LSAM (pronounced L-Sam) represents the industry leading technology for large scale 3D printing of thermoplastic polymers. LSAM utilizes unique patented technology to produce the highest quality printed structures available.
LSAM uses the "Near Net Shape" approach to part production where the part is first printed at high speed slightly larger than needed, then trimmed to the final size and shape. This is the fastest, most efficient method of 3D printing large structures. With LSAM, both printing and trimming can be done on the same machine.
LSAM can process parts from virtually any thermoplastic composite material including high temperature materials that are ideal for molds and tooling that must operate at elevated temperatures. LSAM's unique printing system produces parts that are solid, fully fused, vacuum tight and virtually void free.
LSAM is intended for serious industrial production. It is not a lab, evaluation or demonstration machine, but is instead a full-fledged industrial additive manufacturing system intended for the production of large scale components.
LSAM prints a large bead at room temperature in a process which is essentially an exercise in controlled cooling. Polymer cooling and not print head output determines print speed. Polymer cooling determines how fast you can print each layer. Print head output determines how large a part you can print in the layer time available. LSAM print heads are available that can print well over 500 pounds per hour which means really large parts are possible.
Large print beads plus Thermwood's patented compression wheel create solid, fully fused, virtually void free printed structures that can sustain vacuum in a pressurized autoclave at elevated temperature without the need for problematic add-on coatings.
Parts are printed on a patented Bead Board, virtually eliminating cooling stresses and part warping. The compression wheel not only totally fuses layers together but also generates highly precise print bead dimensions, measured in thousandths of an inch.
LSAM machines are large, robust industrial structures built from steel plate using slot and tab construction, resulting in an order of magnitude higher strength and stiffness than typical structural steel machine construction. All welded structures are fully annealed using licensed technology originally developed by NASA, resulting in an even stronger, stiffer machine.
LSAM machines have dual gantries, operating over a fixed table, and are available in configurations from 10 foot wide by 20 foot deep up to 100 foot in length.
Linear motion is laser aligned and compensated on all axes and the entire machine is volumetrically compensated throughout its entire working envelope for superior accuracy and performance.
3D Printing in process at Local Motors by LMI Knoxville, TN Microfactory
Trimming in process at Local Motors by LMI Knoxville, TN Microfactory
LSAM provides both print and trim on the same machine and can print both horizontally and vertically.
LSAM is a complete, fully engineered system, ready to run - with all the accessories and ancillary equipment included.
Traditional plastic extruder screws, designed for steady state operation, do not work for additive manufacturing. In fact, any extruder available today, by itself, will not work for additive manufacturing because of surging. LSAM uses a combination of a patented extruder screw design and a polymer melt pump to overcome these basic limitations.
This approach also means you do not need to change screws to process different polymers. LSAM can process virtually all materials with the same screw and melt pump. A patent pending design using special steel alloys supports processing temperatures of 450°C (Approx. 850°F) allowing the processing of high temperature polymers ideal for autoclave tooling.
A changeable Melt Core means you can, on the same machine, increase print head throughput for really large parts.
Parts can be printed either in the traditional horizontal orientation or, with an optional vertical layer print system, they can be printed vertically, allowing parts to be printed that are as tall as the machine table length.
This patented extrusion screw and barrel does not function like a traditional plastic extruder (where most of the heat comes from shear action of the rotating screw).
Screw speed is constantly changing in Additive Manufacturing, so the traditional approach means uneven heat.
In the LSAM extruder, more than 60% of the heat comes from the heated barrel and not the screw, so polymer heating is more even.
Since friction between the polymer and screw geometry is not the major source of heat, the screw does not need to be changed to process different polymers.
Precise print bead dimensions, measured in thousandths of an inch, are an absolute necessity for really quality printed structures.
This is just not possible with a traditional extruder. A common problem with plastic extruders, even in steady state operation, is uneven output flow, called surging.
LSAM outputs flow from the extruder into a polymer melt pump. This servo driven, fixed displacement pump precisely meters the heated polymer to the nozzle, forming a precise, consistent print bead.
Ceramic heaters plus special alloys support print temperatures to 450 C.
The LSAM control is based on Thermwood's incredibly powerful CNC control, providing unique functions to make the print process easier and more capable.
Temperature control is integrated, so when you load a polymer profile, all the parameters for that polymer, including zone temperatures and pressure limits are set automatically.
The control automatically synchronizes output of the melt pump to machine speed to insure absolutely perfect bead dimensions regardless of machine speed, acceleration or deceleration.
Through a patent pending process, the control automatically synchronizes the speed of the extruder screw to the output of the melt pump, which is critical to proper operation.
The control orients the compression wheel to the direction of motion eliminating the need to program this function.
The control can automatically adjust the print speed to maintain a consistent layer print time as print geometry changes, dramatically reducing the skill level needed to operate the machine.
The control also offers simple one-button operation of otherwise complex functions such as melt-start, stop-unload or qualifying a new material. Even with all the advanced capability LSAM is really easy to operate.
LSAM has integrated temperature controls to monitor and adjust real-time temperature.
Much of the technology used in Thermwood's LSAM machines and print process is completely new. Thermwood has already received numerous patents on these revolutionary developments and many more are in the works. In addition to the projects shown on this web site, many other exciting results that LSAM has already achieved are covered by non-disclosure agreements and must be kept secret. LSAM is truly state-of-the-art in the exciting new world of large scale additive manufacturing.
Additive Manufacturing (June 29, 2021) - Thermwood Releases Why LSAM? Video for Large-Part Production
Plastics machinery and Manufacturing (June 28, 2021) - Thermwood introduces larger 3-D printers
Additive Manufacturing (June 9, 2021) - Digital Demo - Why LSAM?
Composites in Manufacturing (June 2, 2021) - Thermwood expands LSAM product line
3D Adept (May 27, 2021) - There is a market for very large 3D printed parts
Additive Manufacturing (May 25, 2021) - Thermwood Adds Larger Printers to LSAM Product Line
Commposites World (May 24, 2021) - Why choose LSAM for large-format additive manufacturing?
Aerospace Manufacturing (May 13, 2021) - At the heart of innovation
Commposites in Manufacturing (April 23, 2021) - Thermwood expands LSAM product line again
3D Printing Media Network (April 20, 2021) - Thermwood expands LSAM product line yet again with larger LSAM 1540
Additive Manufacturing (April 16, 2021) - Purdue University to Establish Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory
3DPrint.com (April 16, 2021) - Purdue University to Create Thermwood LSAM Research Lab for Large-Scale 3D Printing
Composites in Manufacturing (April 15, 2021) - University to establish Thermwood LSAM research laboratory
Composites World(April 15, 2021) - Purdue University to establish Thermwood LSAM research laboratory
Woodworking Network (April 13, 2021) - CNC maker Thermwood and Purdue University team up on research lab
Aerospace Manufacturing (April 6, 2021) - Questions About LSAM with Thermwood's Scott Vaal
3D Adept (April 6, 2021) - Thermwood offers a smaller version of its hybrid large-scale additive manufacturing system
3D Adept (April 5, 2021) - Thermwood completes first LSAM 1010 system
Composites in Manufacturing(April 1, 2021) - Thermwood announces completion of the first LSAM 1010
3D Adept (April 1, 2021) - Thermwood completes first LSAM 1010 3D Printer with Fixed Table
3D Printing Media Network(March 18, 2021) - Meet the LSAM Additive Printer, new lower-cost system from Thermwood
3D Adept (March 17, 2021) - Back to basics: "Print Only", the ultimate goal of Thermwood's new LSAM system
Composites in Manufacturing (March 17, 2021) - Thermwood announces lower cost LSAM additive systems
JEC Composites (March 17, 2021) - Thermwood announces a major advance in additive print technology
Production Engineering Solutions (March 17, 2021) - Low cost, large scale industrial 3D printer launched by Thermwood
Composites World (March 16, 2021) - Thermwood advances LSAM capabilities with automatic print temperature monitoring
Manufactur3D (March 10, 2021) - Thermwood Announces a Major Advance in Additive Print Technology Thermal Sensor Layer Automation System
Composites in Manufacturing (March 10, 2021) - Thermwood unveils new thermal sensor layer automation system
3D Adept (March 10, 2021) - LSAM: Thermwood ensures automated print temperature control and enhances fusion between layers
Aerospace Manufacturing and Design (December 2, 2020) - A new approach: 3D printing a yacht hull mold
Composites World (November 2, 2020) - Large-format additive manufacturing
Manufactu3D (October 26, 2020) - Thermwood's New Approach to 3D Printing a Yacht Hull Mould
DesignBoom (October 25, 2020) - Thermwood 3D-prints a hull mold for a 51-foot long yacht
Composites in Manufacturing (October 23, 2020) - A new approach to 3D printing a yacht hull mould
3D Printing Media Network (October 22, 2020) - Thermwood 3D prints single hull mold for a 51-foot long yacht
Production Engineering Solutions (September 18, 2020) - Thermwood partners on 3D printed tool with significant cost savings
3D Printing Media Network (September 18, 2020) - Thermwood and General Atomics save $50K by 3D printing large-scale tool
Printer Chat (September 2, 2020) - New Low-Cost LSAM 3D Printer
3D Printing Industry (September 2, 2020) - Thermwood Demonstrates Vertical Printing Method with Low-cost LSAM MT 3D Printer
TCT Magazine (September 2, 2020) - Thermwood demos vertical layer large-format 3D printing process
3DPrint.com (September 1, 2020) - Thermwood Develops New Vertical Tech for Large Format 3D Printing
3D Adept Media (September 1, 2020) - New approach validates Thermwood's Large Scale Additive Manufacturing capabilities
3D Natives (September 1, 2020) - Thermwood develops a process for large format vertical 3D printing
Manufacturing News (September 1, 2020) - Thermwood Builds Massive Metalworking Machine to Increase LSAM Production
JEC Composites (August 31, 2020) - A Vetical Layer Print Additive Technology
Manufact3DMag.com (August 29, 2020) - Thermwood Demonstrates a New Vertical Layer Print Additive Technology for Large Parts
3D Printing Media Network (August 28, 2020) - Thermwood demonstrates a Vertical Layer Print tech with LSAM MT
Additive Manufacturing Media (August 19, 2020) - CGTech Extends Simulation to Thermwood LSAM (Includes Video)
Fabbaloo (March 25, 2020) - That Is A Large 3D Printer Enclosure!
3D Adept media (March 9, 2020) - Dennis Palmer on the possibilities of Thermwoods Large Scale Additive Manufacturing
Manufactur3D (March 6, 2020) - CGTech’s VERICUT Software to Simulate Thermwood LSAMs Additive & Hybrid Machining
3D Printing Media Network (March 5, 2020) - Thermwood introduces LSAM 1010 3D printer with enclosed configuration
3dPrinting Industry (March 4, 2020) - Vericut software used to simulate Thermwood's LSAM hybrid 3D Printers
AMTIL.com (February 13, 2020) - Thermwood introduces new LSAM model
3D Printing Media Network (November 18, 2019) - Thermwood presents new LSAM MT 3D printer
Technical Textile (November 18, 2019) - THERMWOOD, PURDUE FIND WAY TO COMPRESSION MOLD PARTS
Composites in Manufacturing (November 12, 2019) - Partners successfully compression mould parts using printed tooling
3D Printing Media (November 12, 2019) - Thermwood and Purdue lay groundwork for 3D printed compression mold tooling
3DPrint.com (November 12, 2019) - Thermwood & Purdue: 3D Printed Composite Molds to Make Compression Molding Parts
JEC Composites (August 20, 2019) - Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing and Thermwood partner on low cost responsive tooling program
3D Printing Industry (August 13, 2019) - ARFL, BOEING, THERMWOOD APPLY LARGE SCALE ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING TO AUTOCLAVE TOOLS
Composites in Manufacturing(August 12, 2019) - US Air Force, Boeing and Thermwood partner on AM tooling programme
Additive Manufacturing(July 23, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace Invests in Additive Manufacturing
Composites World(July 18, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace invests in Thermwood LSAM machine
Aerospace Manufacturing(July 18, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace invests in new Thermwood LSAM Machine
3D Printing Media Network(July 17, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace buys LSAM composite 3D printer from Thermwood
PR Newswire(July 12, 2019) - Ascent Aerospace Invests in Additive Manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing(July 5, 2019) - Thermwood's Vertical Layer Printing Turns AM on Its Side
The Additive Report(July 3, 2019) - Hybrid additive/subtractive manufacturing machine produces large-scale parts
Fabbaloo(June 3, 2019) - Need A Very Large 3D Print? Call Thermwood!
Composites World(May 23, 2019) - Tooling technologies positioned for speed, control
3D Printing Media Network(May 14, 2019) - Kansas-based Dimensional Innovations acquires LSAM 3D printer for 'secret project'.
Tic Toc by Bloomberg(May 13, 2019) - 3-D printing Notre Dame Spire
JEC Composites(May 7, 2019) - Design by fire: Could a Kansas City company 3-D print the Notre Dame spire?
JEC Composites(March 1, 2019) - 3D printed helicopter blade mold
Bloomberg Businessweek(February 16, 2019) - An Ex-Marine Wants to Print Autonomous Vehicles for Your City
Composites World (February 15, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell collaborate on 3D-printed helicopter blade mold
Additive Manufacturing (February 11, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D Print Helicopter Blade Mold
Marine Industry News UK (February 11, 2019) - 3D printer helps launch new line of boats
3D Printing Today Russia (February 11, 2019) - LSAM large format 3D printer prints rig for helicopter blades production
Print in 3D - Italy (February 9, 2019) - Thermwood prints in 3D the largest autoclave ever made
3D Printing Industry (February 8, 2019) - THERMWOOD'S LSAM MACHINES 3D PRINT 20 FOOT HELICOPTER BLADE MOLD FOR BELL
WKRN (February 8, 2019) - World's largest 3-D printer used to print cars in East Tennessee
The Additive Report (February 7, 2019) - 3D printer helps launch new line of boats
JEC Composites (February 7, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D print helicopter blade mold
Aerospace Manufacturing (February 7, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D print helicopter blade mould
3D Printing Media Network (February 6, 2019) - Thermwood and Bell 3D print 20 ft helicopter blade mold using LSAM
Composites World (January 11, 2019) - TAHOE Boats' T16 uses 3D printed tooling from Thermwood
Additive Manufacturing (January 14, 2019) - TAHOE Boats Newest Design Uses Thermwood 3D Printed Tooling
3Ders.org (January 17, 2019) - TAHOE Boats builds first hull with Thermwood 3D printed tooling
Additive Manufacturing (January 17, 2019) - Tahoe Boats Collaborates with Thermwood on 3D Printing for Boat Design
3D Print Media(December 5, 2018) - Thermwood validates direct additive manufacturing of yacht hull molds
Inside Composites(November 26, 2018) - Large-scale parts with Thermwood's LSAM
Additive Manufacturing(November 26, 2018) - Thermwood Collaborating with the Navy to Explore Additive Manufacturing Technology
Composites Media(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood collaborating with US Navy to explore additive manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing Today(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood Corporation and NSWCCD Announce Additive Manufacturing Collaboration
JEC Composites(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood collaborating with the Navy to explore additive manufacturing technology
Composites World(November 15, 2018) - Thermwood and US Navy Explore Additive and Additive Manufacturing for Ship Systems
3DPrinting.com(November 14, 2018) - Thermwood Unveils Vertical Layer Printing For LSAM Machines
Surface and Panel(November 14, 2018) - Thermwood Announces Vertical Layer Printing
Additive Manufacturing(November 14, 20188) - Thermwood Announces Vertical Layer Printing
Manufactur3DMagazine(October 12, 2018) - Thermwood Corporation 3D Prints a Massive 12-foot long 3D Printed Tool for Boeing
TCT Magazine(October 11, 2018) - Thermwood 3D prints and delivers 12-foot-long tool for Boeing
Plastics Insight(October 11, 2018) - Boeing collaborates with Thermwood to demonstrate VLP 3D printing technology
3D Adept(October 11, 2018) - Watch: Thermwood 3D prints 12 foot aircraft tool for Boeing 777X
3DPrinting Pro(October 11, 2018) - Boeing collaborates with Thermwood to demonstrate VLP 3D printing technology
3DPBites(October 11, 2018) - WATCH: THERMWOOD 3D PRINTS 12 FOOT AIRCRAFT TOOL FOR BOEING 777X
3DPulse(October 11, 2018) - BOEING PRINTS ON A 3D PRINTER MOLD TOOLING FOR THE GENERATION OF 777X AIRCRAFT
3D Print Home(October 10, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing 3D print 12-foot-long single-piece tool for 777X program
Additive Manufacturing Today(October 10, 2018) - Thermwood Creates 3D Printed Tool for Boeing 777X Program
Additive Manufacturing (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood Partnership to Demonstrate New 3D Printing Technology
JEC Group (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood partnership to demonstrate 3D printing technology
3DPrintingIndustry.com (October 10, 2018) - WATCH: THERMWOOD 3D PRINTS 12 FOOT AIRCRAFT TOOL FOR BOEING 777X
3ders.org (October 10, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing 3D print 12-foot-long single-piece tool for 777X program
Aero-mag.com (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood Corp. form AM partnership
3druck.com(October 10, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing make a large 3.66 meter 3D printed tool part for the 777X program
3Dprintingmedia.network.com (October 10, 2018) - Boeing and Thermwood partner to demonstrate new VLP 3D printing technology
CompositesWorld.com (October 10, 2018) - Boeing partners with Thermwood on 3D printed tool for 777X
3DPrint.com (October 9, 2018) - Thermwood and Boeing Make Large 3.6 Meter 3D Printed 777X Program Tooling Part
3DPrintingMediaNetwork.com (July 3, 2018) - Local Motors installs massive LSAM composite 3D printer to manufacture autonomous Olli shuttle
3DPrintingIndustry.com (July 2, 2018) - World's Largest Composite 3D printer Installed by Thermwood at Local Motors to Make Self-Driving Vehicles
CompositesManufacturingMagazine.com (July 2, 2018) - Thermwood Installs World's Largest Composite 3-D Printer at Local Motors
AdditiveManufacturing.com (June 13, 2018) - LSAM Speeds Production of Concrete Tooling
CompositesWorld.com (Dec 1, 2017) - Thermwood 3D Prints Large Boat Hull Pattern
3DPrintingIndustry.com (Dec 1, 2017) - Thermwood's's LSAM Process Sets Sail With 3D Printed Hull Pattern
3DPrintingIndustry.com (Oct 23, 2017) - First Ever Polysulfone Mold For Chinook Helicopter Part Successfully 3D Printed
CompositesManufacturingMagazine.com (Oct 22, 2017) - Thermwood Creates Composite Helicopter Part made with Innovative 3-D Printing Technology
3DPrint.com (Oct 19, 2017) - Collaboration and 3D Printing Streamline Boat Production
Composites In Manufacturing (June 26, 2017) - Thermwood 3D Printed PPS Test Panel Maintains Vacuum Without Coatings
3DPrintingBusinessDirectory.com (June 19, 2017) - Thermwood Vacuum Tests 3D Printed PPS Panels Without Coatings
TCTMagazine.com (June 19, 2017) - Thermwood 3D Printed PPS Test Panel maintains Vacuum without Coatings
3DPrint.com (June 17, 2017) - Thermwood Demonstrates Effectiveness of LSAM with 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Parts
TCTMagazine.com (June 16, 2017) - Thermwood Tests 3D Printed Carbon Firbre-Filled PPS Panels Without Coatings
NetComposites.com (June 13, 2017) - Thermwood Enhances Additive Manufacturing Software
3DPrint.com (June 12, 2017) - Thermwood Adds New Features to LSAM Print3D Additive Manufacturing Software
3D Grenzenlos.de (June 10, 2017) - Thermwood stellt Update seiner LSAM Print3D Software vor (German)
AdditiveManufacturing.com (June 8, 2017) - Thermwood Adds Important New Features to LSAM Print3D Additive Manufacturing Software
TCTMagazine.com (June 8, 2017) - Thermwood Announces New Capabilities for LSAM Print3D Software
NetComposites.com (May 30, 2017) - Thermwood Unveils New 3D Print Head Design
3DAdept.com (May 29, 2017) - Thermwood's large-scale additive manufacturing machine improved
3DPrintingIndustry.com (May 26, 2017) - Thermwood Upgrades Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing machine with ton and a half toolhead
3DPrintingMediaNetwork (May 26, 2017) - Thermwood Introduces New Print head for Large Size LSAM 3D Printer
AdditiveManufacturing.com (May 25, 2017) - Thermwood Unveils New 3D Print Head Design
3DPrint.com (May 25, 2017) - Thermwood Introduces New Universal Print Head for LSAM 3D Printer
AdditiveManufacturing.com (Nov 30, 2016) - Thermwood Adds Thermographic Imaging to its Additive Manufacturing Machines
AdditiveManufacturingToday.com (Nov 29,2016) - Thermwood Adds Thermographic Imaging to its Additive Manufacturing Machines
prweb.com (Sept 29, 2016) - Thermwood Introduces LSAM: Large Scale 3D Additive Manufacturing Systems
NetComposites.com (Sept 20, 2016) - Thermwood Has Successfully Tested the 'Ultra High Output' PH50 Print Head on the LSAM
CompositesWorld.com (Sept 15, 2016) - Thermwood successfully tests composite thermoplastic print head on LSAM
WoodworkingNetwork.com (Sept 14, 2016) - Thermwood successfully tests ultra-high output PH50 3D print head
Engineering.com (Sept 12, 2016) - Hybrid 3D Printer-CNC Machine Offers a Cut Above the Rest
NetComposites.com (Sept 6, 2016) - Thermwood Offers 3D Additive Manufacturing Program with LSAM Machines
3Ders.org (Sept 1, 2016) - Thermwood introduces new massive LSAM 3D printers with CNC technology
3DPrint.com (Sept 1, 2016) - Thermwood Corporation Introduces LSAM: Large Scale Additive Manufacturing with a CNC Twist
WoodworkingNetwork.com (Aug 31, 2016) - Thermwood debuts large-scale 3D additive CNC machines