HP has unveiled Metal Jet in New Zealand, 3D printing technology designed for the high volume manufacturing of production-grade metal parts.
Built to provide up to 50 times more productivity than rival 3D printing methods, the offering is currently being deployed by manufacturing giants such as GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech for the factory production of final parts.
Customers placing orders include Volkswagen and Wilo, alongside vertical market specialists such as Primo Medical Group and OKAY Industries, while in New Zealand, the product will be available through a specialist 3D print reseller.
“We are in the midst of a digital industrial revolution that is transforming the US$12 trillion manufacturing industry,” said Grant Hopkins, managing director of HP New Zealand.
“HP has helped lead this transformation by pioneering the 3D mass production of plastic parts and we are now doubling down with HP Metal Jet, a breakthrough metals 3D printing technology.”
Furthermore, the vendor has also launched the Metal Jet Production Service, enabling customers to iterate new 3D part designs, produce final parts in volume, and integrate HP Metal Jet into long-term production roadmaps.
“The implications are huge - the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce hundreds of billions of metal parts each year,” Hopkins added.
“HP’s new Metal Jet 3D printing platform and Production Service unlocks the speed, quality, and economics to enable our customers to completely rethink the way they design, manufacture, and deliver new solutions in the digital age.”
From a customer perspective, Volkswagen is integrating Metal Jet into its long-term design and production roadmap.
The collaboration between Volkswagen, GKN Powder Metallurgy and HP has resulted in the ability to quickly assess the manufacturing of mass-customisable parts such as individualised key rings and exterior-mounted name plates.
Volkswagen's multi-year plan to use Metal Jet also includes the production of higher performance functional parts such as gearshift knobs and mirror mounts.
“The auto industry is being revolutionised - not only do customers now expect personalisation, 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 at 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.
“By reducing the cycle time for the production of parts, we can realise a higher volume of mass production very quickly.
“That’s why HP’s new Metal Jet platform is a huge leap forward for the industry, and we look forward to raising the bar on what is possible to deliver more value and innovation for our customers.”
During the first half of 2019, customers will be able to upload 3D design files and receive industrial-grade parts in large quantities from the new Metal Jet Production Service.
The parts will be produced in collaboration with HP partners GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech, while commercial Metal Jet solutions will be offered at under US$399,000 and begin shipping in 2020 to early customers and with broad availability in 2021.