HP, after a long expectation based on its decades of inkjet printing and materials sciences development, has officially entered the 3D Printing space with the introduction of Multi Jet Fusion system. While the technology is available today through a partner program, HP expects to begin wider distribution of its 3D print systems in 2016.
Built on HP Thermal Inkjet technology, Multi Jet Fusion, according to the company, features a unique synchronous architecture to address the commercial viability of 3D printing.
HP states Multi Jet Fusion is 10 times faster than the fastest technology in market today based on its ability to image entire surface areas versus one point at a time. The company’s proprietary multi-agent printing process, utilizing HP Thermal Inkjet arrays, simultaneously apply multiple liquid agents that combines accuracy, resiliency and uniform part strength in all three axis directions.
The company also explains Multi Jet Fusion is able to manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical, thermal properties and more – well beyond other 3D print processes.
HP has also started the HP Open Customer Engagement Program to work with users to extend the capabilities of the HP 3D Print platform, which will include a certification process for partners to drive materials innovation.
HP also introduced its vision for the future of computing and 3D printing by unveiling its new Blended Reality ecosystem. This ecosystem is underpinned by two key advancements, including Multi Jet Fusion and what the company calls Sprout by HP. Sprout is described as a first-of-its-kind Immersive Computing platform that combines an advanced desktop computer with an immersive, natural user interface.
“We live in a 3D world, but today we create in a 2D world on existing devices,” said Ron Coughlin, Senior VP, Consumer PC & Solutions, HP. "Sprout by HP is a big step forward in reimagining the boundaries of how we create and engage with technology to allow users to move seamlessly from thought to expression."
Combining a scanner, depth sensor, hi-resolution camera and projector into a single device, Sprout by HP allows users to take physical items and merge them into a digital workspace. “We are on the cusp of a transformative era in computing and printing,” said Dion Weisler, Executive VP, Printing & Personal Systems, HP. "Our ability to deliver Blended Reality technologies will reduce the barriers between the digital and physical worlds, enabling us to express ourselves at the speed of thought – without filters, without limitations.”