HP has announced its Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D-printing technology aimed at commercial-scale end-production as well as an ecosystem to go with it. Potentially a game-changing device, the company said the package could alter the entire industrial market for making end-products with additive manufacturing (AM).

Here's why. HP claimed, and analysts who've observed and measured the technology agree, it really is at least 10 times the speed of laser sintering, and even faster than other 3D printing methods. Some very big names in several industries are using these machines in end-production. The printers will be very competitively priced given their 10x production speed and voxel-level control that makes incredible precision attainable for many different characteristics, noted the company. These systems will also be the first to conform to the 3MF file format developed by HP, Microsoft and Autodesk. Finally, HP will develop an open materials market for MJF and certify materials from major manufacturers.

HP mesh sample Figure 1: HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D-printed mesh sample

From the beginning, HP has worked with major partners that helped develop the overall ecosystem and the product, and gave detailed feedback about what they needed from the technology, said Alex Monino, worldwide marketing and go to market director for HP 3D Printers. Each a leader in their respective industries, these heavyweights are BMW, Jabil, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, Proto Labs, Autodesk/NETFABB, Materialise, Shapeways, and Nike.

HP believes 3D printing will make possible the next industrial revolution, said Monino. Previous stages were the first industrial revolution, and then the Internet revolution, which was made possible by CAD and just-in-time machine production. The next one will be the democratisation of design and ubiquitous production. As the company has said all along, this will require an ecosystem of innovation partners and an open approach to developing its 3D printing technology.