HP has extended its foray into 3D printing for manufacturing with a multipart announcement that includes four new printer models, a design tool partnership, and a reseller program launch. Perhaps most notable for supply chain professionals and electronics OEMs, though is the hardware news which aims to put affordable 3D printing into the hands of small and mid-sized manufacturers who want to design and prototype.
HP estimates that the digital industrial revolution (which includes artificial intelligence, industrial internet of things, big data and analytics, robotics and 3D printing) represents a $12 trillion market opportunity, Stephen Nigro, president of 3D Printing of HP, told EBN. These technologies, but 3D printing in particular, support rapid innovation, decreased time to market, lower inventories, higher supply chain efficiency, and higher capital efficiency, he added.
3D printing represents a three to four-billion-dollar market today that will growth to eight billion in five years, Nigro said. “I'm excited about the range of applications for functional multi-color 3D printing,” said Terry Wohlers, President, Wohlers Associates. “It's good to see that HP is targeting this interesting and largely untapped opportunity. The possibilities are infinite.”
The HP Jet Fusion 300/500 Series allows users to print in full color, black, or white. The resulting parts are functional and engineering grade, which allows designers to create prototypes that are near identical to the end-stage item. “Many small OEMs print less than 130 parts per week and these new products are targeted at them,” said Ramon Pastor, general manager, Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Business of HP. Two of the models support only black and white (four agent configurability) and two support color (eight agent configurability). There is also a choice of print-bed size, either 7.5 x 10 x 9.8 in build volume for those with smaller part size needs and 7.5 x 13.1 x 9.8 in build volume for bigger build sizes. This announcement follows a May 2017 introduction of industrial grade models including the HP Jet Fusion 3200/4200/4210.
HP's new Jet Fusion 300 / 500 3D printing solution for functional prototyping and short run production. (Image courtesy: HP)
“HP is committed to democratizing 3D design and manufacturing, unleashing new possibilities for millions of innovators around the world,” said Nigro. “No matter your industry, no matter your design complexity, no matter what colors fit your business needs – black, white, or the full color spectrum – the new HP Jet Fusion 300 / 500 series gives you the freedom to create brilliant new parts liberated from the constraints of traditional production methods.”