Whilst this printer is neither large format, nor indeed even a printer in the traditional sense, the technology is nonetheless interesting, and on that basis newsworthy.
HP today announced its entrance into the 3D printing market, with the launch of its first HP Designjet 3D printing solution aimed at the mechanical computer aided design (MCAD) and educational markets.
The new HP Designjet 3D printing solution enables design professionals to achieve faster time-to-market and cost-savings during product development. It also sets a new standard for automated 3D printing, office integration and reliability.
The HP Designjet 3D printer series enable users to easily produce robust plastic 3D models in their office, while also saving money with one of the lowest total cost of ownership in its class(1). Available in two models and starting below €13,000, the HP Designjet 3D printer creates highly accurate models in ivory coloured HP Designjet 3D ABS Material, while the HP Designjet Color 3D printer can produce single-colour parts using eight different colours, ideal for designers and educational professionals who need to differentiate individual areas of assembled models.
"The HP Designjet 3D printing solution offers the ideal combination of affordability, model quality and usability," says Santiago Morera, large format printing business vice president and GM, HP. "The affordability of the HP Designjet 3D printers means that businesses that choose these products are likely to see a return on investment very quickly. If they are outsourcing just five to ten models per month, the printer can pay for itself in one year and if only one error is detected before tooling it can potentially save them thousands(2)."
Featuring the new HP Designjet 3D Removal System - an innovation in automated removal of excess model material within a normal office environment - this new product introduction from HP will provide manufacturers, product designers, engineers, and educators with affordable, high-quality 3D printing, supported by HP's renowned expertise in reliable, office-ready technology.
By eliminating the need for special disposal methods, the unique HP Designjet Removal System makes the HP Designjet 3D printer solution truly office-ready. Designed with the office environment in mind, the printers produce models that are ready-to-handle without gloves, and the printing and post-processing of the models is automatic, with no manual finishing necessary.
Wrench model and HP logo model produced on the HP Designjet Color 3D Printer
Produced using recyclable ABS plastic, the models created on the HP Designjet 3D Printer Series are highly durable, functional and precise, therefore users can count on printed output that's always true to the original design. Models can be usable and pre-assembled with moving parts, providing prototypes ideal for fit, form and functional testing.
"We found that fit and form testing is a critical part of the design process, and the HP Designjet 3D printing solution allows us to do this affordably, easily and comfortably in our office," said Josep Congost, design manager of Roca, world leader in bathroom spaces and experts in cutting-edge design. "3D printing allows us to speed up our design processes and drive more product launches per year. We can make crucial decisions and detect unforeseen design, fit and function issues very early in the design process. Also, Roca is a very environmentally-concerned company and the fact that the models are produced using recyclable ABS plastic made the decision to go with HP even easier."
The new HP Designjet 3D Removal System that accompanies the printers, ensures waste products from the printing process require no treatment before being disposed of into the office drainage system(4), thus avoiding unplanned incremental investments. In addition, the ABS plastic can be recycled as part of the HP Planet Partners Program(3). All this makes the HP 3D printing solution ideal for companies looking to minimise their impact on the environment.
Developed to HP specifications and quality standards to ensure the best possible customer experience, the HP Designjet 3D Printers are easy to install, use and service and offer consistent, repeatable quality, print to print, printer to printer.
The HP Designjet 3D Printer will start being commercialized during May 2010 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date.