The new facility will be located in Purdue’s Indiana Manufacturing Institute located in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana and will be staffed and operated by Purdue CMSC personnel. The official name for the new facility is the “Thermwood LSAM Research Laboratory at Purdue University”.
The new laboratory 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 installation is capable of printing and trimming complex geometries up to 5ft by 10ft by 4ft tall at print rates of up to 100lbs per hour. Commercial maximum print temperature for LSAM printers is usually
limited to 450°C, however, this particular system has been modified to allow testing at even higher temperatures for experimentation with innovations in materials normally not used in 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,” said Ken Susnjara, founder, chairman and CEO of Thermwood.
“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,” added Dr R. Byron Pipes, executive director of Purdue’s Composite Manufacturing & Simulation Centre, the research organisation where the LSAM system will be installed.
Purdue plans to partner with industry to provide services to enhance, encourage and expand the adoption of large-scale additive manufacturing for diverse industrial applications. They also plan to work with polymer suppliers to refine formulations and determine the ideal processing parameters necessary to produce the absolute highest quality large scale printed parts possible.
Collaborative efforts of this type bring together diverse organisations that each specialise in different aspects of this emerging technology and often produce results that none of the participants could possibly achieve on their own. Both Purdue and Thermwood are confident that this will be the outcome of their collaborative effort.