The new Metal Jet S100 from HP has been unveiled as the brand’s first commercially available metals AM system, taking the company and its printhead technology to the next level with binder jetted metals in a user friendly, scaleable set-up.
In development since 2018, at launch, the Metal Jet S100 has two ‘characterised’ stainless steel materials, 316L and 17-4PH, but the scope is there for more in reaction to customer interest as the full system – including powder prep and management, 3D printer, curing station and powder removal – looks to be introduced into existing manufacturing supply chains for end use parts.
HP claims its advantages over existing technologies are to be found in elements drawn from its long experience in 2D printing – namely its Thermal Inkjet printheads and its leverage of IP around Latex, the long chain polymer used as a binder material in the process.
Binder jetting using the Metal Jet S100 is billed by HP as being ’10-times more productive’ than SLS methods, a vague statistic, but one that comes with some factors to back it up – there’s no need for inert gasses, hazmat suits, or high-power lasers. With production compartmentalised into individual build chambers, much like its polymer systems, there is potential for further automation, while parts can be sintered in an existing oven.
The fast swapping out of printheads is a less complicated process to changing lasers, while HP says that the Metal Jet S100 comes with some of its most advance printer software, to help manage efficiency, scaleability and also predictive system maintenance to keep on top of those printhead swaps.
Services from HP will also include this to help users identify, optimise, and accelerate designs and applications, while onboarding and maintenance services will be launched to help deploy, scale and maintain OEE for Metal Jet factories.
“We are witnessing entire industries, from industrial to consumer, and healthcare to automotive, looking to digitally transform their manufacturing processes and supply chains in a world where volatility is the new normal,” said Didier Deltort, resident of HP’s Personalization and 3D Printing business.
“As the promise of additive manufacturing takes hold, HP has become a trusted partner to help speed the path to production. The introduction of our new Metal Jet commercial solution, along with innovative collaboration with market leaders like Schneider Electric, is delivering the blueprint for more sustainable, reliable, and efficient manufacturing.”
HP has already built momentum with partners and customers including GKN, Parmatech, Cobra Golf, Legor Group, and Volkswagen among others.
A launch case study features its Metal Jet S100’s use by GKN to build a new filter used on Schneider Electric’s NSX breaker, which could not be achieved with conventional industrial manufacturing capabilities due to the shape and material complexity.
HP Metal Jet technology not only facilitated the design of new power filter shapes that reduce gas, pressure, and heat impact in a more limited space, but the customer also states that it resulted in significant productivity gains and environmental benefits.