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HP to scale up its 3D printer enterprise to be used in mass manufacturing

After saying its first income from gross sales, HP Inc. at this time mentioned it’s now targeted on scaling up its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing enterprise that it believes will rival customary manufacturing applied sciences, reminiscent of injection molding.

Whereas HP is planning some direct gross sales of its new Jet Fusion printer lineup, the overwhelming majority of the machines will probably be offered by way of about 30 resellers in North America and Europe, the place the corporate is focusing its consideration.

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What’s fascinating “is 80% of those channel companions are new for HP,” Steven Nigro, president of HP’s 3D Printing enterprise, mentioned throughout a press and analyst briefing on Friday.

HP additionally has greater than a dozen 3D Printing Reference and Expertise facilities all through the U.S. and Europe the place potential clients can check the commercial 3D printing product. HP made the introduced at this time on the RAPID 2017 additive manufacturing conference in Pittsburgh.

HP claims its Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers will allow mass manufacturing of components by way of additive manufacturing (3D printing), as a substitute of fast prototyping, for which the know-how is usually used. The brand new printers are unlikely for use to supply hundreds of thousands or billions of manufacturing components. Assume, as a substitute, by way of a whole lot, 1000’s or tens of 1000’s of components, HP mentioned.

The printer works by first depositing powder (about 100 microns thick, or the thickness of a normal sheet of paper) onto a print mattress utilizing a print bar that appears like a scanning bar on a typical 2D printer. The print bar has 30,000 nozzles spraying 350 million fusing agent droplets per second in particular patterns because it strikes forwards and backwards throughout a print platform.

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The highest of the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer displaying a print bar. It seems like a scanning bar on a typical 2D printer. The 3D print bar, nonetheless, has 30,000 nozzles spraying 350 million drops per second of thermoplastic or different materials.

A detailing fusing agent is sprayed across the edges of a printed object, giving it “sharp” particulars.

HP has mentioned its 3D printers will probably be revolutionary in that they may have the ability to print electronics into the components they create by way of the usage of conductive supplies printed on the voxel degree. Like a pixel in a show, a voxel in 3D printing is a tiny dice, hundreds of thousands of which make up a bigger object. A single voxel is 50 microns in measurement.

HP’s Jet Fusion printers have a print space or a print bin of 16-in. x 12-in. x 16-in. Inside that space, there are 2.four teravoxels (a teravoxel is a trillion voxels).

Within the first quarter of 2017, HP CEO Dion Wiesler mentioned for the primary time the corporate “acknowledged income” from gross sales of the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers, advertising and marketing a “milestone for 3D printing.”

“Took an order, delivered, accepted and obtained cost for first 3D printer models,” Wiesler mentioned in a Feb. 11 earnings name.

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HP has already been working with almost a dozen corporations, permitting them to check the Jet Fusion printing know-how in its labs. The businesses embody Nike, BMW, Johnson & Johnson, Jabil, Siemens, Materialise, Shapeways, Autodesk and Protolabs.

HP initially unveiled its Jet Fusion printer in October 2014.

Ultimately 12 months’s RAPID 3D additive manufacturing convention, HP mentioned it had begun taking orders for its first 3D printer, the HP Jet Fusion, which it claimed is 10 occasions sooner than current machines and might reduce the price of manufacturing components in half.

HP is promoting two fashions of its Jet Fusion printer: the lower-cost and lower-production 3200 collection and the 4200 collection. The 4200 collection started delivery to producers in October; the 3200 collection will probably be out there in mid-2017.

The Jet Fusion printers begin at $130,000, however an entire system, together with publish processing station, will run as excessive as $200,000, in response to Nigro.

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As soon as a print job is full, the printed components should be faraway from the Jet Fusion powder bin and cleaned. Right here an HP technician cleans a printed automobile consumption manifold.

Throughout Friday’s press convention, HP didn’t reply questions on what number of techniques it has offered or how a lot income it has generated up to now.

Nigro, nonetheless, mentioned with a purpose to achieve traction within the $12 trillion manufacturing market, 3D printers must create requirements to attain higher print consistency and machine uptime, transfer away from proprietary print supplies and scale back their prices.

HP has created an open platform the place different corporations can collaborate on supplies innovation in addition to new software program for its 3D printers.

The aim of HP’s open platform, Nigro mentioned, is to proceed to scale back 3D printing prices, improve business adoption and create an open-source platform for licensed 3D supplies that work with its merchandise.

A community of growth companions that already contains BASF, Arkema, Lehmann&Voss&Co., Evonik and SigmaDesign, now has Henkel AG & Firm, a German adhesives producer, within the combine.

“They are a pure match with 3D printing as a result of [adhesives] are one other strategy to convey components collectively,” mentioned Nigro, who added that “50 different materials corporations” have expressed curiosity in partnering with HP to develop new printing inks.

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An HP 10-liter materials cartridge. HP additionally sells 200-liter barrels of printing powder.

The corporate additionally introduced it has signed with not less than 4 product engineering corporations and repair suppliers which might be utilizing Jet Fusion printers to fabricate components on request for patrons. These corporations embody: Fast Radius, SigmaDesign, Shapeways and Materialise.

“You may go to them and purchase components constructed utilizing Multi Jet Fusion know-how,” Nigro mentioned.