The world runs on metals, and 3D metal printing has all the potential to further transform the $12 trillion manufacturing industry. Poised to tap the growing market, computing giant HP has made its entry in the world of 3D metal printing with Metal Jet.
HP launched its $400,000 product for the high-volume manufacturing of production-grade metal parts at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
“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,” said Dion Weisler, CEO and President, HP Inc. “The implications are huge – the auto, industrial, and medical sectors alone produce billions of metal parts each year.”
HP Metal Jet is said to provide up to 50 times more productivity at a lower cost than other 3D printing methods. The company has inked deals with manufacturing companies GKN Powder Metallurgy, a supplier of automotive and aerospace parts, and Parmatech, which manufactures components for healthcare devices, for the factory production of final parts.
GKN Powder Metallurgy produces more than three billion components per year and expects to print millions of production-grade HP Metal Jet parts for its customers across industries as early as next year.
Volkswagen, on the other hand, is integrating HP 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 move quickly to assess the manufacturing of mass-customizable parts such as individualized key rings and exterior-mounted name plates.
Volkswagen’s multi-year plan to use HP Metal Jet also includes the production of higher performance functional parts with significant structural requirements, such as gearshift knobs and mirror mounts. As new platforms such as electric vehicles enter mass production, HP Metal Jet is expected to be leveraged for additional applications such as the lightweighting of fully safety-certified metal parts.
Customers placing orders include global organizations Volkswagen and Wilo and innovative vertical market leaders such as Primo Medical Group and OKAY Industries, the company said in a release.
Pricing and Availability
In first half of 2019, customers could upload 3D design files and receive industrial-grade parts in large quantities from the new Metal Jet Production Service. The parts will be produced by HP partners GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech.
The company plans to offer commercial HP Metal Jet solutions at under $399,000 and begin shipping in 2020 to early customers and with broad availability in 2021. Preorders are now available.