3D Printing at HP Labs

The Story

The story

3D printing promises to transform how we make, obtain, and interact with everyday objects and to drive a third revolution in high volume, customized, just-in-time manufacturing.

The technology’s potential is still far from being fully realized. But working closely with HP Inc.’s business units, we’re making a big step in that direction: advancing HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, a new HP-developed printing methodology that offers a game-changing increase in the range and quality of 3D printed materials and that prints them through a robust, high speed, and highly efficient process.

Our approach leverages decades of HP Labs advanced research in Thermal Inkjet technology, as well as our deep understanding of chemistry, materials science, and the precision placement of liquid agents for faster and higher-quality printing.

We continue to add to that body of knowledge in our ongoing research, broadening the range of materials that can be used to print in 3D, establishing techniques for printing a single object from multiple materials, grades, and colors, and developing novel methods for printing items that vary in electrical conductivity, stiffness, strength, transparency, friction, wear, texture, and more – and all at industry-leading speed and cost-efficiency.

A second area of investigation is enhancing the software and algorithms that provide print system optimization and control, and that enable process modeling and prediction. We are also developing new file formats to allow the efficient storage and processing of 3D print files as they progress through the production pipeline so as to ensure that part specifications are retained from design to final printing.

In addition, we’re helping drive industry efforts to establish effective digital rights technologies and standards for the management, transfer, and authentication of 3D print files. These will build trust, enable branded revenue streams, ensure supply chain security, and offer post-hoc forensic tracing wherever needed.

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