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JEC World 2016 - Thermwood Corporation, a leading US-based manufacturer of 3- and 5-axis CNC routers, has announced a programme to develop a Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) system capable of producing large carbon graphite-reinforced composite thermoplastic components.
The system uses a “near-net-shape” approach where a relatively large extruder mounted on the machine is used to heat, melt and deposit, or “print”, a carbon graphite-filled thermoplastic material to quickly create a structure that is almost, but not quite the exact final shape. The structure, when it cools and hardens, is then five-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 18m long. For the plastic extruder, Thermwood turned to American Kuhne, the preferred provider of engineered solutions for plastic, rubber and silicone extrusion, who developed a custom system that integrates tightly, both mechanically and electronically, with the CNC machine. This allows not only the machine but also the plastic extruder to be controlled and managed by a central CNC control, ensuring smooth integration and increasing both capability and flexibility. With the addition of a second gantry, both the “additive” and “subtractive” processes can be performed on the same machine. The second “subtractive” gantry will be offered as an option.More information: www.thermwood.comBooth: Hall 6 / M32d
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