3D Printer Technology Update: HP Computer Company Enters 3-D Printing Market, World's First 3-D Printed Car Made
What does Hewlett-Packard (HP) and a car have in common? The next wave in 3D printing.
The computer company HP is diving into the making and providing of 3D Printers. And, the first ever 3D printed car made its way onto the streets.
HP announced its new business venture in 3D printing, additive manufacturing, at the end of last month. While HP's product will not be available until 2016, this computer company's endeavor into 3D technology takes the competition of the 3D Printers and their uses into a new realm. The car made from 3D printed products, announced at the beginning of last month, is the first of its kind.
HP is calling their additive manufacturing Multi Jet Fusion technology. This new form of 3D technology, HP claims, will print 10 times faster than any other existing 3D printer. The computer giant also boasts that it will be just as affordable, and it will print stronger products other than the ones offered on the current market, CNET reported. HP is pushing the claim that, with their improvements and their company, it can make 3D printing even more widely accessible.
HP also unveiled the new Sprout: a desktop computer that works with a dual screen and creative console, with its own projector and a 3D-capable scanner.
Since Hewlett-Packard's split, the newly formed Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will be in charge of this 3D venture. HP Enterprise will focus on business and government software and services, while HP Inc. will target PCs and printing, CNET reported. The complete separation of companies HP Enterprise and HP Inc. will be finished in October 2015.
HP Senior Vice President Stephen Nigro is excited about the company's 3D printing step. Nigro said via a statement: "As we examined the existing 3D print market, we saw a great deal of potential but also saw major gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost," CNET reported.
Nigro also added that the Multi Jet Fusion technology is created to "transform manufacturing across industries." This is due to the company's enhanced quality and productivity. HP claim that they can build an entire surface area, instead of one at a time.
The company is even developing their own thermoplastics; the computer giant intends on creating new 3D printing materials that utilize color, ceramics and metals. Multi Jet Fusion currently prints in fused nylon, to an accuracy of 20 microns.
Early adopters and customers should have access to HP's Multi Jet Fusion systems by next year, and then full access the following year. In the beginning, it will be first available to corporate clients, and then made available to consumers, CNET reported.
From creating 3D printers to actually making a product with that kind of technology, here comes the 3D printed car.
Enter "Strati," the world's first 3D printed car. "Strati" has been built by the Phoenix-based Local Motors car company. While the user can actually create a car using 3D printed materials within 44 hours, one cannot create suspension components, seats, lighting and the electric engine, New York Daily News reported.
The Strati is a two-passenger roadster that looks like a dune buggy, with real car technology. The Strati was even taken out for a test drive in Brooklyn, New York. It handled well on the road. Local Motors' CEO and co-founder Jay Rogers believes that the Strati is all about "simplification and streamlining" the 3D technology and making something as grand as a car and bringing it to the automotive world, New York Daily News reported.
"All this material you're looking at," Rogers says, pointing to the car, "is about $3,500 dollars." The car is built from carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic. The Strati weighs almost 2 tons. The car is only a prototype so it's miles away from safety and performance.
Rogers foresees a future where customers can change and transform their 3D printed cars, more so than changing their smartphones. Rogers says that it is theoretically possible: he explains that a customer can use the car for a season, return it to Local Motors for a new model and then have the old vehicle melted down and changed into something different, New York Daily News reported.
Local Motors is so confident with this prototype 3D printed car that they have started a competition. It is called the "ModMen Challenge." It tasks hot rod and motor vehicle users to create and modify a 3D printed vehicle, just like any other car, VentureBeat reported. The contest started online last week.
Once the car is built and submitted, an online round starts, and 12 ModMen finalists are chosen and awarded a real 3D printed vehicle. The ModMen Challenge ends at SEMA 2015, where all 12 of the modified cars will be presented and judged, with one winner chosen and given the title of "ModMan," VentureBeat reported.
"From racing, to street, to show, car modification has always been the true soul of vehicle innovation," Rogers said about the competition. "At Local Motors, our goal is to fuel the next great generation of 'Hot Rodders' by putting the newest technology in their hands, and the ModMen Challenge does exactly that," VentureBeat reported.
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