HP Jet Fusion 3D Printer Could Signal New Stage in Manufacturing

HP announced in 2014 that they were going to move into the 3D printing arena, and just this month have revealed their Jet Fusion 3D Printers for which they are now taking orders. This is by no means a consumer product (the price tag for one model is $132,000), but it could mark a new phase in the evolution of 3D Printing.

Two main problems in 3D Printing that HP has set out to solve are those of speed of printing, and quality of the produced problems, and they claim to have made progress in both areas. They claim these printers can produce “functional parts” at up to 10 times the speed of current printers.

Here are a couple of videos that HP has put out that provide an overview of what their printers can do.

Regardless of the claims of how superior this new line of 3D printers are compared to others, HP getting into the 3D printing field to this extent shows that the investment levels are high, and most likely will spur greater competition in the field.

It seems to me that there is much more potential for HP in 3D printing than with traditional 2D printers. Printing on paper has its limits, and is getting less necessary these days. Anyway, I added a new world to my vocabulary today: voxel — it’s the 3D equivalent of a pixel. In one of the videos it explains that individual voxels will be able to be printed its own properties like color, material and flexibility.

More information is here: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601472/can-hp-make-3-d-printing-into-a-mass-manufacturing-technique/

  • AdrianAshfield

    See Rossi’s comment.

    Andrea Rossi
    May 28, 2016 at 6:37 AM
    Luis Navarro:

    The matter of fact is that when I asked for a proposal ( a real
    proposal. we are ready to buy ), we received an offer for a 3D unit that
    costed 1.5 million $ with a production capacity of 1 piece per day.

    My opinion is that 3 D is valid to make prototypes, because it makes
    very easy to correct them and the production of a prototype in one day
    is very competitive, but when you have to make a massive production at
    low cost, a 3D production system will never be paid back before its
    obsolescence. Obviously, what I am saying is based with the real offer
    that today the market is able to make to me: you must make a distinction
    between papers publications, conferences and chatters in the blogs,
    from one side, and real guarantees given in serious proposals, from the
    other. Obviously I am ready to change opinion if I receive a proposal
    that fits with the economy scale of a massive production.

    Warm Regards,

    • Ged

      Completely true on all counts.

      Thankfully that is changing as 3D tech improves (and the military loves 3D printers for making replacement parts on the fly–but that is still not the scale of mass manufacturing), but it simply by nature doesn’t currently have the speed an assembly line does. Take some paradigm rethinking of how 3D printers work to reach that.

      • Charles

        Why would one compare the production of a single material unitary product against an “assembly” line which is the “assembly” of different parts composed of different materials into an “assembly” as in “assembly”.

        Perhaps comparing against a production line (e.g. a stamping operation) would be more comparable.

        • Ged

          Yeah, those are down right awesome. But they are one off units, like any prototype unit is, and aren’t a mass production. That us, a house is a standalone, not amiable to assembly line mass production. Still, 3D printing may absolutely revolutionize house building. Just look at the wickedly cool braided bridge that was 3D printed and otherwise impossible to make; and more structurally sound than conventional putting pieces together.

          • bachcole

            It is possible to do mass produced items with a 3D printer, but they have to be small. I saw a presentation by HP (whose guts I generally hate) with their new super 3D machine. They were making some kind of gear thingie as a demo. They could make like 30 units in the same time that they could make one. It is certainly within the imaginable for someone to invent a 3D printer that was several meters on a side. Who would have guessed that there could be round light tables for designing integrated circuits that were larger than King Arthur’s round table, and this was in the early 1980’s.

  • Curbina

    As all technical matters, 3D printing will evolve as fast as the market lets It. In the movie Tomorrowland there’s a scene in which a building is being 3D printed by autonomous machines working in tandem. I think we are far from It but It will get there at some point.

  • Curbina

    Well, I was being optimistic.

  • Omega Z

    3-D printers will never replace mass production.

    However, it will have many a niche uses and custom products. Even mass produced products need prototype development that can be quite costly. 3-D will save both time and money. Also, due to the current cost of building prototype products, many changes or products never make it to market at all. The cost out ways the risk.

    There’s also a lot of things people may think of as mass produced, but aren’t. They produce a lot of turbines, but they are of a large variety and constant change thus they are all made up of limited production runs.

    An area where 3-D printers may become very important is growing transplant body parts. Should they be able to print the callagen scaffolding for stem cell implantations to grow.

    ->”Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and is the substance that holds the whole body together. It is found in the bones, muscles, skin and tendons, where it forms a scaffold to provide strength and structure.”

    • pixelblot

      Never is quite a strong word. I can easily see the process being part of an assembly line when we get more robust advances.

  • Warthog

    ‘Twas true that there was a period where the quality of HP printers dropped signficantly. I had the poor fortune to have bought one during that time (which I suspect coincided with Carly’s regime). But the color Laserjet I recently purchased seems to be of good construction. Unfortunately, the driver software does not seem to match the hardware quality.