3D printing, or digital manufacturing as it is also known, is a very complicated subject. To get to an end product, it involves lots of different types of scientific backgrounds. Companies that are successful commercializing 3D printing have been able to build a team that is capable of speaking all kinds of different scientific languages that are pushing for the same goal. That end goal being to deliver great technology that people can use, can design with, can build and iterate with, and that helps create products or projects on time.
HP has been investing in 3D printing and because of their history, have the supply chain set-up for and can deliver game changing technology that is resetting the market. Lihua Zhao, the Global Head of 3D Printing Lab at HP Labs and an HP Distinguished Technologist, joined Justin Starbird for the latest episode of Inspiring Minds to talk about the future of 3D printing.
Lihua shared that, “We have been developing our technology for quite a few years. One of the big things you may know is HP has a strong position in delivering fluids. We have a lot of engineering know-hows to build a printing-like technology. (We have worked hard to) leverage a lot of the existing assets and to assess the world’s needs. This combination of developing and delivering our technology for plastic additive manufacturing, as well as for metal, has led to producing goods in a different fashion.”
HP created the technology, called Multi Jet Fusion, to meet the demands of printing for plastic. This type of powder-based system has been integral to being able run around the clock so that there are no time limits for manufacturing and new parts, materials and objects are delivered on time.
“We’re living in a 3D printing world. How do you start with zeros and ones and end up with a physical thing? At HP we fuse this physical with the digital together to bring that experience and that performance to create new technology.”
Of course, at the end of day, 3D Printing is a physical tool. Performance of the materials, performance engineering – at a pixel level, precision performance, the ability to preform multifunction, multi-properties, and multi-materials in print is what is driving innovation. HP is standing firmly at the head of the class.