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Home3D PrintingWhat the HP S100 Metallic Jet launch means for the long run

What the HP S100 Metallic Jet launch means for the long run

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It has been 5 years within the making (it ought to have been 4, however the COVID pandemic modified the preliminary plans). From IMTS 2018 to IMTS 2022, from Stephen Nigro’s first announcement to this yr’s official launch: HP Metallic Jet expertise is right here, as the brand new Metallic Jet S100 3D printer turns into totally out there. The period of metallic AM for big batch manufacturing, in mass segments equivalent to automotive and shopper merchandise, has begun.

Even by way of inevitable ups and downs, ever since HP launched its polymer AM expertise, MultiJet Fusion, the AM market has not been the identical. Opponents in thermoplastic additive manufacturing haven’t disappeared, in actual fact, they’re producing kind of the identical revenues as they did earlier than. Nevertheless the general polymer AM market has grown considerably as a result of many new adopters have embraced the expertise attracted by the excessive productiveness and high-value proposition of HP’s providing.

HP 3D Printing now expects to do one thing very comparable with Metallic Jet expertise, HP’s personal model of metallic binder jetting. In comparison with the polymer enterprise, there are similarities and there are variations. MJF was the primary excessive productiveness planar, thermal polymer powder mattress fusion course of to be marketed nonetheless it isn’t the primary to have been invented. HSS, a really comparable expertise, had already been in growth at Xaar and has since been adopted by Stratasys and voxeljet on their very own manufacturing programs.

Metallic binder jetting, alternatively, has been round for a few years, with a number of different corporations both advertising the expertise already or preparing to take action. Based mostly on patents initially developed at MIT, metallic binder jetting, normally, has been developed and marketed primarily by American corporations seeking to scale metallic AM into mass manufacturing, as an alternative choice to the primarily German-driven metallic powder mattress fusion strategy.

HP Metal Jet is here. After MultiJet Fusion changed polymer AM, HP wants to take metal AM to the next level with the new S100

A aggressive market

In its effort to construct market dominance in metallic binder jetting, HP goes to sq. off in opposition to three foremost opponents. The primary and most established is the Desktop Metallic group, which mixes metallic binder jetting applied sciences developed internally with contributions from the inventor of metallic binder jetting Eli Sachs, and people marketed by present metallic binder jetting market chief ExOne, which was acquired in 2021. For a number of years ExOne was the one firm with industrial metallic binder jetting programs in the marketplace and right now the Desktop Metallic group holds a big market lead.

The second competitor, the Markforged group, additionally originating within the higher Boston space, may be very comparable in its construction. The corporate is a direct competitor of Desktop Metallic within the certain metallic filament deposition phase, which each corporations pioneered and helped to construct. Each corporations had been in a position to elevate vital capital by going public by way of a SPAC merger and each corporations made vital acquisitions to speed up the event of the metallic binder jetting enterprise. Markforged acquired Swedish firm Digital Metallic from the Hoganas group. Together with ExOne, Digital Metallic provided metallic binder jetting capabilities for a few years. The place ExOne targeted on massive metallic prototypes and instruments, Digital Metallic targeted on massive batches of small, exact components. Nevertheless for a number of years Digital Metallic solely provided its expertise as a service and solely began advertising a system in 2019. This nonetheless implies that each Markforged and Desktop Metallic are already current with industrial merchandise within the world market.

HP Metal Jet is here. After MultiJet Fusion changed polymer AM, HP wants to take metal AM to the next level with the new S100

The third competitor, GE Additive, is a bit behind. The corporate, which entered the metallic AM market in 2016 with the high-profile acquisition of EBM firm Arcam and laser PBF firm Idea Laser, can also be anticipated to launch a industrial metallic binder jetting system, at present referred to as the H2, and has already demonstrated the viability of sure automotive manufacturing purposes with beta prospects. There are additionally different potential opponents with comparable applied sciences, equivalent to, for instance, California-based 3DEO, lively in mass manufacturing of low-cost components by way of internally developed programs, nonetheless, the MBJ {hardware} battle will likely be fought primarily amongst these 4 corporations.

How is HP anticipating to emerge on this extremely aggressive context? 3dpbm was invited, along with a small group of analysts, to HP 3D printing’s heart in Sant Cugat, close to Barcelona, for a hands-on preview of the system’s capabilities and an outline of the corporate’s go-to-market technique going ahead.

Pushing the construct envelope

The primary ingredient of HP’s technique replicates the corporate’s strategy to the polymer 3D printing phase. It consists in concentrating on the complete manufacturing business and competing with different manufacturing applied sciences for a a lot bigger pie, fairly than different metallic 3D printing processes. Right here, as defined by Ramon Pastor, now World Head and Normal Supervisor at HP (and the person behind each the MJF and Metallic Jet go-to-market plans), is to leverage Metallic Jet as a way to transition from handbook meeting to digital manufacturing. This implies decreasing the dependency on hard-to-find expert laborers whereas addressing challenges associated to the provision chain, each of that are very urgent points on this specific time interval. As well as, as a 3D printing course of that doesn’t require helps, metallic binder jetting, normally, can allow engineers to completely exploit the geometric advantages of AM when it comes to each advanced geometries and customized subassemblies, with a diminished environmental impression in comparison with subtractive and formative processes. This strategy just isn’t solely strategic for HP and AM, it’s vital. A professional workforce for handbook labor intensive duties is getting tougher to search out for a lot of corporations and labor prices are too excessive within the West. In a great state of affairs, this doesn’t imply taking jobs away, it means shifting them away from handbook labor. It’s an inevitable pattern for a lot of causes. Effectively redistributing wealth is a unique matter, one which belongs to political resolution makers.

The second ingredient, the precise Metallic Jet 3D printing course of, is probably the place HP believes it has the largest benefit. The corporate’s distinctive place as a world chief in digital printing processes is exploited in at the very least three alternative ways. The primary is by driving superior buyer worth in comparison with conventional metallic manufacturing processes, which in fact applies to sure particular half geometries. The second is with respect to different metallic 3D printing processes, the place metallic binder jetting normally and Metallic Jet specifically intention to supply productiveness ranges which can be as much as ten occasions greater, within the construct section alone. As well as, metallic binder jetting can, in idea, use most of the identical powders utilized in established MIM (metallic injection molding) processing, which might shorten the time necessities for qualifying new supplies. The third benefit that HP expects to have the ability to exploit is particularly based mostly on its distinctive decades-long expertise within the growth of commercial thermal inkjet printing expertise. Because of this HP counts on having each essentially the most environment friendly printheads in the marketplace (1200 dpi, 4x nozzle redundancy, superior error detection, high-speed calibration, simple to exchange) and the best binders. HP’s latex binders function lengthy polymer chains packed compactly into particles dispersed within the liquid section. This leads to low residual carbon, low-temperature remedy together with greater accuracy, end high quality and inexperienced half energy.

HP Metal Jet is here. After MultiJet Fusion changed polymer AM, HP wants to take metal AM to the next level with the new S100

HP Metal Jet is here. After MultiJet Fusion changed polymer AM, HP wants to take metal AM to the next level with the new S100The ultimate ingredient, the end-to-end Metallic Jet workflow, is essentially the most difficult to implement as a result of it goes past the printing itself and is of elementary significance to scaling metallic 3D printing into mass manufacturing. Leveraging many classes realized with MJF expertise, HP is launching the S100 Metallic Jet system along with devoted, HP-branded machines for powder administration, curing and powder removing. Designed to help a number of printers, the Powder Mixing and Sieving unit enhance course of economics by effectively mixing and controlling the addition of recent supplies, and automating powder loading to the construct unit. The Powder Removing unit additionally improves course of and labor economics, whereas enabling a clear and secure work surroundings. A number of items could be added to extend productiveness.

The one facet of the workflow which isn’t at present managed by HP is the sintering section, which requires extremely particular information. For that reason, HP is working carefully with consultants equivalent to Elnik programs on sintering. When digital additive mass manufacturing will likely be applied, the corporate may even require extra advanced programs for half dealing with and sorting however this can in all probability must be explored by way of machines equivalent to these launched by corporations like AM Circulation.

From supplies to mass manufacturing

Up thus far we now have talked in regards to the expertise as a strategic benefit for HP to emerge within the metallic AM market. Now it’s time to debate what HP thought-about the important thing drivers of Metallic Jet expertise into manufacturing, or, in different phrases, the weather that can pull the transformation of supplies into precise digital components. As is usually the case, the technique resulting in adoption and industrialization begins from the supplies. Utilizing MIM powders can speed up the deployment and qualification of recent supplies however this doesn’t imply that introducing a brand new materials is rapid. HP Metallic Jet is getting into the market with two supplies, each based mostly on chrome steel: 316L and 17-4PH. These are respectively the most typical austenitic and precipitation hardened (PH) stainless steels used for powder-based AM processes right now and a few of the commonest metals utilized in all manufacturing. These steels are anticipated to have an analogous function in Metallic Jet as nylon (PA12) did in MJF: cowl a variety of huge batch purposes in segments not at present addressed by metallic AM, equivalent to automotive mass manufacturing and broadly accessible shopper merchandise. Steels will likely be adopted by an enlargement section with new metals and alloys, all whereas working with massive purchasers on the event of customized supplies based mostly on software demand.

Functions are, in actual fact, the subsequent key ingredient of HP Metallic Jet’s industrialization technique. After creating profitable software manufacturing case research with purchasers equivalent to Volkswagen and GKN in the course of the beta testing and preliminary rollout section of the S100 machine, HO signed a brand new cope with Schneider Electrical. The corporate desires to proceed strategically working with OEMs who personal software IPs to develop and architect personalized DfAM and provide chain options. HP itself goes to develop and develop the marketplace for rapid purposes, primarily in chrome steel, for filtration, hydraulics, medical gadgets and robotics (in addition to some shopper merchandise). Lastly, HP will work with contract producers (CMs) to additional industrialize the design course of, produce components on demand and provide an area provide chain resolution to OEMs.

The applying of all these facets is driving the industrialization of Metallic Jet expertise. It started with the completion of the alpha program that was first introduced in 2018 and it continued by way of the implementation of precise serial manufacturing at manor OEMs, delivering 1000’s of components per thirty days. It was accomplished with the introduction of gadget monitoring based mostly on machine knowledge by way of API and the event of manufacturing automation (by way of powder administration and removing). Now, HP is go for launch. Subsequent cease: concentrate on purposes and the enlargement of the Metallic Jet manufacturing community.



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