HP has announced a number of product and partner developments in a bid to advance the management and automation of 3D printing workflows.
Following the launch of a new thermoplastic elastomer with Evonik, the company has announced a new software solution with Dyndrite, an automated post-processing solution with Rösler, a further post-processing collaboration with AMT and introduced its new digital HP 3D Factory Services.
HP believes each of these developments will help companies embrace digital manufacturing technologies and implement complex workflows and large-scale fleets of additive manufacturing systems.
“Automation, software and data are key to delivering mass customisation of parts and unlocking the full potential of large-scale additive manufacturing,” commented Ramon Pastor, World Wide General Manager of HP’s 3D printing business. “We are committed to relentlessly improving our capabilities and helping customers optimise and automate workflows, enable compelling new applications and produce sustainable, high quality parts at scale.”
It has been twelve months since HP and Rösler announced their alliance at Formnext 2019 and today, the companies have unveiled the HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D Automatic Unpacking Station.
They came together to consolidate post-processing into a single, automated and integrated process that could help additive manufacturers scale. The resulting system is said to offer a significant productivity increase and a higher powder reclaim rate for certain geometries compared to manual unpacking operations.
After the print job inside the HP Jet Fusion 5200 system has cooled, a lifting device transfers the cooling unit to the Automatic Unpacking Station where it is positioned and unlocked before the entire build job is placed in the station. Once the parts have been unpacked from the powder bed, they are discharged into an unloading box, while an air suction system transfers the left-over powder into a dedicated external tank. When the tank is full, it can then be loaded back into an HP Build Unit. Throughout this process, the relevant print job data will be transmitted to the unpacking station via RFID reader, ensuring all data is tracked and the entire process is able to be monitored through HP’s 3D Center software.
“New solutions for the scalable, efficient post-processing and automation of the entire workflow are the precondition for fully exploiting the advantages of additive manufacturing and making it suitable for industrial volume production,” said Pastor. “With Rösler, we have found a partner who is intimately familiar with the standards of a broad range of industries and possesses the required know-how in the field of surface treatment and equipment manufacturing.”
“The comprehensive knowledge of HP in the areas of 3D printing, software and digitised manufacturing allows us to quickly develop innovative solutions for 3D post-processing and adapt these solutions to the demand of industrial users,” added Stephan Rösler, President and CEO of Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH.
Meanwhile, HP has also began working with AMT to ‘drive the expansion of industrial 3D printed parts across industries, such as automotive, medical and sporting goods, at scale.’
As they bid to provide ‘end-to-end’ Multi Jet Fusion and post-processing solutions to market, AMT will also offer a chemical vapour smoothing benchmarking service to current and prospective HP users.
Through their partnership, the companies will work with users of HP 3D printing technology to develop applications that require high-quality and injection moulding-like surface finish. Examples given are nasopharyngeal swabs in the HP 3D High Resuability PA 11 or custom seating with lattice structures produced with BASF Ultrasint TPU01. AMT’s PostPro chemical smoothing systems are said to be compatible with HP’s entire portfolio of materials.
“Like HP, we are focused on unlocking the full potential of industrial additive manufacturing and its sustainably impact,” said AMT CEO Joseph Crabtree.
“High quality post-processing of 3D printed parts is critical to successful mass produciton at scale,” added HP’s Global Head of Materials Tim Weber. “AMT’s capabilities bring tremendous value to the ecosystem of industrial partnerships HP is bringing forward to market leading customers around the world.”
Advancing its software offering, HP’s Universal Build Manager is the first commercial applications built using Dyndrite’s Core Accelerated Geometry Engine.
It follows HP becoming a founder member of the Dyndrite Developer Council in 2019.
The Universal Build Manager is a GPU-accelerated build preparation and management tool, with patterning, nesting, labelling, support-generation and slicing capabilities, as well as Python APIs for automation and workflow integration. It is an OEM and process-agnostic software, which has been supported by many leading additive machine manufacturers, while also protecting IP through Dyndrite’s plug-in architecture. HP and Dyndrite believe this solution will help additive manufacturers to improve productivity, repeatability and efficiency in their industrial application of additive manufacturing.
“Going forward, this moment will be recognized as the point where the additive manufacturing market broke away from the status quo of legacy technologies and file formats,” said Harshil Goel, CEO and Founder, Dyndrite. “Even before we founded Dyndrite we knew we needed to work with industry leaders like HP centred on pushing digital manufacturing forward. We are excited that HP shares our vision for software disruption and look forward to collaborating to push the boundaries of our innovation.”
Digital Factory Services
Finally, the new 3D Factory Services offering has been designed to assist in the implementation of digital factories harnessing Jet Fusion 3D printing technology.
It includes facilities and equipment assessment services, as well as offerings around human capital planning and training, and design and implementation of production processes. Among the advanced digital services are HP 3D Application Programming Interface, HP Process Control and HP 3D Center.
HP is ‘exposing’ the open HP 3D API to software companies like AMFG to provide their customers, who also use HP 3D printing technology, with automated APIs for integrating data and streamlining workflows. Through this, AMFG is enabling the likes of Henkel to centralise end-to-end workflows, provide real-time status of printers and receive critical alerts to enable more efficient processes.
“Henkel aims to provide innovative solutions for additive manufacturing that are accelerated by reliable partners, such as HP and AMFG,” commented Chris Liddiard, Market Segment Head for Automotive and Industrial Parts, Adhesive Technologies Group at Henkel Corp. “With the help of AMFG to connect our digital infrastructure of Application Centers using HP Jet Fusion printers, we are aiding in centralising the end-to-end workflows, from initial request to final part production. Armed with this important data, Henkel can better understand and interpret data patterns related to machine utilisation, failure rate, geometrical specifications and processing parameters, allowing us to provide better manufacturing services for our clients.”
Earlier this week, TCT Magazine spoke exclusively to HP’s Ramon Pastor, who, on analysing the company’s recent Digital Manufacturing Report, spoke about 3D printing’s role in supply chain resiliency, sustainability & mass customisation.
The interview can be found here.
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