HP’s MJF Technology powers ABCorp’s new Additive Manufacturing Center

MJF Technology
Above: HP Jet Fusion 5200/Image Credit: AMFG

American Banknote Corporation (ABCorp), one of the longest standing manufacturing service providers in the U.S., announced the opening of a new Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) through a partnership with HP. ABCorp is excited to partner with HP and introduces both prototyping and enterprise-scale production to the region via HP’s industry-leading MJF technology.

The new AMC is located at its Boston Center of Excellence which is known for offering of secure and highly bespoke contract manufacturing for the access, authentication, and payments sectors.

ABCorp’s Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC)

The AMC is situated within ABCorp’s 125,000 s.f. highly secure, state-of-the-art facility and is powered by HP Jet Fusion 5210 industrial systems and Jet Fusion 580 full-color 3D printers, coupled with the latest generation of finishing capabilities. The AMC offers design, prototyping, and high-volume production capacity under a single roof with the flexibility of multiple base materials from HP and BASF. With the launch, ABCorp now offers additive manufacturing solutions capable of producing over 220,000 end-use production parts per week.

Speaking about the opening of the AMC, William Brown, ABCorp Chairman and CEO said, “ABCorp has a history dating back more than two centuries, providing Essential Critical goods and services to world-class companies and federal, state, and local government agencies in more than 120 countries around the world. Civic duty is at our core, and in February of last year, at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we re-directed resources in our Boston facility to produce debit cards to support state unemployment programs and PPE (face shields) for front line responders during this time of great need. That decision, informed by our partners at HP, had the fortuitous result of opening our eyes to the world of 3D printing. We are pleased to expand our existing partnership with HP into this exciting new field and launch the first global, enterprise-grade additive manufacturing platform.”

He added, “We could not have picked a better product extension or partner in HP to build on our expertise in secure print and highly bespoke contract manufacturing. This initiative not only broadens our product offering for existing customers, but reaches into new industries, and does so under ABCorp’s blanket of security for discerning customers who place brand integrity as a top concern.”

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According to Todd Davidson, head of 3D printing for the Americas, HP Inc., “We are excited to collaborate with ABCorp as they look to accelerate the journey to digital manufacturing for their customers. The benefits of 3D printing have enabled ABCorp to put a bold vision into action very quickly. The powerful capabilities of the Multi Jet Fusion platform will enable the design and production of disruptive applications at scale across industries.”

In addition to printing materials of HP 3D High Reusability PA 12, BASF Ultrasint® TPU01, HP 3D High Reusability PP enabled by BASF, and full-color HP 3D High Reusability CB PA 12, ABCorp offers finishing with AMT’s PostPro3D smoothing system. AMT’s smoothing rounds out the 3D print process to give finished parts an injection-molded quality and look by improving material characteristics and surface finish. “We see great growth in the post-pandemic world for localized manufacturing as companies look to keep their supply chains agile and closer to the end customer,” says Neil Glazebrook, ABCorp’s VP of 3D Solutions. Mr. Glazebrook continued by adding, “ABCorp customers can bring their ideas to reality, regardless of scale or complexity, and seamlessly take designs from prototype to production under a single roof.”

About ABCorp: ABCorp is a provider of Essential Critical goods and services for authentication, payment, and secure access. Our customers span federal, state, and local government agencies and companies across the commercial, financial, and healthcare sectors.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.

General Motors Opens New Additive Industrialization Center Dedicated to 3D Printing

Above: GM Manufacturing Engineer Benjamin LeBlanc inspects a 3D printer at the GM AIC/Image Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors

General Motors, one of the world’s leading car manufacturer, announced the opening of the 15,000-square-foot Additive Industrialization Center (AIC), a facility exclusively dedicated to productionizing 3D printing technology in the automotive industry in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The AIC is the capstone of GM’s expertise and increased investment in 3D printing over the last several years.

Speaking at the opening, Audley Brown, GM director of Additive Design and Materials Engineering said, “The core component of GM’s transformation is becoming a more agile, innovative company, and 3D printing will play a critical role in that mission. Compared to traditional processes, 3D printing can produce parts in a matter of days versus weeks or months at a significantly lower cost.”

ADDITIVE INDUSTRIALIZATION CENTER (AIC)

Above: General Motors Metal Model Makers Kenneth Neal and Joseph Misiak check on 3D printers in the GM AIC/Image Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors

The comprehensive facility includes 24 3D printers, which create polymer and metal solutions. GM’s additive design and manufacturing team leverages a number of processes at the Additive Industrialization Center, including selective laser sintering, selective laser melting, Multi-Jet Fusion and fused deposition modelling.

The AIC is intended to validate additive technologies and applications, with frequent pivots to evolving additive machinery and equipment. GM Ventures and GM R&D are collaborative partners with the AIC, supporting a holistic, integrated, enterprise approach to adopting accelerated product development and tooling.

According to Ron Daul, GM director of Additive Manufacturing and Polymer Centers, “GM is increasingly applying the benefits of 3D printing, from prototype development to manufacturing tooling and production vehicles. With the opening of the AIC, we’ll continue to accelerate adoption of this technology across the organization.”

FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES

Above: 3D printed hand apply tools destined for General Motors Arlington Assembly/Image Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors

GM has a history of using 3D printed rapid prototypes to check form and fit. Today, many of the parts the Additive Industrialization Center produces are functional prototypes used on pre-production vehicles in various testing environments.

Early integration vehicles and test benches are often equipped with 3D printed parts that can undergo the same testing as a conventionally tooled part.

Brown mentioned, “Many recent product programs have benefitted from 3D printed prototype parts in one way or another. Not only can these parts save time and money, but the team also uses 3D printed applications during product development to overcome unexpected challenges in real time.”

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MANUFACTURING AND TOOLING

Above: General Motors Metal Model Maker Jason Blackburn wears hazardous material personal protective equipment/Image Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors

GM is also producing a significant number of 3D printed tools used for assembling vehicles. Manufacturing tooling comes in many shapes and forms, such as hand-apply tools, automation components and rapid-response solutions for production site launches.

For the launch of GM’s all-new full-size SUVs, the team 3D printed nearly 100 hand tools for the body shop at Arlington Assembly. Typically, these tools would be made of aluminium, weighing anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds. The new designs, constructed with a nylon carbon fiber composite, weigh as little as three pounds and virtually eliminated the lead time for ordering part changes.

Daul added, “3D printing the body shop tools at Arlington saved more than two months in tooling construction. This is at the critical time when we are changing the plant over to launch the new models. Ultimately, 3D printing helps accelerate new vehicle launches like our full-size SUVs.”

PRODUCTION

Above: GM Additive Manufacturing Engineer Pedro Ledezma working with 3D printers/Image Credit: Steve Fecht for General Motors

Cadillac recently announced the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will be the first GM production vehicles to have 3D printed parts, including an emblem on the manual shifter knob, an electrical harness bracket and two HVAC ducts.

Brown added, “The parts printed for the Cadillac V-Series models exemplify how we can use additive applications in the right place on the right program. And, this is just the beginning. Ultimately, we see the potential for 3D printed parts to be used in a wide variety of production applications – from greater personalization options for new-vehicle buyers, to unique accessories and reproductions of classic car parts.”

With the Additive Industrialization Center, GM is making its 3D printing capability more sophisticated and responsive across its global manufacturing facilities.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.

Shapeways to now Offer Two New Versatile Materials – PA12 Glass Beads and TPU

[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]3D printing giant offers two new versatile maker materials for businesses of all sizes to purchase[/penci_blockquote]

Above: Different functional parts made from PA12 Glass Bead material/Image Credit: Shapeways

Shapeways,  the world’s leading manufacturer of 3D printed goods, is announcing the release of two new high-quality materials, PA12 Glass Beads and TPU, a Thermoplastic Polyurethane. Adding to the maker materials offered at Shapeways, PA12GB and TPU are available for purchase for personal 3D models.

Above: Battery Tank made from PA12 Glass Bead material/Image Credit: Shapeways

PA12 Glass Beads are part of the Multi-Jet Fusion Plastic family (formally Professional Plastic). The glass filled nylon will be printed with HP MJF technology and consists of high stiffness and high structural integrity. Previously, large and flat items have been problematic as they warp or distort during the cooling/printing process. PA12GB eliminates those concerns and issues as it is 40% glass. PA12GB’s resilience and strength make it the ideal material for medical, robotic and drone industries, particularly for applications including flat parts, fixtures and tooling. PA12GB will be available in two finishes, gray and dark gray.

Above: Helmet made from TPU/Image Credit: Shapeways

TPU is notably durable and highly flexible. The Thermoplastic Polyurethane brings an improved elastoplastic to the industry. Its elasticity and natural resistance to everyday wear and tear make it a great material for the automotive and medical industry. Its endurance also makes it perfect for tubing, hoses and seals, improving designs previously using other elastoplastics. TPU is extremely versatile, also being used to create insoles, midsoles, helmets and even robotic applications.

Shapeways is a 3D printing platform giving access to small and midsize businesses at cost-effective prices. The 3D printing giant is also expanding the industry by offering materials often difficult to acquire to businesses who own their own personal 3D printers. Creators can upload their designs, select one of the new materials and get an instant quote.

About Shapeways: Printing in over 40 materials and finishes, Shapeways has factories and offices in New York, the Netherlands, and a network of innovative partners around the globe. Shapeways has over 1 million creators and has printed over 10 million products.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on 3D Printing Technology News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.

Understanding HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) Technology

Above: HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D Printer/Image Credit: HP Inc.

The 3D printing technology is undergoing a rapid innovation phase. New technologies are emerging and corresponding support products and services are developing. With the need to make the technology faster and more efficient Hewlett-Packard (HP), invented and developed the Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) Technology. This technology is lauded by most industry experts for its Voxel-level control and its speed that is up to 10 times faster than its competitors.

In this article, we explain the Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) Technology in detail. But before that, we will cover a similar technology, Binder Jetting and even the concept of Voxel-level printing.

Binder Jetting 3D Printing Technology

Binder Jetting is a 3D printing technology used to print large and complex parts in industrial-grade materials. It uses a binding agent and material in powdered form. The liquid binder acts as a binding agent to the powdered layers of the material. The print head moves horizontally along the X-Y direction depositing the binder while the bed which holds the powdered material moves in Z-direction. After successive layers, the object is completely printed and is supported by the surrounding powder.

Voxel-level Printing

Voxel, simply is a Volumetric Pixel. In 3D printing, we can define a voxel as a value on a grid in a three-dimensional space, like a pixel with volume. Each voxel contains certain volumetric information which helps to create a three-dimensional object with required properties. Voxel is the smallest distinguishable element of any 3D printed object and represents a certain grid value.

Also Read: Understanding the Difference between Pixel and Voxel

Voxel-level printing is the ability of a 3D printer to control each and every voxel and build an object from its tiniest building block. This gives the 3D printer an unprecedented control over the printing of that object. 3D prints with voxel-level control will result in a high print resolution and high accuracy with greater functionality.

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D Printing Technology

Above: HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) Ecosystem/Video Credit: HP Graphic Arts/YouTube

Multi Jet Fusion Technology is the revolutionary 3D printing technology developed by HP Inc. It has created a buzz around the 3D printing industry with the precision and accuracy it is able to achieve. The voxel-level control it achieves is remarkable and worth the mention and credit. The print quality and detailing have confirmed the potential of the technology and with the subsequent advantages of the technology, this technology, according to industry commentators, is likely to rule the upcoming 3D printing revolution.

HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) also uses powder material for the printing, but it does away with costly lasers. The fusion takes place without the need of lasers, as is the case in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology.

As mentioned above, MJF is quite similar to binder jetting. It uses a powdered material, a binding agent and does not require lasers. But what separates MJF from BJ is the fact that in addition to the binding agent, it also uses another liquid agent. This second liquid agent, called as a detailing agent, is deposited in the same pattern to bring out the finest details of the design and even give the print a smoother surface. Therefore it is also sometimes called as Multi-agent printing process.

MJF 3D Printing Process

Above: The working process of Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) Technology/Image Credit: Materialise

The Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) printing process works similar to a binder jetting process. The process starts with a 3D model which is loaded into the software to convert it into a machine-readable format. The printing starts when one layer worth of powder is spread onto the build platform. The print head carrying the liquid binding agent is then selectively deposited on the material layer where the particles are meant to fuse together. A second print head carrying the liquid agent, called as a detailing agent, is then deposited to bring out the fine details of the print and to create smooth surfaces.

Simultaneously the heating lamps also heat the deposited liquid agents. This helps in even distribution of the heat from the lamps. The entire region is thus exposed to infrared light and reactions between the agents and the material causes the particles to fuse together to form the print geometry for the layer.

This process is repeated for each layer until the complete object is printed. The parts are then allowed to be cooled down inside the build chamber itself. MJF technology uses less energy and so the cooling time is also short.

Once cooled, the residual powder is cleared out with the help is suction pumps and the printed part is thoroughly cleaned and is ready for use in the application.

Material Library

The Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology is new and so it does not have a huge material library but HP is working hard towards increasing the existing material range. Below are some of the currently available materials for 3D printing with the entire Jet Fusion Series

Above: Product printed with HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 material/Image Credit: Sculpteo

HP 3D High Reusability PA 12: Ideal for producing strong, quality parts at the lowest cost per part

HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 Glass Beads: Ideal for producing stiff, low cost, quality parts

HP 3D High Reusability PA 11: Ideal for producing ductile, quality parts at the lowest cost per part

To expand its materials portfolio, HP has launched an open materials platform under which they certify materials to be used in the MJF series of 3D printers. Evonik’s VESTOSINT® 3D Z2773 PA 12 is the first certified material under the Open materials platform. It is a modified polyamide-based powder.

Standout Features of Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Technology

  • The MJF technology is up to 10 times faster than competing products
  • MJF does not require lasers and so the machine is much more reliable due to less number of critical parts.
  • MJF uses infrared light to fuse the powder particles, which consumes less energy.
  • Layer thickness with MJF printing is 80µm, whereas it is up to 100µm for the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology.
  • It uses a detailing agent which enhances the fine details of the print.
  • The finished parts are smoother than other powder-based 3D printing systems.
  • The prints cool faster than other methods.
  • MJF has applications in quality production components, tough & durable prototypes, printed colour parts, living hinges, fit, form and function parts as well as printed assemblies.

The only significant limitation observed about the MJF technology is its small material portfolio.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D printing. which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from all around the world. Visit our 3D Printing Education page to read more such informative articles. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.

HP Announces new Deployments of its Multi-Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solutions

Accelerating digital transformation of manufacturing further, HP Inc., one of the giants in the 3D printing business world announced new deployments of its Multi-Jet Fusion 3D Printing solutions. The new list of companies include manufacturing innovators Protolabs, and Materialise, which are also one of the largest 3D printing companies in the world.

Protolabsthe world’s fastest manufacturer of custom prototypes and on-demand production parts upgraded its seven HP Jet Fusion 3D printers in the U.S. and Germany to industrial HP Jet Fusion 4210 3D systems to meet the increasing demand for global 3D production services.

Above: HP Jet Fusion 3D 4210/4200/3200 Printing Solution allows companies to prototype and produce functional parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost/Image Credit: HP, Inc.


Speaking about the increasing demand, Vicki Holt, President and CEO, at Protolabs said, “The demand for 3D-printed production applications continues to grow and HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology is furthering our ability to deliver our customers industrial-grade parts quickly and cost-effectively.”

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“By expanding the capacity of our HP Multi Jet Fusion services and installing printers in the United States and Europe, we are meeting the needs of our global customer base and demonstrating that geographically distributed, on-demand production is a reality today,” added Holt.

Protolabs recently used the company’s 3D printing solutions to create ustom packaging application for customers including PepsiCo. For example, Materialise recently 3D printed masks for PepsiCo’s promotional beverage kits for the movie Black Panther.

Above: The Black Panther 3D printed promotional kit/Image Credit: Materialise


Another company that has deployed HP’s Multi-Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions is Materialise. Being one of the largest providers of additive manufacturing software and services for medical and industrial markets, Materialise has already deployed eight HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printers .

HP Inc., also announced that ZiggZagg, a leading 3D printing provider based in Belgium has also deployed its solutions and has been added to its growing list of customers which include Forecast3D, Go Proto, Materialise, Protolabs and others who have deployed HP’s Multi-Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions to produce parts for their customers operating in diverse industries that range from medical, consumer goods to automotive and industrial markets.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.