HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer

30. October 2014 09:21 by Steve Leigh in Technology News  //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments

f you haven't been following the news this past week, you probably haven't heard the big announcement by HP. In 2016, the company will be releasing a new super-fast 3D printer called the HP Multi Jet Fusion. What's unique about the printer design is that it can print by fusing ink onto material layers, meaning objects can be created up to 10 times faster than existing technology. They also hope to be able to print with more colors that don't fade by using better quality plastics and other non-plastic materials. We wanted to delve a little bit more into this exciting advancement.

taken from: Designboom

When Faster Is Better

If you recall, HP decided to split off their printer/computer operations into a separate division, which left a lot of people asking, "What's next?" The first big announcement is the HP Multi Jet Fusion printer. If you can recall, one of the current problems plaguing 3D printing is the slow printing speed. While conventional printers can shoot out a dozen pages per minute, it can take more than a day to print even smaller objects in 3D.

How does the HP Multi Jet Fusion speed up this process? Conventional objects are printed by 3D printers in simple layers and colors can be applied at the end. The Multi Jet Fusion also relies on layers, but it's much more complex, as the below diagram indicates. 3D Print explains, "First a Layer of powder is laid down, then a fusing agent is applied, and at the same time, a detailing agent is used in order to produce higher definition around the edges, by reducing fusion on the boundaries of an object. At this point it is hit with an energy source and that layer is complete. Layer-by-layer an object is produced."

This means that the overall manufacturing process is considerably more efficient than other industry technology. HP says that they can print 1,000 gears in just 3 hours whereas more conventional methods can take up to 38 hours.

taken from: 3Dprint

Brighter Colors Are An Added Advantage

The only major breakthrough with this new printing method is much sharper color in a wider array of hues. This is because the HP Multi Jet Fusion printer has greater accuracy using ink droplets compared to other 3D printing techniques. Standard 3D printing is able to print to 200-400 microns. A micron is equal to 0.001 mm, so this is already incredibly minute detail. But HP's model prints to an incredible 20 micron accuracy, meaning that edges on objects are sharper and color can be applied more precisely into the object itself.

Why does this matter? It means that as manufacturers try to create more consumer objects with 3D printers, the wider array of color choices may appeal to more people, which could then lead to other advancements with cheaper, consumer-centric 3D printers. It might finally mean that 3D printers will start coming to every home.

taken from: ComputerWorld

The only downside to this current technology? Though the price hasn't yet been announced for the HP Multi Jet Fusion, analysts estimate it could be upwards of $10,000. Unless you start saving those pennies now, these printers might be strictly for commercial and industrial uses. Nevertheless, these advancements signal that 3D printing is here to stay. Feel free to share your comments on this new HP printer below.

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