Proto Labs Among First Service Providers to Use New HP 3D Printers
Simon Martin posted on June 14, 2016 |
To achieve part quality at speed, HP invented a multi-agent print process. In the time it takes slower point processes, like material extrusion and laser sintering, to build 1,000 parts, HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology would have created several thousand parts. (Image courtesy of HP/YouTube.)
To achieve part quality at speed, HP invented a multi-agent print process. In the time it takes slower point processes, like material extrusion and laser sintering, to build 1,000 parts, HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology would have created several thousand parts. (Image courtesy of HP/YouTube.)

Since announcing its new production-ready Multi Jet Fusion industrial 3D printers on May 17, Hewlett Packard (HP) has set the product design and 3D printing worlds abuzz over what the new technology means to the near future of additive manufacturing. 

Among others who will be the first to know are those testing the new printers as part of the company’s Open Customer Engagement Program—including quick-turn digital manufacturer Proto Labs of Maple Plain, Minn.    

Founded in 1999 as a provider of small-batch injection-molded parts and rush orders for prototyping needs, the company has since expanded to become one of the world's leading digital manufacturers for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. The addition of Multi Jet Fusion production capabilities will add faster and lower cost rapid prototyping solutions to the designer’s or engineer’s toolkit throughout the product development lifecycle.

As a part of HP’s Open Customer Engagement Program, Proto Labs will conduct product tests and garner user feedback on the new 3D printers to help accelerate and advance the technology. The company was chosen because it has an extensive amount of experience with industrial-grade 3D printing technologies—particularly as they relate to the needs of designers and engineers for prototyping and low-volume manufacturing.

“The new HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing solution looks like a truly exciting leap ahead in industrial-grade 3D printing,” explained Rob Connelly, vice president of additive manufacturing for Proto Labs. “We at Proto Labs look forward to collaborating with HP to help develop this new platform that could result in higher productivity and quality at a lower cost.”

Currently, Proto Labs offers its industrial-grade 3D printing services in stereolithography, selective laser sintering and direct metal laser sintering processes. HP has stated that Multi Jet Fusion is much faster and more affordable than these processes with higher quality parts.  

HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology produces quality, functional parts at a production speed which is up to 10 times faster than today’s competing products. (Image courtesy of HP/YouTube.)
HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology produces quality, functional parts at a production speed which is up to 10 times faster than today’s competing products. (Image courtesy of HP/YouTube.)

“We are pleased to have Proto Labs as a customer, providing its input and manufacturing expertise to help us continue to advance the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing solution for our customers,” added Stephen Nigro, president of HP’s 3D printing business.

To further expand its rapid prototyping capabilities, including the addition of Multi Jet Fusion to its available services lineup, Proto Labs will be opening a new 77,000-square-foot facility in Raleigh, N.C., later this summer. 

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