The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry has become the first centre in the UK to install the latest pioneering high-speed 3D printer.
The centre has been provided with the HP Jet Fusion 4200, which could potentially revolutionise 3D printing, according to the MTC, by delivering components up to 10-times faster than current processes, improving print quality and doing so at half the cost.
The printer can control part properties voxel by voxel (a voxel is the 3D printing equivalent of a pixel), and this level of control reportedly means extreme precision and optimal mechanical properties in producing fully functional prototypes and final parts.
This technology could be a critical step toward the next stage of additive manufacturing, since the platform enables companies, such as in-house model shops and 3D print agencies to print superior quality physical parts much faster and cheaper than before.
The product has been well received in industry, scooping up the “Innovation of the Year” at the Inaugural 3D Printing Industry Awards in London last month.
The Jet Fusion 4200 will be housed in the MTC’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, which aims to develop production-ready additive manufacturing processes, overcome barriers to wide-scale adoption, and work on legislative and standardisation issues for the emerging uses.
The centre demonstrates the entire additive manufacturing process chain at an industrially relevant scale, taking raw material and part designs to produce fully finished parts where every stage of the process is carefully monitored and controlled.
The printer is positioned as the perfect first step for SMEs to pioneer the use of additive manufacturing in their organisation thanks to the reduced printing costs.
Chris Ryall, MTC’s additive manufacturing operations manager, explained: “The machine will be put through an initial evaluation period, as the MTC examines how it can be used to aid smaller companies and help them save on costs.
“From our perspective, it’s a machine that will potentially revolutionise manufacturing supply because it offers a solution to small-scale manufacturers that don’t have to go through injection mould tooling.”