HP introduces moderately priced, full-color system that 3D prints functional parts 

HP (Palo Alto, CA) introduced today a new series of moderately priced 3D printers using Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology for functional prototyping and short-run production. The HP Jet Fusion 300 and 500 series printers—described as the newest milestone in the company’s quest to accelerate the “democratization of 3D printing”—allow manufacturers to produce engineering-grade, functional parts in full color, black or white with voxel-level control in a fraction of the time of other technologies, according to the company. The printers start in the $50,000 range, making them accessible to small and medium sized businesses, R&D teams and similar environments. 

heart model courtesy HP and Phoenix Children's Hospital
Full-color model of the heart of a young girl named Jemma with a complex heart defect. The heart was printed using HP’s new Jet Fusion 300/500 3D printer to
help surgeons at Phoenix Children’s Hospital prepare, select the best
surgical path and explain the procedure
to Jemma’s family. Data courtesy of Phoenix Children’s Hospital; Heart of Jemma.

“The fact that we can use full color without sacrificing functionality is a big deal,” said Ramon Pastor, General Manager, Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Business, during a press briefing. By allowing users to control part properties at the voxel level—think pixels, but for three-dimensional parts—the printers enable the design and production of previously inconceivable parts in full color, said HP in a press release.

The HP Jet Fusion 300/500 3D printers will launch with a new material, HP 3D High-Reusability CB PA 12. Parts using this material will have mechanical properties similar to the HP 3D High-Reusability PA 12 material from HP’s industrial solutions.

The company is currently collaborating with Yazaki Corp. to develop automotive applications and with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where the new printers are producing “visually appealing casts and corrective devices, custom surgical guides and interactive and personalized anatomical models,” said Dr. Justin Ryan from the hospital’s Cardiac 3D Print Lab.

Features of the 300 and 500 series cited by Pastor during the press briefing include:

  • compatibility with engineering-grade thermoplastics
  • the mechanical properties and surface quality of MJF technology in a lower cost printer
  • access to HP’s open materials platform
  • layer thickness of 0.08 mm
  • build size up to 7.5 x 13.1 x 9.8 inches
  • a full bucket of 52 parts produced in 15 hours and a partial bucket with five parts in four hours
  • multiple product variations

A boon to design engineers—the printers enable creation, testing and iteration to be performed in a matter of hours—the 300 and 500 series printers coupled with the industrial-grade HP Jet Fusion 3200, 4200 and 4210 models enable customers to go from prototyping to full production on the same technology platform.

Target customers include OEM R&D departments, design firms, custom parts manufacturers, manufacturing support teams and universities, according to HP.

The 300/500 series printers will be commercially available in the second half of this year. 

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