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HP's new 3D printer is aimed at manufacturing, not consumers

Lucas Mearian | Nov. 10, 2014
The Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing is designed largely for limited production runs, one-offs.

"With Multi Jet Fusion, it takes three hours," he said.

"For us, to change industries, you need to replace what was analog-produced parts with digital," Nigro continued. "That's a high hurdle. To get that from a desktop system, we don't see that as possible."

Comparing it to what HD did with 2D printers, scaling them in size depending on the need, Nigro sees many different versions of the Multi Jet Fusion printer -- some that HP will make itself, and others that it will partner to create.

HP is creating an "open" collaboration program for developers who want to work with HP to create specialty applications for the 3D printer.

"There's only so much HP can do on its own," Nigro said. "We view this as a horizontal 3D printing the sense that it can be configured in many configurations to serve many markets. We can scale it for more industrial applications...[and] you can imagine us scaling it down and going into workgroup applications. Those are all possibilities."

With CAD software to design the parts and a Multi Jet Fusion printer to produce them relatively quickly, manufacturers could use 3D printing for large test runs, Nigro said --enough to beta test parts before modifying them for full production runs. Using a 3D printer would save company development and production costs.

"Ultimately, it will change the workflow of manufacturing," Nigro said. "It will allow us to create an agile manufacturing world."


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