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Clemson University students design, create and innovate with HP MultiJet Fusion 3D printing solutions

Clemson University is the second largest public research university founded in 1889 in the US state of South Carolina. The university actively participates in research, education and scholarship, encouraging students to think critically and make new discoveries that have the potential to change economic development in South Carolina, the United States and around the world. Clemson has been working with various 3D printing technologies since 2007, offering its services to two groups of clients: students who design prototypes for classes and a selected group of local companies, including automotive suppliers. Both groups require 3D printing services that can accommodate complex designs, withstand functional testing, are strong and dimensionally accurate.

Bioengineering students often use 3D printers in the lab to produce product prototypes, such as a new type of catheter or devices to hold an infant’s head in place during cranial surgery. In the past, older 3D printers had difficulty 3D printing these types of parts as they had to be redesigned to meet the desired requirements.

However, since the deployment of the HP Jet Fusion 580 color 3D printer, researchers have been able to print parts that until now were not possible to produce on 3D printers. Design constraints are no longer an obstacle, and this encourages you to push the limits of your imagination.

“Many times we printed small bioengineering designs on FDM or PolyJet 3D printers, but when removing the support material with water, small elements broke off. Now we know that even the smallest component made with HP devices is much stronger.” – said Timothy Pruett, Head of the 3D Printing Laboratory.

In addition to the increased accuracy of the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, Pruett is also impressed by its speed – “if you get me a file before 3:00 p.m., I’ll get you the parts the next day.” Pruett said. Due to the speed and efficiency of the HP MJF, the workflow has also changed. Using previous technologies, Pruett mainly printed parts one at a time or in small batches. In the case of many orders, the delivery time was significantly longer. However, with the HP MultiJet Fusion’s fast 3D printing speed and the ability to 3D print multiple parts in the same production run, time is no longer an issue.

“Students create their prototypes and bring me their CAD files. I evaluate them to determine which 3D printing technology is best for them. Lately, everything I see goes to an HP device. Students are excited to receive their parts the very next day.” Pruett said.

The HP Jet Fusion 580 color 3D printer produces high-quality parts at an affordable price. This made it more attractive to Pruett than older Clemson technologies. FDM printers were affordable but produced parts with layer lines, and PolyJet 3D printers produced smooth parts but had high material prices. “HP Multi Jet Fusion will probably replace 60 or 80% of the work I do with other machines.” Pruett said.

The ability to print in color is another factor in Pruett’s enthusiasm. “Once we start printing parts in color, the models will be much more aesthetically appealing.” Pruett said.

Pruett says color was the first thing that drew his attention to the HP Jet Fusion 580 color 3D printer. But now he’s so enthusiastic about all the advantages of the device: speed, cost, durability, ease of printing, that he considers color as another added benefit.

“When I first saw this machine, the color was what got me excited, but now I think the HP Jet Fusion 580 3D printer is so amazing that I would be almost as happy even if it never had color.” As a graduate student and research assistant in Clemson Beau Pollard’s mechanical engineering department, he researched biology-inspired locomotion. One of Pollard’s projects involved building a bio-inspired aquatic robot. The flexibility of a natural swimmer’s fins or tail is a key parameter influencing their swimming performance.

“Adding flexible materials to enhance our robot’s swimming performance is easy experimentally, but makes it extremely difficult to model theoretically. The FDM printers we originally used couldn’t produce many parts connected by springs. The HP printer has achieved this accuracy and repeatability.” said Pollard. “The ability to print the springs together with the rigid parts has significantly reduced construction time and allowed us to collect more experimental data. This is a huge advantage for us as it has probably eliminated several weeks of trial and error. Instead of weeks or even a month, it took us two days.”

Spencer Marsh, a PhD student in Clemson’s bioengineering department, had prior experience with 3D printers at the Clemson lab. While printing clips for the left ventricular bioreactor, Marsh noticed that parts made from previous 3D printing materials kept breaking. After using HP 3D HR CB PA 12, Marsh and his colleagues experienced no cracks.

“HP material gives us a lot more room for flexibility when it comes to design intricacy. It’s much stronger. Now we are able to print whole elements, which has allowed us to develop our designs.” Marsh said. “The level of detail is also impressive. We have small features on a millimeter scale, and the print is accurate enough to be used.” Marsh added.

If you are looking for the opportunity to test or purchase HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, please contact us: www.drukarki3dhp.pl/kontakt.

Source: Integart press materials

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