Thermwood has taken a major step toward its goal of 3D printing autoclave capable tooling from high temperature carbon fiber filled thermoplastic materials.
As an added benefit, Thermwood believes it will soon produce molds and tooling that function properly under vacuum in a heated, pressurized autoclave without the use of any type of coating to seal the printed tools.
50% carbon fiber filled PPS panel printed and machined on LSAM
Working toward this goal, Thermwood engineers have printed 50% carbon fiber filled PPS panels on its LSAM additive manufacturing machine that held vacuum to an industry acceptable level in independent testing. The test was conducted by the Fleet Readiness Center, FRC-East, located at MCAS Cherry Point, NC under a previously announced Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) partnership, and the results met FRC-East acceptance criterion that the bag must not lose more than 2 in Hg over 5 minutes.