GLOBAL – Hewlett-Packard (HP) is entering the 3D-printing sector with the introduction of its new industrial 3D printer.
The HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer is built on HP Thermal Inkjet technology and features a unique synchronous architecture which the company claims “significantly improves the commercial viability of 3D printing and has the potential to change the way we think about manufacturing”.
The 3D printer images entire surface areas versus one point at a time to achieve break-through functional build speeds that are at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in market today, at 50% lower cost, says HP.
A proprietary multi-agent printing process utilizing HP Thermal Inkjet arrays simultaneously applies multiple liquid agents to produce best-in-class quality that combines greater accuracy, resiliency and uniform part strength in all three axis directions. HP says its 3D printer is capable of delivering fully functional parts with more accuracy, finer details and smooth surfaces, and is also able to manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical, thermal properties and more.
With its 3D printing technology’s ability to unify and integrate various steps of the 3D print process to reduce running time, cost, energy consumption and waste to significantly improve 3D printing economics, HP says the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer has the “potential to revolutionize production and offer small businesses a new way to produce goods and parts for customers.”
While prices have yet to be officially announced, Steve Nigro, senior vice president of HP’s Inkjet and Graphics Solutions Businesses, says the device would be competitively priced against other industrial 3D printers on the market today that run between US$100,000 and US$1 million.
Nigro also revealed that HP intends to target enterprise and service provider “central production environment”, aiming for one-offs or limited production runs instead of mass production.