HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing technology has been one of the most exciting to watch, not just in terms of what it is capable of now, but what it portends for the future— a future that includes embedded electronics, augmented reality, ceramics and even metal.
Laying out the road to that future, HP announced both the release of a new MJF printer, ahead of formnext, and, this past October, plans to embark on metal additive manufacturing (AM). Along with the new Jet Fusion 3D 4210 system, HP has also announced, as a part of its Open Materials Platform, an expanded materials portfolio and additional partners.
Jet Fusion 3D 4210
The newest MJF system, the Jet Fusion 3D 4210, is an upgrade to one of its flagship machines, the Jet Fusion 3D 4200. The 4200 was already an improvement upon the other flagship system, the 3200, in that it printed and cooled faster, and had lower material costs for serial production.
The 4210 takes these improvements further and, according to HP, “rais[es] the ‘break-even point’ for large-scale 3D manufacturing to up to 110,000 parts.” This means that producing up to 110,000 items on the system matches the costs of traditional mass manufacturing methods. Based on the company’s internal testing, parts can be mass produced at 65 percent of the cost of other AM technologies, such as fused deposition modeling and selective laser sintering (SLS).
Ramon Pastor, general manager of Multi Jet Fusion for HP’s 3D printing business, put this point in context, “HP’s Jet Fusion 3D systems have now reached a technological and economic inflection point that combines the speed, quality and scalability needed to accelerate manufacturing’s digital industrial revolution.”
The increased productivity is the result of hardware and firmware upgrades made to the existing Jet Fusion systems, which make it possible to perform continuous operation. This includes a new processing station for handling higher material volumes. Preorders for the machine, including upgrades for existing Jet Fusion customers, are available now.
HP has a unique approach to its materials for MJF, allowing partners to develop proprietary materials on MJF systems to be sold through HP’s distribution network. As a part of the Open Materials Platform, it’s also possible to work with what the company dubs a Material Development Kit (MDK), which gives customers access to specific parts of the MJF process at various stages of printing, beginning with powder distribution.
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