Wematter launched the Gravity 2021 3D printer, a new thermal additive manufacturing system that boast automation capable of removing certain maintenance activities. This latest printer builds the Swedish company’s profile as a user-centric manufacturer. The Gravity is Wematter’s most advanced product to date. Its improvements over previous print systems include a reinforced recoater and upgraded thermal design. The company launched a water-jet cleaning cabinet with improved ergonomics, named Density 2021, alongside the new printer. The company also announced the Inertia, a unit that collects and recycles unsintered powder after printing.
Many of the new innovative features that Gravity 2021 has been integrated with completely remove certain maintenance steps and the machine provides a more smooth sintering process with the help of the software’s new algorithms.
Changing the recoater system is an extensive modification in a powder bed machine and 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. By further encapsulating the construction, no moving parts are worn during operation. Thanks to this detail, two out of ten steps are eliminated during each cleaning of the machine’s build-chamber. Set-up time for each job is also reduced.
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 because if each layer of powder is not evenly distributed over the entire surface, the surface of the print will be uneven.
Even heat distribution throughout the printing process is a second variable that improves surface finish. Wematter created new hardware that includes an improved sensor array along with extensive software updates. This thermal design better allows the system to achieve a more accurate reading of temperature deviations during printing.
Founder and CEO Robert Kniola commented that: “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.”