Although HP unveiled their revolutionary Multi Jet Fusion technology just last October of 2014, it seems like the 3D printing industry has already seen a new wave of new revolutionary tech ranging from the ultra-quick Carbon3D CLIP technology to even some impressive DIY solutions that are made from little more than an old projector and roughly $10 in hardware store supplies. But despite the new developments from other developers, it appears that HP will still have a significant impact when they release the technology as a line of usable industrial-level 3D printers in late 2016.
Scott Schiller, worldwide director for 3D printing at HP, was on-hand at the Inside 3D Printing event in New York City last week where he gave a rundown on the current updates and developments with their revolutionary additive manufacturing technology.
The first 3D printers from HP that utilize their Multi Jet Fusion technology will be aimed at small to medium-sized businesses or “service bureaus” that focus on printing one-off parts for third-party businesses who either don’t have the space or the budget for their own machine. Although other companies have created 3D printers of similar size and scale over the past few decades, HP is focusing on the speed and quality aspect of their 3D printers - along with some sleek software and an open source nature thanks to a partnership with Autodesk’s Spark platform.
"We can make other companies more confident about investing in this space, and we can help smaller companies by driving standards for 3D printing,” said Schiller. “We're looking at the big picture and positioning for the long run."
But perhaps the biggest question for many who use additive manufacturing technologies comes down to not just speed and quality, but also material options.
The first machines that HP releases with the Multi Jet Fusion Technology will focus on generating high-quality thermoplastic-based 3D prints, however Schiller stated that other materials - including metal - are on the horizon.
"It could be in the future that we can find ways to emulate materials,” added Schiller.
“It is the tip of the iceberg for what could be possible … what about having the ability to make parts when they are no longer in production? As you can imagine, we have the biggest business enterprises in the world coming to us and saying, 'Oh, do we have a vision for this … I'm more excited about what we don't see that's coming."
In addition to providing users with an outstanding final product, the company is also focusing on making the 3D printing user experience fully-considered from start to finish. In addition to their open source initiative with the Autodesk Spark platform, they are also including a Windows 10 integration.
"Good things are coming on the workflow side," added Schiller.
"The way you drive transformation, to get to that future that everybody is so excited about, is by really getting the key players aligned with a unified vision."
Although the company has kept quiet for the most part since they first unveiled the technology in October of 2014, the update is a nice reminder that - along with incredible developments from other companies - the near-future of 3D printing is nearly unbound with possibilities.