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HP wants to be a 3D printing giant with new 'Multi Jet Fusion' tech

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
October 29, 2014
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HP has just revealed a lot more information about the 3D printing technology it teased dramatically a few months ago. It's called "Multi Jet Fusion," and the company thinks it can "change entire industries." The original goal was to make 3D printers build objects at higher resolution and much, much faster, speeds. Based on the demos we saw today, that claim looks feasible. Essentially, the 3D printer builds parts similar to how an inkjet printer produces documents -- the "ink" is applied to a material coating, then heated and fused to build up layers (see below). That's substantially different to how mainstream 3D printers work, and HP said that it could make products like gears at least ten times faster than conventional manufacturing techniques.

Gallery: HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Tech | 10 Photos

It showed off one 3D printed product strong enough to pick up a car, and another for the 3D printer, that was itself printed by the 3D printer, to prove the resolution. The company also said that it'll print colors far more accurately than any 3D printer has yet, and flaunted several sample objects to prove it. HP has developed a prototype model (shown at the top), but for now, it'll be strictly aimed at manufacturing businesses. The tech giant recently announced that it will spin off its PC and printer business from its corporate hardware division, so its hard to say where the new 3D printers will fit in. It's set to arrive to manufacturers in 2016, but there's no word yet on pricing or whether you'll be able to start manufacturing widgets at home.

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