Belgium-based Materialise has put two of HP's Jet Fusion 3D 4200 3D printers into operation at its 3D printing factory.
The Jet Fusion 3D 4200 employs HP’s much publicized multi-jet fusion (MJF) technology to produce thermoplastic prototypes and end-use parts at exceptionally high speeds. MJF is said to afford optimal mechanical properties and precision through its ability to control each voxel (a voxel is the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel).
The technology is currently only available to Materialise’s selected partners but will soon be made accessible to all customers through the Materialise OnSite online service platform.
Materialise invested in a second Jet Fusion 3D 4200 only recently but installed the first back in November, 2016. This announcement follows a benchmarking period that involved extensive testing and evaluation of the first printer by Materialise’s R&D and engineering teams.
Materialise Software and Materialise Engineering have been in close contact with HP over the last six months, sharing findings as well as ascertaining areas for development. One such area has been the Materialise Build Processor for the Jet Fusion 3D 4200, a tailored software technology that simplifies the 3D printing process by improving communication between software and printers. It is currently in beta testing pre-final release.
Materialise is leveraging its partner program to help identify the ideal applications for the Jet Fusion 3D 4200.
The Jet Fusion 3D 4200 currently produces parts in Polyamide (PA) 12, a polymer material that has a very fine powder grain and therefore allows for the production of very thin 80μm layers. Additional materials are expected to be made available by HP and other material providers.
Materialise offers a choice of two finishes for parts produced on the Jet Fusion 3D 4200, namely sandblasted and color-dyed in black.
Bart Van der Schueren, chief technology officer (CTO) at Materialise, said: ‘Success in 3D printing hinges around selecting the right technology for a given application. The versatility of the material PA 12 combined with the exceptional isotropy and low porosity of parts produced with multi jet fusion leads us to hope for a good diversity of potential industrial applications.’