Wematter, a Swedish startup specializing in SLS 3D printing, has launched two new products for the additive market: a new SLS 3D printer, Gravity 2020, and the BlasThing Cabinet for safely and cost-efficiently cleaning SLS parts.
Based in Linköping, Sweden, Wematter is a 3D printing hardware startup with a strong vision for on-demand, Industry-4.0-driven manufacturing. The company’s first hardware release, the Wematter Gravity, offered an office friendly SLS solution capable of printing strong polymer components for a range of design applications.
Now, the company has introduced its newest 3D printer generation, the Gravity 2020, with a build volume of 300 x 300 x 300 mm and an integrated powder handling system. The relatively compact system—which has a footprint of 750 x 630 x 1,680 mm—was designed for in-office use and can be powered by a single 230v 10A power socket and an ethernet connection.
As Robert Kniola, founder and CEO of Wematter, said: “We have worked hard to only use a standard 230v 10A socket and to comply with CE-regulations for IT-equipment so minimize the installation effort from our customers.”
The system is also notable for its powder handling system which uses pneumatics to transport, dose and evacuate powder within a safe, closed system. The SLS printer is also driven by algorithms which smartly stack 3D models and generate laser paths, resulting in parts with superior mechanical properties.
The new system is reportedly compatible with a range of materials. When ordered, it will be shipped with Wematter’s Aurora material, a PA11-based powder. Wematter is also working on developing new materials for the system, including a nano-cellulosa-based powder and graphene-based conductive materials.
“The team is expanding rapidly and we will introduce new materials to the market the coming years to come,” added Henrik Lundgren, Co-Founder and Process Manager at Wematter. “Our target focus right now is repeatability, durability and high precision in the process and the components.”
Wematter has also launched a new piece of equipment for efficiently cleaning SLS prints: the BlasThing Cabinet. The office-friendly system tackles one of the main challenges of working with powder-based 3D printing systems: handling and getting rid of excess powder in a safe and economic way.
Typically, loose powder is removed using a combination of compressed air and vacuuming. This process can be time consuming and is often not wholly successful in keeping powder contained. The BlasThing Cabinet, by contrast, is a closed system that uses recirculating water and a special filtering system to safely and easily clean printed parts. The approach, which uses pressurized water up to 100 bars, can reportedly extract and clean 3D printed parts in mere seconds. The water also binds to the powder, stopping it from spreading. Finally, the water is filtered out.
Kniola said of the new product: “There where two main driving factors that lead to the creation of BlasThing Cabinet was to reduce the risk of spreading powder and to find an effective solution for extracting powder from cavities.”
The system is also easy to install as it only requires a 230V socket. Users simply have to fill the system with tap water, which is then recirculated, meaning that no water connection is necessary. By simplifying the cleaning process for SLS parts, Wematter hopes to make the technology more accessible.