High-density 3D-prints through improved thermal design

David Boström3D-printer, Software

Wematter upgrades its software for thermal control in its fleet of Gravity machines through over-the-air updates

Since the foundation of Wematter in 2014, the company has had the ambition to make things smarter globally by delivering desirable SLS solutions. One of the main goals, in order to make their SLS 3D-printer desirable, is to output high performing 3D-printed components. To be able to do that the founding team, consisting of material scientists and engineers, have been constructing the machine from a thermal design perspective since the beginning with good results. One of the unique selling points of Wematter Gravity is its high-density SLS prints. These have a more isotropic behavior thanks to the 3D-printer’s thermal design.

Data collection through machine learning, qualified research, and know-how

After years of data collection, machine learning, and advanced algorithms the company issued a software update to its machines during 2020. Wematter has prepared all SLS Gravity machines from the beginning of spring 2020 with new hardware. This enables to improve the thermal properties of the fusion process. The new hardware can achieve a more accurate reading during printing thanks to an improved sensor array. This has reduced the deviations by 400% and provides a much narrower temperature window. These are performance updates that allow the machines to handle other and more difficult materials.

Creating a more stable fusion process

The update consists of improved parameters through know-how, as well as several software improvements. The updates strengthen previously performed work and lower the temperature deviations both at the surface of the powder bed and the entire building chamber. The upgrades are free of charge and are part of Wematter’s unique business model, which involves renting out the machines as a service. That way, the machines get better every day the user operates them instead of the traditional business model where you buy a product which then degrades over time.

“The goal both for the thermal design, the sensor array redesign, as well as the new software updates is to narrow down the deviations in temperature as much as possible. These improvements create a balanced and stable environment during the fusion, also known as the sintering process. This is a requirement for some new materials we are currently researching”, says founder and CEO Robert Kniola.

As a result of this, Wematter Gravity can process several advanced materials. Different grades of PP (polypropylene) or fiber-reinforced polyamides (PA) to mention a few examples. Going forward, this makes it possible for Wematter to investigate more high-performance materials. For example PEKK (Polyether Ketone Ketone) and PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone).

About Wematter

Wematter is a Swedish manufacturer that makes advanced SLS 3D-printing technology available to companies in order to produce in a smarter way according to the vision “We make things smarter globally”. Wematter is also developing its own software suite with cutting-edge 3D-printing software that makes it easier for designers, engineers, and manufacturers to use SLS 3D-printing for the next generation of products.

With Wematters DNA, the focus is on the user experience, simplicity, durability, and performance. This makes Wematter attractive to top customers such as SAAB, Volvo, and Husqvarna. The company was founded by mechanical engineers who worked with SLS, SLA, FDM 3D-printers, and also injection molding and CNC milling. Since its founding in 2014, Wematter has delivered 3D-printers and 3D-prints to car manufacturers, hospitals, and aerospace factories.



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