive, LSAM, Subtractive, PH50

Thermwood PH50 Head Successfully Tested

Thermwood LSAM PH50 Print HeadAfter recently announcing our line of LSAM (large scale additive manufacturing) machines, Thermwood has now built and tested a high output version of our PH Series composite thermoplastic 3D print head.

At a print rate of 500 lbs/Hr, our newest and largest print head, the PH50 is more than three times faster than even our current PH15 print head (which we believe is currently the highest output composite thermoplastic print head available).  

The Thermwood-designed PH series print head uses three servo drives in a unique configuration.

The advantages of this new design include:

  • a highly accurate print bead, the ability to change bead size while printing
  • high output print rates
  • better fusion between printed layers
  • a virtually void-free printed structure

Thermwood has been operating the PH15 print head on the development version of our large scale additive manufacturing machine, called LSAM (L-Sam). The PH15 features a maximum print output rate of 150 Lbs/Hr when running a 20% carbon fiber filled ABS material. Our newest, and largest print head, the PH50, has been successfully bench-tested at a print rate of slightly over 500 Lbs/Hr running the same material.

A New Way to 3D Print

Fast print rates make possible all new ways to 3D print. The maximum print rate on a particular part is dictated not by the output of the print head, but instead, by cooling. When a layer is printed it must be allowed to cool sufficiently to stiffen enough to support the next layer but should not be allowed to cool so much that it doesn’t fuse properly with the next layer. This means that, although you may be able to print much faster, with most materials, you must wait at least 1 ½ to 2 minutes before you can print another layer. This would tend to make high output print heads unnecessary except for really large parts, but there are situations where this is not the case. 

LSAM Solid Structure PrintingAt times, parts are printed as completely solid structures. When this occurs, bead length adds up quickly. A 5 foot by 5 foot solid layer requires 375 feet of bead length with a 0.800” bead width. Even with a 125 foot per minute print speed (which is the print speed of the PH50 at full output), it will require at least three minutes to print that layer. While this is still within a good layer to layer working time, it is clearly not overly fast. 

Some parts which are printed vertically are so long that they must be printed in multiple sections which are then bonded together. With a fast enough print head and large enough table, all sections can be printed at one time rather than printing them one at a time. In this approach, you print a layer on one part, then move to the next and the next, until you have printed that layer on all the parts. Then, you return to the first part which should then be ready for another layer. You can also mix different types of parts and print them all at the same time, rather than one at a time.  With additive manufacturing technology today, this is the only way to speed up production rate. This approach makes fast print heads and large table sizes not only practical but quite desirable. Thermwood LSAM Tall Vertical Structure Printing

Thermwood's PH Series Print Head Design

Thermwood LSAM PH50 Print HeadThermwood’s PH Series print head design uses a servo-controlled plastic extruder with a specially designed, patented plasticating screw to heat and soften the composite thermoplastic material. It then uses a servo-controlled fixed displacement polymer pump to deliver the softened material at a precisely controlled rate to the print nozzle. This dual-servo, two-step approach to generating the print bead eliminates a variety of problems encountered when trying to use just an extruder to print and generates a highly controlled material flow rate which results in a highly accurate and controllable print bead size. 

Thermwood’s PH Series system generates a relatively large print bead, applied at high speed. The print head is slaved to machine speed so as the machine speeds up and slows down, the output of the print head automatically adjusts to keep the size of the print bead consistent and accurate. This print speed control is automatic and doesn’t need to be incorporated into the CNC print program, greatly simplifying programming. An additional feature of this approach is that the print program can vary the size of the print bead during printing, something Thermwood has found to be a valuable capability. 

Once the bead has been applied, the PH Series print head uses a unique servo-controlled compression wheel to flatten and fuse each new print layer to previous layers. This wheel is the third servo in the PH series print head and can be instructed to automatically track machine motion. 

Thermwood LSAM Servo-Controlled Compression Wheel

Since it tends to squeeze out any air that might otherwise be trapped between layers during printing, Thermwood has found that this compression wheel results in superior bonding between printed layers and a virtually void free printed structure. 

Another Unique Feature

A unique aspect of this new print head design is that, unlike machine motion, the three servo drives in the print head are not machine axes. Thermwood’s print gantries have six servo drive systems, but only three of them are axes. A machine axis needs to be programmed. The servo drives in the print head have their own unique, independent, self-operating intelligent control functions, which they continuously perform without specific ongoing CNC program commands.

Thermwood LSAM PH50 Control

The CNC program simply tells them to perform their function and they do it without further specific instructions, even if those functions require them to interact with the machine program, machine motion or each other. For example, simply turn on the print function and move the machine and the print head will print the proper size bead as the machine moves, automatically adjusting for acceleration, deceleration and different machine speeds. Engage the compression wheel and it follows machine motion automatically. During printing, a delicate balance exists between the extruder and polymer pump in the print head. Achieving and maintaining this balance during all aspects of operation is also automatic. 

PH50 Successfully Operated at Full Output

Thermwood Engineers Testing LSAM PH50 Head at Full OutputCurrently, the new PH50 print head has successfully operated at full output in a static position. Thermwood is replacing its 10x10 foot LSAM development machine with a 10'x20' foot demonstration machine to verify and demonstrate operation of this new head at full print speed. Thermwood believes that 10'x20' is as small a machine as is practical for this high output print head. LSAM machines are available with table lengths of up to 100 foot or more. Thermwood is confident that technology in the PH Series print heads could be used in even higher output print heads should a need ever develop.  

For More Information

The Thermwood line of LSAM machines are available now, and you can get more information and see videos of these new heads in operation here

Thermwood LSAM


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