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HP Wants to Make 3D Metal Printing Ready for Mass Production

| Editor: Isabell Page

HP launched its Metal Jet Technology for the cost-effective production of high-quality metal parts in large quantities. The 3D metal print technology's first customers include Volkswagen.

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At the International Manufacturing Technology Show, HP announced that it will enter the 3D metal printing market with its Metal Jet Technology.
( Source: HP )

It's said to be the most advanced 3D printing technology for the high-volume manufacturing of high-quality metal parts that HP unveiled at the International Manufacturing Technology Show. The HP Metal Jet is designed to provide up to 50 times higher productivity at lower cost than other 3D printing methods.

HP is partnering with GKN Powder Metallurgy to use the new technology to produce functional metal parts for automotive and industry leaders such as Volkswagen and Wilo. GKN is one of the world's leading manufacturers of materials and products using powder metallurgy technologies. The company produces more than three billion components per year and expects to print millions of production-grade Metal Jet parts for its customers across all industries as early as next year.

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Dion Weisler, CEO of HP, said: "The automotive, industrial and medical sectors alone produce billions of metal parts each year. Our new Metal Jet 3D printing platform provides the speed, quality and economics to enable our customers to rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solutions in the digital age.”

Volkswagen Deploys Metal 3D Printing in the Long Term

Volkswagen is integrating HP Metal Jet into its long-term design and production roadmap. Using metal 3D printing, for example, individualized key fobs can be manufacturer for mass production. Volkswagen's multi-year plan for the use of HP Metal Jet also includes the production of higher performance functional parts with high structural requirements such as gearshift knobs and mirror mounts. The technology could also be used for the lightweight construction of electric vehicles.

"The automotive industry is being revolutionized — not only do customers now expect personalization, but by 2025 the brands of Volkswagen Group will have introduced 80 new electric models,“ said Dr. Martin Goede, Head of Technology Planning and Development, Volkswagen. " “A single car consists of six thousand to eight thousand different parts. A big advantage of an additive technology like HP Metal Jet is it allows us to produce many of these parts without first having to build manufacturing tools."

Mass Production with 3D Printers

GKN Powder Metallurgy also uses HP Metal Jet technology to produce low-cost industrial parts with higher hydraulic efficiency for pump manufacturer Wilo. The company is using metal 3D printing to produce initial hydraulic parts such as impellers, diffusers, and pump housings with widely varying dimensions, which must withstand intense suction, pressure, and temperature.

“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,” said Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy.

HP Launches 3D Printing Service

HP has also established a Metal Jet Production Service to enable customers worldwide to rapidly develop new 3D parts, mass-produce final parts and integrate Metal Jet into their long-term production roadmaps.

Starting in 2019, customers will be able to upload 3D design files and receive large quantities of industrial parts, the company also announced. The parts will be produced by HP partners GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech. Commercial HP Metal Jet solutions will be available for under $ 399,000 as of 2021.

This article was first published by konstruktionspraxis

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