One year after Matteo Rigamonti unveiled Weerg, his latest online venture, the Italian business is expanding.
It is moving to a highly automated headquarters at Gardigiano, close to Venice, where it has committed to 5,000m2 and has optioned a further 3,000m2 of manufacturing space. It has also added a Wenzel high speed, high precision measuring tool to verify the finished quality of engineered products ahead of shipping.
“The introduction of a measuring machine represents another significant step forward towards the goal we set ourselves: ever more precise and faster parts at ever more competitive costs,” says Rigamonti.
Rigamonti had founded Pixartprinting before selling the online print business first to a venture capital company and then steering it into the hands of Cimpress. Now he has returned to print and to online business with a platform for 3D printing and mechanical parts production. And he has shifted from being one of the largest users of HP Indigo presses in Europe to being one of the largest HP Jet Fusion 4210 3D printer users in Europe.
Despite producing one-off or limited batches of solid objects rather than leaflets and posters, online quotation, fast turnaround and high quality production remain. The company will move from a Cad file to a part shipped within five days.
Weerg represents a €3 million investment, running six of the HP 3D printers and ten Hermle C42U 5 axis machining tools and high precision finishing centres. A customer can move from a prototype produced on the 3D machines to a part that can be a component for a finished device in quantities up to 5,000 units, coming up against die casting just as digital printing has encroached on litho print.
And just as online ordering and ecommerce have had a huge impact on the printing industry, Rigamonti believes the same processes can transform what is a diverse industry and that Weerg will be perfectly placed for the Industry 4.0 wave.
While the customer base is proving to be engineers and mechanics as well as engineering designers, customers for the 3D printing arm are also designing more frivolous items, figurines, promotional gifts and toys. It receives around 150 orders a day.
The key will be a lower unit cost than other methods of 3D printing, just as online printing lowered the cost of entry to buying print. Says Rigamonti: “Our watchword is 'optimisation'. The objective of creating millions of different parts per year can only be achieved with perfect work organisation and a flow that allows automation and precision at the same time. That's why we continue to invest in the latest generation of industrial performance systems.”
Matteo Rigamonti started Weeg last year to provide engineering on demand services uses CNC machines and 3D printers, swapping a line up of HP Indigos for a line up of HP Jet Fusion printers. And a year in, the company is delivering 150 orders a day.
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Weeg is one of the largest users in Europe of the HP Jet Fusion 4210 3D printer. Designed for industrial-scale 3D manufacturing environments, the new machine lowers overall operating costs while increasing production volume capabilities.
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