The News: HP’s Ramon Pastor, Interim President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing recently held an analyst call where he made four major announcements from his division at HP. First, was the announcement of a new, first of its kind, polypropylene (PP) material, next was regarding new application efforts with partners, third was about expanded professional services and industry 4.0 alliances, and fourth was the announcement of a new HP Metal Jet customer, Cobra Golf. Pastor called it “a watershed moment” for the 3D industry, thanks largely for the new paradigm we’re seeing as a result of COVID-19. Read the press release from HP here.
HP Makes 3D Printing Technology and Digital Manufacturing Announcements
Analyst Take: I’ve already been discussing 3D technology at HP the last few weeks as the company has been leading in the 3D technology space in terms of COVID-19 efforts. You can read my recent article on that here: HP 3D Printing — HP Steps Up 3D Initiatives During Pandemic. On the heels of helping the healthcare community during the pandemic, the 3D printing division at HP is garnering further attention with its announcements this past week.
The first of HP’s announcements centered on the debut of its groundbreaking 3D highly reusable polypropylene (PP). The PP is to serve as a versatile, durable, and chemically resistant material that will be ideal for customers in the automotive, consumer, industrial, and medical sectors. The intention of this new material is to provide a balance between performance and cost. Developed in partnership with BASF for HP’s Jet Fusion 5200 3D Series, the new PP is expected to deliver high productivity and minimize waste for industrial-level manufacturing by enabling up to 100% percent reusability of surplus powder.
New Applications with Partners
Another of Pastor’s announcements focused on the joint development of entirely new PP applications with partners, parts providers, and customers. These partners include Extol, Inc., specializing in plastics engineering and innovation with industry leading plastic assembly technology, custom automation, and engineering services; GKN Powder Metallurgy/Forecast 3D, a provider of advanced industrial 3D printing, short-run manufacturing, and high-volume production; Henkel Adhesives, a leader of high-impact adhesives and engineering solutions; Oeschler AG, a global engineering solutions provider and one of the largest parts manufacturers in the additive industry; and Prototal, one of Europe’s most experienced parts manufacturers.
Expanded Professional Services and Industry 4.0 Alliances
HP also announced new 3D Professional Services offerings and industrial alliances including:
- HP 3D Professional Services: This offering includes a variety of new professional services capabilities, including design optimization, manufacturing process streamlining to enable mass customization and scale production, and applications identification and discovery services.
- BASF and HP announced the advancement of their strategic alliance to jointly develop new applications with customers in the automotive, consumer, industrial, and medical industries.
- A new strategic alliance with Oechsler AG. The alliance will span the product lifecycle from application design to production of final parts. Oechsler uses its fleet of HP’s Jet Fusion 5200 3D Series printers and an extensive materials portfolio to help automakers, consumer electronics companies, home and commercial appliances, and innovative medical device providers produce a variety of new applications.
- Fast Radius, a manufacturing technology company, is now a new member of the HP Digital Manufacturing Network, a global community of HP production partners to help design, produce, and deliver both plastic and metal parts at scale leveraging HP 3D printing solutions.
Advancing Metals Mass Production with Cobra Golf
In addition to the above announcements, HP shared that Cobra Golf, a golf club manufacturer, has selected HP Metal Jet for its entry into 3D printing for product innovation and parts production. HP Metal Jet technology is a platform for the 3D mass-production of metal parts. Cobra, HP, and Parmatech are working together on a strategic, multi-year product roadmap, that will leverage HP’s additive technologies to manufacture golf equipment.
Wohlers Associates’ Wohlers Report 2020 on additive manufacturing and 3D printing predicts that 3D printing technology has become more popular and also estimates the global market for 3D printing products and services will reach $15 billion in 2020 and surge to $35.6 billion by 2024. 3D printing has become even more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as an alternative to manufacture much needed supplies.
In terms of HP, the company’s 3D Technology and Digital Manufacturing division has been extremely busy during the pandemic, while other areas of tech may have witnessed slow down the last few months. These announcements affirm the division’s continued momentum and its contribution to the 3D technology and digital manufacturing supply chain.
One of the keys to 3D printing innovation will be the advancement and sophistication of materials, which HP is wisely focusing on. As materials—like the company’s new PP—become lighter, stronger and more efficient, this increases the versatility for use cases, as well as the variety of industries that can benefit from 3D printing technology.
The fact that HP is also focused on expanding its partner and alliance ecosystem will be helpful in terms of putting these capabilities in the hands of companies that may not otherwise have the opportunity. New partnerships and alliances like what we are seeing HP do here will help enterprises of different sizes have more resources for 3D technology equipment, training and support. These efforts will help leverage and continue the 3D printing technology efforts HP has made during the pandemic and it will be interesting to watch the evolution moving forward.
Overall, we expect to see continued growth in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing space.
This is a reminder to be on the lookout for our upcoming 3D Printing Technology Market Insights Report, which will be published in the coming weeks.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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Image Credit: HP
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.