HP is ready to supercharge 3D printing, revealing its much-anticipated printers capable of up to ten times the speed at half the cost of existing technology. Dubbed the HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution, the system is able to produce not just the oft-lumpy clumps of melted plastic we’re familiar with from existing 3D printers, but functional, prototype-ready parts or, alternatively, market-ready customised components or tchotchkes.
In contrast, Jet Fusion 3D Printing is both faster and more precise, borrowing processes from ink jet printers to lay down tiny amounts of thermoplastic. By using thousands of nozzles in each pass, the printers can mix different colors and even materials in a single sweep.
It was enough to convince early 3D printing adopter Shapeways, which committed to offering the HP printers when they were available. A tray of prints that would currently take 20-40 hours to produce, the company said, could be done in 4-5 hours and for less cost.
Now, we know exactly what those printers will be like, though unfortunately they’re hardly home-friendly.