May 4, 2023
3D Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire Wematter, a Swedish 3D printer manufacturer, in an effort to expand 3D Systems’ Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) portfolio, the company says. Wematter designed and introduced the Wematter Gravity in 2019, a turnkey SLS solution.
The closed-loop system is designed to operate in a smaller footprint environment outside of a manufacturing floor, such as an office. Wematter has expanded to three models—Gravity Essential, Gravity Essential+ and Gravity Enterprise—to facilitate the adoption of SLS for a wider range of user environments. As a result of this acquisition, 3D Systems will be able to make SLS available to a broader range of customers for the production of end-use parts.
The Wematter Gravity was designed to make additive manufacturing accessible in smaller environments, according to the company. The small footprint (0.7x0.7x1.5 m) requires less space, yet has a large build volume (300x300x300 mm), and can complete a job in 24 hours or less. The Gravity is CE-certified for use in offices, hospitals, and research laboratories to manufacture production parts for applications including automotive, consumer goods and medical devices and equipment.
The Gravity only requires a standard power source and an ethernet connection, which enables plug-and-play installation and can be operational in less than an hour from delivery. This is facilitated by an interface that guides the user through setup and print process. The Wematter Gravity includes a portfolio of 20 materials to address various applications.
The powder handling system maintains a closed loop, ensuring no loose powder. The system facilitates recycling of unused powder for multiple cycles, which enables manufacturers to use the material and eliminate waste. Because the Gravity is connected to the Cloud, users can start and monitor print jobs remotely, which helps increase productivity. The cloud-based connection also facilitates preventative maintenance to maximize uptime and productivity.
“We continue to invest in our solution portfolio through strategic acquisitions that add unique technologies to enable rapid adoption of additive manufacturing in production environments,” says Jeffrey Graves, president and CEO, 3D Systems. “Since the announcement last fall that 3D Systems would become the exclusive global distributor of Wematter’s products, it became increasingly apparent to us how beneficial it would be to have this team and technology as part of our company. Through the acquisition of Wematter, we’ll benefit from their team’s unique engineering approach and expertise as part of our R&D organization, and our customers will benefit from the capabilities of this user-friendly, elegant platform at a more affordable price point.”
“We’re looking forward to becoming part of 3D Systems and benefitting from the company’s reputation as a leader in innovation, and being able to expand the availability of our Gravity SLS solution to customers worldwide through their global sales network,” says Robert Kniola, president, Wematter. “Our unique SLS solution is designed to accelerate product development and in-house volume production with a click of a button.”
3D Systems expects this transaction to close in July of 2023. The company will comment further on this growth investment in its upcoming earnings call, scheduled for Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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