May 18, 2016 | By Alec

HP Inc. is creating a lot of buzz in the 3D printing world right now as just yesterday, the company unveiled their first ever 3D printing system: the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printer. Up to ten times faster than competing machines and capable of cutting down production costs by up to 50 percent, the Jet Fusion 3D Printer could have the power to change industrial 3D printing as we know it. Nike is already one of the first adopters, and will be using it to prototype 3D printed footwear. Additionally, as the company’s CEO Dion Weisler revealed, 3D printing could be the key technology in reinvigorating HP and has therefore become one of the company’s top priorities.

Though the Silicon Valley pioneer has been at the very top for years, core HP product sales have dropped in recent years. These drops even led to the unglamorous splitting up of the company into Hewlett-Packard Co. and HP Inc.. The former now hosts all the data center and business software services, while HP Inc. deals with hardware, such as PCs and printing.

According to Weisler, that hardware could actually be the key solution to bringing HP back to where it belongs. With this new release, he is therefore betting it all on 3D printing. And Weisler might be the right man to realize that. Having a solid background in PCs, he previously worked at Acer and Lenovo before transferring to HP in 2012 to become head of the Asia Pacific and Japan Printing and Personal Systems department. During the company's split, Weisler was tapped to become CEO of HP Inc.

So how can 3D printers help a company whose PC sales are decreasing in an increasingly volatile market? As Weisler explains, they are not seeking to switch from digital technologies to manufacturing, but are simply trying to incorporate the entirety of digital innovation technologies into HP. “I don't think PCs are ever gonna go away, people are still gonna have to interact with their digital worlds. But we're going to create new categories,” he explained. “Immersive computing, different ways in which you interact with your PCs, take things from the physical world, take them into the digital world, change and manipulate them.”

And 3D printing will become, he believes, a key technology for combining that interactive digital world with the physical. “[3D printing is] part of a complement of an entire suite of products, but we think that it has the opportunity to tap into a $12 trillion manufacturing industry, and that is pretty exciting,” he explained to reporters.

What’s more, Weisler argues, 3D printing can have an incredible economic impact by democratizing manufacturing. “Manufacturing today typically happens in faraway places, and that costs a lot of inventory, warehousing costs, costs of capital all are all tied up, and [3D printing] enables you to move manufacturing much closer to where your customers are,” he says. “We think this is the cusp of the next Industrial Revolution.”

The CEO added that this is already being proven by companies like Nike, BMW, and Johnson & Johnson, who are the first adopters of the Jet Fusion 3D printer. “[Together we are] figuring out how to build innovative products where complexity is essentially free ... and bring breakthrough products to market,” he says. “When you solve the problems of speed, quality and cost with the breakthrough economics, it really does create an inflection point where digital manufacturing makes much more sense than traditional manufacturing.”

What’s more, the Jet Fusion 3D printer could be the right hardware platform to realize this. This new 3D printer will be available in two models – the HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer and HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer – both with very large build platforms and amazing resolution levels. Specifically designed to produce end-use parts of the highest quality, the 3D printer prints at the individual voxel level (50 microns). Through altering properties, users are 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,” said Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business.

The release is certainly a milestone. “We see it having an impact that we haven’t seen in 28 years,” said Terry Wohlers, president of 3D printing market consultants Wohlers Associates. While HP and Weisler have a long way to go, Wohlers believes this 3D printing platform could realize unique and exciting manufacturing opportunities. Success will also depend on HP Inc.’s ability to incorporate more materials, production techniques and software platforms into their product.

Weisler, however, believes that this is the first step towards turning 3D printing into a mainstream manufacturing method capable of turning out thousands of products a day. And HP already has “a very long road map” of innovation to lead us there. “The inkjet printer and the laser jet printer transformed the way homes and offices worked in the past, and we expect that 3D printing will do exactly the same. Today it’s only a 5 billion industry, but it taps into 13 trillion dollar manufacturing industry,” he said.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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