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WEERG has historically targeted CNC machining clientele, but with orders for additively manufactured parts rising fast, the company has found itself needing to expand its 3D printing capacity. To fulfill these orders, the firm has opted to acquire four INTAMSYS FUNMAT PRO 410 systems, and it’s said to be so impressed with their high-temperature capabilities, that it’s weighing up installing more.
“The FUNMAT PRO 410 allows us to process high-performance polymers that enable our customers to innovate with them in highly loaded, thermally challenging, and metal replacement applications,” said Fabio Trotti, 3D R&D Manager of WEERG. “It gives us the confidence that is needed to print 24/7 unattended with long print jobs of 100+ hours. It redefines what can be achieved with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology.”
WEERG’s 3D printing journey
CEO Matteo Rigamonti founded WEERG in the commune of Marghera, Venice seven years ago, to expedite the process of getting quotes for and delivering CNC machined parts. Now based in Gardigiano, the service bureau has gone on to equip its website with a proprietary algorithm-driven quoting tool, which initially provided clients with CNC quotes, and now calculates 3D printing order costs too.
WEERG prides itself on delivering easy-to-attain online quotes, as well as the rapid delivery of parts within three days, while putting client satisfaction first. This approach has seen the firm become a leading manufacturing service provider, in that it receives an average of 20,000 quotes per day, and its inundated quotation system is said to be used by others in the industry to create their own benchmarks.
Initially, WEERG didn’t see mass production via 3D printing as viable, thus when it opened its 3D department in 2017, it installed just six Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 5210s there. Based on the part cost and quality the company was able to realize with these systems, as well as their PA11, PA12, PP, and PA12+ GlassBead compatibility, it deemed the project a success, and it continues to build out its portfolio today.
Prior to turning to INTAMSYS, WEERG’s combined CNC machining, FFF and resin 3D printing abilities allowed it to create parts from three types of aluminum or steel, as well as polymers like nylons. However, with the company increasingly getting requests for industrial components with high stiffness, more than half of which were coming from overseas, it began looking for a high-temperature system.
In particular, WEERG was seeing demand from businesses looking for polymer parts with properties like flame retardancy, stiffness and high electrical insulation, alongside thermal, chemical and hydrolysis resistance. Though the company was already using resin 3D printers for medical and model 3D printing, it quickly realized it needed to acquire machines capable of processing materials such as PEEK.
“Our clients are really curious about high-performance materials and about how they can use them in their company,” explains Trotti. “The innovation of AM is stimulating product designers that work with us to develop in a new way, driving innovation forward.”
Entering high-temp manufacturing
Following an extensive search, which saw WEERG talk to a number of 3D printer manufacturers and carry out several benchmarking tests, the firm eventually chose to adopt INTAMSYS machines. At first, the company adopted a single FUNMAT PRO 410, a system with a 305 x 305 x 406 mm build volume, that can be heated to a constant chamber temperature of up to 90℃.
The firm’s engineers are said to have been especially impressed by the machine’s robust feel and easy-to-use interface, which enables it to be operated without users having to fiddle with knobs or buttons. WEERG’s team have also been pleased by the system’s heated filament draw, which automatically manages materials to ensure they remain in the optimal window for 3D printing consistent parts.
Other areas, such as the machine’s aesthetic finish, in combination with its heated chamber, dual-heated nozzles, and its easy-to-use software with click-to-print PA12-CF and PEEK processing capabilities, are also said to have gone down well.
Since expanding its FUNMAT PRO 410 portfolio to four units, WEERG has become able to print PEEK prototype gears for testing, in a way that enables them to be rapidly iterated upon. Using the system alongside a carbon fiber-reinforced PA12, the firm has also begun producing parts such as GoPro helmet mounting brackets, which are both lightweight and rigid enough to withstand hard knocks.
More broadly, adopting the machine has shaken up WEERG’s workflow as well, as it’s now capable of running over 100-hour prints confidently on the shopfloor, while doing so 24/7. In part, the company has been able to achieve this thanks to INTAMSYS’ support, and Rigamonti says the firms’ relationship is so good, as “they’re always there to help,” boding well for their continued partnership long-term.
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Featured image shows WEERG engineers assessing the quality of an INTAMSYS-3D printed part. Photo via INTAMSYS.