HP Now 3D-Printing Parts for 2D and 3D Printers; Sees Increased 3D-Printer Demand

Today at the world’s largest 3D-printing user event, the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference being held in St. Louis, HP Inc. showcased new large-scale customer deployments and its own Reinventing HP With Multi Jet Fusion program, as its says the industry accelerates on the path to full-scale 3D production printing. It also reported that it’s now using its 3D printers to produce parts for both its 3D and 2D printers – including the HP ENVY ISS printer, which was recently deployed to the International Space Station.

The firm also noted that more than 3 million Multi Jet Fusion parts were 3D-printed  in the last year alone, and  that partners Forecast 3D, GoProto, Stern, and others are increasing their Multi Jet Fusion capacity to meet rising demand.

Reinventing HP’s Product Lifecycle With Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing

HP itself is one of the largest designers, manufacturers, and distributors of products in the world.  As part of its Reinventing HP With Multi Jet Fusion program, it’s now using its own 3D printing to produce parts for products made by the HP Print, Personal Systems, and 3D Printing business units.

Examples of HP’s 3D-printing parts program include:

  • 50 percent of the custom plastic parts inside the HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printer, and over 140 parts inside the new HP Jet Fusion 300/500 3D printer series, can be produced using HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D-printing technology. This is believed to be the largest number of 3D-produced parts in any finished product in the world. The redesign and 3D production of these parts is said to provide  higher performance in areas such as improved airflow, light-weighting, and optimization for space constraints, as well as lower costs and increased manufacturing flexibility, as 3D printing reduces tooling and assembly time and costs.
  • A key part in HP’s Large Format Printers was redesigned to make use of topological optimization and is entering mass production with a 93-percent weight reduction, a 50-percent cost reduction, and a 95x carbon-footprint reduction versus the original aluminum machined part.
  • HP incorporated Multi Jet Fusion 3D-printed parts in its HP ENVY ISS, the printer it developed to replace the existing printer aboard the International Space Station. HP engineers turned to Multi Jet Fusion because it reduced cost, part count, and decreased assembly, compared to parts created with traditional manufacturing. The firm expedited development of its HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 Glass Beads Material to produce 11 parts for the HP ENVY ISS, including a specially designed paper-output tray to meet NASA’s list of requirements in order to safely operate on the International Space Station.

Cost Savings, Speed to Market, and Sustainability

  • Reducing design time by up to 50 percent, and saving millions of dollars in deferred tooling expenses, for numerous parts across HP products such as air ducts in the Jet Fusion 4200 and the new HP Jet Fusion 300/500 series due to replacing complex, multi-component parts with one 3D-printed part, thus eliminating many tooling, assembly, quality, and complex supply-chain costs.
  • A tool used in the manufacture of HP’s print heads was redesigned for the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer to increase water tightness and reduce turbulence flow. New materials utilization and part-consolidation also led to lead times being reduced from months to days, 90-percent reduction in weight, 95-percent reduction in cost, and more than 30x reduction in carbon footprint.
  • Instead of expensive tooling and molding, plastic parts for the new HP Z 3D Camera were produced with Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing, providing significant cost-savings and shortening the lead time by more than six weeks.

The firm noted that, according to the Wohlers Report 2018, the production of functional parts, including functional prototyping, is now the industry’s leading additive-manufacturing (3D printing) application, and that the demand for production-grade parts is expected to continue to grow exponentially.  As the market leader, shipping more plastic production 3D printers than any other company in the world (according to a CONTEXT Additive Manufacturing Q3-2017 report), HP says it’s  delivering “both unprecedented capabilities and economic advantages to its manufacturing customers.”

Stephen Nigro, president of 3D Printing for HP Inc. commented: “Our mission is to change the way the world designs and manufacturers with 3D printing. We are seeing an increase in high-volume 3D production as the industry accelerates its journey towards a digital future. Customers are leaning in, driving improved economics, and increasing production of industrial-grade parts – in the last year alone more than three million parts were produced on Multi Jet Fusion and more than 50 percent are for end use.  As one of the largest manufacturers in the world, HP is also leveraging our own technology to transform our product development lifecycle to help lower costs, speed time to market, increase customer satisfaction, and improve sustainability across our business.”

HP says it’s also pioneering 3D-printing benefits such as reduced warehousing and transportation due to on-demand 3D-production printing, reduced scrap as a result of better supply/demand control, reduced material consumption, and increased material recyclability, and reduced fuel consumption of the end product in industries such as automotive and aerospace, due to lightweight designs possible only with 3D printing.

Acceleration of Industrial 3D Printing 

As demand for production-grade 3D printing grows, HP says that many of its customers are placing repeat orders and upgrading their deployments to increase capacity of their HP Jet Fusion 3D printer arrays to fulfill higher-order volumes and grow their businesses.

  • Forecast 3D, one of the oldest and largest privately held 3D manufacturers in the United States, is upgrading its full fleet of 12 HP 3D printers to HP Jet Fusion 3D 4210 systems to meet rising demand.  For example, Forecast 3D expects to produce more than one million Multi Jet Fusion parts in the coming year for a leading client in the medical sector. The HP Jet Fusion 3D 4210 solution is designed for industrial-scale 3D-printing manufacturing environments, offering significantly lower overall operating costs while increasing production capacity.
  • GoProto, with more than 500 clients across multiple industries, has installed six HP 4200 3D printers to meet expanding customer demand for high-volume prototyping and robust 3D-production-printing applications.
  • Stern, known for conventional manufacturing for medical and automotive customers, is anchoring its new service bureau entity, Stern 3D, with HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D-printing technology. The company is installing 10 HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printing solutions in its production facility near Stuttgart, Germany.

To learn more about this program and specific 3D-printing applications, attendees at the AMUG conference can join Michelle Bockman, Global Head of 3D Printing Commercial Expansion and Development, for the “Behind the Scenes: Driving Our Own Digital Transformation” AMUG Diamond Session on Tuesday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. in Ballroom A.


Attendees at AMUG can learn more about the entire HP Jet Fusion portfolio, including live demos of the new full-color HP Jet Fusion 3D 300 / 500 series,  see the latest HP Multi Jet Fusion applications, and join a hands-on workshop for current and future HP Open Platform Materials at HP’s booth, Demo Suite D5.

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