Relatively Fast Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printing Process Especially Adept at Larger Quantities
Multi Jet Fusion, or MJF, is a new 3D printing technology developed by Hewlett Packard. MJF 3D printing is a powder bed fusion process, which is to say it involves laying down a layer of material in powder form, then fusing the grains of powder together using a combination of selectively deposited chemicals and heat. Powder Bed Fusion processes are especially powerful for cutting-edge design because the loose powder associated with the printing process allows for geometries to be created that would otherwise be impossible, such as captured features (e.g., a part with a part).
Additionally, MJF printers leverage HP's proprietary jetting technology to rapidly define which material is to become solid and which material is to remain as loose powder. As a result, it is a relatively fast 3D printing process. This is especially true for larger quantities of parts that can fill the entirety of an HP print bed.
Learn more about this technology from our interview with HP's Ramon Pastor, President and General Manager of HP's Multi Jet Fusion.
HP Multi Jet Fusion Process Considerations
HP's Multi Jet Fusion is a relatively accurate powder bed fusion process, capable of achieving consistent tolerances and surface finishes. Parts are typically built in 80 micron layers (.003") and the minimum feature size made possible through HP's ink-jetting technology can go as low as 0.5mm (.02"). Due to the thermally induced reaction taking place on the surface of parts during the build process, the process can be somewhat prone to overbuild of particular features. Typical tolerances are +/-.004" for the first inch, which is not as tight as achieved by the focused laser used with SLS technologies.
Multi Jet Fusion Material Options
HP's Multi Jet Fusion technology typically utilizes HP High Reusability PA 12, a nylon 12 material, as the default material of choice. Nylon 12 with 20% glass bead is also offered through the 3Diligent service.
HP has engaged with a number of material partners and has expressed intentions to bring new materials to market in the coming months and years. Nylon 6, Nylon 6,6, and Nylon 11 are among the materials slated for the earliest arrival in the market and will be available via the 3Diligent service at that time.
Beyond Multi Jet Fusion
Multi Jet Fusion is a fantastic new tool available to product designers, engineers, and procurement officers when the material, design, and quantity requirements are aligned, but it isn't a tool for every project. As noted earlier, it is largely limited to nylon 12, whereas other 3D printing technologies provide access to other materials and advantages. That's why 3Diligent also offers a range of additional 3D printing, machining, and molding capabilities.
More Information: Related Pages
More Information: 3Diligent Blog
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