We all live in a material world, especially in the rapidly expanding 3D printing industry.
3D printers have come a long way recently in speed and affordability. Indeed, HP’s Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutionis capable of producing superior quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of earlier systems, making the technology nearly ready for full-scale product manufacturing.
But making that happen will depend on more than the printers themselves. The materials that go into them are nearly as important.
Because with 3D printing, manufacturers blend a variety of materials to create parts and end products. = They need access to a wide palette of materials to achieve the right color, weight, reliability, resiliency, durability, texture, transparency and strength.
It’s a lot like the local hardware store mixing different tints, hues and glosses to make the perfect paint suitable for different parts of your home. (You wouldn’t use the same type of paint in the bathroom as you would for the garage). Same goes for 3D-printed parts, which for now, are limited to plastics.
That’s why HP has invested in developing an app-store-like experience for 3D printing customers and partners. The HP Open Platform engages with and certifies partners for collaboration on materials innovation as well as new applications for its 3D printing. The goal is to continue to reduce 3D printing costs, facilitate faster industry adoption and creating an open-source platform for certified 3D materials that work with its products.
This week, at the K 2016 plastics and rubber trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany, HP Open Platform partners demonstrated they are on the path toward delivering such materials with several key announcements:
No one company can do it on their own. Delivering on the 3D printing vision will take a village.
So in addition to working with HP Open Platform partners such as Arkema, BASF, Evonic and Lehmann & Voss, the company is also collaborating on 3D printing projects with the likes of Autodesk, BMW. Jabil Circuit, Johnson & Johnson, Materialis, Nike, Shapeways, Siemens and Protolabs.
The HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution sets the stage for future platforms that could transform color, texture, and mechanical properties at the voxel level. This level of control could create 3D printed objects with conductivity, flexibility, embedded data, and translucency — and that’s just the beginning. The possible combinations and potential applications are limitless.
In the coming months, HP will continue to expand its open platform ecosystem with new partnerships, materials and capabilities. Partners interested in learning more about partnership for the HP Open Platform can contact HP here.