Nov 9, 2017 | By Julia

Software giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) is moving swiftly ahead with its recent expansion into 3D printing. Today, the global brand unveiled its newest 3D printing solution: the Jet Fusion 3D 4210, a system upgrade aimed at industrial-scale 3D manufacturing, alongside an expanded materials portfolio.

While the Jet Fusion 3D 4210 isn’t exactly revolutionary from a technological perspective — the new system continues to utilise HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology — the upgrade’s groundbreaking cost efficiency is its true selling point. By raising the industry’s “break-even point” for large-scale 3D printing up to 110,000 parts, the Jet Fusion 3D 4210 significantly lowers overall operating costs while vastly increasing production volume. According to HP reps, that means the lowest cost-per-part (CPP) available so far in the industry, making the new system two-thirds more CPP efficient than other 3D printing methods.

“The new 3D 4210 Printing Solution enables our customers to mass-produce parts using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology for 65% less than other processes, and fully benefit from the economies of scale,” says Ramon Pastor, General Manager of Multi Jet Fusion for HP’s 3D printing business. “HP’s Jet Fusion 3D systems have now reached a technological and economic inflection point that combines the speed, quality, and scalability needed to accelerate manufacturing’s digital industrial revolution.”

The new HP solution includes both hardware and firmware upgrades for existing Jet Fusion systems, which promises to improve users’ overall system efficiency, and open the door for long-lasting, continuous operation. As part of the system upgrades, a new processing station equipped for higher materials volumes is also included.

Bolstering the Jet Fusion announcement is news of HP’s expanded material platform, featuring three new 3D printing materials. First up is the HP 3D High Reusability PA 11, aimed at producing low-cost, high-quality functional parts such as prosthetics, insoles, sports equipment, snap fits, and living hinges. This is a highly durable PA that boasts excellent impact resistance and ductility.

Alongside the new PA material, HP will soon be releasing the HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 Glass Beads. Again geared at low-cost, high-quality parts, the forthcoming PA 12 Glass Beads are best suited to applications with high stiffness, such as enclosures, housings, molds, and toolings. Dimensional stability and decent repeatability are among the PA 12 Glass Beads’ strong points.

Rounding out HP’s new materials launch is the HP 3D High Reusability Polypropylene, a durable, inexpensive material offering enhanced flexibility and excellent chemical resistance. Both lightweight and watertight, this polypropylene material is a good counterbalance to the new PAs, opening up a diverse range of applications for industrial 3D printing. All of HP’s new materials will remain compatible with all existing HP Jet Fusion printing systems.

Though not yet available on the market, HP clients have voiced support for the new roster of printing materials. “We were among the earliest adopters of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion, and it has never been more clear to us that it represents the future of digital manufacturing,” said Corey Weber, Co-Founder of Forecast 3D.

Lastly, a cluster of new partners have joined the HP Jet Fusion family, which already includes companies such as Arkema, BASF, Evonik, Henkel, Lehmann & Voss, and Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical Company. As a major brand in specialized grinding and refining chemotechnical products, Germany’s Dressler Group can now count itself among HP’s partner ecosystem. Announced as a preferred HP partner for developing and manufacturing powder for the Multi Jet Fusion systems, Dressler will be offering HP’s materials collaborators exclusive access to its toll grinding manufacturing capabilities.

Additionally, the Berkshire Hathaway company Lubrizol has joined HP’s expanded partner base. Boasting one of the broadest portfolios of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) in the industry, Lubrizol will play a large role in HP’s material development, as well as assisting in final part production for the Jet Fusion 3D systems.

Dow Chemical and DSM were also included in today’s big announcement, as two companies that are set to develop 3D powders for Jet Fusion 3D printers via HP’s industry-oriented Materials Development Kit (MDK). Existing HP partners Evonik and Henkel will also be taking on a central role in HP powder development. Evonik is currently investing in powder capacity expansion and business resources to support the market’s transition from prototyping to full-fledged manufacturing. Henkel, who was recently announced as the first HP Jet Fusion global reseller, will be focusing its efforts on accelerating 3D printing adoption, as well as developing materials for custom applications.

In light of the big news, HP has already opened up pre-orders for the 3D 4210 Printing Solution upgrade, which is expected to hit the market soon.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer

 

 

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