DWS Systems was founded as the Italian distribution arm of a Japanese 3D printing company. In 2007, it decided to move into production of its own ‘Made in Italy’ 3D printers and printing materials. Its previous experience meant that it was already exporting to 35 countries outside Europe.
“Our business model was based on the total integration of the entire production process,” says General Manager Maurizio Costabeber. “3D printing brings together a range of disciplines such as chemistry, electronics and computing. Rather than working with outside partners, we can unite all of this expertise under one roof.”
Another key decision taken early on in the company’s development was to seek financing for the expensive development stages from the market rather than the banks.
“It meant convincing customers to pay upfront before the products were made,” explains Mr. Costabeber. “This may sound primitive, but it had the advantage of guaranteeing our autonomy and making us self-financed with no external partners.”
The key target industry in those early years was the luxury jewellery sector, which used the technique to create amazingly intricate designs and usher in a popular new trend.
At the same time, DWS started developing 3D printers for other fields such as the medical and dental sectors and industry in general. “We have supplied more than 1,500 3D printers for the jewellery sector in the past twelve years, and this continues to be a major market,” says Mr. Costabeber. “We were the first company to offer rapid production and have now developed machines that can produce up to 2,000 individual pieces of jewellery per day.”
The new high-capacity machines have been five years in development and are the latest addition to the company’s Digital Wax rapid manufacturing systems.
Around eight years ago, DWS began to develop additive manufacturing systems for the dental sector. “The biggest challenge was developing compatible materials,” says Mr. Costabeber. “Today, we can offer machines that can produce high-quality temporary restorations during a single appointment. Our most innovative product is capable of producing the final prothesis or implant. It was launched this year and has already obtained European certification. We are currently in the process of obtaining certification for the US and Korean markets.”
The new machine will revolutionize dental practice. Instead of taking moulds of the patient’s mouth and sending them to a dental laboratory to produce the prothesis, dentists will be able to produce highly accurate and durable prostheses in their own surgeries in under 20 minutes.
The material used is a ceramic-nano composite that was also developed by DWS. “We channel our expertise into both machine and materials development,” explains Mr. Costabeber. “The wider the range of additive materials we can offer, the wider the range of applications for our machines. The other key goal for our developers is to increase production capacity. This means speeding up the printing process and bringing down unit costs. Only then will 3D printing have a future in the wider manufacturing market.”
DWS Systems exhibits at industry fairs all around the world and is the world leader with an unmatched range of machines and materials. “Our ultimate goal is to produce a 3D printer for personal use,” concludes Mr. Costabeber