Ascent invests in large scale AM machine

Posted on 06 Aug 2019 and read 217 times
Ascent invests in large scale AM machineCalifornia-based Ascent Aerospace — a leading provider of aerospace tooling systems, factory automation and integration solutions — recently invested in a Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) machine from Indiana-based Thermwood Corporation (www.thermwood.com), which manufactures CNC routers and 3-D printing equipment.

The use of 3-D printing in the aerospace tooling sector has continued to mature over the last few years; with this equipment, Ascent plans to take additive technology to a new level by “leveraging our deep expertise in tooling to commercialise production-ready additive solutions”

Ascent (www.ascentaerospace.com) intends to use its new LSAM machine to bring tools such as lay-up moulds, masters, trimming/drilling fixtures and vacuum holding fixtures to market faster than ever before.

Co-located with Ascent’s composite tooling shop, autoclave and clean room in Santa Ana, the machine will allow the company to build tools lighter and more efficiently, providing time and cost savings to its global customers.

Ascent says that by combining this technology with its in-house tooling expertise and ‘heritage’ engineering, it will be possible to fabricate and deliver fully functional fixtures and moulds with significantly reduced lead times compared with traditional metallic tools.

CEO Michael Mahfet said: “Our investment in the LSAM represents the next milestone in Ascent’s multi-year technology road-map and the realisation of expansive efforts studying the benefits of additive manufacturing within the aerospace tooling market.

"This capability positions us to remain the leader in new and innovative tooling solutions, supporting strong collaboration with our customers and supplementing our in-house design and fabrication capabilities.”

With a 10 x 40ft fabrication area, Ascent’s LSAM machine will be the largest available in the aerospace market, allowing for both the printing and machining of a wide range of thermoplastic composite materials.

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