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HP to launch 3D printers in 2016

April 21, 2015

The OEM discussed the Multi Jet Fusion technology at a US event, revealing it would be launched in late 2016.

HP's 3D printing unit

HP’s 3D printing unit

3Ders reported on HP’s appearance at the Inside 3D Printing event in New York City in mid-April, with the OEM’s Worldwide Director for 3D Printing, Scott Schiller, discussing the latest updates on the technology. 3Ders speculated that “despite the new developments from other developers” since HP’s announcement, the OEM “will still have a significant impact when they release the technology as a line of usable industrial-level 3D printers in late 2016”.

The Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology was announced by HP in October 2014, and is built on HP’s thermal inkjet technology, using a “unique synchronous architecture” to image surface areas of objects “at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in the market today”. Schiller gave attendees a “rundown on the current updates and developments”, including that the technology will be aimed at SMBs or “service bureaus” that “focus on printing one-off parts for third-party businesses”.

While other machines of a similar size and scale have been produced, HP’s will be “focusing on the speed and quality aspect”, alongside “sleek software” and open-source innovations. The first machines will utilise “thermoplastic-based 3D prints”, though Schiller added that other materials such as metal are “on the horizon”. The printing experience will also be “fully-considered from start to finish”, with Windows 10 integrated into the machines.

Schiller stated: “We can make other companies more confident about investing in this space, and we can help smaller companies by driving standards for 3D printing. We’re looking at the big picture and positioning for the long run. It could be in the future that we can find ways to emulate materials. It is the tip of the iceberg for what could be possible […] what about having the ability to make parts when they are no longer in production?

“As you can imagine, we have the biggest business enterprises in the world coming to us and saying, ‘Oh, do we have a vision for this’ […] I’m more excited about what we don’t see that’s coming. Good things are coming on the workflow side. The way you drive transformation, to get to that future that everybody is so excited about, is by really getting the key players aligned with a unified vision.”

3Ders added that although HP has “kept quiet for the most part” since it revealed the technology, Schiller’s update is a “nice reminder” that “the near-future of 3D printing is nearly unbound with possibilities”.

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