Thermwood earns 32 additive manufacturing patents
January 5, 2022 | 11:14 am CST
Thermwood patents

Thermwood received the official copies of 32 new patents for large scale additive manufacturing technology just before Christmas.

While woodworkers have long recognized Thermwood as a major player in CNC manufacturing, many probably don’t know the company is also a leader in large scale additive manufacturing (LSAM). This is like 3D printing but way bigger than those little desktop units.

Thermwood routinely applies for patent protection on additive manufacturing technology it develops for its LSAM large format additive systems, said Duane Marrett, vice president of marketing for the company. 

“During COVID, we received electronic copies of patents that were granted, however, the official hard copies were withheld,” he said. “A couple of days before Christmas 2021, we received a package containing the official hard copy of 32 additive manufacturing patents. This was certainly a one-day record for Thermwood and a welcome sight!”

Thermwood Al Davis torch
Thermwood LSAM technology was used to print the tallest 3D printed structure in the world, the 92-foot-tall Al Davis Memorial Torch at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.


In addition to these latest patents, Thermwood already has a large portfolio of earlier issued patents covering the unique, large format (5x10 foot table and larger) 3D print technology it has developed. 

This LSAM technology is currently the most widely used large scale additive print technology operating in industry today, Marrett said. LSAM is used in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, transportation, heavy equipment, foundry and large decorative structures. 

“It is being used to produce a diversity of products including aerospace patterns, molds and tooling, heavy equipment foundry patterns, bus chassis, large valve body foundry patterns and trim tooling,” said Marrett. “It was even used to print the tallest 3D printed structure in the world, the 92 foot tall Al Davis Memorial Torch at Allegiant stadium in Las Vegas.”

Thermwood LSAM products
Thermwood additive manufacturing technology is used in a wide variety of industries including aerospace, transportation, heavy equipment, foundry and large decorative structures.


If you are used to relating 3D printing to those desktop units that squirt out melted plastic to form a small object, Thermwood’s machines create an entirely different picture.

“Thermwood offers this unique patented technology on a wide variety of equipment, the largest, most diverse product offering of its kind available today,” said Marrett. “It includes a broad selection of machines, including single and dual gantry, fixed and moving table configurations, with both print-only and print-and-trim systems, from 5-by-10-foot to 20-by-60-foot print envelopes. They are working on even larger machines but that’s for another day.”

Thermwood LSAM machine options
LSAM machines from Thermwood include single and dual gantry, fixed and moving table configurations, with both print-only and print-and-trim systems, from 5-by-10-foot to 20-by-60-foot print envelopes.


Thermwood says they also offer the highest throughput print heads currently available with maximum print rates from 200 to more than 500 pounds per hour.

The primary focus of the patented LSAM technology is to reliably and repeatedly produce the highest quality, best fused, most homogeneous printed structures possible from a variety of reinforced thermoplastic polymer composites including those intended to operate at elevated temperatures, said Marrett. 

“Although it is nice to have been granted these patents, it is even nicer to finally have the official hard copies in hand,” he said.

You can watch a video about Thermwood’s LSAM technology or learn more at thermwood.com.

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About the author
William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editorial director of Woodworking Network and FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.