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HP unveils speedier 3D printing technology

by Mark Tyson on 30 October 2014, 10:35

Tags: Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), PC

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Hewlett Packard has revealed its much anticipated 3D printer, it's called the HP Multi Jet Fusion. The new printer is "leaps ahead in print speed and part quality," whilst offering "New colour capabilities. More creativity in materials," according to HP's own publicity. Accompanying the Multi Jet Fusion printer HP also unveiled a 3D computer system called Sprout. This computer is designed to complement the 3D printer by offering a quick, intuitive and convenient way of scanning and digitizing objects for duplication or repairs.

HP Multi Jet Fusion

HP promises that it will soon "change the way on-demand, high-value, complex parts and assemblies are manufactured". The firm says that its new Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer "can offer new levels of part quality, 10 times faster 1 and at breakthrough economics 2 relative to similar systems in the marketplace today". With most available 3D printers on the market you have to choose between strength and good detail using machines that use a single focused fusing or curing point. The end result, asserts HP, has been imperfect parts and slow productivity, until now.

The Multi Jet Fusion uses a combination of a material coater and thermal inject array with a high number of nozzles per inch. This first generation printer model uses HP's proprietary synchronous architecture is capable of printing over 30 million drops per second across each inch of the working area. The machine is also capable of varying CMYK colour values at each voxel.

The first commercial 3D printing product will use thermoplastic materials but HP says that it is investigating the use of ceramics and metals too. Also in the future HP says that it will be able to build 3D printing solutions to output part sizes between 4.25-inches to as much as 40-inches wide.

Sprout by HP

As mentioned in the intro, HP has also been thinking about how designers can quickly and intuitively get 3D artwork ready for 3D printing. Thus it has created 'a creativity station' called Sprout; "Blending the physical and digital worlds that you live in, Sprout unleashes your creativity like never before."

Sprout is an Intel i7 powered all-in-one PC which marries a 23-inch multi-touch screen, a built in projection system, and a 20 point capacitive touch mat with apps "that make creativity easy". The projector scope also includes an Intel RealSense 3D Camera scanning system. Other system specs include 8GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD space and Nvidia graphics. Sprout runs Windows 8.1.

We don't have any release date of pricing for the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer but we do know that HP Sprout is available in the US for pre-order and will be in select retail stores from 9th November starting at $1,899, including select Microsoft Retail Stores nationwide.

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