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Published: November 01, 2016

Tatooine Usab_02_020 v1d chain.jpg


We all live in a material world, especially in the rapidly expanding 3D printing industry.

3D printers have come a long way recently in speed and affordability. Indeed, HP's Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutionis capable of producing superior quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of earlier systems, making the technology nearly ready for full-scale product manufacturing.

But making that happen will depend on more than the printers themselves. The materials that go into them are nearly as important.

Because with 3D printing, manufacturers blend a variety of materials to create parts and end products. = They need access to a wide palette of materials to achieve the right color, weight, reliability, resiliency, durability, texture, transparency and strength.

It's a lot like the local hardware store mixing different tints, hues and glosses to make the perfect paint suitable for different parts of your home. (You wouldn't use the same type of paint in the bathroom as you would for the garage). Same goes for 3D-printed parts, which for now, are limited to plastics.

That's why HP has invested in developing an app-store-like experience for 3D printing customers and partners. The HP Open Platform engages with and certifies partners for collaboration on materials innovation as well as new applications for its 3D printing. The goal is to continue to reduce 3D printing costs, facilitate faster industry adoption and creating an open-source platform for certified 3D materials that work with its products.

This week, at the K 2016 plastics and rubber trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany, HP Open Platform partners demonstrated they are on the path toward delivering such materials with several key announcements:

No one company can do it on their own. Delivering on the 3D printing vision will take a village.

So in addition to working with HP Open Platform partners such as Arkema, BASF, Evonic and Lehmann & Voss, the company is also collaborating on 3D printing projects with the likes of Autodesk, BMW. Jabil Circuit, Johnson & Johnson, Materialis, Nike, Shapeways, Siemens and Protolabs.

The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution sets the stage for future platforms that could transform color, texture, and mechanical properties at the voxel level. This level of control could create 3D printed objects with conductivity, flexibility, embedded data, and translucency — and that's just the beginning. The possible combinations and potential applications are limitless.

In the coming months, HP will continue to expand its open platform ecosystem with new partnerships, materials and capabilities.  

Partners interested in learning more about partnership for the HP Open Platform can contact HP here.

    3D Printing
Published: June 26, 2017

Some of the 3D printed designs created by students of KiraKira3D's  curricula.Some of the 3D printed designs created by students of KiraKira3D's curricula.

 Anybody who’s encountered a middle- or high-schooler studying math or science has heard this frustrating complaint: “When am I going to use this in real life?” 

KiraKira3D Founder and CEO Suz SomersallKiraKira3D Founder and CEO Suz SomersallIt’s the very same question that Suz Somersall, CEO and Founder of KiraKira3D, had as an aspiring engineering student at Brown University, where she found the materials for learning mechanical engineering software utilitarian, lacking context and mostly geared toward men. She was turned off by lesson plans for creating hand tools, auto parts and gears, she said, objects that didn’t seem to further her ambitions to be an artist and designer.

“I wanted to study engineering, but the content offered in the intro classes wasn’t very compelling,” she said. “What I wanted was to be inspired to be creative.”

It’s one of the reasons Somersall started KiraKira Academy, which aims to close the gender gap in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) by teaching students the technical skills needed to create virtual and physical products using computer aided design (CAD) software.

KiraKira3D said this week it’s working with HP to produce a new series of approachable, video-based lessons to teach 3D design skills using the Sprout Pro by HP 3D scanning and printing platform.

Students who create 3D objects via software tools can get their designs printed on HP Multi Jet Fusion printers and shipped to them by HP 3D print partner Shapeways.

The goal is to help get more STEAM (science, technology engineering, art and design, and math) curricula into classrooms, so that students—especially girls—can master 3D design, modeling and printing skills through project-based learning.  


“3D printers and 3D scanners are really incredible tools for STEAM education, but we have to get this into classrooms at a really early age otherwise we miss the opportunity for engagement,” Somersall said. “We are trying to have a range of class content so nobody feels excluded.”

KiraKira3D learners can create a variety of things, including space-inspired decor, sunglasses, household objects, tabletop games, and through the company’s “fashioneer” series, designer jewelry. The video lessons—most of which feature female instructors who are engineers, animators, designers, architects and computer scientists—teach basics in Autodesk TinkerCAD and Maya, Fusion 360, Solidworks, Rhino 3D and other design, animation and 3D modeling software.

“Our instructors lead students through a creative process with design thinking, and produce something really compelling at the end of the lesson,” Somersall said. “We are trying to blend art and engineering skills while also getting the students comfortable with making mistakes or going off on their own and put their own twist on a design.”

The customization possibilities makes KiraKira3D’s approach a good fit for Sprout Pro by HP, which is uniquely suited for education, tinkering and experimentation. Dubbed an Immersive Computing platform, Sprout Pro blurs the barriers between the physical and digital worlds by way of a fully-functional PC and built-in cameras and projectors that enable 2D and 3D scanning and image manipulation – right from the desktop.Second-generation Sprout Pro by HPSecond-generation Sprout Pro by HP

 “HP’s collaboration with KiraKira3D will bring new learning opportunities to millions of students with a special emphasis on inspiring women and girls to engage in STEM-related activities,” said Gus Schmedlen, vice president of education at HP. “KiraKira3D’s instructional videos and hands-on experiences using the latest HP Immersive and Multi Jet Fusion Technologies will empower students to master the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”

HP and KiraKira3D are developing a series of 10 video lessons for Sprout Pro by HP that are set to be available for free next month on KiraKira3D.com.

KiraKira3D and HP share a common vision for 3D printing and see its potential to disrupt manufacturing, retail and ushers in an era of consumer customization.

“Democratizing access to these types of skills is increasingly important as 3D printing becomes more ubiquitous,” Somersall said. “We are really excited to see the things our students will create.”

Published: June 20, 2017

Stephen Nigro, President of HP's 3D printing business, at a press conference in Tokyo.Stephen Nigro, President of HP's 3D printing business, at a press conference in Tokyo.

One week after HP announced commercial entry into the world’s largest manufacturing market, the company revealed two new major partnerships that are set to broaden its reach in the world’s third-largest economy.

On the heels of its 3D expansion into the Asia-Pacific market, HP today announced 3D printing partnerships with Japanese companies Mutoh Industries Ltd. and Ricoh Japan Corp.

By teaming up with HP as the world’s first HP 3D Printing Master Partners, Mutoh and Ricoh will bring best-in-class expertise and knowledge of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology to customers deploying the solutions.

Japan is known as a technology and manufacturing powerhouse and is a country responsible for 10 percent of global manufacturing. It’s also forward-looking, especially when it comes to advancing technology. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, explained his vision at CeBIT 2017, one of the world’s largest technology conferences in Germany, earlier this year. This vision – Society 5.0 – aims to tackle several challenges by going beyond the digitalization of the economy towards the digitalization across all levels of Japanese society. 

HP introduces its award-winning commerical 3D printing solution to reinv....jpgJapanese businesses are starting to embrace the transformative potential of 3D printing, a market that saw more than 104 percent in revenue growth from 2015 to 2016, according to data from IDC. Its expected to reach $670 million in sales by 2020.

“We are on the cusp of a transformation in manufacturing, enabled by new technologies such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence and robotics," said Richard Bailey, president of Asia Pacific and Japan at HP. "We are excited to introduce HP’s commercial 3D printing solution to reinvent manufacturing in Asia-Pacific, delivering much higher speeds and lower costs while enabling on-demand, low-volume production.” 

HP Japan President Takashi OkaHP Japan President Takashi OkaIn addition to bringing expertise and existing relationships within Japan, Mutoh and Ricoh are set to collaborate with HP to open a 3D Printing Reference and Experience Center in Tokyo that will showcase the HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions and enable deeper engagement with customers.

“HP is building a strong community of local resellers and materials partners as well as customer experience centers that will provide comprehensive support to help our customers leverage this transformation," Bailey said.

For more information about Richard Bailey’s thoughts about the Asia-Pacific region and 3D printing, see his recent LinkedIn Pulse article here.

Published: June 13, 2017

dagobah_tcm245_2266154_tcm245_2279903_tcm245-2266154.jpgThis week, HP announced the commercial availability of its HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It’s an important step toward reinventing the global manufacturing industry as HP expands its award-winning 3D printing technology to the world’s largest manufacturing market. HP also unveiled alliances with some of the leading 3D service providers in China, expanded the HP Partner First 3D Printing Specialization program with more than a dozen new resellers, and welcomed Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical Co. to its growing Open Platform ecosystem.

We caught up with Qun Zhang, head of HP’s Asia-Pacific 3D Printing sales, to ask a few questions about how 3D printing will help accelerate innovation in the region’s huge manufacturing community.Qun Zhang, head of HP’s 3D Printing Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan, at HP Press Event in Shanghai with Ramon Pastor, vice president and general manager, HP Multi Jet Fusion, and several of HP’s new Chinese reseller and materials partners, including Shining 3D ePrint and Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical Company.Qun Zhang, head of HP’s 3D Printing Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan, at HP Press Event in Shanghai with Ramon Pastor, vice president and general manager, HP Multi Jet Fusion, and several of HP’s new Chinese reseller and materials partners, including Shining 3D ePrint and Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical Company.

Q. Why is now the right moment for HP to bring its 3D printing solutions to the Asia-Pacific region? 

A. We are helping leading manufacturers reinvent their businesses with new technology. And the Asia-Pacific region is at the heart of this $12 trillion global industry. In many ways, the manufacturing community in Asia-Pacific is leading the charge. We need to be there and play our part. We want to bring our disruptive Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology and Open Platform approach to the most cutting-edge market in the world.


Q. How does the Asia-Pacific manufacturing sector compare to those of other regions such as North America and Europe?

A. Perhaps no industry, and no region, has more potential than the Asia-Pacific manufacturing sector, representing almost half the world's manufacturing market. Travel around the region, and you’ll see some of the most advanced companies in the world, a diverse and dynamic collection of global brands, huge contract manufacturers, and materials leaders, all of whom are innovating and Inside the Multi Jet Fusion test bed.Inside the Multi Jet Fusion test bed.transforming themselves at breakneck speed. It’s an exciting place to be. Our 3D printing solution is aimed squarely at the region’s commercial and industrial markets, and we think it will help usher in a new era of digital manufacturing.


Q. What regional opportunities do you see when it comes to the adoption of 3D Printing across Asia-Pacific?

A. I’ve been in the additive manufacturing space for a long time, and I believe the opportunities we see are consistent across regions. HP has positioned our 3D Printing business against those opportunities with the goal of ultimately accelerating the reinvention of manufacturing. That includes improving product capabilities, enhancing part quality, and driving down costs. In addition, we’re eager to educate about the unlimited potential to design new parts at the voxel level, and to enable our customers and partners to develop as many innovative applications and use cases as possible. That’s why we’re opening new 3D Printing Reference and Experience Centers in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, Suzhou, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, and Melbourne. We’ll connect with both current and potential customers and partners to help them take their next steps forward.


Q. How has the HP Open Platform been received in the region, and why is that initiative so important

A. When potential partners begin to understand the motivation behind HP’s open approach to materials innovation their eyes light up. The HP Open Platform addresses those opportunities I mentioned earlier -- it enables the creation of new 3D printing materials, lowers materials and development costs, drives speed and performance improvements, and creates new possibilities for parts that address specific industry needs. Our newest materials partner Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical is joining our growing materials ecosystem, which already includes global leaders such as Arkema, BASF, Evonik, Henkel, and Lehmann & Voss. And we are talking with dozens more materials leaders across the region who want to work with our labs and begin developing new materials.


Q. Which industries have the biggest opportunity to benefit from 3D Printing manufacturing at scale?

A. What’s so impressive about HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D technology is that it can produce superior quality physical parts up to 10 times faster at around half the cost of comparable 3D printing systems, and its precision is extraordinary. I’m excited because leading service providers and resellers across Asia-Pacific understand how disruptive the technology will be for their business and the impact for their customers. Shining 3D ePrint has more than 10,000 customers in more than 70 countries around the world and plans to deploy our 3D printing solutions in more than 50 locations across China. Infinite 3D Printing also plans to offer the technology in multiple locations, and more than a dozen new partners have been selected to join HP’s Partner First 3D Specialization reseller program.

Our partners allow us to scale not only geographically, but across vertical markets. We are already seeing applicability in the automotive and healthcare industries, and of course consumer goods and aerospace are also among the most relevant. But virtually any manufacturer can benefit. No matter what kind of part you make, now you can make it better. Our technology offers speed and precision, we’re offering not just mass production but also the possibility of mass customization, and that’s a very big deal. By enabling local, on-demand production, we’re also going to help transform manufacturing and distribution supply chains.


Q. What about the future of 3D Printing should excite the manufacturing industry in Asia-Pacific?

A. Going forward, we’ll expand our palette of materials and colors, opening amazing possibilities for 3D printing, some of which haven’t even been imagined yet. Manufacturers and service bureaus will gain unprecedented control over limitless combinations of applications, colors, and materials. They’ll be able to embed intelligence such as sensors and information such as invisible inventory codes, into their 3D-printed products. And while they’re doing all that, they’ll also be driving cost, carbon, and waste from their manufacturing processes and supply chains. I can’t wait to see the 3D printing innovations generated from this region.


About Qun ZhangQun Zhang_HP Press Event_Die and Mould China.jpg

Qun Zhang is the Head of HP’s 3D Printing Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan and is based in Singapore. In this position, he is responsible for defining the go-to-market and business strategies for the 3D Printing business in the region while ensuring comprehensive go-to-market coverage and a focus on verticals and applications. He also works closely with customers to understand their needs in 3D Printing, manufacturing and innovation, and identify areas where HP’s solutions can help customers in the production and innovation process.

Qun was formerly the Director of Sales (Asia) at 3D Systems, where he led the sales organizations in Asia Pacific, Greater China and Southeast Asia. During this time, he also built and managed a results-driven channel team in South Korea, where he maintained a dominant market share and top brand status in the jewellery market. In addition, he led the foray into the automotive industry with production system installations at major customer sites.

Before joining 3D Systems in 2012, Qun was the Regional Manager at Z Corporation, where he established a distributor and reseller network, conducted sales excellence training courses and upgraded the reseller key account sales practice. Prior to that he was the Country Manager of Greater China at Stratasys Inc.

Qun holds a BE from the Electronics and Information Engineering Department of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. 

Published: May 22, 2017


HP Jet Fusion 4200HP Jet Fusion 4200

One year and three days after announcing the world’s first production-ready 3D printing solutions, HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology and its implementation was crowned “Innovation of the Year” at the inaugural 3D Printing Industry Awards ceremony in London.

Nominated and voted on by the industry – in a program that included more than 800 companies nominated and 200,000 votes received – the awards recognize the individuals, companies and technologies that are shaping the digital reinvention of manufacturing. 

Ramon Pastor, head of HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and Emilio Juarez, head of 3D Printing European sales.Ramon Pastor, head of HP Multi Jet Fusion technology and Emilio Juarez, head of 3D Printing European sales.“The ‘Innovation of the Year’ recognition is a direct result of a trifecta of attributes that differentiates HP and reinforces our position as a catalyst in 3D printing: disruptive technology, the HP Open Platform for materials, and an extensive heritage of printing leadership,” said Ramon Pastor, vice president and general manager, HP Multi Jet Fusion. “We have seen more progress in 3D printing in the past year than in the previous 20 years combined and our team at HP is leading that innovation.”

The award builds on momentum the HP 3D printing business has established over the last 12 months, including:

  • Customers are adopting HP Multi Jet Fusion products. HP began shipping the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 last quarter and are quickly ramping the delivery of HP Jet Fusion 3D solutions to meet rising customer demand. HP also unveiled its new HP Partner First 3D Printing Specialization program with more than 30 hand-selected, trained and certified partners, and is opening more than a dozen new HP 3D Printing Reference and Experience Centers across the U.S. and Europe.
  • The global 3D printing ecosystem is growing. HP has forged relationships with key partners, including BMW Group, Jabil, Johnson & Johnson and Nike. In March of this year, HP also announced the world’s first Open Materials and Applications Lab in Corvallis, Oregon, where partners including Arkema, BASF, Evonik, Henkel and Lehman & Voss are innovating new 3D materials using HP’s Open Platform.
  • Access to production-ready 3D printing capabilities is increasing. HP is working with more than a dozen service bureaus and product design firms to bring HP Multi Jet Fusion and the benefits associated with production-grade technologies to a much larger range of users. These industry leaders such as Fast Radius, Forecast3D, Go Proto, Materialise, ProtoCam, Proto Labs, Shapeways, SigmaDesign and 3D Prod are selecting and installing HP 3D Printing systems to offer their own end-customers the opportunity to design and create production quality 3D printed parts. 

“The industry spoke loud and clear voting HP Multi Jet Fusion as the runaway favorite for the inaugural ‘Innovation of the Year’ award,” said Michael Petch, editor, 3DPrintingIndustry.com. “With the results, our readers recognize that HP is delivering on its promise to disrupt 3D printing and the overall manufacturing sector. The Multi Jet Fusion platform and HP Open Platform are driving innovation and have had an immediate impact for customers and partners.”Badge Winner White.png

For more information about the latest from HP’s 3D printing business, see its recent announcement here.

Published: May 11, 2017



Multi Jet Fusion test bedMulti Jet Fusion test bedThis week at RAPID+TCT 2017, the world’s largest show dedicated to additive manufacturing, HP demonstrated the growth of its 3D Printing business and scale of the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology with new customers and partners. Among the highlights, HP revealed the addition of a new partner to its open ecosystem for 3D printing materials and applications: the German chemical and consumer goods giant, Henkel AG & Co. Henkel joins Arkema, BASF, Evonik and Lehmann & Voss on the journey to accelerate 3D materials innovation and lower costs.henkel-logo-png.png

We caught up with Fabio Annunziata, HP's business director for 3D materials, to learn more about why HP considers open materials development so important to the digital reinvention of manufacturing. Below is an edited interview: 

 Fabio Annunziata, Director, Business Development and 3D Materials at HPFabio Annunziata, Director, Business Development and 3D Materials at HP

Q: Why is HP putting so much emphasis on 3D printing materials?

Annunziata:  First, some context, 3D printing has been around for decades, but it has primarily been limited to prototyping and tooling. We are now at a tipping point in the industry. HP is eyeing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We are intent on disrupting the $12 trillion manufacturing space with technology that shifts the economics and part quality toward full-scale manufacturing and just-in-time production.

Now, there are of course a number of triggers that are required to capture that opportunity. One of them is 3D materials. The industry must expand the palette of engineering-grade, multi-purpose thermoplastics needed to meet rigid manufacturing specifications that vary based on the end-use application. Today, there is not enough materials available at cost points that enable the market to grow. However, I predict that with an open approach to materials development, with a catalyst like the HP Open Platform, we will see a thriving ecosystem for 3D printing materials and applications in three to five years. Maybe even sooner.


Q: Tell us more about the current HP Open Platform ecosystem.

Annunziata: Just as it rings true for the 3D printing industry overall, one vendor alone cannot offer the thousands of materials needed for 3D printing to go mainstream. It’s going to take a much larger bench of companies producing materials in almost every imaginable color, strength, weight, consistency, permeability and durability. And we’re going to have to continue looking for ways to drive down material costs so the cost-per-part for production gets low enough to entice manufacturers to deploy 3D printers in full-scale production. This will take a village and strong collaboration with the most knowledgeable and innovative material companies in the world, and we’re committed to building it.


Q: Are you happy with the progress so far?

Annunziata: We’re off to a strong start. In addition to newly announced Henkel and the other Open Platform partners we have been working with since  launching in May 2016, we are engaged with more than 50 other companies in varying stages of materials development. We’ve seen enough traction with them to believe the supply of manufacturing-grade 3D printing materials will jump quite a bit next year.

We also recently announced the opening of the world’s first 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab in Corvallis, Ore. It’s a one-of-a-kind lab space where materials developers from all over the world can come to innovate, iterate and test materials, working in tandem with some of the best and brightest additive manufacturing minds in the industry. We already have engineers from about a half-dozen companies working in the lab to develop next-generation materials.

When we opened that lab, we also collaborated with SIGMADESIGN to release the 3D printing industry’s first Materials Development Kit (MDK), which is like Software Development Kits (SDKs) in the smartphone business. The MDK enables companies interested in certifying their materials to quickly test 3D powder spread-ability and compatibility with HP Jet Fusion 3D printers before submitting them to HP for certification. This is already generating serious partner interest because it greatly simplifies testing and certification processes and accelerates the materials innovation cycles.


Q: What are the key next steps in HP’s vision for 3D materials innovation?

Annunziata: We’re going to work hard to continue growing the Open Platform ecosystem for 3D printing materials and applications. You’ll see us announcing new partners, programs, tools, services and facilities aimed at delivering a wider range of engineering-grade, multi-purpose thermoplastics optimized for 3D printing efficiency.

What might surprise you is that we are also going to be very vocal about encouraging competitors in this space to drop their proprietary approaches and get on board with this open ecosystem approach. This isn’t razors and razor blades. You can’t make 3D printers and limit the materials that go into them, it will ultimately limit the potential of 3D printing to a small set of applications, and stifle industry growth overall.

If manufacturers are going to embrace 3D printing anytime soon, we must solve the materials availability and cost dilemma. In our view, that can only happen with industrywide cooperation and collaboration.