HP has unveiled two industrial 3D printers that it claims will produce high quality parts up to 10 times faster, and at half the cost of current systems.
The Jet Fusion 3D 3200 is suitable for prototyping, and will cost circa £90,000 when it is released in 2017. The higher-end Jet Fusion 3D 4200, whose price has not yet been announced, is designed for prototyping and meeting same-day demands for short-run manufacturing and will be available from the end of 2016.
Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business, said: “The new HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution delivers a combination of speed, quality, and cost never seen in the industry. Businesses and manufacturers can completely rethink how they design and deliver solutions to their customers.”
Instead of using lasers, the HP printers use ‘multi jet fusion’ technology – similar to its inkjet printing technology – to print functional parts at the individual ‘voxel’ level. A voxel is the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel in traditional printing – “a pixel with volume”.
The company says it can precisely apply materials at up to 340million voxels per second; further claiming that it can create 12,600 copies of a typical plastic gear in the time it would take a competitor to make 1000.
As yet, the printers can only print in monochrome thermoplastic, however HP has promised additional materials, including metals, as well as full colour printing in the future.
Mcor has unveiled its latest 3D printer at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. The ARKe is said to be the world’s first industrial quality full-colour desktop 3D printer.
The printer is also low cost, around £4000; something that Mcor says will enable “3D printing to jump the chasm to a much broader range of creative professionals and truly facilitating creative learning like no other 3D printer has to date”.
With a resolution 4800 by 2400 dots per inch – twice that of industrial machines, the ARKe can provide photorealistic colour models by using razors to cut plain paper into shape, inkjets colour the paper which is then glued together and laminated.
As a development over its previous IRIS machine, the ARKe uses a roll of paper, which saves space and reduces the risk of feed issues. Another feature that Mcor thinks will make the ARKe a more attractive proposition to schools as well as offices is that it is safe and eco-friendly.
Because paper is used instead of plastics no harmful particle emissions or toxic chemicals are used during printing.
Dr. Conor MacCormack, CEO of Mcor Technologies said “I believe that this is a disruptive step that will transform this industry stimulating widespread adoption of 3D printing particularly in education and among creative professionals.”
US automotive firm Local Motors has announced that it aims to start selling the world’s first commercially available 3D printed electric car by the middle of 2016.
The LM3D Swim is the follow-up to the Strati, demonstrated at 2014’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Its chassis is roughly 75% 3D printed with a mix of ABS plastic and carbon fibre. But Local Motors plans to up this to 90% by consolidating as much of the traditional bill-of-materials into a single, 3D printed piece as possible.
Each LM3D Swim is constructed with less than 50 individual parts by one machine in a matter of hours, compared to the 30,000 plus parts by an assembly-line of machines that go into the construction of a traditional vehicle. Local Motors claims that this ‘microfactory’ technique produces a fraction of the emissions of large automotive factories.
The company says on its website that it wants its 3D printed cars to be safer than traditionally manufactured cars and claims that industry leading IoT companies have provided a range of connectivity and monitoring technologies that will help make driving safer and more efficient.