Large Scale 3D Printer for Thermoset Materials

(Oak Ridge National Laboratory )

Magnum Venus Products (MVP) in collaboration with the Oak Ridge Laboratory (ORNL) has developed and demonstrated an innovative large scale 3D printing system for additive manufacturing of composite structures. Our product (THERMOBOT) is the worlds’ first large scale 3D printer for additive manufacturing of composite structures using thermoset polymer materials. This first of its kind system has a build volume of up to 16x8x3.5 ft. at a deposition rate of 10lbs/hr. with a resolution 3mm or less. Until now additive manufacturing of composite structures has been used primarily for fabrication of structures used in non-structural or semi-structural applications using thermoplastic materials. Products such as custom jigs, fixtures and tools where the material stiffness is adequate in providing the mechanical performance required. Our product with the capability to provide thermoset 3D printing can alleviate this problem by using polymers that crosslink and thereby provide additive manufactured articles meeting mechanical requirements for load bearing structures. This capability will increase the use and market demand for additive manufactured structures. A major challenge that requiring an innovative approach in the development of our product was providing equipment/hardware as well as composite materials compatible with the additive manufacturing process. In addition issues relating to health and safety, plus operations procedures were major concerns that had to be addressed. Our product has a build volume large enough to accommodate a broad range of composites
applications. Examples of industries having these needs include the automotive, aerospace, oil and gas wind turbines, marine and a broad range of construction industries. We therefore anticipate a large demand for our product and a significant increase in its utilization in additive manufacturing of composite products worldwide!