Indiana Patent of the Month – November 2021

If you’ve ever done any 3D printing, you may have run into one of the more common problems in the industry, referred to as warping. Warping occurs as a result of a large temperature difference between the freshest layer as it is applied to the previous layer. It causes the new layer to warp or curl slightly as it cools to room temperature. Small parts ( five feet or less) experience minimal distortion, but as your project gets larger, so does the distortion. Thermwood Corporation, an expert in CNC machinery and leader in large-scale additive manufacturing, has designed a method to compensate for this warping, producing a better quality end product as a result.

 Their method involves the prediction of expected-warping information based on the initial design model and the additive manufacturing method in use. The design model is then modified to compensate for this expected warping, allowing the end-product to be a more accurate reproduction of the model. To achieve this, they designed software capable of intaking, processing, and adjusting design models to create final warp-offset design. Further warp-offsetting is performed within the additive manufacturing/print machine itself. This can make adjustments during the printing process, monitoring warp as each layer is extruded. The system can also guide where warping will occur, ensuring it only occurs in those regions with trim stock which is intended to be removed anyways. Thermwood has worked hard for a long time to ensure their processes can lead to the most reliable results, and this is just another step in that journey. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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