Wematter, a Swedish manufacturer of SLS 3D printers, launched the Gravity 2020, a SLS 3D printer complete with an ecosystem that supports design engineers’ ability to produce durable 3D-printed components in an office environment or workshop.
By launching the newest iteration of its Gravity series, Wematter allows designers and engineers to print durable SLS 3D-prints directly at their office. The new Gravity 2020 has a build volume of 30 x 30 x 30 centimeters. It comes with an integrated powder handling system for ease of use. The printer itself measures 75 x 63 x 168 centimeters. Its only installation requirements are one 230v 10A power socket and one ethernet connection. The customer may customize the power socket to suit its regional power sockets.
“We have worked hard to only use a standard 230v 10A socket and to comply with CE-regulations for IT-equipment to minimize the installation effort from our customers” – Robert Kniola, founder and CEO at Wematter.
The printer’s uniqueness comes from its powder handling and mechanical properties. The Gravity uses pneumatic systems to transport, dose, and evacuate powder in a closed system. Special algorithms that stack 3D-models and calculate laser paths together with material scientists enhance the system’s reliability. Wematter’s testing regime has consistently demonstrated exceptional mechanical properties in printed parts.
“Mechanical properties and ease of use have always been our main targets, and we think it is the best path for changing behaviour towards additive manufacturing.” – Robert Kniola, founder and CEO at Wematter.
Wematter has been developing its SLS platform since its foundation in 2014. The company’s goal is to lower the barriers to adopting SLS technology. The founders, Robert Kniola and Henrik Lundgren, used their experience with SLS technology to bridge the divide. They have worked with SLS printers and the more widely used injection molding and milling technology. They saw what needed to be done to get more engineers to work with SLS 3D-printing.
Cloud-accelerated job preparation
Every Gravity SLS printer is connected to the cloud, where every sensor, camera, and circuit is exposed for monitoring and process control. The print jobs gets prepared in Wematter Deep Space; the machine code is sent to the printer from a computer, cell-phone, or tablet.
The user uploads .step or .stl files directly to the web application and prepares the 3D printer jobs from any computer.
Users are able to plan their jobs with 3D prints. Once the user is ready, Wematter’s proprietary algorithms pack and stack the job before placing them in the queue. While this process runs, the Gravity 3D printer automatically warms up to print the job.
“We have focused on productivity and user-friendliness so that more people can discover the benefits of Additive manufacturing.” – Petter Johansson, VP of Engineering at Wematter.
Material science in focus
The Gravity 2020 can use a range of materials. The printer is shipped with Wematter Aurora, a PA11-based material. Wematter has also co-developed its own nano-cellulosa-based powder over the last three years with the goal of using bio-based reinforcement in additive manufacturing. A new research project to introduce graphene-based conductive materials for SLS 3D-printing is now underway.
“The team is expanding rapidly and we will introduce new materials to the market in the coming years. Our focus right now is repeatability, durability, and high-precision in the components and process.” – Henrik Lundgren, Co-founder and process manager.
Ramping up production and shipping
Wematter is shipping the Gravity 2020 to customers that have been collaborating in the printer’s development. The company is now starting to take general pre-orders for Gravity and its ecosystem. The company’s move to bigger facilities and the collaboration of new machine-building suppliers increases production capacity such that Wematter is now looking to future expansion.
Right now, we have the final assembly in our new facilities, and, with the high demand that we are getting from our customers, we are ramping up production at an external facility in parallel.” – Robert Kniola, founder and CEO at Wematter.
Wematter manufactures advanced office-sized selective laser sintering 3D printers. The company exists to accelerate the move towards additive manufacturing by lowering barriers to entry. Its innovative 3D-printing SLS technology lets companies quickly prototype ideas, which increases overall design and engineering efficiency.
Wematter’s Nordic roots suffuse the company’s creative cycle. The team focuses on balancing user experience, ease of use, sustainability, and performance in all of its activities. The resulting quality and reliability are testaments to not just a client focus but to corporate responsibility in the face of a changing environment and industrial landscape.
Wematter attracts top customers like Siemens, Volvo, and Husqvarna. The company was founded by design engineers working with FDM SLA and FDM 3D printers, injection molding, and CNC-milling. Since its inception in 2014, Wematter has delivered 3D printers and 3D-printed components to car manufacturers, hospitals, and aerospace clients.