Hp Launch New Technology
Multi Jet Fusion is said to be ten times faster than comparable printing processes.
It was the news some of us had been waiting for since HP broke off their partnership with Stratasys but in a packed out New York press conference the CEO of the newly incorporated HP Inc. Dion Weisler announced to the world that HP would be launching their own 3D printing technology, Multi Jet Fusion.
HP say that in the 2D printing world they stand for speed, quality and reliability and that with Multi Jet Fusion technology they are bringing those standards into the third dimension.
The proprietary printing process leverages decades of investment in R&D and IP in inkjet printing from 2D printing and places it into 3D printing using Thermal Inkjet arrays to spray chemical agents across a thin layer of material. The HP Thermal Inkjet arrays consist of over 3,000 nozzles spraying over 30 million drops per second.
HP’s process is ten times faster than a comparable selective laser-sintering machine tested at HP Labs. During the press conference a gear assembly was displayed and to print 1,000 of those using selective laser-sintering would take 38 hours, whereas the same job using HP’s process would take just three hours.
On viewing the process Terry Wohlers claimed: “[HP] is going to rewrite the rules of 3D printing. I can envision companies purchasing expensive equipment and then putting it in mothballs when the new HP equipment becomes available.”
Before a full launch - expected in 2016 – HP are creating partnerships in order to better understand the project, one such partnership will be with the world’s largest 3D printing service, Shapeways. Shapeways will be testing out HP’s process and as far as CEO Peter Weijmarshausen is concerned this is a significant step for the industry.
“HP has the potential to revolutionize 3D printing. With its new technology, everybody will win.” Says the CEO. “Shapeways can offer it to the community, and the community can make amazing products.”
Although the technology isn’t quite perfected yet HP say that they will be bringing full-colour printing as well as single parts with variable elasticity to market with Multi Jet Fusion technology.
As far as materials is concerned HP are very much taking the Autodesk approach and are open to technology-materials collaborations with partners in order to develop new materials for what they hope will become the industry standard printing process.