HP Introduces First 3D Printers for Large-Scale Manufacturers

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HP Hewlett Packard 3D Printing

HP has introduced the world’s first 3D printer for large-scale manufacturing—the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution. It promises 10 times the speed at half the cost, and is currently being tested by nine companies including Johnson & Johnson, BMW and Nike.

The market for 3D printers rose to $1.5 billion worldwide last year and could grow to $640 billion if it penetrates just 5% of the $12.8 trillion manufacturing economy according to Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers & Associates, in USA Today.

“We want to change the way the world prints parts,” Nigro told USA Today. “Customers are looking at how to transform their (3D printing) business from prototyping to production.”

It could help 3D-printing make an important, inevitable transition, reports Wired. “Instead of just pumping out prototypes, it can help with actual production.”

3D printing, aka additive manufacturing, has huge commercial potential. “There are three key benefits to additive manufacturing over conventional production methods: customization, convenience and efficiency,” explained Canalys analyst Joe Kempton in Wired.

The faster a company trials prototypes, the faster a final design choice is rendered. “We are beginning to see a large shift in the industry, as the technology has evolved to a point where it is possible to create real end-use pieces for application in a wide range of industries,” continued Kempton, noting that the aerospace and automotive industries are leading the charge for now. “The real importance of HP’s technology lies not in what it is able to do today, but how it will totally disrupt the industry down the road as its capabilities expand.”

Case in point, Johnson & Johnson is partnering with HP on 3D printing technologies to create better healthcare outcomes at reduced costs. By combining their scientific, clinical, material science and technological expertise, the collaboration will focus on increased satisfaction for patients, consumers and healthcare providers

“The intersection of technology and healthcare is spurring innovation that will have a profound impact on patients and consumers all over the world,” said Sandra Peterson, Group Worldwide Chairman, Johnson & Johnson, in a press release.

“Combined with advances in data mining and software, 3D printing could enable distributed manufacturing models and patient-specific products, therapies and solutions that deliver better outcomes, better economics and improved global accessibility.”

The first HP/J&J collaboration will focus on personalization of instrumentation and software for patient-specific healthcare devices that coupled with 3D printing technology will spur innovation in orthopedics, eye health and consumer products.

“Advances in 3D printing technology have the potential to break historical paradigms of healthcare delivery in ways that are not feasible in traditional manufacturing processes,” said Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business, in the press release. “Together with Johnson & Johnson we have the potential to create opportunities and innovations in healthcare to improve patients’ lives that neither company could develop alone.”

HP Hewlett Packard 3D Printing Nike

BMW will integrate HP’s printing system into the future production of serial parts and personal customization, said Jens Ertel, head of BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center, in USA Today. Nike, meanwhile, uses 3D printing for “performance innovations” for its footwear, says Tom Clarke, president of innovation at Nike, and the HP deal should allow it to do more, reports the pub.

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