Blog: May 13, 2016
Topics: 3D Printing

Unleashing 3D Printing with HP

By Scott Schiller, VP Global Head of Market

3D printing technologies have been around for more than 30 years. It is only recently that it has captured the imagination of media and consumers.

With a wide portfolio ofdigital 2D print solutions – why is HP choosing to focus on 3Dprinting?

But before we go intoaddressing this question, let’s first take a look at today’s 3Dprinting market and its main applications.

3D printing technologieshave been around for decades. It is only recently,however, with 3Dconcepts becoming more mainstream, that it has really captured theimagination of media and consumers. With leadership positions in anumber of traditional vertical print markets, you may wonder,“Wheredoes HP see the opportunity in 3D printing?”

In theindustrial/commercial world, 3D printing – also known as AdditiveManufacturing (AM) –offers a number of significant benefits versustraditional manufacturing processes:

  • Creating complex geometric forms
  • Elimination of almost all fixturing, operation andsetuptime
  • Reduced waste as objects are built, rather than cut a wayfromthe material
  • Producing “production runs of one” efficiently, with outtooling

Now, let’s look at twoofthe main industrial/commercial applications enabled with 3DPrinting: 

Prototyping was the first application in this market. Today, 3Dprinting is becoming mainstream in product development, as a toolto prototype new designs, with companies in corporating 3Dprintersin-house or getting prototype parts through servicebureaus. The use of 3D printing shortens design cycles and enablesmore disruptive and effective designs.
3D printing for prototypes continues to grow with main driversbeing: 

  • Pressure on companies to reduce design cycle lead-times inorder to compete
  • More innovative designs


Despite there being a lotofuse cases of final parts production using AM processes, today itstill represents a small portion ofthe market, but a significantgrowth opportunity,with the main growth drivers being: 

  • A need to differentiate by offering valued, customized, uniqueproducts
  • Taking advantage of more complex geometries–lighter weights,optimization and other variables
  • A drive to find cost efficiencies, and ways to reduce waste andinventory
  • Slow turning low volume, long-tail parts

 In order to drive thatgrowth in both of the above, the 3D printing industry needs toenable:

  • Higher productivity printers that deliver a predictable output(i.e. closed loop quality control on single partruns)
  • Integrated design-to-print workflow
  • Lower materials cost and increased materials versatility

In light of these growthopportunities, HP started analyzing the 3D printing market someyears ago – looking at existing technologies and workingtounderstand what it would take to increase adoption of 3Dprinting.We came to the realization that technology disruption was needed todrive transformation. We also established that acollaborative approach with software and materials specialists willbe key to advancing the state-of-the-art of the industry as awhole. We then undertook a grass-roots organic investigation andlooked ata variety of disruptive technologies before focusing onthe feasibility of HP Multi Jet Fusion™ technology attainingbreakthrough part quality at breakthrough speed andeconomics.
Once technology feasibility was proven we started development ofthefirst products with the HP Multi JetFusion™ technology platform,announcing the technology in October 2014 in order to kick-off ourOpen Engagement partnering program for software and materials, andstart an agile Hardware development cycle on ourfirst 3D printingplatforms.
We look forward to introducing the world to the limitless potentialof 3D printing with our first platform powered by HPMultiJetFusion™technology towards the end of 2016.
Let us know your thoughts and stay tuned to this blog for thelatest developments!

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