It’s no secret that commercial 3D printing has been taking giant technological leaps in the past few years—but bringing the price per part down has been a significant technological barrier for just about every industrial 3D printer manufacturer.
With their recently-announced Metal Jet commercial 3D printing platform, HP aims to take what they’ve learned from their Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printer platform—particularly, their “voxel-level binder jetting technology”— and apply it to metallic components, starting with stainless steel finished parts. Among the platform’s beta testers is Volkswagen, where engineers are using it to create customizable auto components including key fobs, mirror mounts, and gearshift knobs.
“We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that is transforming the $12 trillion manufacturing industry. HP has helped lead this transformation by pioneering the 3D mass production of plastic parts and we are now doubling down with HP Metal Jet, a breakthrough metals 3D printing technology,” said Dion Weisler, CEO and President, HP Inc, in the company’s press release. “The implications are huge – the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce billions of metal parts each year. HP’s new Metal Jet 3D printing platform unlocks the speed, quality, and economics to enable our customers to completely rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solutions in the digital age.”
Unveiled at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, HP aims to position the printer as a cheaper and more reliable platform than what’s currently available—although, the price for a Metal Jet platform sits at $400,000. No word yet on material costs and if the ROI increases over time compared to competitors.
In early 2019, customers will be able to upload CAD files to the company’s new Metal Jet Production Service, which will be fulfilled by HP service providers GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech. The Metal Jet 3D printers will then be offered for sale and begin shipping in 2020 to early customers before a more expanded release in 2021. Find out more over at HP.