HP: What Sets Our 3D Printers Apart from Competitors – Speed, Strength, and More
HP is set to begin shipping its first 3D printers – the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 and Jet Fusion 3D 3200 – later this year and in 2017, respectively, and in an interesting blog post, laid out what it believes sets its 3D-printing technology apart from that of competitors.
Both 3D printers are aimed at the $12 trillion global manufacturing market, not consumer 3D printing, and are said to be suitable for producing not just prototypes, but functional final parts – in other words, for true manufacturing.
HP says its 3D printers offer five distinct advantages:
- 3D printing that’s up to 10 times faster than competitors, with 30 million drops per second deposited across each inch of the working area.
- Lower cost per part, enabling partners, for instance, to engage in short-run manufacturing.
- Exceptional service via HP’s long-established service network. Service will include HP installation, training, support services, and applications expertise, as well as: next-business-day onsite support and issue resolution, and next-business-day spare-parts availability.
- An open platform, as partners will be able to advance the development of materials via the HP Multi Jet Fusion Open Platform.
- Resellers, as HP says it’s building a world-class reseller network of 3D professional resellers.
The Voxel and 3D Printing
Key to HP’s 3D-printing technology is the voxel, which is to 3D printing what the pixel is to traditional 2D printing. In 2D printing on paper and other substrates, a pixel is a two-dimensional drop of ink or toner ejected or fused to paper and other substrates to form an image or text.
A voxel, on the other hand, is three-dimensional like a tiny square box, and as millions of pixels on paper make up text and images, millions of voxels are 3D-printed to make up objects. HP says that, in the future, it’ll be able to select the color, density, or material at the voxel level, so that, for instance, it’ll be able to print parts that are part rigid and part bendable, and ultimately, could even make every voxel a different color.
In contrast, today’s 3D-printing technology is limited to a small palette of materials, mainly engineering-grade, multi-purpose thermoplastics. But HP is looking at new materials using color, elastomers, ceramics, and more, all of which would substantially increase the type and range of 3D-printed parts that customers could produce.
Real-World 3D-Printing Applications
HP’s current 3D-printing customers include a host of big names – Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Jabil, Siemens, and more – all of which are working with HP on applying its 3D-printing technology to its products for both prototyping and functional parts. Shapeways, for instance, is already using HP 3D-printing technology to print its customers’ 3D designs, while BMW is exploring using the technology in both prototyping concept cars, and for serial part production and personal customization.
For more information on HP’s 3D-printing technology, visit HP here.
- 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
- May 2016: HP Inc. to Seek Disruptive 3D, IoT Technologies with New HP Tech Ventures Group
- 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
- November 2015: Newly Created HP Inc. to Focus on Immersive Computing, 3D Printing, Graphic-Arts Printing, Copier/MFPs
- September 2015: HP Inc. to Focus on ‘Ink in the Office,’ A3 MFP/Copier Market, 3D Printing, Graphics, MPS
- September 2015: HP Creating New 3D-Printing Group to Be Led by Steven Nigro
- July 2015: New HP Sprout 3D Scanner with Dremel 3D Printer Bundle is End-to-End 3D Design System
- July 2015: HP Ventures Investing in Shapeways, a 3D-Printing Service Provider
- January 2015: HP: Intel’s I7 Chip to Power HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer
- October 2014: HP Delivers its First 3D Printer, Said to be Faster and Offering More Object Strength and Detail