Partnerships key to market growth
Faced with such a complex undertaking, HP says it’s looking to partners for help. When companies develop new products, they typically engage with materials suppliers for the testing and prototyping of specialty applications. There are thousands of them, many of which are proprietary formulations.
According to Weber, it’s a win-win: partners can solve customer problems using 3D-printing technology, while HP expands its materials library. Partners send engineers to work in the lab on HP’s tools and printers, who will return with what they’ve learned to develop materials in more rapid development cycles.
“There’s no way that HP itself can develop and certify the some 30,000 materials made by all the materials companies in the world,” said Weber. “Working together in a hands-on, agile development environment enables us to test and certify materials that are compatible with our Multi Jet Fusion technology.”
Ultimately, HP hopes to open a materials platform so that customers can have an experience similar to an app store, where they have a variety of certified materials to choose from. In October, Evonik became the first partner to announce a certified material.
But materials are just one piece of the 3D-printing challenge. According to Weber, it’s about changing more than 70 years of entrenched business practices and behavior in the manufacturing industry. Driving materials-innovation enables HP to demonstrate that 3D printing can replace the traditional manufacturing model by lowering costs and meeting or exceeding existing standards for quality and reliability.
“We must rethink the entire life-cycle of a manufactured part, from design to delivery, said Weber.
- November 2016: HP Now Taking Orders for its First 3D Printer, First Public Demo at formnext
- October 2016: Half of the Custom Parts in HP’s 3D Printers Will Be 3D-Printed
- July 2016: HP Blog: HP and Jabil, a 3D-Printing Partnership to Revolutionize 3D Printing
- June 2016: HP: What Sets Our 3D Printers Apart from Competitors – Speed, Strength, and More
- May 2016: It’s Here: HP Delivers Two Jet Fusion 3D Printers Designed to Reinvent Prototyping and Manufacturing
- May 2016: HP Inc. Blog: How HP’s 3D Printing Will Re-Shape the Future, from Manufacturing, to Entire Economies
- March 2016: HP’s Dion Weisler Shares Thoughts on HP’s 3D-Printing Strategy; 3D Printers to Ship Later this Year
- November 2015: HP Inc. Opens New R&D Center Devoted to 3D Printing in Spain