Last week HP revealed its new 3D printing technology after the printer manufacturer was set to announce its journey into 3D printing in June this year. HP revealed their new Multi Jet Fusion printer at a press conference in New York on Wednesday 29 October.
The printer, which will be available in 2016 with an estimated price tag of $10 000 (about R110 000), has the potential to reshape the 3D printing industry by making other 3D printer manufacturers focus on producing better products and services and faster printers.
Pete Basiliere, research director in technology research company Gatner’s technology and service provider division said, "I've seen laboratory prototypes. It will be disruptive, because it has potential for high-quality parts production, and very fast.”
HP’s new 3D printer is built on thermal inkjet technology, the same technology found in HP ink cartridges, and it is due to this and faster imaging technology that will make the printer print 10 times faster than traditional 3D printers. The Multi jet Fusion will also be able to produce parts that are better quality, stronger and more durable as well as more accurate and detailed.
The printer will be targeted at large enterprises and forms part of HP’s Blended Reality Ecosystem. Combined with the Sprout Immersive Computing System, the Multi Jet Fusion will “break down the barriers between the digital and physical worlds” according to Dion Weisler, executive vice president, Printing and Personal Systems at HP.
According to HP, the Multi Jet Fusion will reduce running time, cost, energy consumption and waste which will significantly improve “3D printing economics”.
But reduced costs are not the only things the Multi Jet Fusin will bring to 3D printing. Analysts like Terry Wohlers, president and principal consultant at Wohlers Associates, also see the Multi Jet Fusion legitimising and sparking growth in the 3D printing industry. "It is the first time for a very big corporation to endorse the 3D printing area. It speaks to the future of the industry," Wohlers said.
"HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to transform manufacturing across industries by delivering on the full potential of 3D printing with better quality, increased productivity, and break-through economics," said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Graphic Solutions, HP.
Only time will tell if HP’s 3D printer will live up to analysts’ expectations as well as the hype surrounding it.