HP’s new metal printer for mass production builds parts from MIM powders, which lowers the cost per part
HP Inc. is showcasing its lines of 3D printing technologies at the AMUG (Additive Manufacturing Users Group) conference, running March 31-April 4 in Chicago. Among the attractions visitors to the company’s booth can see are the Multi Jet Fusion printer, for building thermoplastic parts, and the recently introduced Metal Jet system.
Metal Jet was introduced last September and, according to HP, is intended to meet the needs of customers seeking to mass-produce AM parts.
A whitepaper posted on the HP website says that Metal Jet relies on thermal inkjet technology to deliver a binding agent to a powder-metal bed containing standard metal injection molding (MIM) powders. The manufacturer claims that printing with these powders lowers production costs compared to systems that print with non-MIM powders.
The whitepaper cites the following benefits of Metal Jet:
• One large part or multiple small parts can be produced simultaneously in the 430- by 320- by 200-mm powder bed.
• Parts can be arranged freely in multiple levels in the bed to optimize packing density and productivity, thereby reducing cost per part.
• No build plate is required, unlike selective laser melting (SLM) technologies.
• Serial production of low-cost, high-quality parts.
• 1,200- by 1,200-dpi addressability in a powder layer that’s 50 to 100 microns thick.
• Finished parts having isotropic properties that meet or exceed ASTM and MPIF Standards.
• Post-sintering density that exceeds 93 percent, which is similar to what MIM provides.
HP’s global head of metals, 3D printing, and digital manufacturing, Tim Weber, is scheduled to speak at the AMUG conference April 1 at 4:30 p.m. The title of his presentation is “Scaling into Mass Production with Metal 3D Printing–Technology Differentiation & Applications.” Also scheduled to speak at the conference is Weber’s colleague, Scott Schiller, HP’s global head of customer and market development. His presentation, “All About Our Customers–Removing the Hype and Making AM Real,” is scheduled for April 3 at 1:30 p.m.