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HP Unveils Industrial 3D Printer 10X Faster, 50% Cheaper Than Current Systems 111

Lucas123 writes HP today announced an 3D industrial printer that it said will be half the cost of current additive manufacturing systems while also 10 times faster, enabling production parts to be built. The company also announced Sprout, a new immersive computing platform that combines a 23-in touch screen monitor and horizontal capacitive touch mat with a scanner, depth sensor, hi-res camera, and projector in a single desktop device. HP's Multi Jet Fusion printer will be offered to beta customers early next year and is expected to be generally available in 2016. The machine uses a print bar with 30,000 nozzles spraying 350 million drops a second of thermoplastic or other materials onto a print platform. The Multi Jet Fusion printer uses fused deposition modeling, an additive manufacturing technology first invented in 1990. the printer works by first laying down a layer of powder material across a build area. Then a fusing agent is selectively applied with the page-wide print bar. Then the same print bar applies a detailing agent at the parts edge to give high definition. The material is then exposed to an energy source that fuses it.
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HP Unveils Industrial 3D Printer 10X Faster, 50% Cheaper Than Current Systems

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  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @05:34PM (#48265063) Journal
    the thermoplastic "ink" will be the most expensive substance on Earth, by weight or volume. And protected by a DRM'd cartridge system. And declare itself "empty" at about 25% remaining, in order to "protect the printer from running dry".
    • by Russ1642 ( 1087959 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @05:35PM (#48265081)

      And when you need more printing medium it's cheaper to just buy an entirely new printer rather than a new cartridge.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And the printer will be deliberately crippled so it can't print another printer.

        • Why not? The printer is a loss leader, what's making money is the ink.

          • And the printer will be deliberately crippled so it can't print another printer.

            Why not? The printer is a loss leader, what's making money is the ink.

            Stopping the printer from printing itself is an anti-Skynet precaution.

            • How is Skynet effectively different from any other contemporary corporation? Just 'cause there's no human on top that could benefit from rubbing out the others?

          • You say that like it's a good thing.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And, in case of mistake, it will only cancel your printing after it print all the undeletable queue.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @05:40PM (#48265119)

      the thermoplastic "ink" will be the most expensive substance on Earth, by weight or volume. And protected by a DRM'd cartridge system. And declare itself "empty" at about 25% remaining, in order to "protect the printer from running dry".

      You also left out that the "ink" levels will slowly decrease over time if printer is not used.

      And that if you are out of one "color" you still won't be able to print anything at all - even if you don't need to use that "color"

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And that if you are out of one "color" you still won't be able to print anything at all - even if you don't need to use that "color"

        "LOL", you are so "funny".

      • My Epson ran out of scanner ink, couldn't scan anything until I bought more cartridges.

    • by Optic7 ( 688717 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @06:36PM (#48265583)

      Don't forget the clogging and drying up if you don't use the printer for a while, requiring buying new ink cartridges, or a whole new printer.

      • or neededing color ink to print black even when it has a black cartridge.

        or needed ink or needing to tape cartridges just to scan.

      • at least the printer driver doesn't erase your document and corrupt your Windows install when it happens...

        there's always a bright side!

  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @05:40PM (#48265125)

    Eh, I think the weakspot in any 3d printing will be the software. As a hobby engineer, I use Solidworks which is several thousand dollars (luckily already on some of my employer's computers so they foot the bill).

    But at home, I tried FreeCad, Cubify Invent, and several other free or cheap options and I find them invariably terrible, at least as far my limited experience can discern. FreeCad in particular, asides from UI nonintuitive issues and heaps of bugs (various cuts and operations simply disappearing for no reason), is only up to v0.14 since launching in 2002. It's like the Gnu Hurd of that genre.

    I don't see how the 3D printing revolution will remotely come to town without something decent on the software front that's $200 or less.

    *Posted this yesterday in a thread, but was too late for anyone to see it.

    • Wow! It is incredibly refreshing to see a new opportunity for a piece of commercial PC software that is expected to cost more than $2. It must be the first time in about 10 years.

      Perhaps one of the established players will decide to bow out of the high-end, and target 3d printing. Or, make a new cut-rate home/small business version, ala Photoshop Elements.

      On the open-source side we'll have to see if things turn out more like Gimp or Blender (usable options), or more like the video editing situation

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'd like to see an UnrealEd-style interface for one of these 3D modeling programs.

        I've tried Maya, AutoCAD, and a couple of others, and I've not found a more intuitive interface than UnrealEd.

        Not the visual part, that's just a standard top/side/front/render quad. I'm talking about the mouse control. Click to drag. Right-click to pan/roll. Chord-click to zoom. It was nearly as intuitive as, well, playing an FPS.

        That, and the simplicity of brushes, but without the incomplete feature-set of UEd. Basically, cre

    • Who needs software when you can make and sell schematics? 200$ bucks?! Ok, that'll be like what, 40 grumpycat faces at 5$ a pop?
    • I don't see how the 3D printing revolution will remotely come to town without something decent on the software front that's $200 or less.

      Patience... Remember when 20 meg hard drives cost 2000 dollars? Besides the high prices are necessary for keeping a very high bar of entry. There are many disincentives to allowing these things on everybody's kitchen counter top.

    • by MasterOfGoingFaster ( 922862 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @06:22PM (#48265491) Homepage

      I'm also a Solidworks user. I think you overlooked a few.

      GeoMagic Design Elements US$1300.
      McNeel Rhino US$ 995
      Cubify Design US$ 199
      Cubify Invent US$ 49

      I used a trial of GeoMagic Design, and almost purchased it. I think it was Alibre Design, so it somewhat of a Solidworks clone, and is far better than I expected. But my clients use Solidworks, so.....

      I also use Rhino, and it does stuff Solidworks can only dream of. It lack full parametrics and a history tree, but has fantastic surface modeling. If you do complex surfaces, this is the one to get.

      Cubify Design and Invent - have not tried them, but they likely fit what most people want to do - make simple parts.

      Disclosure: I have been a customer for each of these companies, and know people at all three. I used to be a dealer for Solidworks and Rhino 14 years ago, and wish I didn't have to pay full retail today.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Blender, my friend, now has great sculpting tools akin Zbrush and many less travelled options to export for CAM. It is free and supported by a great community.

        I used CAD tools as a pro, 10 years ago. I used NX, solidworks, edge, ProE WF, Autocrap, etc. I coded parametric designs from my own designs, I did non-linear hypersonic CFD with fluent and CFX on those designs, I did reverse-kinematic non-linear space robotics on those designs, I did it all.

        When I stopped caring about empirical tons of hors

        • I thought that Blender had no notion of volumes and virtually unusable tools for smooth surfaces? Or have these things significantly improved?
    • by mercnet ( 691993 )
      You should check out Autodesk Fusion 360 ( as they have a free edition for hobbyist and monthly rental if you are commercial.
    • I can't afford Solidworks. I keep dreaming of having the money but I can buy a lot of real equipment for that price. So I've used free 2d cad and Blender for printer modeling. Recently I've been using the nightly builds of Freecad. The UI is a freaking mess as you have already mentioned however the functionality is finally breaking the barrier of usability in the upcoming 0.15 release. The bugs that you mention are appearing less and less, and at least the backend is becoming more stable.

      I did a sin

    • I think this problem will be solved. Free software is usually written for the programmer. As more programmers get 3D printers, better free software will be produced.

      Cheep softare is written for the hobbyist, but that isn't a very large market. As more people buy 3D printers, they'll need software.
    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      We do need a good open source cad program. While not cad both these projects (Art of Illusion and Blender) are fairly good. Blender is getting so much work put into over the last few years, and is getting pretty impressive. If they decided to add a "CAD" mode. It would be implemented fairly fast.

      Of course even really good free/cheap CAD does not make everyone a CAD designer or whatever. 3D printers at home will do what most printers do at home. Print clip art (other peoples models) or photos (3d scan).
  • The media will be 10x the cost of unbranded spools.

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @05:51PM (#48265223) Journal
    Anyone smart enough, should work and WORK on this.

    The future of 3D printing is so big I can't even begin to mention it so most would understand it, but I'll give it a go:

    1) Instant repair parts anywhere in the world on demand.
    2) This is the beginning of teleportation!
    3) Instant surgical body parts to anywhere in the world on demand.
    4) Toys can be bought online, printed almost the same day, you'll pay for the consumables + design.
    5) Businesses will be able to personalize your phones/ipads almost instantly.
    6) We will build entire houses with this stuff.
    7) We will even be able to bring parts to the moon/mars/outer-space without bringing them physically by spaceship.
    8) We will even be able to print food, make the textures very similar by scanning eg. meat etc.
    9) People! This is the beginning stages of the real replicator you all know from fictional stories as star-trek etc.
    10) Insert your own idea / wish here, I can't be the only one.

    I will encourage ANY company to do this, small or big. This can only go too slow, if you ever wanted to get in on a revolution in the making, THIS IS IT!
    • There are plenty of ideas that are waaayyy out in front of the technology already. The important thing at this point is making a printer with enough capability at low enough cost to make significant strides towards the vision and do something useful.

      It's like the space age, people assumed getting into space (at all) was the hard part, but no, just getting people into space didn't change daily life at all, and getting to the next solar system is thousands of times harder.

      • I absolutely agree!

        This process can't happen fast enough, we need faster 3D printers, cost effective, better materials, more materials, better printing processes, less cleanup needed etc. And someone in here mentioned that the weak point is software...well...he's sort of partially right about that. There is a pretty hefty model-design cleanup on a polygonal level needed to print properly, and you can't just design stuff out of the blue - you must have some knowledge on modelling FOR 3D printing as the leg
      • I expect HP will buy one of the smaller leading companies in the next few years too. Part of the split purpose is for future M&A
    • 1) Totally true, but not instant.

      2) Bull. Not teleportation. Anymore than magnetism is antigravity.

      3) Not instant, but otherwise true.

      4) A little bit true.

      5) Not likely

      6) already building houses out of it. But won't - too expensive

      7) Totally true. Space applications are great.

      8) printing food is a silly idea.

      9) Replicators are hundreds, if not thousands years in the future. This is not the beginning, anymore than the printing press was the begining of the internet.

    • What's vastly underestimated is the impact it will have on some industries and how we'll get to see some design-patent battles that will make the whole copyright battles the various content owners are pushing look like petty bickering.

      A lot of money is made today in a second market, in spare parts. And here especially in the automobile area. And here, more and more parts are made of plastic. Why? Because, unlike metal, you can't really fix failing plastic parts. You have to buy them again. Now ponder for a

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        Did you really just describe Govrnment Motors as a company that doesn't depend on the government to protect their failed business model? Their business actually failed, but the corruption was high enough that the government just threw money at them.

      • Most little fiddly metal parts were long made of pot metal anyway. You could maybe TIG them if you had all the pieces and they were in the right size range, or braze them back together. But you're right, it's offensive how much these plastic parts cost. If you have one good one, or can get the original back into intact condition with glue, you can sometimes mold a replacement. Some of the resins available are pretty fancy now.

    • Products like this are one of the main reasons for the recent separation of HP Enterprise and HP Home. Moonshot is another reason; it's far easier for a "smaller corp" (HP En vs old HP) to use one set of books and move faster putting together THEIR hardware. Rumors are HP buying EMC ?! Disclaimer: I work there as an employee yet still often find out about our "corporate news" here on /. first lol. Often I'll read something here, then in a few days some HP newsletter spam will hit my inbox haha.
    • I was just talking about this earlier today with a friend of mine. I think what will really make 3D printing take off is the availability of commercial printers that are room-sized devices, capable of printing off large pieces.

      With the 3D printers confined to, essentially, the same dimensions as typical all-in-one fax/printer/scanners or desktop lasers, they're only capable of printing very small objects. That's a great place to start, as this is a new technology ... and people need to learn the basics of h

    • 3D printing will remain one of the most expensive ways to fabricate things for a long time. For anything mass-produced (like most toys) it will be much less expensive to have them injection-molded and sold in stores.

      The real interesting thing is the ability to produce parts fast and cheap enough in quantities of one. Instant repair parts are a possibility, for machines and people.

      We won't in general be printing toys or building houses that way (although people have done some work on printing houses).

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      You would be surprised how much can't be 3d printed. For example even if you can print aluminum, you couldn't print the outside edge of a iPhone. It is forged to get the right set of crystal structure and work hardening to give it the properties it needs.

      And then there are electronics and all the different materials you would need. It won't be quite the revolution you think it will be. It is not like they are new or anything.
  • Great Source! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wsloand ( 176072 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @05:59PM (#48265285)

    My favorite part of the article is the fact that it appears to be written by HP given the file:// link in the article.

  • I misread the article and thought the printer and Sprout were the same thing, and under $2000. I was excited but I'm sad now.

  • I get so confused as to what HP really is these days. is it Agilent, or soon-to-be-divested, or big iron and big-cost software with a small user base ???

    • I am wondering too; and I even work there and it's confusing. But I am on the "big iron" side so I just sit in a dark "enterprise control center" for 12 hours at a time. When I'm there we might have 20-30 people in the whole building, mostly in the same room since I work over nights. But since it's a printer, this will be done by the HP Home and Printing side (I think, I can't speak officially lol). The Moonshot is on my side (I think) but I don't know if my org is working with any of that hardware yet.
  • by Plazmid ( 1132467 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @06:14PM (#48265419)

    The printer does not spray "drops of thermoplastic," it sprays magic chemicals that either inhibit or promote sintering onto a bed of thermoplastic powder and then uses a big o' incandescent bulb to fuse the powder. This is pretty much the selective inhibition of sintering process, so the magic chemicals are probably just something like salt water and black ink.

    Now what does this mean? Well because you have to spray a sintering inhibitor on, you can't recycle as much powder, unless they give you a special powder recycler for removing the inhibitor. Because you're printing out lots of black ink, can't really recycle powder, and HP will lock you into using their cartridges you will be paying out the a$$ for ink and 'toner.'

    This is a HUGE development though. If the parts really have the same strength and detailing as those produced with laser sintering, as in even if this machine did not come equipped with color capability, then this has just made a lot of big industrial 3d printers obsolete. Getting rid of the need for laser and nitrogen gas purge system for sintering type machines is HUGE! Even with huge expensive print cartridges it's going to be cost competitive with everything out there.

    Heck, it probably makes the whole 3d printing service bureau business model obsolete, because this puts high quality 3d printers in the cost range for small businesses.

    This is probably the "attack of the killer micros" moment for the additive manufacturing industry.

    • Heck, it probably makes the whole 3d printing service bureau business model obsolete, because this puts high quality 3d printers in the cost range for small businesses.

      Just like for photocopy machines.

      [s]Once photocopy machines could be purchased by small businesses, everybody stopped using copy shops. [/sarcasm]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The literature from HP actually says that material reuse will be better than other systems because they have less exposure to the fusing process. Apparently other processes require more fusing energy, "aging" the material faster than HP's process.

      And the service bureau model may actually become more common. Of course more businesses will be able to afford their own, but they might have smaller ones for making scale models and need to use a service bureau for full-size prototypes.

      Once every corner store (thi

  • A good sign. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ndykman ( 659315 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @06:30PM (#48265555)

    It's a sign that years and years of mismanagement maybe didn't completely kill the ability for them to come up with interesting stuff This is exactly the kind of thing they need to do. Shore up HP Labs and solve some neat problems and ship cool stuff. Sure, let's be skeptical, but good for them for trying.

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Wednesday October 29, 2014 @06:33PM (#48265569)

    The printer does not use fused deposition modeling []. It uses powder bed and inkjet head 3D printing []. It looks like the fusing agent is a heat or UV cured polymer that can be coloured.

  • I my old printer died (low usage so the ink jets clogged - Brother). I bought an HP Officejet since HP claimed that in worked with RedHat 6 [] (I run Centos 6 which is the same thing). The only support available have admitted a ''something wrong going on in the code'' and and go quiet when I asked when they would fix it [] a week ago.

    In a couple of days time I will return it to where I bought it and buy something from a different manufacturer.

    I hope that they will provide better drivers that do what they claim fo

    • by ebvwfbw ( 864834 )

      Dude, why in the world are you messing with Centos 6? Ugh, cups in that thing is like 7 years old. Upgrade to 7 or Fedora. Not sure about the future of Cups ... Apple owns it now.

  • HP said they were going big in 3D printing most of a year ago. They said they would announce in June. The announcement time frame slipped 4 months. OK so nobody ever delivers on time. But notice they are not saying when or at what cost? I've been hearing some guesstimates at 2016 and over $100k.

    Having some experience in 3D Systems equipment I'm going to say that if you have ever watched one of their ProJet 660 or 860 devices work, you could almost say that HP lifted a video of one of those devices working

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The "cartridges" will contain pelletized polymers. HP has been selling "toner" (iron and carbon black) for 1000X for decades. A $20 ink cartridge costs as much to make as a pack of Bic pens.
  • Are there systemd drivers for it?

  • Hi, i like Epson printers. My Epson is a basic one and not so expensive, but it works even after my long vacation when it is out of use. [] is my little web page and Epson is just great friend. I can't believe that my 49 euros printer has also scanner and copy things. Before this Epson my printer was laser b/w and no have colors too. Color lasers are not good, i don't like those garbage print qualitys. Have a nice day, all of you !!! Samantha
  • I think, EPSON is the best printer what i have seen. Before Epson, my printers have been: HP, Canon and Samsun. Inkjets and lasers. B/W lasers are very good but need colors. Color lasers print qualitys are so garbage bad, i hate them. Color units are so expensive too. My Epson is printer, scanner and copying machine, inkjet cartridge prices only about 5,50 euros each and after 4 weeks vacation it works as well every time. [] is my hobby web site and using my friend Epson every day

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