HP Inc., has launched HP Metal Jet, the company’s first metal Additive Manufacturing system, at this years International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Illinois, USA. According to HP, the new HP Metal Jet technology provides mechanically functional parts with up to fifty times more productivity, at a significantly lower cost, than other binder jet or selective laser melting technologies.
HP also announced it has partnered with GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech, who will integrate the new systems at their facilities for the factory production of final parts. Companies said to have placed orders include Volkswagen, Wilo, Primo Medical Group and OKAY Industries.
Dion Weisler, CEO and President, HP Inc., stated, “We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that is transforming the $12 trillion manufacturing industry. HP has helped lead this transformation by pioneering the 3D mass production of plastic parts and we are now doubling down with HP Metal Jet, a breakthrough metals 3D printing technology.”
“The implications are huge – the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce billions of metal parts each year,” he continued. “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.”
The HP Metal Jet system is described as a voxel-level binder jetting technology, and offers a build chamber of 430 x 320 x 200 mm. The first material available with the system is stainless steel, with finished parts said to deliver isotropic properties that meet or exceed ASTM and MPIF Standards for tensile strength, yield strength and elongation.
GKN Powder Metallurgy will use the HP Metal Jet system in its factories to produce functional metal parts for auto and industrial customers including Volkswagen and Wilo. Producing more than three billion components per year, the company expects to additively manufacture millions of production-grade parts using the HP Metal Jet technology for its customers from as early as 2019.
“We’re at the tipping point of an exciting new era from which there will be no return: the future of mass production with 3D printing. HP’s new Metal Jet technology enables us to expand our business by taking on new opportunities that were previously cost prohibitive,” commented Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy.
“Our DNA and our expertise in powder production and metal part processing using digitally networked systems will enable us to drive industrialisation across the whole Additive Manufacturing value stream. By combining the forces of HP and GKN Powder Metallurgy, we will push the productivity and capability of our customers to unprecedented levels based on the economic and technical advantages of HP Metal Jet technology,” he concluded.
Volkswagen is said to be integrating HP Metal Jet into its long-term design and production roadmap. The collaboration between Volkswagen, GKN Powder Metallurgy and HP has resulted in the ability to move quickly to assess the manufacturing of mass-customisable parts such as individualised key rings and exterior-mounted nameplates.
Volkswagen‘s multi-year plan to use the HP Metal Jet also includes the production of higher performance functional parts with significant structural requirements, such as gearshift knobs and mirror mounts. As new platforms such as electric vehicles enter mass production, HP Metal Jet is expected to be used in additional applications such as the lightweighting of fully safety-certified metal parts.
Wilo, a global leader for pumps and pump system solutions, will look to HP’s Metal Jet technology to produce initial hydraulic parts such as impellers, diffusers, and pump housings with widely variable dimensions that must withstand intense suction, pressure and temperature fluctuations.
Parmatech, an ATW Company, stated that it will use the HP Metal Jet system to expand mass production of medical parts for its customers, including OKAY Industries, Primo Medical Group and others. Parmatech is an established user of Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technology and specialises in producing low-cost, high-volume metal parts for the medical and industrial sectors.
“HP Metal Jet represents the first truly viable 3D technology for the industrial-scale production of metal parts. Our customers demand extreme performance, quality, and reliability and HP’s advanced technology and heritage of market disruption give us the confidence to deliver beyond expectations,“ explained Rob Hall, President of Parmatech.
“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 technology will play a key role in our mission to develop innovative solutions for the unique challenges of our customers.”
From the first half of 2019, customers will have the opportunity to upload 3D design files and receive industrial-grade parts in large quantities from HP’s new Metal Jet Production Service. These parts will be produced by HP partners GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech. Commercial HP Metal Jet solutions will be offered at under $399,000 and begin shipping in 2020 to early adopters with broad availability expected in 2021.