3D Printers

HP Metal Jet launches at IMTS 2018, technical specifications and pricing

Multinational information technology company HP has released HP Metal Jet 3D printing technology. Working on the same basis as its Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) binder jetting 3D printers, the new system marks HP’s first foray into the metal additive manufacturing sector.

Dion Weisler, CEO and President of HP Inc., comments, “We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that is transforming the $12 trillion manufacturing industry,”

“HP’s new Metal Jet 3D printing platform unlocks the speed, quality, and economics to enable our customers to completely rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solutions in the digital age.”

Metal binder jetting

HP’s metal 3D printing technology has been the subject of speculation since plans were introduced in a company Security Analyst Meeting, October 2017.

Based on HP’s MJF expertise, and the notable rise in utilizing metal injection molding (MIM) powders as cheaper additive feedstock, it was quickly decided that the forthcoming technology would most likely leverage these factors in some way.

True-to-form, HP Metal Jet is described by the company as “a groundbreaking, voxel-level binder jetting technology leveraging more than 30 years of HP printhead and advanced chemistries innovation.”

An impeller 3D printed by HP Metal Jet technology for Wilo. Photo via HP
An impeller 3D printed by HP Metal Jet technology for Wilo. Photo via HP

HP Metal Jet technical specifications

Compared to other metal binder jetting systems on the market (as of July 31, 2018) HP Metal Jet has 4 times the nozzle redundancy and double the printbars. Secondly, relative to competitive binder jetting and selective laser melting (SLM) 3D printers, the HP Metal Jet on average boasts up to 50 times more productivity “based on print speed for serial production up to 100,000 parts” and acquisition cost.

An introductory HP Metal Jet system has a bed size of  430 x 320 x 200 mm, and can currently produce stainless steel parts matching ASTM International standards.

Strategic partners

Bolstering the technology launch, HP has already confirmed Metal Jet partnerships with GKN Powder Metallurgy, the component and metal powder production arm of British engineering firm, GKN Plc, and medical MIM component manufacturer Parmatech.

Through GKN, HP Metal Jet solutions have already been applied to the production of functional metal parts for Volkswagen and water pump manufacturer Wilo.

With Parmatech, HP is to introduce Metal Jet 3D printing to the mass manufacture of medical components for OKAY Industries, Primo Medical Group and other partners.

Rob Hall, President of Parmatech comments, “We are excited to deploy HP Metal Jet in our factories and begin manufacturing complex parts, such as surgical scissors and endoscopic surgical jaws, and new applications and geometries not possible with conventional metal fabrication technologies.”

HP Metal Jet Customer Volkswagen_gear shift (1)
HP Metal Jet 3D printed gear shift for Volkswagen. Photo via HP

HP Metal Jet Pricing 

Early access HP Metal Jet solutions will be shipping from 2020, with widespread commercial availability from 2021. Prices for the systemss have been reported at “under $399,000.”

From early 2019, trusted partners will also have access to HP’s Metal Jet Production Service, which will be led by GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech.

Pre-orders fro the system are now open.

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Featured image shows HP Metal Jet 3D printer systems. Photo via HP

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