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Nike and BMW pilot HP Inc's first 3D printer

HP Inc rolls out its first 3D printer, with hopes that it will revolutionise manufacturing

Nike, BMW, Autodesk, Johnson & Johnson and Siemens are among the early adopters of HP Inc’s first 3D printer.

The company positions the €120,000 HP Jet Fusion 3D Printer for design, prototyping and manufacturing. HP Inc claims the printer is up to 10 times faster and is half the cost of current 3D print systems.

By printing functional parts at the individual voxel (the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel), HP offers customers an unprecedented ability to transform part properties and deliver mass customisation, the company said.

Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business, said: “Our 3D printing platform is unique in its ability to address more than 340 million voxels per second, versus one point at a time, giving our prototyping and manufacturing partners radically faster build speeds, functional parts and breakthrough economics.”

Nike said it has been using 3D printing for several years to create footwear. “We are excited to partner with HP to accelerate and scale our existing capabilities as we explore new ways to manufacture performance products to help athletes reach their full potential,” said Tom Clarke, president of innovation at Nike.

BMW regards 3D printing as a step towards customisation and personalisation of its cars.

Jens Ertel, head of BMW Group additive manufacturing centre, said: “We see major potential in our partnership with HP to investigate this new kind of 3D printing technology at an early stage.

“As one of the first partners, we had the chance to see the constant evolution of the machines over time, from the first prototype approximately five years ago to the market ready product available now.”

HP Inc said the printer could be used to print embedded intelligence, such as sensors for the internet of things (IoT) or embed invisible traces or codes, for increased security and traceability in supply chains.

The company plans to use the printer to build parts for future models. In the future, up to 50% of the custom plastic parts for the HP Jet Fusion 3D printers are expected to be printed and produced with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology versus traditional manufacturing methods, said HP Inc.

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