With the Gravity 2021 3D-printer, Wematter’s system for additive manufacturing takes reliability to a new level with the help of new mechanical hardware and improved heat control through advanced algorithms in its software suite
A vision that Wematter has had since the beginning when the user-friendly 3D-printer Gravity first was developed, is to eliminate all maintenance of the machine. Gravity is Wematter’s most advanced product, which is built by hand on the company’s premises and undergoes rigorous inspections. With a bill of materials with over 400 unique components, it is an advanced product with a high degree of automation. Part of the vision is also to automate as much as possible of the user’s work at the 3D-printer.
Many of the new innovative features that Gravity 2021 has been integrated with completely remove certain maintenance steps. The machine also provides a more smooth sintering process with the help of the software’s new algorithms.
“Many of our competitors let the user control the process parameters of the machine, forcing customers to hire pure operators. We want to change that! We want to lower the thresholds for AM in development organizations and product-owning companies and make it more accessible by reducing the demands on the user. Through Gravity 2021, we hope that we take another step in that direction. One hour of training should be enough for anyone to be able to print, regardless of previous experience “, says founder and CEO Robert Kniola.
Reinforced recoater – a vital part of print quality
When it comes to the machine’s hardware, it is the recoater mechanics that have undergone the biggest change. By further encapsulating the construction, no moving parts are worn during operation. Thanks to this, two out of ten steps are also saved during each cleaning of the machine’s build-chamber. This reduces the set-up time for each job started.
“A challenge for our industry is that you can have a recoater breakdown, which can be devastating for the prints. This is now just a memory with our new system. You can compare the new recoater with a robust snow plow that doesn’t stop for any obstacles. No matter what it encounters, it always prevails. We are now moving towards the vision of never having a production stop due to the recoater. An internal goal is a 100 % success rate for all completed jobs”, Robert continues.
Changing the recoater system is an extensive modification in a powder bed machine. It is thanks to Wematter’s experience in its own mechanics and knowledge of the SLS-process that Gravity 2021 is now equipped with a completely new recoater system.
An SLS-type 3D-printer, such as Wematter’s Gravity, builds a print model by fusing powder using a powerful laser beam one layer at a time. For each layer to be filled, the recoater’s task is to spread a thin layer of material as evenly as possible over the powder bed. The role of the recoater is a vital part of the performance of the print. If not each layer of powder is evenly distributed over the entire surface, the surface of the print will not be equal. A recoater with smooth and fine running will result in a print with a smooth and fine surface as well.
More even heat distribution
Another crucial factor in ensuring as homogeneous a surface finish and mechanical quality as possible is an even heat distribution throughout the printing process. New hardware that includes an improved sensor array together with extensive software updates allows the signal processing to achieve a more accurate reading of temperature deviations during ongoing printing. This compensates for an irregular thermal environment which gives higher performance and a more even heat distribution over the entire building chamber.
An entire ecosystem with powder cleaning and recycling
In connection with the launch of Gravity, Wematter also presents Density 2021. A completely new model of the popular water-jet cleaning cabinet with improved ergonomics. In addition to this, Wematter expands the system solution in the form of Inertia. Inertia is a unit that collects the unsintered powder after printing in sealed bags. The customer then sends them back to Wematter for recycling and reuse.
The picture above shows the 2021 models of the system in the company’s showroom. Wematter uses the showroom for client visits and in the increased number of video meetings with partners.
Some of the new features in Gravity 2021
- New recoater with increased durability
- Improved temperature control for a more stable printing process
- Possibility to print even thinner walls
- The chamber door is easier to open for all types of users
- Time estimation for a job before printing begins
- Finely calibrated sensitivity in the touch screen that makes menu selection easier
- Two-step confirmation of critical choices that prevent the user from aborting ongoing work unintentionally
- Remote diagnostics on machines before service
- Simplified process for maintenance of laser lens
- Prepared for new materials such as Aurora PP (Polypropylene)
- A number of production-related improvements to improve quality and production rate
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.