May 17, 2016 | By Benedict

HP, the legal successor of printing giant Hewlett-Packard, today unveiled its first ever 3D printing system, the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution. The new machine can purportedly create parts up to 10 times faster than current 3D printing systems, and at half the cost.

At long last, the world’s most recognizable name in 2D printing has embraced the Z-axis and unveiled its first ever 3D printer, which it hopes will revolutionize final parts manufacturing. For some time now, voices in the industry have speculated over whether HP could successfully make the transition into 3D printing technology, and ever since the first prototype of the 3D printer was created around five years ago, information about the company’s first additive manufacturing machine has slowly trickled into the public domain.

Today, HP unveiled the highly anticipated 3D printer at the RAPID additive manufacturing event in Orlando, Florida. Rather than focusing on rapid prototyping, HP has designed the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution to produce end-use parts of the highest quality. To achieve this aim, the 3D printer will print parts at the individual voxel level (50 microns), just as its 2D printer cousins print on paper in 2D pixels.

By transforming part properties at the voxel level, users will be able to experience a high level of design control and countless combinations of colors, materials, and applications. “Our 3D printing platform is unique in its ability to address over 340 million voxels per second, versus one point at a time, giving our prototyping and manufacturing partners radically faster build speeds, functional parts and breakthrough economics,” explained Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business.

HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200

The new 3D printer will come in two models: the HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer and HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer. The 3200, at $130,000 ($155,000 with Processing Station), has been optimized for prototyping, and will be delivered to buyers in 2017. The 4200, which is additionally optimized to handle short-run manufacturing, produces the lowest cost per part, and will be delivered in late 2016. Only the 4200 is currently available to order. Both 3D printers will work in tandem with intuitive HP software, high-quality materials, and an optional HP Jet Fusion 3D Processing Station with Fast Cooling.

The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution is being targeted primarily at model shops and 3D print service bureaus, with its simplified workflow, final parts manufacturing, and open materials innovation platform giving businesses a high level of flexibility and versatility when using the system. “The new HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution delivers a combination of speed, quality, and cost never seen in the industry,” Nigro said. “Businesses and manufacturers can completely rethink how they design and deliver solutions to their customers.”

HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200

Lacking an established 3D printing materials catalogue of its own, HP has created an innovative, open-platform materials platform, which was first announced by the company back in 2014. HP believes that a collaborative materials development process, culminating in a materials "app store", with partners such as Arkema, BASF, Evonik and Lehmann & Voss, will ultimately lead to reduced 3D printing costs and quicker industry adoption of 3D printing. HP has also developed a dedicated software package for its new pieces of hardware. Another collaborative process, this time with software experts at Materialise, Siemens, and Autodesk, has resulted in a highly intuitive software package which will utilize the newly developed 3MF 3D printing file format. The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution will be the first machine to be fully compliant with this new standard.

Given HP’s relative inexperience in the 3D printing field, the company has enlisted the help of further collaborators for development and strategic support. Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Jabil, Siemens, Shapeways, Materialise, and Protolabs are just some of the companies to participate in the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution project, while additive manufacturing experts at BMW have also pledged their support. All of these partners will becoming early adopters of the hardware. “For our future roadmap toward serial part production and personal customization, we see major potential in our partnership with HP to investigate this new kind of 3D printing technology at an early stage,” said Jens Ertel, Head of the BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center.

Although it is very early days for the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, HP is already looking to potential future developments for its new technology. These include the ability to print sensors and other components directly into 3D printed objects, and printing parts with embedded information, such as codes and traces, for security and tracking purposes. HP is even embracing traditional RepRap principles, by creating custom plastic parts for the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printers using the printers themselves. The company says that as many as 50% of custom plastic parts of future machines could be 3D printed.

The unveiling of the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution is only the latest example of successful cross-pollination between the interconnected worlds of 2D and 3D printing. In early April, former Hewlett-Packard executive vice president Vyomesh Joshi became president and CEO of 3D Systems, taking his wealth of printer-related business experience into the third dimension. Whether HP can now begin to compete with 3D Systems in the 3D printer market is another matter entirely.

HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer

  • Build volume: 16 x 12 x 16 in
  • Print speed: 4500 cm³/hr (275 in³/hr)
  • Layer thickness: 0.07 to 0.12 mm (0.0025 to 0.005 in)
  • Print resolution (x,y): 1200dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 2178 x 1238 x 1448 mm (85.7 x 48.7 x 57 in)

HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer

  • Build volume: 16 x 12 x 16 in
  • Print speed: 3500 cm³/hr (215 in³/hr)
  • Layer thickness: 0.08 to 0.10 mm (0.003 to 0.004 in)
  • Print resolution (x,y): 1200dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 2178 x 1238 x 1448 mm (85.7 x 48.7 x 57 in)

 

 

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Gerard wrote at 5/19/2016 7:42:23 PM:

What filaments and materials will the HP be able to wor with? Will it print in PC, finer carbon, etc?

Kevin wrote at 5/17/2016 11:21:34 PM:

Trouble is that 10x is only the build vs FDM or some SLS, but without that $25,000 cooling unit not available till 2017, the parts can't even be post processed till the cool down is done, equaling roughly the build time like a 10hr print may take another 10 hrs to cool. Also overall time to part in hand is not all that much faster for a Nylon part(s)



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