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HP embraces 'blended reality,' dives into 3D printing

Lucas Mearian | Oct. 30, 2014
HP today announced a new 3D printing technology called Multi Jet Fusion that it said will enable mass production of parts with a technology traditionally reserved for rapid prototyping.

"With Multi Jet Fusion quality, you'll get hi-resolution details and robust mechanical qualities," Nigro said.

During the presentation, several objects made by the printer showed it can produce intricate designs as well as strong industrial parts. For example, the Multi Jet Fusion printer created a chain link that was printed in under 20 minutes and tested to withstand 10,000 lbs. of weight. HP demonstrated that when a video showed the link being used on the end of a crane to lift a full-size sedan off the ground.

The printer, Weisler said, can produce fully functional parts with more accuracy, finer details and smoother surfaces. It can also manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical and thermal properties, beyond other current 3D print processes.

"We've overcome the barriers of speed, cost and quality and we've set the foundation for material innovation to truly realize the potential of 3D printing," Weisler said. "It really is a catalyst for the next industrial revolution."

Along with the Multi Jet Fusion printer, HP announced that machine's OS will be an open platform where developers can expand applications for its use.

"Together, these advancements have the potential to revolutionize production and offer small businesses a new way to produce goods and parts for customers," Weisler said.


Sprout, the immersive computing platform designed to enable a more intuitive, hands-on way of using a computer, uses a scanning camera to instantly capture physical objects that can be manipulated.

The platform is made up of what HP calls the Dual-screen Experience: an integrated vertical touch screen and horizontal capacitive touch mat, "designed with creative expression and human movement in mind."

The Sprout Illuminator arches out over the vertical touch screen, projecting images onto the touch mat. It combines a scanner, depth sensor, high-resolution camera and projector.

Real-time remote collaboration lets users share work by allowing them to seamlessly interact with and manipulate content remotely using HP's MyRoom application.

HP also announced an Immersive Applications suite of software designed for Sprout content.

Sprout uses Windows 8.1 running on a fourth-generation Intel i7 Processor; the system comes with 1TB of storage and has a 23-in. white-lLED backlit LCD screen  with a 10-point touch-enabled, Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) wide viewing angle.

The 20-point capacitive touch mat allows users to capture, create, move and manipulate content using their hands in a way HP describes as "more natural and intuitive."

It also has a fixed 1-megapixel, 720p HD HP low-light, front-facing webcam. Users also have access to a Adonit Jot Pro stylus for more precision manipulation of digital images.

The Sprout Illuminator is powered by a DLP projector and a four-camera sensory system that includes an HP high-resolution camera with up to 14.6-megapixel resolution and the Intel RealSense 3D Camera for instant capture of 2D and 3D objects.


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