Purdue University will be establishing a laboratory dedicated to large scale additive manufacturing (AM). The school’s Composites Manufacturing Simulation Center (CMSC) is partnering with Thermwood Corporation for industry-funded research into large-scale 3D printing with composite thermoplastics, something that Thermwood know a thing or two about, as a manufacturer of enormous thermoplastic composite 3D printers.
The “Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue University” will be based at Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing Institute at Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana, run by Purdue CMSC staff. The backbone of the lab’s research will be an LSAM 105 (ten-five) Large Scale Additive Printer with a 5-axis LSAM Additive Trimmer and additional support systems. This system makes it possible to 3D print and trim objects up to 5’ x 10’ x 4’ at rates of 100 lbs. Though Thermwood’s LSAM 105 typically extrudes at a temperature up to 450°C, this installation has been modified for higher temperatures to explore new materials.
“Not only will this effort improve the overall quality of large scale additive printing but it should also increase our knowledge and understanding of the basic process of fusing layers together into a homogeneous structure,” said Ken Susnjara, Founder and CEO of Thermwood.
The university will work with industry partners, providing services that will see large-scale 3D printing more widely adopted for a variety of applications. Polymer suppliers will also team with Purdue to optimize their formulas and hone the proper processing parameters for large-scale 3D printing.
The CMSC brings together experts from a diverse set of disciplines and facilities the study of composites that, in addition to 3D printing of composites, includes everything from digital twins and simulation to mold forming, sheet forming and infusion molding. Digital twins are being developed for the slew of composites processing and manufacturing methods studied at the school, with the 3DEXPERIENCE Education Center of Excellence in Advanced Composites established with Dassault Systèmes in 2020 helping drive this development.
In turn, Thermwood’s LSAM process will be paired with digital twin work being done with Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE. This means that they will create an accurate virtual replica of the process and better understand how it works and predict how the technology will behave.
This is pretty cutting-edge stuff for one of the oldest CNC router manufacturers. However, LSAM demonstrates that an old dog can learn new tricks and introducing simulation into a tricky technology like 3D printing, especially at such a large scale, gives the company an advantage over competitors.
Interestingly, while competitors like Cincinnati Incorporated and Ingersoll have worked with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop and refine their processes, Thermwood is now turning to Purdue University, which may not have the same clout as a government lab, but certainly has the composites expertise to advance LSAM technology forward.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
CELLINK Bioprinter Enables Bioprinted Hair Follicles for Skin Regeneration and More
In a landmark achievement, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have successfully 3D-printed hair follicles in lab-grown human skin tissue, marking a significant advancement in the field of...
BICO’s Revival: A Fresh Era with Maria Forss at the Helm
Swedish biotech company BICO (STO: BICO) has been making waves in the industry recently. Ever since Maria Forss assumed the role of CEO in November 2023, the company seems to...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: November 26, 2023
Things are getting busy again in terms of 3D printing webinars and events! This week is the RSNA annual meeting, the World Manufacturing Forum, and more. HP is holding an...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: November 5, 2023
Happy Formnext week! But don’t worry, if you can’t make it to Germany this week, there are still several other in-person and online webinar and event options in the industry....
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.