3D printing is transforming the medical industry in many ways, but more importantly, it’s helping improve patient outcomes, improve economics and provide new opportunities for learning. Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) spoke to Mitchell Beness, Head of HP 3D Print GTM APJ on the impact of 3D printing and its outlook in Southeast Asia.
How is additive manufacturing transforming the medical industry?
Mitchell Beness (MD): Whether it’s to produce anatomical models, medical instruments and equipment or personalised medical aids such as orthotics and prosthetics, 3D printing has helped improve patient comfort and outcomes.
Today, advanced 3D printing capabilities provide essential equipment and key insights to help educate and prepare care givers as well as patients. For example, HP Metal Jet technology enables production of high-quality surgical tools such as surgical scissors and endoscopic surgical jaws, and new applications and geometries not possible with conventional metal fabrication technologies. In addition, HP Multi Jet Fusion can provide doctors and surgeons with rich, detailed models, which makes it easier for doctors to differentiate tiny details such as veins and arteries when practicing the procedures as well as countless other medical, health and wellness applications.
In prosthetics and orthotics, 3D printing has helped both patients and businesses improve patient outcomes by producing complex, custom designs.
The impact of 3D printing can also be seen in the recent COVID-19 pandemic, where global supply chains were upended like never before – hospitals were facing a lack of critical life-or death resources. For many, 3D printing was brought to their lives for the first time – with many of their introduction to 3D printing was via personal protective equipment (PPE) or testing equipment, like face shields or nasal swabs.
3D printing is transforming the medical industry in many ways, but more importantly, it’s helping improve patient outcomes, improve economics and provide new opportunities for learning.
What are the benefits of 3D printing in the medical industry?
MD: Advances in the 3D printing industry have enabled the industry to make any idea, large or small, simple or complex a reality. HP’s 3D printing solutions enable innovative designs and the production of high quality, cost effective personalised products.
We collaborate with various partners and customers to produce strong high-quality parts that are production ready. HP’s advanced industrial capabilities enable customers to reliably move designs from prototype to mass production. The COVID-19 response was a clear example on how the community came together from prototyping to quickly deploying solutions to first responders on the ground with face shields, masks, testing swabs and more. We also work with industry leaders such as Everex, an engineering company that creates unique and technologically advanced products for the needs of their customers in the medical industry. With the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, Everex wanted to design a new type of instrument from their device, Hemo One that is used to analyse samples of blood. The Hemo One was previously produced using traditional methods but Everex wanted a design that would be easier to assemble with an eye on reducing cost.
How has additive manufacturing helped in the fight against the pandemic? What are some innovations?
MD: Additive Manufacturing has definitely played its role in the fight against the pandemic, especially in helping plug the gaps in supply chain for personal protective equipment. At the start of the pandemic, HP mobilised a global effort to design and manufacture products that could be 3D printed to support frontliners and healthcare workers. We started working with employees across the company as well as customers to start sourcing designs and print parts that will help with COVID-19 efforts.
As of May last year, HP together with our partners and clients has printed and shipped over 5 million 3D-printed parts for ventilators, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) respirators, face shields, masks and other personal accessories. Together with our partners, we’ve also made these 3D printable designs freely available to the community.
All in all, the industry has definitely stepped up to meet the demands of the pandemic through continuous knowledge sharing, plugging the supply chain gap, and working with government agencies and health experts in determining parts most in need.
Ford is teaming up with HP to innovatively reuse spent 3D printed powders and parts, closing the loop and turning them into injection molded vehicle parts – an industry first.
Sustainability is a priority for both iconic companies, which through joint exploration led to this unlikely, earth-friendly solution. The resulting injection molded parts are better for the environment with no compromise in the durability and quality standards Ford and its customers demand.
The recycled materials are being used to manufacture injection-molded fuel-line clips installed first on Super Duty F-250 trucks. The parts have better chemical and moisture resistance than conventional versions, are seven percent lighter and cost 10 percent less. The Ford research team has identified 10 other fuel-line clips on existing vehicles that could benefit from this innovative use of material and are migrating it to future models.
“Finding new ways to work with sustainable materials, reducing waste and leading the development of the circular economy are passions at Ford,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford technical fellow, Sustainability. “Many companies are finding great uses for 3D printing technologies, but, together with HP, we’re the first to find a high-value application for waste powder that likely would have gone to landfill, transforming it into functional and durable auto parts.”
HP 3D printers are already designed for high efficiency, with systems and structures to minimise the excess material they generate and reuse a greater percentage of the materials put into them. Working with Ford, which uses HP’s 3D printing technology at the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, the team created this solution that produces zero waste.
“You get more sustainable manufacturing processes with 3D, but we are always striving to do more, driving our industry forward to find new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle powders and parts,” said Ellen Jackowski, chief sustainability and social impact officer, HP. “Our collaboration with Ford extends the environmental benefits of 3D printing even further, showcasing how we are bringing entirely different industries together to make better use of spent manufacturing materials, enabling a new circular economy.”
For its part, Ford is developing new applications and utilising a multitude of different processes and materials for 3D printing, including filaments, sand, powders and liquid vat polymerisation. The company already employs 3D printing for a variety of low-volume commercial vehicle parts, as well as fixtures used by assembly line workers use, saving production time and enhancing quality.
Robert Puschmann of DKSH and Mitchell Beness of HP speak about 3D printing, automation and Industry 4.0. Article by Stephen Las Marias.
Technology advancements have continuously been redefining design and manufacturing processes, production facilities, distribution systems, and global supply chains. As we move toward Industry 4.0, manufacturers recognise that current business models are no longer sustainable, and that the time has come for them to start adopting smarter manufacturing processes and solutions.
One such technology is 3D printing. 3D printing is a ground-breaking and innovative technology that has the potential to bring intermediate changes in manufacturing, society and business. As a crucial medium connecting the virtual and actual world, 3D printing enables the transformation of digital files into tangible objects. According to market analyst firm Inkwood Research, the global 3D printing market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent from 2019 to 2027 and reach a value of US$ 44.39 billion at the end of the forecast period. While North America is the dominating region, Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for 3D printing.
Mitchell Beness, Category Product Manager Lead for 3D Print and Digital Manufacturing, APJ at HP Inc., says the overall growth in terms of revenue for the industry has been positive, double-digit growth year-on-year, globally, for additive manufacturing or 3D printing. “For us at HP, we see very exciting growth. If you look at the growth of the number of parts that we are producing, this is significant. If you look at the growth of our installed base and powder usage, it is very positive,” he notes. “I think, overall, it is an encouraging story for the industry and for us. Since entering the market, we have seen a lot of people rethinking their decision to move into traditional manufacturing and looking very carefully at what digital manufacturing can offer. I think this change in mindset has been an upward trajectory.”
HP and its partner DKSH Singapore were at the recent Industrial Transformation ASIA PACIFIC (ITAP) 2019 event in Singapore to showcase the latest HP Jet Fusion 580 System, a 3D printer developed specifically for lower volumes as an entry point. The Jet Fusion 580 System is the first of its kind in using a functional material—an engineering grade Nylon polymer—which can incorporate colour within the printer. It is a good example of an all-in-one machine, where it is printing, collecting powder, recycling powder, and redistributing powder, all in one very small unit.
Inkwood Research notes that 3D printing has achieved significant progress from the initial stages of production of simple plastic models to producing useful components, in the fields of surgical implants and prosthetics, batteries, robots, and among many others.
“I think the key area is prototyping, which goes throughout the different industries. We also need to differentiate between replacing and complementing the existing manufacturing process,” explains Robert Puschmann, Managing Director for DKSH Technology Business in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. “If you look at different industries, research is at the forefront. Researchers are looking into how 3D printing can be adopted, which is a very crucial progress because that will help create a new generation of mechanical engineers who are able to design in a totally different way than before. This will be used in more industries over time.”
3D printing or additive manufacturing offers a change in the traditional manufacturing processes, according to Beness. But convincing manufacturers to adopt the technology requires changing their mindset.
“It is an area that Southeast Asia is uniquely positioned to take advantage of considering its relatively young engineers. There are a lot of younger people in these countries, who are able to get access to quality education better than ever before,” he says. “Singapore is an excellent hub for education, and we see partnerships with dynamic clusters, such as Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Many of these types of educational institutions are fundamentally starting that design journey in the engineering space, with additive manufacturing in mind. I think the biggest challenge as well as the biggest opportunity is for people to change the way they design and engineer.”
Apart from the change in mindset, the business case also needs to be there so that people will understand more the benefits of integrating additive manufacturing in their processes.
“Overall, the return on investment (ROI) needs to be understood by the customer,” Puschmann says. “That is something we continuously educate the market with. Also, having a different mindset and knowing to design parts for 3D printing compared to conventional manufacturing are other decisive factors.”
One way of educating the industry is through exhibitions such as ITAP. “The ITAP 2019 exhibition is an educational platform for a lot of people to know that 3D printing exists—I think that’s the first part,” says Puschmann. “On top of that, we conduct test printings with our demo machines to show customers that 3D printing is possible. We also run specific seminars on selected industry focus groups.”
It is also a lot of on-site work, according to Puschmann, where salespeople and applications specialists go from door to door and introduce the new technology and product directly to the customers.
One aspect of Industry 4.0 is the synergy between the physical and cyber-physical world. And 3D printing is in this unique place between the cyber-physical world—which is the data—and the physical world—the output of the 3D printer.
“3D printing takes the digital world and makes it physical,” says Beness. “It has a very important and challenging role because it must address multitudes of data that are potentially for traditional manufacturing, and then try and make that into a physical product using additive technologies. I think that is the best way to describe industrial transformation. 3D printing takes digital files and turns them into physical objects. This is a critical part of Industry 4.0.”
Apart from this, 3D printing also enables distributed manufacturing. “You don’t need to produce all the parts and all the products at one place. Instead, you can distribute based on knowledge and available resources and bring them together,” explains Puschmann. “It’s not only a transformation with regards to new technologies, but also the transformation of existing manufacturing processes and infrastructures themselves.”
Future of Automation
The outlook for Southeast Asia needs to be in the perspective of the different markets in the region, as each is in its different stage of development when it comes to automation. “You have Vietnam becoming a new manufacturing powerhouse probably over the next few years,” says Puschmann. “Singapore is positioning itself very well in terms of industrial transformation and automation. In general, for automation to be implemented in Southeast Asia, I believe there needs to be a lot of education on the customer side as well as in universities so that there is more talent available in the market to drive the transformation.”
There is no way around it, according to Puschmann, as the industrial transformation process is going to happen. “The question is more about which industries will be first. I believe the manufacturing sector is probably one of the more difficult ones for adoption. The transformation process might take place more in the logistics space and in food production first, before it moves on to manufacturing,” says Puschmann. “Manufacturing is always unique—what is manufactured on the metal side on the one hand, and on the plastics side on another, always require different machines.”
And when it comes to automation, it can be a step-by-step process, or a transformation in one go.
“You can do it step by step, by looking at what you are manufacturing today and by potentially automating certain modules of your manufacturing process. Or, if you have the capability, the knowledge, the budget and the breadth to implement it, you can do it in one go—which bears a higher risk, of course, but also results in a faster return,” explains Puschmann. “However, if you are a medium-sized company today and you are not looking into automation at all, you might risk not existing anymore in five years’ time.”
Industry 4.0 is a very big word, which might scare a lot of people, according to Puschmann. “To really achieve Industry 4.0, you must do much more than just automate. While the first step is getting into automation, how you get into it is through education, which means taking away the apprehension of the product and helping the customer with the application. There is also a need for support on having a common understanding with the customer and on taking away the general fear by underlining that automation is not about replacing, but about giving the opportunity to businesses to upskill their people and giving them more value-added opportunities and tasks. Once you have these companies interested in automation, the next step would be integrating the automation processes into their existing platforms,” he says. “What is going to be interesting and important for us is tapping into different ecosystems of knowledge platforms and manufacturers and bringing this network effect to life. This ensures that the customer can really utilize all the different products and equipment and knowledge out there to get the best solution for them. Automation and Industry 4.0 are very complex, and I think one party alone would probably not be able to handle it. Leveraging that network effect is where DKSH can play an important role for our customers.”
HP Inc. and its global digital manufacturing community are mobilising their 3D printing teams, technology, experience, and production capacity to help deliver critical parts in the effort to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1000 3D printed parts have already been delivered to local hospitals. HP’s 3D R&D centers in Barcelona, Spain; Corvallis, Oregon; San Diego, California; and Vancouver, Washington are collaborating with partners around the world in a coordinated effort to increase production to meet the most urgent needs.
Initial applications being validated and finalised for industrial production include face masks, face shields, mask adjusters, nasal swabs, hands-free door openers, and respirator parts. HP is also coordinating with government, health, and industry agencies in numerous countries to ensure a synchronised and effective approach.
“HP and our digital manufacturing partners are working non-stop in the battle against this unprecedented virus. We are collaborating across borders and industries to identify the parts most in need, validate the designs, and begin 3D printing them,” said Enrique Lores, President and CEO, HP Inc.
Many more applications are in the testing and validation phase and are expected to begin production soon, including:
Field Ventilator: 3D printed parts for a mechanical bag valve mask (BVM) that is designed for use as a short-term emergency ventilation of COVID-19 patients. This simplified design enables a robust and less-complex device, facilitating its rapid production and assembly.
FFP3 Face Masks: Effective protective gear is needed for medical providers to treat the volume of expected COVID-19 patients. HP is validating several hospital-grade face masks and expects them to be available shortly.
Few technologies stand to transform industry as much as additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. Mike Regan, Director (HP Labs / CTO), HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab, tells us why.
Today, the world’s most successful companies are not those that insulate themselves from accountability. Rather, they’re the ones that routinely take stock of whether they are performing as the public expects—and now demands—of them. More than ever, this thoughtful self-evaluation is paramount, especially on the heels of a thought-provoking World Economic Forum last month.
Recently, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), issued a sweeping manifesto in which he challenged companies around the globe to define their universal purpose in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). It is a thoughtful dissertation that urges leaders to spend as much time fulfilling human and societal aspirations as they do generating wealth.
Industry 4.0 promises to completely reshape how businesses operate, make products and deliver them to markets throughout Asia and the world. While still in its early stages, this paradigm shift could lead to the creation of more than 133 million new roles, according to a study made by the World Economic Forum. As history has proven, though, radical change is difficult. Redefining value creation for the future invariably triggers some hesitation at the highest levels of business.
To that end, HP partnered with the Nanyang Technological University to launch the HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab, which aims to drive the innovation and skills required for Industry 4.0 in Singapore and across the region.
Still, companies recognise they must embrace technology—and change—to advance their businesses and serve a greater purpose in this world. In the coming year, therefore, I expect robust government and business discussion around three key trends: the continued march of digital manufacturing; the rise of additive manufacturing and its implications for the environment; and the need to fill the ongoing digital skills gap.
The Tech Driving a Digital Manufacturing Revolution
To thrive in Industry 4.0, digital transformation is imperative. IDC predicts global investment in this area will approach $7.4 trillion between 2020 and 2023. The manufacturing sector, a major driver of global prosperity and economic health, has been the most active, with manufacturers spending more than $345 billion globally on digital transformation in 2019 alone.
In the year ahead, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which enable the automation and optimisation of processes from design to delivery, will likely constitute much of that investment. A McKinsey survey found that nearly half (47 percent) of companies have implemented at least one AI capability, with robotic process automation, computer vision and ML being the most common. Manufacturers reported deriving the greatest value from such technologies, especially for streamlining operations, improving visibility into supply chains and asserting more control over business strategies and operations.
Manufacturers will also continue embracing the cost and operational advantages of cloud computing. This will not simply mean outsourcing all data to third party servers. Rather, most enterprise organisations will pursue hybrid strategies involving a blend of public and private clouds as well as edge computing. In fact, a global Nutanix study found manufacturers plan to more than double their hybrid cloud deployments to 45 percent penetration in two years.
Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) are also on target to become more prevalent on factory floors. IDC says worldwide spending on VR and AR will jump to $18.8 billion in 2020 compared to last year, with discreet manufacturing making up $1.4 billion of that total. Asian-Pacific automakers, in particular, are embracing VR and AR innovation. Toyota, for instance, is using the technology to build cars faster and give customers a virtual glimpse of what is under the hood—without even lifting it. Hyundai and Kia, meantime, have established a VR design evaluation system to help enhance vehicle development processes.
Creating the reliable and trustworthy digital ecosystem outlined in Schwab’s manifesto requires leaders to invest in emerging digital technology that creates value, not just in their own supply chain, but also throughout their workforce and for their consumers.
How 3D Printing Will Build a Better World
Few technologies stand to transform industry as much as additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.
Advances in materials have made it possible to finally use this technology for more than just producing prototypes. It can now be used to make entire products. 3D printers will play central roles in the production of everything from consumer goods to aerospace and defence equipment to artificial limbs and organs.
Along the way, it’s likely this nascent industry will lead to substantial economic growth. In fact, the Asia-Pacific region is becoming the fastest growing 3D printing market in the world, according to AMFG, an additive manufacturer software provider. AMFG forecasts spending on 3D printing in the region will grow 18 percent to reach $3.6 billion within five years, led by China, Japan and South Korea.
Committing to 3D printing serves Schwab’s vision to “continuously expand the frontiers of knowledge, innovation and technology to improve people’s well-being.” Additive manufacturing also has significant implications for the environment, reducing the negative effects of manufacturing, from production runs to shipping.
In a recent study made by A.T. Kearney, a model on the sustainability of 3D printing showed CO2 emissions could be reduced by 130 to 525 Mt by 2025, including a 5 percent reduction in manufacturing intensities due to 3D printing. The study went on to say that if 3D printing was applied to higher production volumes, it could even decouple energy and CO2 emissions altogether from economic activity. Embracing 3D printing wholeheartedly can help companies meet the Manifesto’s directive for organisations to become “stewards of the environmental and material universe for future generations.”
Considering the Skills Gap in the Era of Rapid Innovation
Rapid innovation and the digitisation of analogue processes are tenets of the Industry 4.0. As we move through this decade, millions of new tech-oriented jobs will be created, often without enough qualified candidates to fill them.
To address this disparity, businesses will need to make it their mission to retrain current employees and contribute to educational institutions to ensure the next wave of entrepreneurs and workers are ready for the inevitable changes coming to the manufacturing sector. This investment in new and deepening skills will create a pathway for the profound ideas and solutions our global well-being depends on right now.
This is a time to celebrate change and a commitment to technologies that will make life better and more sustainable for everyone across this region.
HP has released its list of predictions for 3D printing and digital manufacturing in 2020. Informed by extensive interviews with a team of experts, this year’s research identifies top trends that will have a major impact on advancing Industry 4.0 such as the need for more sustainable production, how automation will transform the factory floor, and the rise of data and software as the backbone of digital manufacturing.
“The year ahead will be a time of realising 3D printing and digital manufacturing’s true potential across industries,” said Pete Basiliere, Founder, Monadnock Insights. “As HP’s trend report indicates, digital manufacturing will enable production of users’ ideal designs by unlocking new and expanded software, data, services, and industrial production solutions that deliver more transformative experiences while also disrupting legacy industries.”
The 2020 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Predictions Are:
1) Automated Assembly Will Thrive on the Factory Floor
Automated assembly will arrive, with industries seamlessly integrating multi-part assemblies including combinations of both 3D printed metal and plastic parts. There’s not currently a super printer that can do all things intrinsically, like printing metal and plastic parts, due to factors such as processing temperatures. However, as automation increases, there’s a vision from the industry for a more automated assembly setup where there is access to part production across both metals and plastics simultaneously.
2) Coding Digital Information Into 3D Printed Textures Will Accelerate
Organisations will be able to code digital information into the surface texture itself using advanced 3D printing, providing a bigger data payload than just the serial number. This is one way to tag a part either overtly or covertly so that both people and machines are able to read it based on the shape or orientation of the bumps.
3) Sustainable Production Will Continue to Be a Business Imperative
3D printing will enable the manufacturing industry to produce less waste, less inventory and less CO2 emissions. Engineers and designers will rethink design throughout the product lifecycle to use less material and reduce waste by combining parts and using complex geometries to produce lightweight parts. This further reduces the weight of vehicles and aircraft to improve fuel efficiency which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.
4) Demand for Students Who Think in 3D Will Increase
Higher education is at a crossroads, challenged with competing for enrolment, changing demographics and the need to adequately prepare students for the future of work. What’s needed is a complete mind shift to prepare for Industry 4.0.
5) Mass Customisation Will Fuel New Growth in Footwear, Eyewear and Dental
The consumer health sector will fuel digital manufacturing growth and adoption, as footwear, eyewear and orthodontics applications rapidly adopt 3D printing technologies. There’s a massive application space around footwear that’s very lucrative for the 3D printing industry.
6) 3D Printing Will Power the Electrification of Vehicles
Automakers are increasingly turning to 3D printing and digital manufacturing to help compete in a time of change, as the industry goes through its biggest transformation in more than a 100 years moving away from the internal combustion engine toward electric vehicles. As electric vehicles increase in popularity, automakers will continue to unlock the capabilities of both metal and plastic 3D printing systems to speed up their design and development in order to meet ambitious goals.
7) 3D Printing Will Drive New Supply Chain Efficiencies
The capability to deliver things digitally and produce things locally has not always won out. At the end of the day, manufacturers must analyse where in the supply chain it’s the most efficient to root production – whether that’s near the end users or near the source of material production.
8) Software Will Push the Boundaries of Digital Manufacturing to New Levels
In 2020 we will close the gap between what 3D printing and digital manufacturing hardware is capable of and what the software ecosystem supports. Advancements in software and data management will drive improved system management and part quality leading to better customer outcomes. Companies within the industry are creating API hooks to build a fluid ecosystem for customers and partners that includes purpose-built individualised products.
(Left to right) The HP-NTU Corporate Lab was officially opened today by NRF Singapore Executive Director Lim Tuang Liang, NTU Senior Vice President (Research) Prof Lam Khin Yong; HP Inc CTO Shane Wall; HP Inc Chief Technologist, Print, Glen Hopkins. At the opening, Prof Lam also presented token of appreciation to Mr Wall.
Researchers from global technology leader HP Inc. and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in the HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab has showcased digital manufacturing technologies set to make manufacturing and supply chain operations more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable.
Among them are intelligent design software tools that automate advanced customisation, as well as supply chain models that enable faster time to market while lowering carbon footprint.
The lab also unveiled a new skills development programme aimed at helping Singapore train and upskill its talents in additive manufacturing and digital design – from fundamentals of additive manufacturing and digital product designs to data management and automation, under the SkillsFuture programme.
The Corporate Lab aims to train some 120 working professionals per year through the new skills development programme, which includes the fundamentals of Additive Manufacturing, digital product designs, data management, automation, user experience and business models. The new short courses are payable with SkillsFuture credits and are open for registration.
– Examples of 3D printed products from the HP Multi Jet Fusion printer, which allows for flexible designs with both soft and hard plastic in a single print
With the intelligent design software tools being developed by the lab, engineers can customise and optimise their materials’ mechanical properties more effectively. The automated tools let designers achieve designs that have the best combination of properties to achieve the desired strength, flexibility, and weight. Imagine a customised, lightweight 3D-printed plastic cast aimed at giving patients greater comfort and fit.
Another research project is the design and optimisation of end-to-end supply chain operations. Mass customisation requires state-of-the-art supply chain design for digital factories. With advanced business models and analytics to model supply chains, manufacturers will be able to decrease the time required to identify parts suitable for 3D printing production as well as to measure the impact on carbon footprint.
As a result, manufacturers will be able to scale production of customised goods quickly during periods of high demand, reduce time to market while improving sustainability at the same time.
Professor Lam Khin Yong said, “The advanced technologies and automation solutions jointly developed by NTU and HP are expected to impact businesses in Singapore and beyond, as these innovations are geared towards efficiency, productivity and most importantly, sustainability,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Senior Vice President (Research).
A workforce equipped with new design, thinking and technical skills is critical to unleashing the potential of digital manufacturing.
“The new SkillsFuture courses developed jointly with HP also bring valuable industrial perspectives to help upskill and train a critical talent pool for Singapore. This will support the country’s drive towards becoming a smart nation as it faces the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Professor Lam continued.
HP Inc. has opened a 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Centre of Excellence in Barcelona, Spain, bringing together hundreds of the world’s leading additive manufacturing experts in more than 150,000 square feet of cutting-edge innovation space to transform the way the world designs and manufactures. The centre is considered to be one of the world’s largest and most advanced R&D facilities for the next-generation technologies powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).
The facility at HP’s Barcelona campus is dedicated to the development of HP’s industrial 3D printing portfolio and provides a large-scale factory environment to collaborate with customers and partners on the digital manufacturing technologies revolutionising their industries.
“HP’s new 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing Centre of Excellence is one of the largest and most advanced 3D printing and digital manufacturing research and development centres on earth—it truly embodies our mission to transform the world’s biggest industries through sustainable technological innovation,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP. “We are bringing HP’s substantial resources and peerless industrial 3D printing expertise together with our customers, partners, and community to drive the technologies and skills that will further unleash the benefits of digital manufacturing.”
The new centre unites hundreds of experts in systems engineering, data intelligence, software, materials science, design, and 3D printing and digital manufacturing applications in what is believed to be the world’s largest population of additive manufacturing specialists in one location.
Specifically designed for active collaboration across HP engineering and R&D groups, customers, and partners, the new facility integrates flexible and interactive layouts, co-development environments, and fleets of the latest HP plastics and metals 3D production systems to drive more rapid and agile product development and end-to-end solutions for customers. Companies like BASF, GKN Metallurgy, Siemens, Volkswagen and others across the automotive, industrial, healthcare, and consumer goods sectors will continue collaborating with HP on new 3D printing and digital manufacturing innovations at the centre.
HP Incorporated has unveiled a series of innovations and partnerships helping its customers accelerate their digital manufacturing journey. The company is expanding its industry-leading 3D printing portfolio with the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution, an industrial 3D printing system bringing new levels of manufacturing predictability, efficiency, repeatability, and quality to customers scaling to full production.
To further enable customers digitally transforming their manufacturing, HP is also expanding its strategic alliances with industrial leaders BASF, Materialise, and Siemens, and launching the HP Digital Manufacturing Network, a new global community of proven, large-scale 3D printed parts providers.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is one of the most transformative forces in our lifetime. New technology innovations will be required, new partnership models will emerge, and new modes of doing business will unfold,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing at HP Inc.
HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D Printing Solution
The new HP Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution brings together new systems, data intelligence, software, services, and materials innovations enabling customers to scale their 3D production and target business growth.
HP also introduced a new certified thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), ULTRASINT developed by BASF, to expand the breadth of final-parts applications for customers on the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series systems.
Numerous companies across the automotive, industrial, consumer goods, and manufacturing sectors are exploring new applications for the new Jet Fusion 5200 Series 3D printing solution, including Avid Product Development, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover, Kupol, Materialise, Sculpteo, Prodartis, and Vestas.
HP Deepens Industrial Alliances To Drive The Future Of Digital Manufacturing
The company has also unveiled expanded alliances with a number of industrial leaders to help customers on their journey to digital manufacturing.
Siemens and HP are expanding their alliance to deliver an end-to-end additive manufacturing solution integrating HP’s 3D printing and data intelligence platform with Siemens’ Digital Enterprise software portfolio. The alliance brings together the power of both companies to expand the market and help customers create unique product designs, bring high-quality 3D parts to market faster, and set up digital factory environments that unleash the full potential of additive manufacturing.
BASF and HP are also expanding their alliance to deliver innovative BASF materials certified for HP’s new 3D printing solutions. The two companies will partner to grow the market and help customers design and develop new applications with this unique combination of materials science and 3D printing capabilities.
HP Launches Digital Manufacturing Network
Many companies look to digital manufacturing service providers to help speed development of new products, shorten time to market, create leaner supply chains, and reduce their carbon footprint. To meet those needs, the company has introduced the new 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. Members of the Digital Manufacturing Network possess high levels of advanced additive manufacturing expertise, robust quality management and end-to-end manufacturing processes, and a proven capability for volume job production. The Digital Manufacturing Network includes partners in the United States, Asia, and Europe, including Forecast 3D, GKN Powder Metallurgy, GoProto, Jabil, Materialise, Parmatech, and ZiggZagg NV.
Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News is pleased to speak to Rob Mesaros, Vice President & Head of 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing for Asia Pacific & Japan, HP regarding the development of 3D printing technologies for the metalworking industry and its application for mass production.
1.Could you provide an overview of the 3D metal printing technologies that HP has developed thus far?
In September 2018, we introduced the HP Metal Jet which takes metal 3D printing from specialized production to mass production. As the world’s most advanced 3D printing technology for the high-volume manufacturing of production-grade metal parts, Metal Jet provides up to 50 times more productivity at a significantly lower cost than other 3D printing methods.
We also announced the new Metal Jet Production Service, which allows customers to submit their designs for 3D-printed metal parts, accelerating their path to manufacturing’s fully digital future.
Our expanded portfolio of HP Metal Jet solutions break through the economic, design, and time constraints of traditional methods for metal part production while delivering quality, productivity and cost beyond the capabilities of existing 3D printing technologies for metals.
2. What are the most innovative industry applications that you have seen when it comes to 3D metal printing technologies?
Key metals-driven markets include the automotive, medical, and industrial sectors.
With GKN Powder Metallurgy and Volkswagen, HP Metal Jet is being integrated into a strategic product development roadmap over the next few years to make everything from higher performance functional parts with significant structural requirements, such as gearshift knobs and mirror mounts to customized key rings. With 6,000 to 8,000 parts in a single car, the ability to produce many of these parts without first having to build manufacturing tools is helping Volkswagen reduce cycle time and realise a higher volume of mass production very quickly.
We are also partnering with Parmatech to utilise the Metal Jet technology for the manufacture of complex parts, such as surgical scissors and endoscopic surgical jaws.
Additionally, HP has partnered Triple Eight Race Engineering to 3D print racecar components. We’re also seeing service bureaus making repeat orders of our Multi Jet Fusion printers – Solize in Japan, and our strategic partner, RecTech in China have announced the expansion of their printer fleets – with the latter planning to have at least 30 HP 3D Printing systems by the end of 2019.
3. What do you think are the top three barriers to the adoption of 3D printing technologies for mass production?
The first key to unlock growth of the 3D printing market is product capability. The adoption of 3D printing technologies for mass production will depend on the ability of 3D printers to produce final parts faster and with quality that is as consistent, if not more, than traditional manufacturing. The dynamic is straightforward: If the machine is slow, the cost per part is usually higher. And if it is printing inconsistently, those operating costs can multiply.
The next key is to ensure that the materials used in 3D printing are similar in cost to analog materials. Historically, 3D printing materials can cost 20 to 100 times more than a similar material when it is used in traditional manufacturing. This is because many established 3D printing systems today are “closed” — meaning manufacturers are locked into using costly materials for specific machines with limited technology.
Finally, we also need to expand the materials available for 3D printing. Today, most 3D printers use only one material, such as thermoplastics, ceramics or metals. At the same time, there are a very limited number of materials available to manufacturers — about 80 types are used in 3D printing, with over 1,000 variants, compared with around 30,000 for injection molding. Manufacturers need more 3D materials to choose from. They need systems that can use a wider choice of materials and they need to be able to churn out products composed of multiple materials.
4. How do you think the above-mentioned barriers can be solved?
Improved speed, performance, up-time and quality will enable world-class 3D printing technology to perform at a higher level. As it is, the Metal Jet technology we’ve just launched in September 2018 already provides 50 times more productivity at a significantly lower cost than other 3D printing methods – and at a consistently high quality which meets or exceeds industry standards.
Lowering the cost of advanced 3D printing materials and applications is also critical. While Metal Jet technology is already a cost-effective solution with its low acquisition and operational costs; an open 3D printing ecosystem can spur both materials innovation as well as drive down costs. For example, HP’s Open Materials Platform lets the biggest materials companies in the world develop innovative 3D materials that in turn unlock a new wave of parts and applications. Open systems also help lower the cost of materials by enabling more materials suppliers to get into the market, increasing competition and driving innovation.
On HP’s part, we launched the HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab in October 2018, in partnership with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. One of the areas the lab – our largest university collaboration globally – will research is new materials and applications for 3D Printing.
5. What will be the trends in the development of 3D metal printing technologies in the next five years?
Currently, 3D printing is mostly used in industries and applications with low volumes and high unit costs, items that also require customisation. However, technology improvement has been unlocking its use in mass production applications.
3D printing in manufacturing will continue to expand in different industries, driven by technology, maturity, and cost reduction. We expect to see more and better materials being introduced. Manufacturers will also have a greater level of control. Recent technologies, such as HP’s Multi Jet Fusion, can control material and print properties down to the voxel level (3D equivalent of a pixel).
Moving forward, HP and its partners are driving the next digital industrial revolution and accelerating the end-to end reinvention of the $12 trillion manufacturing industry – $6 trillion of which is in the Asia Pacific and Japan. In the long-term, 3D printing will be powering the digital factories of the future, changing the way the world designs and manufactures.