Watch an LSAM AP 510 Print a Large VLP CNC Trim Fixture

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Apr 25, 2023

Tags: Thermwood, Video, Thermwood LSAM, VLP, LSAM AP, Fixture

Watch an LSAM AP 510 print a large VLP (vertical layer print) CNC Trim Fixture out of ABS.  The LSAM AP is a more affordable "print-only" offering in our broad LSAM line that comes with a smaller footprint  in table sizes of 5'x5' 5'x10' and 10'x5'.  It has all the same quality features and capabilities of our larger, flagship models in a smaller footprint and price point.
LSAM Additive Printer 510
HubSpot Video

See us Live

We will be printing LIVE next week with Sabic LNP™ ELCRIN™ WF006NiQ resin on an LSAM AP 510 at Rapid 2023 in Chicago starting May 2nd (booth #2418).
See us Live We will be printing LIVE next week with Sabic LNP™ ELCRIN™ WF006NiQ resin on an LSAM AP 510 at Rapid 2023 in Chicago starting May 2nd (booth #2418).

Thermwood LSAM Advantages - See us Live in 2023

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Apr 14, 2023

Tags: Thermwood, Video, virtual tour, Thermwood LSAM, LSAM MT, LSAM 1020

Thermwood has been the market and technology leader in Large Format Additive Manufacturing (LFAM) since 2016, thanks to our innovative LSAM (Large Scale Additive Manufacturing) systems.

We offer the broadest range of LFAM (Large Format Additive Manufacturing) 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:

𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝘂𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲:

We will be at a variety of upcoming shows in the next few weeks, and you can visit to learn more about LSAM.
Check us out next week at SAMPE 2023 in Seattle (booth E10), JECWorld 2023 in Paris starting on April 25th (US Pavilion, Hall 6, booth Q49) and printing live with #SABIC’s LNP™ ELCRIN™ WF006NiQ resin on an LSAM AP 510 at Rapid 2023 in Chicago starting May 2nd (booth #2418).

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 to learn more about LSAM.

LSAM Examples

HubSpot Video

Take a Virtual Tour of Thermwood LSAM at Boeing Auburn

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Mar 17, 2023

Tags: Thermwood, Video, virtual tour, Thermwood LSAM, Boeing, LSAM 1020, Boeing Auburn, Discovery Education


Boeing and Discovery Education have partnered to Launch Future U. to help inspire and equip the next generation of STEM professionals in aerospace!

As part of their Virtual Site Tours, they visit Boeing Auburn and learn all about Additive Manufacturing, with a segment on one of Boeing's two Thermwood LSAM 1020 systems starting at the 12:49 mark.

𝗩𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗲:

Boeing Auburn Virtual Tour of Thermwood LSAM

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!

HubSpot Video

More info on LSAM:


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.

Large Composite Stretch Form Tool Advances Additive Manufacturing Technology

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 15, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, tooling, LSAM, Thermwood LSAM, LSAM 1020, Spirit Aerosystems, Additive tooling


It was determined that carbon fiber filled polycarbonate would provide sufficient strength to withstand the significant forces used in the stretch form process, however unlike traditional lubrication methods, Techmer PM blended a new polycarbonate formulation that contained an internal lubricant in addition to the carbon fiber, eliminating the need for any additional lubrication.


The tool was printed on Thermwood’s LSAM 1020 dual gantry print and trim system. While this machine is equipped with Vertical Layer Printing and could have printed the tool in one piece, because it requires that you to wait for each printed layer to cool enough before adding the next layer, it would have required 58 hours of continuous print time to produce a one-piece tool. Instead they decided to print the part in four sections, two at a time for a total print time of 29 hour and 20 minutes, cutting the print time in half. Printing required 3,613 pounds of material.

The Four Parts Printed

The Four Parts Printed

The four parts then needed to be machined and assembled.

Layout of the assembly

Layout of the Assembly

All surfaces of the parts except for the front working surface were then machined in place.

Initial Machining

Initial machining.  The holes in the center of each side are for center-of-gravity brackets used for part handling during assembly.

The mating faces were then machined flat except for slightly raised bosses which insured proper gapping for the adhesive. Adhesive is only one part of a multi part approach used to permanently and securely attach the parts to each other. These are all highly accurate, precision surfaces.

Flat Face has raised bosses to provide proper adhesive gap.

Flat Face has raised bosses to provide proper adhesive gap


Draw bolt holes and slots were machined into the back of the tool which allow the parts to be bolted together in addition to the adhesive.

Machined area for draw bolts

Machined area for draw bolts

In addition to adhesive and draw bolts, alignment holes and countersink holes were machined into the center sections of the tool.

Alignment and countersink holes

The 6-inch long alignment pins for these holes are machined with adhesive channels providing not only alignment between parts but also another level of permanent attachment.

Heavy duty alignment pins offer another attachment layer

Heavy duty alignment pins offer another attachment layer

The next level of attachment uses brackets positioned inside the structure near the front surface, which are attached to each other using tensioned aircraft steel cables, securely holding the front surface of the four parts together.

Brackets with temporary straps which were replaced by tensioned steel cables

Brackets with temporary straps which were replaced by tensioned steel cables

The parts were then final assembled using another unique approach. Each part is relatively heavy and because of relatively short open time for the adhesive, there is a limited amount of time available during assembly to apply the adhesive and mate the parts securely together. The parts need to be pushed together while aligned, literally within a few thousandths of an inch and need to be mated absolutely even and square. This turned out to be fairly easy using the Vertical Layer Print table mechanism installed on the LSAM machine.

The parts were carefully hand fitted together. Then, one part was attached to the machine table and the other to the mechanism that moves the vertical table. The vertical table drive then moved the parts apart about 20 inches, adhesive was applied and the vertical table mechanism pushed the parts back together again, square and perfectly aligned.

Adhesive being applied to separated pieces.

Adhesive being applied to separated pieces

Draw bolts and cables were permanently attached and after the adhesive fully cured, the completed tool front surface was machined to final dimensions using the LSAM trim head. When Spirit AeroSystems measured the final working surface it was within +/- 0.005”, well within their requirements. Total of all machining including the final working surface was 118 hours and 58 minutes.


Front surface measured to within +/- 0.005”

Front surface measured to within +/- 0.005"

Spirit AeroSystems then stretched 10 skin panels of 0.050” thick 2024 T3 aluminum to 5% elongation. The press controller showed that each jaw gripping the aluminum sheet had ~100 tons of load on it, so ~200 tons in total. Everything was kept under the same conditions as if running a production part and although the printed tool was considerably lighter in weight than their traditional tools, it appeared to perform in a similar manner.

Skin panel being stretched

Skin panel being stretched


This is a first step. There are additional tests to be performed and more data to be collected, but it does appear that large 3D printed composite stretch form tools can be produced using currently available material and current equipment, saving considerable time and money and opening yet another application for this exciting new technology.


Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world's largest manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial airplanes, defense platforms, and business/regional jets.  Also, Spirit serves the aftermarket for commercial and business regional jets.


Thermwood is a US based, multinational, diversified machinery manufacturer that has become the technology lead in large scale additive manufacturing of thermoplastic composite molds, tooling, patterns and parts with its line of LSAM (Large Scale Additive Manufacturing) systems that both 3D print and trim on the same machine.  

LSAM Info Request

Ready for Day 1 of Rapid + TCT 2022 in Detroit!

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, May 17, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Thermwood LSAM, LSAM Additive Printers, RAPID + TCT

The calm before the storm! LSAM Product Manager, Scott Vaal in front of the LSAM AP510 at the Rapid + TCT 2022 #Thermwood booth 2213. The show starts in less than 1 hour - come see us printing Techmer PETG LIVE!

Ready for Day 1 of Rapid + TCT 2022 in Detroit!


HubSpot Video


Thermwood Corporation, manufacturer of some of the largest composite thermoplastic additive manufacturing systems operating in industry today, has announced the availability of a new line of lower cost “print only” LSAM systems, called LSAM Additive Printers.

Thermwood’s current LSAM line of large scale, dual gantry, “print and trim”, near-net-shape additive manufacturing systems use an advanced print technology that produces high quality, fully fused products from a wide variety of reinforced composite thermoplastic polymers, including materials that process at high temperature like PSU, PESU, and PEI.

These systems are being used primarily to produce molds and tooling, most for aerospace and industrial production applications.



To accommodate the request for a lower cost system, Thermwood refined and updated the gantry structure of its highly successful 5 axis CNC routers.  This machine was re-engineered to use the incredibly strong “slot and tab” structural steel approach used on flagship LSAM machines. The same table, base structure and servo drives used on their five axis CNC routers could be used pretty much as is. With these changes the “LSAM Additive Printer” was born.

Although smaller than the flagship systems, it is capable of producing large parts at temperatures up to 450° C, with overall size limited primarily by the table size and working envelope. 

Available Sizes

The new LSAM Additive Printers are all fixed gantry, moving table designs with table sizes of 5’x5’ and 5’x10’ and are capable of printing parts up to 4’ high.  The 5’x10’ machines are available in two styles, 5’ wide with 10’ of front to back motion or 10’ wide with 5’ of front to back motion. Maximum table print weight is 1,000 pounds, however, the 10’ wide 5’ deep machine is available with a dual servo drive which doubles the weight carrying capability. It is planned to equip the 5’ wide 10’ deep version with a Vertical Layer Printing option which will allow it to vertically print parts up to ten feet tall.

Trimming Printed Parts

For trimming printed parts, Thermwood recommends our new LSAM Additive Trimmer, which is available in the same table sizes as these new LSAM Additive Printers.  It is available with up to 5’ of vertical travel, allowing it to trim completely around and over the top of the largest part the LSAM Additive Printer can print. As an added benefit, with both an LSAM Additive Printer and an LSAM Additive Trimmer, you can print and trim at the same time.

Although having a new LSAM Additive Printer plus an LSAM Additive Trimmer requires purchasing two machines, the combined cost of both is just over a third of the cost of an LSAM 1020 (which is currently the smallest flagship LSAM system that can both print and trim at the same time). The LSAM 1020 does have a much larger table, faster print head and the ability to do vertical layer printing up to 20 feet long, however, if you don’t need those capabilities, the new LSAM Additive Printers may be an answer. If you already have trim capability, the cost can be even lower.


Same Powerful Features

The same powerful, feature rich LSAM control used on the large flagship LSAM systems, along with all its unique patented additive print features is standard on the new LSAM Additive Printers. A system for drying and conveying pelletized polymer material is also included as is a liquid chilling system to maintain temperature control on vital systems. This is especially important when processing high temperature materials.

Optional Enclosure

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

LSAM Additive Printer (10'x5') table with optional enclosure

Optional Dual Hopper Dryer

The machine comes standard with a single hopper material dryer, however, an optional dual hopper dryer is also available for applications that change materials often.

Thermal Sensor Layer Automation System

Thermwood’s new Thermal Sensor Layer Automation System is also available on the LSAM Additive Printers. This is an exciting new system that automates the print process to easily and automatically obtain the highest quality layer to layer fusion.

Thermal Sensor Layer Automation System

With this system, a servo controlled thermal sensor, which travels with and rotates around the print nozzle, measures the temperature of the bead an instant before a new bead is added. This data is sent to the control which automatically adjusts print speed to print at the precise temperature that results in the best bead fusion for that particular polymer. Thermwood’s

LSAM print technology already produces the best quality, strongest large scale additive parts and this system not only makes it better but also easier.

Same Powerful Print 3D Slicing Software

The same Thermwood LSAM Print 3D slicing software used on all the other LSAM systems is used to program LSAM Additive Printers. Several levels of software training are available.

The Bottom Line

This new LSAM Additive Printer is intended to introduce LSAM additive technology to a whole new level of application and customer. It targets companies that want to print top quality, large composite thermoplastic parts, but don’t really need, nor can they cost-justify, the really large LSAM systems. These new systems also target companies who already have sufficient trimming capability and may only need a quality print function. Applications include industrial fixtures, molds (including high temperature molds), tooling, foundry patterns, and hundreds, if not thousands of similar applications.

With the addition of the LSAM Additive Printers, Thermwood now offers the largest selection of large scale additive manufacturing systems for thermoplastic composite materials in the industry with models available for just about every application and budget.

LSAM Broad Line of Additive Manufacturing Systems

LSAM Info Request

 LSAM Research Lab at Purdue Enables CERN Particle Collider Upgrade Prototyping

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Apr 12, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Purdue, Thermwood LSAM, Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory

Purdue CMSC, in collaboration with Purdue Silicon Detector Laboratory (PSDL), is designing, prototyping, testing, and fabricating composite support structures for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) CMS and ATLAS experiments. This is part of the particle collider’s High Luminosity upgrade, with installation of final components in 2026-27. The Thermwood LSAM 105 Additive Printer and five-axis LSAM Trim router at the Purdue LSAM Research Laboratory have enabled rapid large-scale printing and machining of trimming fixtures for the high precision composite tube structures. The 1m long, 208mm radius trimming fixture was printed on the LSAM with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) reinforced with 20% by weight of carbon fiber.

Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue University

This 914mm long prototype of the CMS upgrade inner tracker support tube will allow project partners at national labs, universities around the world, and CERN to begin installation tests of their structural and detection components. Individual components installed into this support tube are expected to be positioned within +/- 0.5mm or less, so accurate machining of interface features is critical. This kind of precision at large scale is made possible, economical, and convenient with the aid of systems like LSAM.

Printing Details

Printing Details

Since critical surfaces would be machined later, and to increase production speed for the prismatic geometry, the tool was split into two vertically-printed segments. The halves were bonded with adhesive and dowel pins for joint strength and stability.

Printing Details - closer look

Machining Details

The faces that would become the trimming fixture base were machined to the flatness required for fixturing later. The printed, bonded fixture was then mounted on pedestals in the LSAM Additive Trimmer and the surface was machined to fit the nominal inner surface shape of the composites half-cylinders to be trimmed. Edge finding and reference features were machined into the trimming fixture to allow proper centering of the cured composite part.

Printing detail - closeup

Using this printed and machined fixture, the composite part edges were trimmed, interface holes drilled, mating surfaces machined flat and a scarf joint for joining the two half cylinders was created. The precision trimmed composite halves were then able to be bonded together.

Machining on the LSAM Trim

LSAM Trim Machining - closeup

Final Result

The final tube, 3.2m long, has to support 140kg of mass while only allowing sub millimeter deflections to occur. Purdue CMSC and PSDL will also be designing, fabricating, or testing other composite support structures for the CERN LHC upgrade as small as 0.5mm sheet goods and as large as 2.4m x 5m sandwich panel tubes. It is planned for the LSAM system to be utilized to create tooling and some final components for these other structures.

Finished result! 

About CMSC

The Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center (CMSC) of the College of Engineering and the Purdue Polytechnic are located in over 30,000 square feet of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute building. CMSC consists of faculty experts in composites manufacturing, a professional staff of doctoral degree engineers, a support staff and research students in doctoral, masters and bachelor’s degree programs of the Schools Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chemical Engineering and Materials Engineering, as well as, the Department of Aviation Technology in the Polytechnic.


A comprehensive set of laboratories is available at the IMI for the study of composites manufacturing processes, characterization of composite materials, and the validation of simulation software essential to development and verification of the digital twin concepts in composite manufacture and performance. Focus specialties include extrusion deposition additive manufacturing, composites autoclave processing of continuous fiber systems, compression and injection molding of discontinuous fiber composites, prepreg impregnation, infusion molding, sheet forming, complex mold-forming and hybrid continuous/discontinuous fiber systems. Workflow simulations are being developed to provide for end-to-end digital twins of these manufacturing processes. Accordingly, manufacturing informed performance predictions are a direct outcome of these workflow analyses.

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.


21 Reasons Thermwood LSAM Dominates Large Format Additive

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Thermwood LSAM, Patented, VLP, ALP, HLP, Compression Wheel

Virtually all, if not all, large format, FDM additive systems, sold to industry in the last several years have been Thermwood LSAMs.

Watch the video below to learn 21 reasons why:


HubSpot Video


LSAM Info Request

Thermwood Receives 32 Additive Manufacturing Patents as an Early Christmas Gift

Posted by Duane Marrett on Tue, Jan 04, 2022

Tags: Thermwood, Announcements, Local Motors, Thermwood LSAM, Patented, Boeing, Navair, Al Davis Torch, General Atomics

Thermwood routinely applies for patent protection on additive manufacturing technology it develops for its LSAM large format additive systems. During COVID, we received electronic copies of patents that were granted, however, the official hard copies were withheld.

A couple of days before Christmas 2021, we received a package containing the official hard copy of 32 additive manufacturing patents. This was certainly a one-day record for Thermwood and a welcome sight!

Thermwood Receives 32 Additive Manufacturing Patents

In addition to these latest patents, Thermwood already has a large portfolio of earlier issued patents covering the unique, large format (5x10 foot table and larger) 3D print technology it has developed. This LSAM technology is currently the most widely used large scale additive print technology operating in industry today. It’s used in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, transportation, heavy equipment, foundry and large decorative structures. It is being used to produce a diversity of products including aerospace patterns, molds and tooling, heavy equipment foundry patterns, bus chassis, large valve body foundry patterns and trim tooling. It was even used to print the tallest 3D printed structure in the world, the 92 foot tall Al Davis Memorial Torch at Allegiant stadium in Las Vegas.

Al Davis Memorial Torch Printed on Thermwood LSAM

Thermwood offers this unique patented technology on a wide variety of equipment, the largest, most diverse product offering of its kind available today. It includes a broad selection of machines, including single and dual gantry, fixed and moving table configurations, with both print-only and print-and-trim systems, from 5 by 10 foot to 20 by 60 foot print envelopes. We are working on even larger machines but that’s for another day.LSAM offers the broadest line of large scale additive systems available in the market today

Boeing Navair project

The primary focus of the patented LSAM technology is to reliably and repeatedly produce the highest quality, best fused, most homogeneous printed structures possible from a variety of reinforced thermoplastic polymer composites including those intended to operate at elevated temperatures. Although it is nice to have been granted these patents, it is even nicer to finally have the official hard copies in hand.

LSAM Info Request