HP has released two new 3D printer models, the Jet Fusion 3200 and Jet Fusion 4200—their first products on the market since the company entered the 3D printing arena in 2014. These high-end printers do not need lasers (like most rivals in their range) and will be available by the end of the year.
Not only will the printers be able to print at half the cost and ten times the speed of other printers on the market, but to top it all off, they can produce sharp, fine, high-definition edges.
“I will be, again, pushing the limits of 3D printing as we know today---with performance, with cost, with voxel-by-voxel (volumetric pixel) control,” says Ramon Pastor, Vice President and General Manager of HP's 3D Printing Business.
For their medium, HP uses thin layers of powder and adds a chemical agent. With their technology, they can control thermal conductivity in order to modify how parts are fused, making it possible to create high-resolution parts. To see how HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology works, watch this video:
On the Way to Perfection
HP is perfecting the technology with the help of industry leaders from the manufacturing, automobile, and consumer goods industries with the aim to deliver voxel-method 3D printing systems that will enable consumers to not only build superior quality prototypes, but to perform small-scale production as well.
Sources note that the 3D printers could very well revolutionize 3D printing, as they will be able to print electronics in the parts they create through the use of conductive materials that are printed at the voxel level. Notably, the printers have a print area or a print bin of 16-in. x 12-in. x 16-in. Within that area, there are 2.4 teravoxels (a teravoxel is a trillion voxels).
HP is also collaborating with materials companies to offer a wide array of substances for use with their printers, ranging from high-performance thermoplastics to low-cost commodity plastics. The first generation models can only print in one color, but HP intends to bridge that deficiency.
At the moment, HP’s 3D printers are aimed at manufacturers and not consumers, as the entry level Jet Fusion 3200 comes with a $130,000 price tag. While the Jet Fusion 4200’s price has not been announced yet, it would be presumably more expensive than the 3200. On a commercial level, however, this cost, on top of its production speed (340 million voxels per second) and superior capability, takes HP to an unparalleled advantage over its rivals as of date.