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Reinventing 3D printing in Europe: formnext 2016

The excitement from formnext last month is still tangible. One of Europe’s premiere international events for next-generation manufacturing technologies, the event showcased that a once unimaginable future is now just around the corner, and the 3D printing revolution is gaining momentum. In case you were unable to experience formnext firsthand, below are a few highlights, including the questions we were most frequently asked onsite, as well as a few of the eye-catching and thought-provoking 3D-printed parts on display in the HP booth. 

 

Most notably, HP demonstrated the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer in action for the first time publicly in Europe. The HP Jet Fusion 3D printers are the digital furnaces of the next industrial revolution and will radically transform how prototypes and final parts are produced, reliably delivering quality parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems. HP also announced new game-changing co-development partners in Europe. Strategic collaborations like these will allow us to reinvent 3D printing faster and make the shift from prototyping to mainstream production a reality. Our partners are excited at the possibilities. Martin Affolter of SGSolution said that they “are convinced that HP's technologies will open up new markets and create new opportunities.” Arnoud D'Hondt of FormId noted that they are “confident that HP Multi Jet Fusion technology will accelerate flexibility, rapid manufacturing capabilities and ease of use,” and that “adding 'intelligence' will make this a game-changer in many segments.”  

 

At formnext, booth traffic was booming, the theatre sessions were full, and we engaged with 3D printing and manufacturing enthusiasts, experts, innovators and thought leaders from across the globe. The HP team even had a little fun taking on the #MannequinChallenge.

 

 

formnext by the numbers

 

1,360+ HP theatre session attendees

 

3 European partner announcements:                                            

SGSolution appointed first 3D partner in Switzerland                       

3D Experts, Kaut Bullinger and Solidpro announced as first partners in Germany 

Landré and FormId revealed as first 3D partners in Benelux region

 

40+ 3D printed-parts displayed

 

formnext frequently asked questions

Attendees were very interested to learn more about materials possibilities, the end-to-end HP 3D printing solution and applications and how HP 3D printing technology is different from competitors. Here are a few questions attendees asked us most at formnext:

 

  • What new materials are in development?
  • How does the HP Jet Fusion 3D Build Unit unpack parts, and how is it a key differentiator?
    • The HP Jet Fusion 3D Build Unit – included within the printer – controls the job from beginning to end, allowing for a continuous printing process to maximize productivity and part traceability. Right after job completion, the Build Unit trolley is moved on for cooling. It is a key differentiator because it provides users enhanced production flexibility and modularity where they can use one trolley for printing, loading materials and cooling or use separate trolleys, working continuously in tandem. For example, one trolley can print, one can load materials and one can be cooling at the same time. Multiple trolleys can also be leveraged to address different types of jobs or industries. The HP Jet Fusion 3D Build Unit also offers a cleaner part unpacking experience, as all of the materials are contained within the Build Unit trolley.

 

formnext HP booth feature: 3D-printed parts

 

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3D-printed parts, such as those in the case above, played a major role in demonstrating the application possibilities of the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer in the HP booth at formnext. Below are some of the most-discussed parts HP showcased, representing medical, automotive and consumer applications.

CREDIT DESIGN NEEDED TO BERNARD WERBER_2.jpg

Medical models, such as the above heart design by Bernard Werber, are improving surgical outcomes, moving beyond training labs in universities and into actual surgery rooms for pre-surgery prep. Color medical models will also become more mainstream. There’s even greater promise for medical models in the future, as they become cheaper, easier and faster to produce with 3D printing technology. 

CREDIT DESIGN NEEDED TO FICOSA_3.jpg

Efficient, on-demand automotive parts, like the above side-view mirror design, have potential to disrupt manufacturing supply chains, reduce inventories, and decrease transportation and shipping costs compared to what’s possible today. 3D-printed automotive parts can also contribute to reducing fuel consumption with a lighter-weight design.    

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3D-printed customized foot insoles, like the above, have potential to enhance shoe comfort and prevent injuries. Offering easier, faster and cheaper production, 3D printing can also make custom foot insoles, which are often obtained by prescription only, more accessible to the average consumer for non-medical applications.

 

formnext recap

 

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As you can see, formnext was action packed. We were thrilled to converse and collaborate with the 3D printing hardware, materials and software experts and companies driving industry 4.0. The shift from prototyping to production is happening faster than you might think, and integration, innovation and collaboration at industry events like formnext are critical to accelerating 3D printing adoption in mainstream manufacturing. Today we take the first step towards a new industrial revolution and a world of endless possibilities – of parts with color, intelligence and new properties controlled voxel by voxel by HP Multi Jet Fusion technology. The road to revolution is long, but we won’t travel it alone. Together, we’ll keep reinventing 3D printing and manufacturing as we know it today.

 

To place an order or to learn more, contact us today

 

3D Printing designs courtesy of: 3Shape, Cunicode, Ficosa, Invent Medical and Vizua Heart of Bernard Werber

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