HP, the leader in digital printing, announced its first 3D printing system for large-scale manufacturing. The HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution claims to be different from other 3D printers and several companies, among them BMW, Nike and Johnson & Johnson, have already signed up to be the first ones to test the new printers.
HP’s 3D printing technology is different than others as it can print pieces using multiple materials or multiple colors at the same time. HP explains that they are planning for their 3D printing system to be implemented into either the prototype stage of a product, which can take a long time and be quite costly, or for products that are manufactured in small numbers, such as parts in aircrafts or industrial machinery. HP also claims that this technology is 10 times faster and will produce objects at half the price of other technologies out there. While 3D printing is a method many companies use solely for prototyping, HP believes their system could eventually replace traditional manufacturing processes. Companies like Nike see its potential in customizable shoes and other athletic wear, while BMW plans to use 3D printing for a better and faster way of building their own prototypes. The two HP commercial-grade printers, called the Jet Fusion 3200 and 4200, will have a starting price of about $130,000. Clearly HP is not targeting consumers as many other 3D printing companies have been recently. Currently, both Jet printers can print out about 2,500 1.5-inch plastic gears in roughly 10 hours. While this might not seem particularly fast, many traditional desktop printers would only be able to print about 20 plastic gears in the same amount of time.
Along with these printers, HP launched what they call the “material app store,” where third-party companies can help develop materials which will be used in the Jet printers. Despite the impressive features, HP is just starting out in the 3D printing game, which contains plenty more established players with more experience – think EOS and 3D Systems. Canalys analyst Joe Kempton explained, “It is absolutely a game changer for the 3D printing industry. But there are many more hurdles before HP’s printer can be considered the best possible system on the market.”
Check out the video below to learn more about HP’s 3D printing system
Article Written by Mila Medonaite for Design Engine, May 18, 2016