CAMX 2015 preview: Thermwood

Thermwood Corp. (Dale, IN, US), a manufacturer of 3- and 5-axis CNC routers, will emphasize its new program to develop a 3D additive manufacturing system capable of making large carbon graphite-reinforced composite thermoplastic components.

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Thermwood Corp. (Dale, IN, US), a manufacturer of 3- and 5-axis CNC routers, will emphasize its new program to develop a 3D additive manufacturing system capable of making large carbon graphite-reinforced composite thermoplastic components. Thermwood’s systems uses a “near net shape” approach where a relatively large extruder, mounted to the machine, is used to heat, melt and deposit, or “print,” carbon graphite-filled thermoplastic material to quickly create a structure that is almost, but not quite, the final shape. That structure, when it cools and hardens, is then 5-axis machined to the final net shape. These new systems will be based on Thermwood’s Model 77, semi-enclosed, high-wall gantry machine structures, which are currently offered in sizes up to 60 ft long. For the plastic extruder, Thermwood turned to American Kuhne (Ashaway, RI, US), a provider of engineered solutions for plastic, rubber and silicone extrusion, which developed a custom system that integrates closely with Thermwood’s CNC machine. With the addition of a second gantry, the additive and subtractive processes can be performed on the same machine. The second subtractive gantry will be offered as an option. Thermwood’s systems will feature a full 6-axis articulated additive deposition head, allowing it to build layered structures on a horizontal plane as well as planes canted in any direction up to 90° from horizontal. Thermwood’s initial development machine, which is nearing completion, can make parts up to 10 ft long by 10 ft wide by 5 ft high, is equipped with a 20-hp, 1.75-inch diameter, 24:1 L/D extruder and support equipment capable of processing more than 100 lb/hr of material.

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CAMX 2018 was held Oct. 15-18 in Dallas, and if you could not attend this year, CompositesWorld did it for you. This compendium of written and video reporting from the show is designed to bring you up to speed on the new products, trends, presentations and more that the show had to offer.