According to HP, Metal Jet is a “voxel-level binder jetting technology” that’s up to 50 times more productive than existing 3D printing solutions. It also features four times the nozzle redundancy and double the printbars of the competition. Basically, it can be potentially even cheaper and more efficient than what’s currently available.
The company is already partnering with GKN Powder Metallurgy and Parmatech to build shipping parts, and its current customers include Volkswagen, Wilo, Okay Industries and Primo Medical Group. VW is currently using the technology for customizable components like key rings and name plates, but eventually it plans to use it for more significant components like mirror mounts and gearshift tops. And, as you’d expect, Metal Jet could play a major role as VW gets into electric cars.
Starting next year, customers will be able to upload their 3D models to the Metal Jet Production Service, Afterwards, HP engineers will help guide them through the process of building their components. (HP admits that some designs won’t be compatible with Metal Jet.) The company expects to make Metal Jet printers available to early customers in 2020 for under $400,000, with broader availability to follow in 2021.