Purdue University and Thermwood: on the path to research into large-scale composite thermoplastic additive manufacturing

More than 300 people and about 20 Indiana composite materials companies celebrated the opening of the $50 million Indiana Manufacturing Institute in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette. Research and development on composite materials to increase energy efficiency for the vehicle production, wind, aerospace and other industries will be conducted in the facility. (Chris Johnson/Purdue Research Foundation)

Purdue University’s Composites Manufacturing Simulation Center (CMSC) and Thermwood Corporation will implement a large-scale additive manufacturing laboratory to execute industry-funded research into large scale composite thermoplastic additive manufacturing.

Named “Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue University”, the new facility will be located in Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing Institute. It will be equipped with an LSAM 105 (ten-five) Large Scale Additive Printer and a corresponding 5-axis LSAM Additive Trimmer plus a variety of support systems.

This equipment will be reinforced with the company’s ability to measure and precisely control the temperature of a printed layer at the instant a new layer is deposited. Using these tools, the research team will thoroughly dive into the additive print process and provide validation of the university’s extensive additive manufacturing simulation capabilities for large scale additive manufacturing.

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”, says Ken Susnjara, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Thermwood.

Moving forward, Purdue will work with industry partners to deliver services that will enhance, encourage and expand the adoption of large-scale additive manufacturing for diverse industrial applications. They will also collaborate with polymer suppliers to improve formulations and determine the ideal processing parameters necessary to produce “the absolute highest quality large scale printed parts possible”.

Extrusion deposition composites additive manufacturing is a major innovation that will contribute to the development of tailored products with unique performance and just in time availability”, adds Dr. R. Byron Pipes, Executive Director of Purdue’s Composite Manufacturing & Simulation Center, the research organization where the LSAM system will be installed.

Remember, you can post job opportunities in the AM Industry on 3D ADEPT Media free of charge or look for a job via our job board. Make sure to follow us on our social networks and subscribe to our weekly newsletter : FacebookTwitterLinkedIn & Instagram ! If you want to be featured in the next issue of our digital magazine or if you hear a story that needs to be heard, make sure to send it to contact@3dadept.com