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HP Launches Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutions
Rachel Gordon
JUL 04, 2016 04:45 AM
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HP Launches Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutions

By Rachel Gordon

HP first launched their Multijet Fusion concept in October 2014 and have been teasing us with snippets of additional information ever since. HP recently started taking orders for products, the first of which will be shipped by the end of 2016. The first target is model shops and service bureaus, and the co-developers included Materialise, Shapeways and Protolabs.

Multijet Fusion is being positioned as a truly industrial technology, and is poised to take a share of the $12 trillion global manufacturing market.

HP knows that 3D printing only makes sense for high value personalized items or for short production runs. There have been no announcements about specific applications, but the solution has been co-developed with BMW, Jabil, Siemens, Nike and Johnson & Johnson, which gives some indications as to the industries they are targeting. The cost-per-part can be 50% lower than existing technologies.

Image: Part manufactured using a Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution. Source: HP

Two models will be available, the 3200 and the 4200. The "3D print unit" can be moved from the pre-processing unit to printer and then to a post-processing unit for controlled cool down, part removal, and powder refresh. This complete manufacturing solution increases efficiency. It has been missing from the 3D printing industry, but was expected from HP's product.

The software for job submission and preparation, and printer management is also included. HP is a founding member of the industry consortium that developed 3MF, an improved 3D printing file format. The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution is the first 3D printer to be fully compliant with this industry-leading standard.

Image: The 3200 workstation. Source: HP


HP-branded powder materials will be available initially.  Glass-bead-filled nylon and fire-retardant material are expected in Q1 of 2017. Elastomers and higher performing materials are expected during 2017. These early materials mean it is competing most closely with Selective Laser Sintering. The platform is also open for materials innovation, so Lehmann & Voss, BASF, Evonik and Arkema are all developing materials. 3D printing of ceramics is in the roadmap, but Multijet Fusion has not been designed to work with metals.


HP have been clear that their Multijet Fusion technology is not a binder jetting technology nor a material jetting technology. It is a powder-bed process, but it is not selective laser sintering. A fusing agent and a detailing agent are ink jetted onto a layer of powder, using HP thermal inkjet heads, which have received millions of dollars of investment over many years. Then HP patented Thermal Light technology is used to fuse the part together. The detailing agent changes the thermal conductivity of the voxels outside the part to give sharp edges. This layer-by-layer process means it can be much faster than a point-by-point process such as FDM or SLS. It also has a more predictable "time to print".


The voxel-by-voxel control means each 20 micron by 20 micron area within each layer can have different properties. Theoretically, color, roughness, translucency, flexibility, and electrical conductivity can all be controlled, but it is unclear which of these will be available in the first generation. Voxel control also adds possibilities for building in security markers and tracers.


Multijet Fusion can print "functional parts" in nylon. Test have been shown to withstand tension and torsion, with excellent interlayer strength. There are also possibilities to eventually include sensors and electronics.

Discover more innovative technologies like these at the IDTechEx Show! on Nov. 16-17 in Santa Clara, Calif. 

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