The new challenge is 3D Printing
Is it the longing for innovation, a personal challenge or another winning intuition? Matteo Rigamonti, an enlightened entrepreneur known in the visual communication world for having founded Pixartprinting Spa in 1994, today amongst the European leaders in the online printing service, has created Weerg.com, the first platform that offers CNC machining and 3D printing exclusively online.
The company has been growing exponentially in very little time, and there are two more recent announcements: the installation of 3 HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printers and the achievement of the prestigious international certification Trusted Shops, synonymous of guarantee and quality for all the European e-commerces.
But let's take a step back. After selling part of Pixartprinting to the Alcedo fund (2011), to then completely exit the company in 2016 by selling it to the Cimpress Group - world leader in mass customization -, Rigamonti moved to Paris where he currently lives with his family. With a pioneer gene in his DNA, he could not resist the temptation to get back into the game. "I thought for a while to build the new factory in France where I live, but I strongly believe in the quality of the Made in Italy, and the choice, perhaps even for superstition, fell on Marghera in the province of Venice, in the same building where began my adventure with Pixart ", he says.
Dreamer by nature, pragmatic by character, Rigamonti has studied for a long time, to identify a mature market where to bring his desire to innovate. Hence the idea of applying the pure e-commerce business model to the mechanical market, where there are thousands of production companies but where innovation is not the watchword. "When we presented Weerg, there were those who welcomed the idea with enthusiasm, and those who expressed perplexity". But tenacity is proven over time, and just two years after Weerg's launch, it closed the year 2017 by a tenfold increase in turnover and announcing millions of euros of investments in cutting edge technology. Combining the benefits of the mechanical tradition with the advantages of a service based on e-commerce, weerg.com owes its success also to the simplicity of use, so much as to become the claim "get your parts, very fast": just send the project file online, in one of the many popular 3D CAD formats, and the request is processed in real time.
The company uses the most powerful machines in the world, capable of guaranteeing extremely high levels of automation, divided into two production lines: a battery of 10 Hermle 5-axis continuous work centers for CNC machining and 3 HP Jet Fusion 4200 for 3D prints, the only system today able to offer industrial standards according to Rigamonti. "The demand for 3D works exceeded our expectations. We have recorded an increasing number of very different orders from users attentive to the speed of delivery times, which made it necessary to immediately increase production capacity. The performance of the Jet Fusion 4200 printer fully met our expectations and the machine proved to be incredibly fast and productive with very competitive costs, even for the production of runs of up to 5,000 pieces. We are convinced that thanks to this technology, 3D Printing, limited so far to ludic or experimental uses, is on the right track to become concretely useful and functional "- comments Matteo Rigamonti.
Many Weerg customers are in fact testing 3D printing for applications that were previously carried out in CNC or die-casting. Among them, professionals such as engineers, designers, but also mechanical companies operating on behalf of third parties. They are flanked by the "explorers", a new category of users approaching 3D printing for the first time, demonstrating needs that have hitherto been latent and giving rise to new markets to which the Venetian e-commerce responds with the usual simplicity and punctuality, offering parts at competitive costs, quickly and with top quality results.
Weerg is a model example of industry 4.0, where production is constant and silent, the numerical control machines operate autonomously, the workflow is verified by the monitor and the interventions of the operators are reduced to a minimum. Everything is orchestrated by what happens online, on the e-commerce platform, where today convey more than 10000 requests for quotes that convert into a daily average of 300 orders.
Thanks to the internet, Weerg has no boundaries: 33% of customers are Italian, followed by the Germans who represent 24% of the portfolio and many other European and extra-European countries, reaching Australia and New Zealand. "I've always been passionate about mechanics - says Rigamonti - but what I find extremely stimulating is being able to offer the market what it needs. With Weerg we are able to give users an answer that was not there: price transparency, speed of execution, certainty of deliveries ".