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Published: March 15, 2017

Inside HP's  3D Open Materials and Applications Lab in Corvallis, Ore.Inside HP's 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab in Corvallis, Ore.

One of the most widely used technologies in the world – the thermal Inkjet – came to be some 30 years ago thanks to engineers at HP’s 145-acre Corvallis, Ore., site. The technology, which uses heat to force tiny drops of ink through a specialized nozzle and onto paper, today is the dominant type of printing in people’s homes and offices.

It’s no surprise, then, that Corvallis is also home to some of the most advanced 3D printing technologies being developed by HP with the end goal of fostering a partner-driven, open materials marketplace to accelerate the creation of production-ready 3D printed parts.MJFPTB (6).jpg

 At an event for technology press and analysts this week, HP gave behind-the-scenes tours of its new 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab, a 3,500 square-foot space where 3D materials partners can jumpstart product development, test new materials and get real-time feedback from engineers.

The focus on cross-industry collaboration at the new lab is meant to spur innovation and speed time-to-market (and crack into the $12 trillion manufacturing industry) with new 3D printing materials and applications that are reliable, safe and affordable. 

“We are convening the world’s leading materials companies and empowering them to disrupt and innovate,” said Tim Weber, Global Head of 3D Materials and Advanced Applications and general manager of the Corvallis site. “It will be exciting to watch as these companies test the limits of the HP Open Platform. The ability to create new materials more quickly, and to easily iterate and improve those materials, will lower costs and accelerate the digital reinvention of manufacturing.”

A grand opening for a grand idea

To commemorate the new lab, HP Corvallis hosted a two-day event, which kicked off with a dinner and roundtable and includes topical discussion panels from 3D printing experts and partners.  

The lab opening comes just shy of a year after HP announced its Multi Jet Fusion technology and its first commercial 3D printers. Geared toward replacing injection-molding machinery on factory floors, the solution can produce higher quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of earlier systems.

In Corvallis, the new lab builds upon a long legacy of innovation. It’s already home to a high-tech research and industrial grade production facility where material scientists design, test and build print heads, silicon wafers and the thermal Inkjet printer heads.A peek inside the HP Multi Jet Fusion 4200 3D printerA peek inside the HP Multi Jet Fusion 4200 3D printer

The new 3D materials and applications lab will be a proving ground for HP’s 3D print technology and its initial partners, who can use the lab space to test new, powdered raw materials to use in HP’s 3D printers.

“In order for 3D printing to go mainstream, you need the materials piece to take off with the technology or the ecosystem won’t flourish,” HP’s Weber said. “We want materials companies to work with their customers and drive innovation on our platform.”

Currently, HP is working with four of the world’s leading materials companies to co-develop new materials and refine the materials certification process, but will continue to add partners to the program. Arkema, BASF, Evonik and Lehman & Voss announced their commitment to the HP Open Platform and are working on certified materials for the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 and HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 printers.

HP Multi Jet Fusion technology sets the stage for future platforms that could transform color, texture, and mechanical properties at the “voxel” level—a 3D unit of measure that’s just about 50 microns, the width of a human hair. Manipulating printing materials 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.

 

Partnerships key to market growth 

HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 (3).jpgFaced with such a complex undertaking, HP is looking to partners for help. When companies develop new products, they typically engage with materials suppliers for the testing and prototyping of specialty applications. There are thousands of them, many of which are proprietary formulations.

According to Weber, it’s a win-win: partners can solve customer problems using 3D print technology while HP expands its materials library. Partners send engineers to work in the lab on HP’s tools and printers, who will return with what they learned to iterate on the materials in rapid development cycles.

“There’s no way that HP itself can develop and certify the some 30,000 materials made by all the materials companies in the world,” said Weber. “Working together in a hands-on, agile development environment enables us to test and certify materials that are compatible with our Multi Jet Fusion technology.”

 

From prototype to factory floor

HP aspires ultimately to open a materials platform so customers can have an experience similar to an app store, where they have variety of certified materials to choose from. In October, Evonik became the first partner to announce a certified material.
dagobah_tcm245_2266154_tcm245_2279903_tcm245-2266154.jpgBut materials are just one piece of the 3D printing puzzle, according to Weber, it’s about changing more than 70 years of entrenched business practices and behavior in the manufacturing industry. Driving materials innovation enables HP to demonstrate that 3D printing can replace this traditional manufacturing model by lowering costs and meeting or exceeding existing standards for quality and reliability.

“We must rethink the entire lifecycle of a manufactured part, from design to delivery, he said.

For more information about the 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab, see the press kit. Learn more about HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers here.

    3D Printing
Published: January 19, 2017

 

 Reporting this week from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is the below post jointly written by Stephen Nigro, President, 3D Printing business at HP and Shane Wall, Chief Technology Officer at HP and Global Head of HP Labs. Get all the news from Davos, which continues through January 20th, by following #WEF17.

 

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In the 18th century, it wasn’t clear how the new technologies of water and steam power that were driving early industry would affect the then-largely rural societies of Europe and America. It took about a century before the term “Industrial Revolution” was coined.

By that time, the mechanization of production was well under way, along with the beginnings of a middle class. Meanwhile, the seeds of mass production, which would become the Second Industrial Revolution, were sown. The effects of that electricity-driven transformation — affordable goods and solid assembly-line jobs supporting a secure middle class — would not be fully revealed for decades. Then, in the mid-20th century, electronics and information technology ushered in the Third Industrial Revolution of automation, remaking the world once again. This time, however, the impact was felt within a few years, not decades or centuries.

Today, we are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — and its impact is being felt even before it’s fully under way. This transformation, built on the blending of the physical and digital worlds, will have profound consequences across industries, business, finance and government. That’s why it’s a leading topic at this week’s annual gathering of global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“One of the features of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is that it doesn’t change what we are doing, but it changes us,” said Klaus Schwab, executive director of the Davos event.

How will it change your life?

 

The emergence of immersive commuting

We’re living in a world that’s still experiencing the effects — both good and bad — from the previous industrial revolutions. Our cities are more crowded, globalization has shifted work to the far corners of the planet, and technology has been integrated into every facet of our lives, from social interactions to healthcare. 

The next step for technology will be for computing to become immersive, the way energy and water are delivered to us today. Instead of running our lives from PCs on our desks or smartphones in our pockets, we’ll be guided through the day by technology that’s integrated into everyday objects, like the jewelry we wear, the windshields on our cars and even the buildings where we work and play. These devices will not only be useful tools but will also collect data, further powering and fine-tuning artificial intelligence in a virtuous cycle.

The daily route from home to office in a self-driving car, for instance, will be determined autonomously by the vehicle, based on traffic and other data. Time that was once lost to gridlock can be put to better use.3DP CONCEPTUAL.JPG

 At the office, people will no longer scour through information to make decisions. Instead, artificial intelligence will analyze and synthesize data more efficiently than any human could and present it in more useful ways than on a computer screen. Through virtual reality, an engineer might be transported inside a jet engine to see a problem firsthand. Doctors examining an X-ray will see treatment options layered onto the document through augmented reality — a literal blending of our physical and digital worlds.

 

Reinventing manufacturing

The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be even greater behind the scenes of the economy, where the blending of the digital and physical will remake how goods are manufactured and distributed. The digital will become the physical with the touch of a button. 

3D PRINTED PART1.jpgFor years, 3D printers have been used to create prototypes and small parts. With the introduction of the HP Jet Fusion 3D printer, physical parts can now be created 10 times faster and half the cost of previous systems. We’re on the path to manufacturing products from digital files that can be transmitted anywhere in the world, allowing goods to flow nearly as efficiently as ideas do today across the internet.

Designers and engineers will be able to work from anywhere, freed from the constraints of traditional manufacturing techniques such as injection molding. Instead, they’ll design products with an unprecedented degree of granularity and precision, making it possible to manufacture goods that simply cannot be made today.

And once those digital files are transmitted, they can be adjusted for local or personal needs before production. For consumers, this technology promises, for the first time, both mass production and mass personalization. Imagine ordering a shoe that’s not just your size but precisely tailored for your feet.

Digitization of manufacturing also promises faster improvement cycles. After all, a digital file is much easier to change than a mold or an assembly line. Shifts in style, demand or functionality will be turned around instantly.

This efficiency of production will create opportunities, too. Manufacturing jobs that had been outsourced will be needed closer to where the final products will be offered, purchased and consumed.

New businesses will be created to support the 3D manufacturing ecosystem. Even in today’s early stages, an open ecosystem is being built to identify sustainable materials from which parts and products will eventually be manufactured. HP is working with partners across multiple industries to find materials to use in digital manufacturing.

 

Changing the world  for the better

It should be no surprise, then, that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a major theme of this year’s World Economic Forum. The shift from shipping materials and products back and forth around the globe to local sourcing and manufacturing has huge implications for trade, taxation and regulations. What is an export or import when the “product” only exists as digital file? How should it be taxed? What policies need to be invented?

 The $12 trillion manufacturing industry and its global supply are likely to be disrupted. The first savings from more local manufacturing, both economic and environmental, will be the 5 percent of the world’s oil supply that now goes to the mere shipment of goods. Products also can be constructed with materials that are reusable after consumption, minimizing waste. And there will be no need to warehouse unsold products if demand declines since they’ll only be built when needed.

Economists describe this change as a decoupling of economic growth from the world’s limited resources. It’s nothing less than the creation of an environmentally friendly future — a historic benefit for all residents of Earth.

The next Industrial Revolution won’t just change the world. It will sustain it.

  

Published: November 29, 2016

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Last year was the 50th anniversary of the Shelby Cobra. An official celebration at the Detroit Auto Show not only marked the milestone anniversary of this iconic sports car; it also showcased the next generation of automobile manufacturing. In honor of the car’s design, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) introduced a 3D printed Shelby Cobra, with an estimated 75 percent of its parts produced by additive manufacturing (AM).

Printed at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL using BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing), the 3D Shelby Cobra model incorporates “plug and play” components, including a new engine, battery, fuel cell technologies and more. Oak Ridge Lab says of the model, “The design allows integrated components to be tested and enhanced in real time, improving the use of sustainable, digital manufacturing solutions in the automotive industry.”

The Shelby Cobra is just a functional design at this time, but automotive production is one of the top vertical industries that will benefit from 3D printed solutions. In its recent report on “Additive Manufacturing Opportunities in Automotive – 2016,” SmarTech Publishing estimates the automotive market will spend $2.3 billion in 2021 on additive manufacturing, from $600 million this year.

 

Emerging 3D printing opportunities

While there is a great deal of enthusiasm over the prospect of customized cars printed on-demand at local dealerships, the industry is some years away from that level of supply chain disruption. However, there are several near term and emerging areas in the automotive industry that are presenting opportunities for 3D printing.

 

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping is helping to cut down the lead times for designing new cars or updating current models. The use of 3D manufacturing means auto manufacturers can test a variety of prototypes before production. Ford has reported using 3D printing in the development of its new vehicles, including the new Ford GT supercar. The company says that 3D printing can deliver prototypes in a matter of hours. This enables designers and engineers to quickly test and refine new designs and innovations.

 

Production tooling

The report on “3D opportunity in the automotive industry” from Deloitte University Press explains that additive manufacturing (AM) enables the fabrication of customized tools to boost shop floor production. It cites the use of AM by BMW in direct manufacturing to make hand tools that are used in test and assembly. According to BMW, customized tools helped save 58 percent in overall costs. It also reduced project time by 92 percent.

 

Parts on demand

The production of spare parts and components on demand is yet another emerging area for the use of 3D printing. In the “Top 10 3D printed automotive industry innovations available right now,” Nick Hall describes Audi’s use of the technology to produce spare parts. Currently customers may have to wait for dealers to order parts from a central silo, which is costly and time consuming. While Audi hasn’t as yet implemented 3D printing across its entire part catalog, by virtue of placing 3D printers around the globe it is able to print certain parts on demand. Besides benefiting the customer, the process is eliminating the over production of certain parts.

Last year, Audi also was reported to be experimenting with 3D printing technology to make complex metal parts and eventually fit them to production cars.

The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, is the world’s first production-ready commercial 3D printing system. The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, based on our Multi Jet Fusion technology revolutionizes design, prototyping and manufacturing, and for the first time, delivers superior quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems. By printing functional parts for the first time at the individual voxel level (a voxel is the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel in traditional printing), the HP Jet Fusion Printing Solutions offers unprecedented ability to transform part properties and deliver mass customization.

 

Blended Reality and continuous parts improvement

But the future of 3D printing in the automotive and other industries won’t end with the printed part. By embedding tracing marks and sensors into the product, manufacturers will be able to track every step of a product lifecycle from initial 3D object scan to design, through production, quality measurement, delivery and real-world use. This will provide in-lifecycle information to improve the design and fabrication of future parts.

As the entire manufacturing process moves seamlessly from physical to digital and back to physical to create a “Blended Reality,” the potential for a continuous improvement cycle becomes huge. Manufacturers will be able to improve auto parts based on their performance or use and even modify them for weather and travel patterns.

The road to 3D printed cars is being paved with huge and exciting disruptions leading to an unprecedented level of customization and convenience.

As they say, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy [but very exciting] ride.”

Published: November 29, 2016

 

With the launch of its Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing Solution in May, HP re-defined industrial 3D printing systems. The HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 jumps ahead of traditional 3D printers, boasting the ability to rapidly produce functional prototypes as well as production-ready components and objects -- at a decidedly lower cost. Leading  Belgian 3D printing software and services company Materialise NV, is one of the first customers in the world to install the printer in its continued collaboration with HP to accelerate the widespread use of 3D printing in scaled-up manufacturing.

We discussed the future of 3D printing with Materialise CEO Fried Vancraen.

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Q: What does the next industrial revolution look like, and how significant is the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printing Solution in realizing that vision?

A: The next industrial revolution is no longer something that is shaping up to take place. It is already happening. Large industrial players such as Airbus, GE, Deutsche Bahn, and naturally, HP, are educating entire engineering forces in how they can use additive manufacturing to realize a new generation of products.

Good surface quality, in combination with the color printing of durable parts, can seriously enhance the market potential of 3D printing technologies. HP’s team is currently developing a unique technological base that can make this happen.

 

Q: The HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer prints up to 10 times faster than FDM and SLS printer solutions and at half their cost, with incredible detail. What effect will that have as Materialise accelerates into full-scale manufacturing?

A: The situation at Materialise is like others already participating in the new industrial revolution. We already have several dedicated production lines for multiple product categories. These include medical implants, orthopedic instruments, aerospace components, insoles, eyewear, and more.

Demand for these lines is increasing, and the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer holds the promise of making it more cost-efficient to fulfill these demands. We look forward to incorporating this technology into the Materialise Manufacturing offering.

 

Q: What challenges come with adapting prototype and production manufacturing to 3D printing environments? How will HP and Materialise together help overcome those challenges?

A: With such highly productive and powerful 3D printers, the challenge for users shifts away from the printing process itself and more towards data preparation and the structured post-processing of the parts, both of which are key to making businesses cost-effective and profitable. Materialise is proud to deliver the tools, in the form of an integrated backbone of software and solutions, that turn a printer into a true production process. It is this full solution that we will provide together with HP by integrating the Jet Fusion 4200 Printer into our manufacturing offering.

 

Q: How important is the HP Open Platform for materials innovation to driving adoption of 3D manufacturing?

A: Materialise and HP share the same strong belief in the power of Open Platforms and collaboration. Openness and partnerships are part of Materialise’s DNA, and the key to some of our greatest advances. Moving forward, in order to keep up with the demands of high-end manufacturing environments, both 3D printing processes and software have to fit into very complex, disciplined ecosystems. For that, you need systems that are open, agnostic and collaboration-ready.

 

Q: How will bringing Materialise’s software together with the HP Jet Fusion 4200 drive up the number of applications that can benefit from 3D printing?

 

Fried VancraenFried VancraenA: High-quality surface finish, colors, unique labeling options, high-density production, quality control all along the line – these are critical elements for many applications of 3D printing. However, each of these adds to the already huge data size and processing complexities that have to be handled. Materialise is an expert in this data handling, and HP -- with its Multi Jet Fusion technology -- can turn this data into high-detailed reality. These combined strengths will make an ever-growing number of functional, but also aesthetic, components possible for medical, footwear, fashion, wearable, automotive, and aerospace industries … and I could go on.

 

Q:  Did anything surprise you about working with HP’s 3D team?

A: The introduction of such a complicated system is always accompanied by challenges. It was a positive surprise to see that such high-level executives, especially in a company as large as HP, were always readily available for our team here at Materialise to help tackle challenges as they arose.

 

See how HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology works in the video below: 

Published: November 28, 2016

JabilLogo_PMS2955_3415.pngJabil Circuit, which produces parts for some of the most recognizable brands across the globe, is one of the first customers in the world installing the HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing Solution for their business. We explored Jabil’s views on the industrial 3D printing market with John Dulchinos, Vice President of Global Automation and 3D Printing at the company, which aims to leverage the new printer for a variety of industrial-strength jobs.Tatooine Enviro C2_3200 v1c chain desat.jpg

Q: How is the HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing Solution a critical component in facilitating the next industrial revolution? 

A: The next industrial revolution will be driven by digital technologies such as 3D printing, which will make it possible to produce products closer to customer locations.

Think about traditional injection-molded parts and the substantial investment in part-specific tooling it takes to produce items at scale. Those molds could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And, if you want to produce the parts in five different locations, multiply that tool investment by five. With the HP solution, you can produce those products across different locations by simply sharing a file. That’s how digital technologies really enable you to be closer to the customer.

 

Q: The HP Jet Fusion 4200 prints up to 10 times faster than FDM and SLS printer solutions at half the cost of earlier systems. How does this change the game for production-level 3D printing?

A: Up to now, in 3D printing, we lived with substantial compromises in speed, quality and cost to produce real parts. Today, most 3D printing is used in either prototyping applications or, if you are producing real end-use parts, they tend to be in very niche applications where volume is not very high. 

The Jet Fusion 4200 offers the opportunity to produce end-use parts at a cost point, quality level and mechanical integrity level that is comparable to injection molding of certain plastic parts. Compared to injection molding, we’ve seen breakeven points using the Jet Fusion 4200 in the tens of thousands of unit volumes per year. So it’s starting to become as feasible to do low- to mid-volume scale production – thousands up to the low tens of thousands – with this printing as with traditional manufacturing processes like injection molding.  

 

Q: What new opportunities may Jabil be able to take advantage of as it adopts the HP solution for full-scale manufacturing?

A:  Most of our factories are massive-scale facilities in low-cost geographies. This (3D) printer lets us rethink how we make parts: Instead of having to build large manufacturing operations with rows of part-specific tooling, we can have more generalized manufacturing solutions. We gain more flexibility, in addition to being able to produce parts closer to where our customers are. We simply have to put the printers there.

 

Q: What applications best fit HP’s 3D printing solution?

A: We have a pretty high spec of parts that are relatively low to mid-volume because we produce such a wide variety of models for our customers. HP’s 3D printer can come in whenever we have to make hundreds, thousands or maybe even in the low tens of thousands of units per year of different versions of something. That could be footwear in different sizes, for example, or medical devices that have to be personalized for different types of patients or industrial products that have a variety of different configurations.

 

Q: Why did you partner with HP for 3D printing?

A: Part of that has to do with the solution’s technical capabilities. But it was also very important for us to work with a company that has an open ecosystem. 3D printing is all about the materials. Most 3D printing companies have created a limited set of materials that are exceptionally high cost, and they won’t let others innovate on their platforms. HP’s Open Platform for materials innovation means we and others can substantially extend the capabilities of the printing platform, which is so important.


Q: What has been your experience working with HP to accelerate 3D printing for manufacturing?

A: We have had a really open and collaborative working relationship. I’ve been pleased at its willingness to learn from partners like us about what it takes to truly manufacture end-use parts.

 

See how HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology works in the video below: