In the fall of 2014, HP electrified the global 3D printing industry by presenting its first proprietary 3D printer for polyamide powders, working in the Multi Jet Fusion technology. Despite enormous expectations, the company waited nearly two years to introduce it to the market – its market premiere took place only in May 2016. Since then, HP 3D printers have stormed the additive industry, and the MJF method has become one of the most important additive techniques among manufacturing and manufacturing companies. service. In September 2018, the situation repeated itself – HP announced the premiere of its 3D printer for metal with a great pump, however, apart from a number of promises and announcements, not much has been done in this matter … Until now! Today – four years and two days after its premiere, HP announced the official market debut of Metal Jet S100 – and with it a number of devices supporting the 3D printing process from metal powders.

The HP Metal Jet 3D printer was presented at the International Trade Fair for Manufacturing Technologies (IMTS) in Chicago, USA. The machine is designed to work with metal injection molding (MIM) materials and not the spherical powders used in SLS laser systems. According to Ramon Pastor – Global Head of 3D Printing Metals at HP, this is a “big deal” as it enables users to cut parts costs by 20-33%. Initially, the machine will be compatible with two metal alloys – 316L stainless steel and 17-4PH. The users will be clients from the industrial, medical, consumer and automotive sectors. The system is now available to order in the United States, Western Europe and China, and is expected to be widely available in the first half of 2023.

Metal Jet S100 operates in a technology that is a proprietary derivative of the Binder Jetting method, used in 3D Desktop Metal / ExeOne or Markforged / Digital Metal printers. The metal powder is bonded layer by layer with a binder, and the resulting parts are then baked in furnaces to obtain the final geometry and strength. The HP 3D printer has a working area of ​​430 x 309 x 200 mm. Droplets of adhesive material (agent) are sprayed onto successive layers of powder using six HP Thermal Inkjet printheads installed on two print modules. The print heads are equipped with a total of 63,360 nozzles. Thanks to the heads, the 3D printer is able to precisely deposit up to 630 million nanograms of liquid binder drops per second, creating parts with a resolution of 1,200 dots per inch (dpi).

HP Thermal Inkjet printheads improve printing speed, part quality and repeatability, while the binder used uses the chemical properties of HP latex to provide stronger, eco-friendly parts, shortening post-processing at the same time. Metal Jet S100 is designed as a modular system, so you can install several machines and create a continuous production line.

The production stage consists of four stages. First, there is 3D printing and the so-called “De-binding”. Then the parts are baked in an oven. The remains of unbonded powder go to the material processing station, where they are screened, mixed with the new powder and recharged back to the printing station. To some extent, it resembles the process of the Multi Jet Fusion technology.

HP Metal Jet technology has already been used by Cobra Golf, Legor Group and Volkswagen, the latter of which has set itself the goal of producing 100,000 components per year at its plant in Wolfsburg. HP also announced new partners and customers, including hydraulic system manufacturer Domin Digital Motion, Lumenium, and Schneider Electric.

Photos: press materials / all rights reserved

Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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