Thermwood Unveils a New Additive Way to Make Metal Molds

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Oct 25, 2023

Tags: plastics, Announcements, molds, thermoforming, Additive Manufacturing, CLA, injection molding, metal molds, blow molding, Cut Layer Additive

Molds, for plastics processes, such as thermoforming, blow molding, rotational molding and reaction injection molding are commonly made of aluminum. Often, they are large.

Thermwood has developed a simplified, low cost way of making these large molds, using its new Cut Layer Additive process.

metal_mold_image_large-1

How Does This Work?

Cut Layer Additive works by laminating layers, cut from thick sheets of material, such as aluminum, to create a structure. In addition to building highly efficient structures, the process offers unique capabilities that make it ideal for large plastic molds.

The most important element of a mold is the mold face, essentially the cavity that defines the size and shape of the part. It’s the one thing you absolutely have to have.

Depending on the process, other functions may also be needed, such as vacuum, venting and/or temperature control. Adding these functions usually increases complexity and cost, sometimes significantly.

Thermwood’s new approach incorporates these functions in a mold face that is only a couple inches thick. So, the entire mold, including all required functions, is just the mold face.

It’s simple and less expensive. Cut Layer Additive makes it possible.  In this process, the mold face is built using machined aluminum layers, stacked and permanently attached. Since, prior to assembly, each layer is machined individually in a nest, it is possible to include holes or slots so that, when assembled, they match up, creating internal channels or chambers. These void areas in the mold are then accessed by boring holes from underneath into the opening. 

Design Flexibility is Incredible

A channel with an access hole on each end can be used to circulate temperature-controlled liquid, to control mold temperature.

An internal chamber can be also be used for vacuum. Small holes are drilled into the chamber, as is normally done with thermoforming molds. Vacuum applied to the chamber then forms the part.

Thin slots can be machined between layers to provide vents, should they be needed for certain processes.

Design flexibility is incredible.

In this way, all required functions can be included in a relatively thin mold face.

For mounting, selected mold layers are extended downward to create standoffs supports.

This means large molds can now be produced at surprisingly low cost.  This new approach also supports some advanced features.

Inner views of layers of the mold with holes and slots in place

Inner views of layers of the mold with holes and slots in place

Inner views of layers of the mold with holes and slots in place

Because you can create a multitude of channels or chambers inside the mold face, you can easily do things that are not normally possible. For example, you can circulate liquid at different temperatures through different parts of the mold, or you can create vacuum chambers under different areas of the mold and regulate the flow and timing of vacuum to those areas to aid in forming difficult parts.

There are few, if any, restrictions as to the size or geometry of molds that can be produced using this approach.

Although the basic idea is quite simple, there are a lot of details that must come together to make it all work. Programing all these details using traditional CAD would be difficult at best. The effort would likely make the whole approach impractical.

With Cut Layer Additive, the basic mold doesn’t require programming, at least in the usual sense.

Machine Intelligence in the Cut Layer Additive machine actually knows how to make these kinds of molds, so all you need to do is tell it what you want.

This is done in two steps, show it the shape and tell it how you want it made.

Just show it the shape and tell it how you want it made.

The basic shape of the part is all CLA needs

CLA just needs a CAD file of the basic shape

You show it the shape by sending it a CAD file. Not a detail file, just the basic shape you want. Don’t worry about the inside just yet.

In telling it how you want it made, you need to tell it the material you want to use, how thick you want the face, where you want channels, where you want standoffs, and any other details of what you want.

This is actually a lot easier than it sounds. You simply answer questions about how you want it made. The system guides you and makes the entire process rather easy. This part can often be done in less than five minutes.

CLA can add in holes and slots to each layer to create channels and chambers

CLA can add in holes and slots to each layer to create channels and chambers


To make molds, Thermwood has added the ability to add holes and slots to each layer to create channels and chambers. New features, while you are defining the part, make this rather easy to do. It does take a bit more effort than just making a cut layer part, but overall, it’s straightforward and the results are stunning.

Truly sophisticated molds are now possible at low cost, with zone temperature control, zone vacuum and more. Cut Layer Additive does it using a tiny fraction of the time it would otherwise take.

It makes the whole thing practical.

CLA can quickly create the mold with holes and slots that couldn't be made any other way. 

CLA can quickly create the mold with holes and slots that couldn't be made any other way. 

Attend CAMX 2023 FREE and see CLA for yourself

CLA will be on display at CAMX 2023 Oct 31st-Nov 2nd in Atlanta, GA!  Visit Thermwood Booth #FF18 to see molds and tools produced on CLA, experience live demonstrations of the software and speak to our representatives to help answer your questions on this exciting new addition to the world of additive manufacturing!

Use the code 119734 to register and attend CAMX 2023 Free from Thermwood at the link below:
https://www.xpressreg.net/register/camx1123/start.asp

CAMX 2023

 

DOE Funds 3D Printing of Wind Blade Tooling Program

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Oct 13, 2023

Tags: Announcements, Purdue, LSAM, Dimensional Innovations, LSAM Additive Printers, Techmer PM, LSAM AP

The Thermwood LSAM Additive Manufacturing LaboratoryPurdue's Thermwood LSAM Research Lab includes an LSAM AP 105 Printer and LSAM Trim 105 5 Axis CNC router.

Award to Develop Additive Manufacturing of Modular Wind Blades

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced an award of $2,849,000 to the Composites Manufacturing Simulation Center (CMSC) of Purdue University and its industry partners, including Thermwood, TPI Composites Inc.Dassault Systèmes, Dimensional Innovations and Techmer PM.

The DOE-funded Purdue program, “Additive Manufacturing of Modular Tools with Integrated Heating for Large-Scale Wind Blade Manufacturing,” is led by Eduardo Barocio, director of the Composites Additive Manufacturing and Simulation (CAMS) Industrial Consortium.

Eduardo Barocio, director of the Composites Additive Manufacturing and Simulation (CAMS) Industrial Consortium

Eduardo Barocio, director of the Composites Additive Manufacturing and Simulation (CAMS) Industrial Consortium

“The primary goal of the program is to develop the foundation for automation in manufacturing of tooling for large-scale wind blades that can accommodate continuous changes in blade geometry and scale,” Barocio said. “This will be accomplished through modular construction, wherein modules are 3D printed with carbon fiber/thermoplastic composites by a technology called extrusion deposition additive manufacturing, which was first developed at the DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”

Specific targets for the program include developing a module design for wind blades equal to or greater in length than 80 meters; reducing the time required to manufacture and assemble wind blade tooling by at least 40% over conventional tool manufacture; enhancing tool performance by at least 15%; effecting weight reductions of by a minimum of 25% over conventional tools; and lowering the manufacturing cost of a wind blade tool by at least 35%.

Barocio is founder and director of the Thermwood LSAM (Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing) Research Lab at the Indiana Manufacturing Institute in Purdue Research Park. He is also founding director of the Composites Additive Manufacturing and Simulation Industrial Consortium, whose mission is to shape the future of large-scale additive manufacturing by providing education, simulation tools, characterization and best practices.

“The proposed program provides the foundation for automated manufacturing technology in wind blade tooling manufacture,” Barocio said. “These same technologies can be applied to manufacturing of all the elements of the wind energy system and, as such, the program provides a pioneering development that can leverage technology within the United States for a major source of clean energy, wind.”

The program will develop and demonstrate seven specific innovations. These include automating the 3D printing of large-scale modules and developing robust joining technology and inline heating elements deposition for conduction heating. Others include 3D printed cooling channels for convective cooling; new composite materials systems for economy and performance; support frame weight reduction; and tool deformation prediction and control, with decision making by a digital twin for 3D printing design and manufacturing.

Overall, the DOE awarded $30 million for 13 projects across 10 states that will reshape the design, materials and sustainability of large wind blades for offshore and land-based applications.  Large wind blades face significant challenges in design and materials, particularly for offshore applications. The selected projects will tackle these challenges, focusing on sustainability, efficiency and technological advancements to make wind energy more viable and effective.

Advanced lightweight composite materials have emerged as pivotal in enhancing wind power generation and vehicular applications. The DOE projects were picked for their potential to bolster the manufacturability and robustness of these composite materials, which are essential to the future success of wind energy technologies. The projects focus on three primary challenges: large wind blade additive manufacturing, additive manufacturing of wind turbine components and advanced manufacturing, materials and sustainability for large wind blades.

“These projects, alongside the Purdue program, will address the remaining challenges in wind turbine manufacturing and build on previous work in automation, digitalization, wind blade sustainability and modular blade construction and joining,” said R. Byron Pipes, executive director of the Composites Manufacturing Simulation Center at Purdue. “Successful demonstration of automation in the manufacture of alternate energy systems can enhance their wider use while sustaining the industry in the United States.”

Thermwood mourns the loss of representative Don Jones

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Oct 06, 2023

Tags: Announcements

Thermwood Representative Don Jones Has Passed Away.Thermwood Representative, Donald “Don” Jones, 80, of Denton, North Carolina passed away on Monday, August 21, 2023 surrounded by family and friends.

For approximately 40 years, Don represented Thermwood CNC equipment, initially through J & G Machinery, then as the visionary founder and President of Cutting Edge Machinery. His dedication and passion for the industry were evident to all who had the privilege of working alongside him.

Don was born to Lewis and Alice (Proctor) Jones, September 15, 1942 in Guilford County, NC. He graduated from Ledford High School in 1960 and was voted most likely to succeed. Don was married to the love of his life, Gale (Knight) Jones, for 45 years.

Don was known not only for his professional achievements but also for his warmth, wisdom, and delightful sense of humor. His easy-going manner and quick wit endeared him to all who had the privilege of crossing his path.

While we mourn his passing, we find solace in knowing that Don's legacy will continue. His son, Vann, will proudly carry forward the mantle of Cutting Edge Machinery as Advanced Cutting Edge, LLC and Thermwood representation, ensuring that Don's vision and dedication live on.

Don leaves behind a lasting impact on our hearts and in the industry he so passionately served. His memory will be cherished by family, friends, and colleagues.

Thermwood Corporation is grateful for Don’s many years of association and is honored by his longstanding dedication in representing the company.

Thermwood Model 63 5 Axis 5'x40' CNC Router

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Oct 03, 2023

Tags: aluminum, 5 Axis, Announcements, Model 63

The Model 63 is a large bed CNC router with moving bridge & stationary table designed for two and three dimensional machining of large composite parts & three dimensional patterns.  It is available in either a three or five axis configuration
Available Table Sizes:  5'x10' (1.5m x 3.0m), 5'x20' (1.5mx6.0m), 5'x40' (1.5mx12.0m), Table Extensions available up to 100' (18m)

FEATURES

  • 1" Thick Fixed Stress-relieved Aluminum Plate Table
  • Moving Gantry
  • 36" Z Axis
  • 40 HP 24,000 RPM Variable Speed Router
  • 10 Position Rotary Automatic Tool Changer
  • High-Tolerance Tool Length Sensor
  • Automatic Lubrication System
  • Mist Coolant System
  • Wireless Probe Position Verification System
  • Three Dimensional Laser Compensated Axis Alignment
  • Siemens Intelligent Servo Drives Throughout
  • Fixture Placement Compensation
  • Constatnt Tip Speed Machining
  • Tip Center Rotation
  • Programmable and Controlled Five-Axis Motion
  • 1 TB Solid State SATA Hard Drive
  • Air-Conditioned Control Cabinet
  • Solid State Memory and Control System (fully diagnostic)
  • Multi-Core Processor
  • 22" Wide Full Color LCD Monitor
  • Network-ready with Enhanced Network Filter
  • Machine Training and Installation
  • Free Forum and Phone Support 
More Info on the Model 63: https://bit.ly/3PFcg86

Model 63 Info Request

Thermwood Announces Promotions

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Sep 20, 2023

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Employees, Promotions

Thermwood, who has been producing CNC Routers and Large Scale Additive Manufacturing Systems for over 53 years, announces several promotions for long-time employees.  Please join us in congratulating these gentlemen and welcoming them to their new positions!

Thermwood Promotes Joe Taylor to Vice President of Production

Thermwood Promotes Joe Taylor to Vice President of Production

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Joe Taylor to Vice President of Production. Joe replaces Don Ubelhor after his retirement on August 31st, 2023.

Joe is a long-standing employee with over 30 years of experience at Thermwood. He has held numerous production positions at Thermwood, initially starting as an electrical assembler, then moved to Assistant Supervisor in Electrical and has worked over the last 23 years as Supervisor of Electrical.  

Thermwood Promotes Colton Glenn to Electrical Supervisor

Thermwood Promotes Colton Glenn to Electrical Supervisor

We are also pleased to announce the promotion of Colton Glenn to Electrical Supervisor.

Colton started with Thermwood in August of 2017 in the Electrical Department as an electrical assembler and later was promoted to Assistant Supervisor of Electrical. 


 

 

About Thermwood Corporation

Thermwood Corporate HeadquartersThermwood is a US based, multinational, diversified CNC machinery manufacturer that markets its products and services through offices in 11 countries. Thermwood is the oldest manufacturer of highly flexible 3 & 5 axis high-speed machining centers known as CNC routers.

Thermwood has also become the technology and market leader in large scale additive manufacturing systems for thermoplastic composite molds, tooling, patterns and parts with its line of LSAM (Large Scale Additive Manufacturing) machines that both 3D print and trim on the same machine. These are some of the largest and most capable additive manufacturing systems ever produced and are marketed to major companies in the aerospace, marine, automotive and foundry industries as well as military, government and defense contractors.

Another day, another 3D material qualification on Thermwood LSAM

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Sep 15, 2023

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

Did you know.... 

Once the LSAM Print 3D melt profile is is developed, it may be shared among all LSAM LFAM Large Scale Additive Manufacturing systems?
 
Commonality in components and advanced manufacturing practices enable this seamless transition.
 
This ability also makes LSAM material agnostic. LSAM owners are free to use 𝗔𝗡𝗬 qualified 3D print material.
 
LSAM owners may also develop their own melt profiles by working directly with 3D polymer suppliers.
 
By the way - This makes 30 (THIRTY) qualified 3D printing polymers that are ready to run on LSAM!
 
How many can you run on your 3D printer?
 
More Info on LSAM: https://bit.ly/3GFE3RR
 
 

The market and technology leader in LFAM since 2016

 
We offer the broadest range of LFAM systems in the industry, to help you find the perfect solution for your needs and budget. But LSAM systems are more than just 3D printers - they're real production systems, capable of producing industrial fixtures, molds (including high temp), tooling, foundry patterns, prototypes and end products from a wide variety of both low and high temp materials.

𝗔 𝗳𝗲𝘄 𝗟𝗦𝗔𝗠 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀:
• LSAM systems offer three printing orientations - HLP (Horizontal Layer Printing), VLP (Vertical Layer Printing), allowing parts to be printed that are as long as the machine table and ALP (Angle Layer Printing), the ability to print at a 45 degree angle.
• With the fastest print heads in the industry, our LSAM systems can print at speeds from up to 200lbs per hours to over 500 lbs per hour.
• Choose from Print-only or Print-and-Trim combinations with table sizes ranging from 5’x5’ to 15’x40’ and beyond.
• Save both time and money over traditional methods - case study here: https://bit.ly/3zWoWjk
 
𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝘂𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲:
We will next be printing LIVE at CAMX 2023 in Atlanta, GA (booth #Q8) starting on October 31st with an LSAM AP 510 - visit us to learn more about LSAM, or you can always contact us directly to arrange a personal demonstration at our corporate headquarters.

Don't settle for less when it comes to your production process. Upgrade to Thermwood's LSAM system and take your manufacturing to the next level! Visit https://bit.ly/3GFE3RR to learn more about LSAM.

Click for More Info on the Thermwood LSAM

LSAM has been the market and technology leader in LFAM since 2016

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jul 07, 2023

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

The market and technology leader in LFAM since 2016

Since 2016, Thermwood has proudly established itself as the unrivaled leader in Large Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM). Our groundbreaking LSAM (Large Scale Additive Manufacturing) systems have revolutionized the industry, setting new standards for market dominance and technological innovation.

 
We offer the broadest range of LFAM systems in the industry, to help you find the perfect solution for your needs and budget. But LSAM systems are more than just 3D printers - they're real production systems, capable of producing industrial fixtures, molds (including high temp), tooling, foundry patterns, prototypes and end products from a wide variety of both low and high temp materials.

𝗔 𝗳𝗲𝘄 𝗟𝗦𝗔𝗠 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀:
• LSAM systems offer three printing orientations - HLP (Horizontal Layer Printing), VLP (Vertical Layer Printing), allowing parts to be printed that are as long as the machine table and ALP (Angle Layer Printing), the ability to print at a 45 degree angle.
• With the fastest print heads in the industry, our LSAM systems can print at speeds from up to 200lbs per hours to over 500 lbs per hour.
• Choose from Print-only or Print-and-Trim combinations with table sizes ranging from 5’x5’ to 15’x40’ and beyond.
• Save both time and money over traditional methods - case study here: https://bit.ly/3zWoWjk
 
𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝘂𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲:
We will next be printing LIVE at CAMX 2023 in Atlanta, GA (booth #Q8) starting on October 31st with an LSAM AP 510 - visit us to learn more about LSAM, or you can always contact us directly to arrange a personal demonstration at our corporate headquarters.

Don't settle for less when it comes to your production process. Upgrade to Thermwood's LSAM system and take your manufacturing to the next level! Visit https://bit.ly/3GFE3RR to learn more about LSAM.

Click for More Info on the Thermwood LSAM

Thermwood 2023 Scholarship Recipients

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, May 25, 2023

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Scholarship, 2023

Thermwood is proud to announce that we will be awarding six scholarships to dependents of associates for the Class of 2023. Each recipient will receive a $2,000 renewable scholarship. 

Since the introduction of these renewable scholarships, Thermwood has awarded over $200,000 to students wishing to further their education. 


Allison Hoffman

Allison Hoffman is the daughter of Jeremy and Lee Ann Hoffman of Mariah Hill, IN. She is a graduate of Heritage Hills High School.

She plans to major in Nursing (Registered Nurse) at Indiana State University in the fall.

 

 

 

 

 


Lindsay McDaniel

Lyndsay McDaniel is the daughter of Jason and Tammy McDaniel of Lynnville, IN.  She is a graduate of Tecumseh High School.  

She plans to major in Dental Hygiene at Indiana University in the fall.

 

 

 

 

 


Brenton RumpleBrenton Rumple is the son of Joseph and Megan Rumple of Ferdinand, IN.  He is a graduate of Forest Park High School.  

He plans to major in Welding Certifications at Ivy Tech Community College.

 

 

 

 

 



Brayton RumpleBrayton Rumple is also the son of Joseph and Megan Rumple of Ferdinand, IN.  He is a graduate of Forest Park High School.

He plans to major in Computer Science at Indiana University this fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 



OliviaSusnjara-1Olivia Susnjara is the daughter of April and Jason Susnjara of Santa Claus, IN.  She is a graduate of Heritage Hills High School.  

She plans to attend Purdue University this fall to pursue a degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.

 

 

 

 

 



Sylvia WrightSylvia Wright is the daughter of Dana and Gordon Wright of Taswell, IN.  She is a graduate of Crawford County High School.  

Sylvia is pursuing an Electrical Apprenticeship with the Prosser Career Center/ABC.

 

 

 

 

 


Career Advancement Partnerships

Additionally, for the 2023 year, Thermwood has announced two Career Advancement Partnerships with local Seniors. In return for scholarship assistance with their educational expenses they will have a career within Thermwood Corporation.



Logan LehmkuhlerLogan Lehmkuhler, a senior at Forest Park High School has entered into a Career Advancement Partnership with Thermwood Corporation to join our Field Service Department. 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Dayton CampbellDayton Campell, a senior at Heritage Hills High School has entered into a Career Advancement Partnership with Thermwood Corporation to join our Field Service Department. 

 

 

 

 

 


Thermwood would like to congratulate all seniors of the Class of 2023 and wish them the very best in their future studies and endeavors! 

Video - Thermwood LSAM Product Manager Scott Vaal at IMTS 2022

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Nov 04, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Trade Shows, Video, IMTS, Large Scale, Thermwood LSAM, LSAM Additive Printers

Thermwood LSAM

From the recent IMTS 2022 show in Chicago, Thermwood LSAM Product Manager, Scott Vaal gives Aerospace Manufacturing and Design Magazine insight into LSAM and the LSAM AP 510 demonstrated at the show, as well as highlighting LSAM-only features such as Layer Time Control, Real-Time Temperature Monitoring and Superior Layer Adhesion!

More info on LSAM: https://bit.ly/LSAM_INFO


 

THERMWOOD LSAM Additive Printer 510 printing LIVE at CAMX 2022 in Anaheim, CA!

Posted by Duane Marrett on Thu, Oct 13, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Trade Shows, Purdue, Large Scale, Thermwood LSAM, Ascent Aerospace, LSAM Additive Printers, Airtech, CAMX, General Atomics

Thermwood LSAM

Live Printing

LSAM Additive Printer AP will be live Printing at CAMX 2022

For CAMX 2022 in Anaheim, CA on October 18th-20th, Thermwood will be printing LIVE on an LSAM Additive Printer 510 – two sections of a multi-piece layup tool each day using Airtech Advanced Materials Group Dahltram™ C-250 CF carbon fiber reinforced PC material. LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue ADDITIVE3D Software will be on display as well, with Purdue representatives on site for demonstrations.  We will also have several large customer-created large scale tools on display from Airtech, Ascent Aerospace, General Atomics and more. 

This promises to be an exciting demonstration of the LSAM Additive Printer Large Scale Additive System in Booth #W2.  

LSAM Additive Printer AP 510

See Thermwood print live at CAMX 2022


Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue University

LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue ADDITIVE3D Software on Display

Representatives from the Thermwood Research Laboratory at Purdue University (located in Purdue University's Composites Manufacturing Simulation Center - CSMC) will also be on hand to demonstrate their ADDITVE3D simulation software.

Additive3D Software from LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue University


Airtech Advanced Materials Group

We will be printing two sections of a multi-piece layup tool each day using Airtech Advanced Materials Group Dahltram™ C-250 CF carbon fiber reinforced PC material


About the LSAM Additive Printer

The LSAM Additive Printer systems are single gantry, moving table configurations and are available in two table sizes, 5’x5’ and 5’x10’. The 5’x10’ table is available in two configurations, 5’ wide with 10’ of front to back motion and 10’ wide with 5’ of front to back motion. Choice of configuration depends on several factors, fitting it existing factory floor space is one factor.

The specially designed, highly rigid tab and slot, structural steel gantry also incorporates a fume extraction system that pulls print fumes through specially designed activated charcoal filters to remove them and “sweeten” the air.

LSAM additive Printers use the exact same print head mechanism as all the other, including the largest LSAM Systems which means that they produce the same amazing print quality that has made LSAM the leader in large scale additive printing. They also use the same highly advanced Ultra 6 control with all its exclusive, patented print features and capability.

The systems come standard with a single hopper polymer dryer for applications that don’t change print material very often. For installations that print a wider variety of materials, a dual hopper dryer is available as an option.

An enclosure that surrounds the machine is also available. The machine with the full enclosure can also be built to meet European CE standards.