Posted on 2018-09-13 12:51:33
Reading Time: 3 min 10 sec
Dating back to the time when humans started using metal, they tried to cast it with a mold, drilling holes in it, milling the surfaces, stamping it, and even cutting it with a laser. Now for the people of this world! You can even print a Metal using a 3D Printer.
Although there were companies who were using metal 3D printing for creating some product and components with a computer-controlled tracing its lineage to an ordinary inkjet printer, those machines are really very expensive.
Today on Monday 10th September 2018, Giant of the printing industry HP announced their penetration in the metal printing industry with not only with an innovation but an ambition to reduce the price. The new HP Metal Printer is called Metal Jet and will be costing around $400,000.
In an interview, Mr. Tim Weber, Head of 3D Metal Printing in HP said, “We're really going to enable mass production for mainstream metals, in particular steels,”
HP has also signed deals with some of the old metal manufacturing partners and some customers including Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices and Volkswagen. So, you are not supposed to be surprised if your next car and its components are partially made from the new method of digital fabrication.
McKinsey, a consulting firm said their 2017 report, "3D printing is a very small part of the metals industry, but it is growing rapidly, and this market is expected to be worth as much as $10 billion by 2030 to 2035,". “We expect the current low-scale experiments to shift to broader industrial adoption within the next five to 10 years."
How HP’s 3D Metal Printer works?
In fact, HP’s Metal Jet does not produce a finished product. The process starts with a thin layer of powdered metal spread on the bed. Then comes the main part of the printer by moving the printer head over the layer, squirting tiny drops of binding agent where solid metal is required. Once one layer is done another layer of powdered metal is laid over the first one and the same binding process is done. It takes around 4 to 5 hours to create a product or group of products using printer’s full volume of 430x320x200 millimeters, which converts into inches measures 17x13x8 inches. The printer works on a very high resolution. It’s the smallest element, called VOXEL measures 20x20x50 microns or millionths of a meter. For comparison, human hairs range from about 17 to 181 microns in diameter.