Swedish manufacturer Wematter is now expanding the materials portfolio for the Gravity 2021 SLS 3D printer with Aurora TPU, a rubber-like and durable material that can be used for a variety of applications in the medical technology and automotive industries, among others. Aurora TPU was developed in close cooperation with one of the company’s largest customers, which operates in the manufacturing of outdoor power products.
Wematter is constantly developing its Gravity SLS 3D printer ecosystem to offer its customers more choices of additive manufacturing materials. As part of this initiative, Wematter is continually investing in new powder materials to meet market demand and is now launching Aurora TPU. TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane and is a form of TPE or thermoplastic elastomer. The material can be used in applications such as medical technology, healthcare, automotive, sporting goods, and other consumer products.
“I think it’s really cool that we can start from a powder and then achieve rubbery prints with such soft properties that Aurora TPU now offers. It is proof that Gravity as a platform has great potential, and that the technical solutions we have chosen have been the right way to go. We can now process a wide range of materials, from really hard with fiber reinforcement to very soft with TPU”, said Robert Kniola, founder, and CEO of Wematter.
Showcases the capability of the Gravity 3D printer
Aurora TPU is an important step in Wematters’ product development. Being able to print parts in soft and flexible materials now demonstrates the high quality and capability of the company’s 3D printers, which many AM companies are unable to do. Typically, additive manufacturing is associated with producing hard and rigid objects; SLS technology is best known for fine detail and high surface quality prints made from polyamides.
With the addition of Aurora TPU to Wematter’s Aurora family of powders, more industries and sectors are able to use SLS 3D printing. TPU prints are highly durable, do not absorb water, and are resistant to UV light, oil, grease, and solvents, making them well suited for gaskets, hoses, and tires. High volumes of TPU are also found in companies that manufacture shoe soles for high-end running shoes. The strengths of using TPU in SLS printing include the ability to print fine details and a smooth surface while retaining high abrasion and resistance to wear.
“We will continue to explore this material group with a view to developing more materials with the requested properties of elastomers. I am pleased that we have chosen a robust and reliable power source that can also handle white TPU – or any other color you like, for that matter”, finished Robert Kniola.
Wematter manufactures advanced office-sized Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 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 Etteplan 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.