Mar 20, 2017 | By Julia
In breaking news from the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) conference today, HP officially unveiled its next steps in the climb toward its highly anticipated additive manufacturing program.
Just last week, the printing and software giant announced a new 3,500 square foot 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab will begin operations out of HP’s Corvallis, Oregon site. Intended as a state-of-the-art ‘catalyst for innovation,’ the new lab will aim to increase collaborations across industries, as well as provide testing grounds for partner’s new 3D printing materials. The news was a welcome update after months of silence following the launch of HP’s first ever 3D printer, the HP Jet Fusion 3D Print Solution, but still left several question marks regarding the company’s future plans.
Now, HP’s announcements at AMUG have finally delivered some more answers. Highlights include: officially unveiling their Material Development Kit (MDK) to simply testing and certification of partners’ new materials; fully showcasing the previously mentioned 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab; and finally, revealing several key material developments with BASF and Evonik.
The HP Corvallis, Oregon Facility
"An open ecosystem of industry leaders is critical for greater innovation, breakthrough economics, and faster development of 3D printing materials and applications," said Tim Weber, global head of 3D Materials and Advanced Applications at HP.
"Our growing certified partner network and leading-edge lab facilities are a testament to the progress we are making in spearheading a dynamic community of collaborators focused on delivering the most innovative and production-ready 3D printing solutions," he added.
But what does all this actually mean for HP and the 3D printing industry? Let’s walk you through some of the juicy details now.
HP, in collaboration with SIGMADESIGN, will offer the industry’s first MDK for 3D printing materials. The release stands as an integral element in HP’s open platform strategy, enabling partner companies to quickly test 3D powder spread-ability and compatibility with HP Jet Fusion 3D printers before submitting to HP for testing. A simplified certification and testing process for partners, in short, should mean faster innovation cycles without compromising quality standards.
President and CEO of SIGMADESIGN Bill Huseby bolstered the news, noting that many companies currently do not have the internal capabilities to execute 3D printing visions as quickly or as broadly as needed. “We are proud to provide world-class foundational tools such as the MDK and in-depth design expertise for organizations ready to innovate using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology right now,” he said.
The HP-SIGMADESIGN MDK is expected to ship this spring, but is already available for pre-order by interested partners.
HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200
Next up is the first official glimpse of HP’s new 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab. This state-of-the-art laboratory is the first of its kind, and aims to help companies develop, test, and deliver the next generation of materials and applications for 3D printing. Located in Oregon, the new lab will feature a range of equipment and in-house expertise to accelerate partners’ materials and applications innovation.
Everything in the way of specs, numbers, and other technical details about the new 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab are still on the way, but for now, it’s worth re-stating that the entire Lab will be geared towards establishing the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution among leading industry players. All material testing and prototyping at HP’s Oregon facility will develop accordingly.
HP 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab
Finally, HP Partners BASF and Evonik divulged new info about what material developments at the Lab will actually look like.
"Based on BASF's experience and R&D capabilities, we have been able to accelerate the development of materials with better mechanical properties by leveraging HP's 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab," said Kara Noack, Head of 3D-Printing North America, BASF.
"We have been able to develop multiple versions of thermoplastic elastomers including TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane, adding to an already comprehensive product portfolio. HP's 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab is allowing us to provide a wider range of innovative materials to the industry."
In addition to the BASF publicity, Evonik also generated considerable buzz for HP at AMUG, as the first partner to announce plans for commercializing a certified material for the HP Open Platform. The VESTOSINT 3D Z2773 is a PA-12 powder material introduced for the HP 3D printer, and certified last October. Now, BASF is rapidly moving ahead with release plans.
HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200
“We are now excited to confirm initial availability in May with the full commercial offering available for our customers shortly thereafter," said Dr. Matthias Kottenhahn, Head of the Business Line High Performance Polymers of Evonik. Kottenhahn noted that, thanks to leveraging the HP Open Materials and Applications Lab, his team was able to develop, certify, and begin selling their new material in only six months.
The news is exciting not only for HP and new potential partners, but also for industry players around the world. As Kottenhahn noted, "the open approach to materials and applications of HP opens a bright future for our industry."
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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