HP gave a sneak-peak at its new 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab to members of the press and analysts back in March. The 3,500-sq.-ft. facility in Corvallis, OR, helps the company’s materials partners boost product development efforts as well as test new materials.
“We are convening the world’s leading materials companies and empowering them to disrupt and innovate,” said Tim Weber, Global Head of 3D Materials and Advanced Applications and general manager of the Corvallis site. “It will be exciting to watch as these companies test the limits of the HP Open Platform. The ability to create new materials more quickly, and to easily iterate and improve those materials, will lower costs and accelerate the digital reinvention of manufacturing.”
The company also unveiled a 3D printing materials development kit (MDK), which will help companies quickly test and certify powder materials for compatibility with HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printers prior to submitting them for testing by HP. HP collaborated with SigmaDesign to create the MDK.
“Many companies, both large and small, do not have the internal capabilities to execute their 3D printing vision as quickly or as broadly as they’d like,” said Bill Huseby, president and CEO of SigmaDesign. “We are proud to provide world-class foundational tools such as the MDK and in-depth design expertise for organizations ready to innovate using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology right now.”
HP already tests thermal inkjet printer heads, silicon wafers, and other technology in Corvallis. The new 3D printing materials lab will serve as a “proving ground” for HP’s new 3D print solutions (including the HP Multi Jet Fusion 4200). Partners can test powdered raw materials for the printers.
Arkema, BASF, Evonik, and Lehman and Voss are already working with HP at the lab to certify materials for the Jet Fusion line of printers.
“Based on BASF’s experience and R&D capabilities, we have been able to accelerate the development of materials with better mechanical properties by leveraging HP’s 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab,” said Kara Noack, head of 3D printing for North America at BASF. “We have been able to develop multiple versions of thermoplastic elastomers including TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane, adding to an already comprehensive product portfolio. HP’s 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab is allowing us to provide a wider range of innovative materials to the industry.”
“There’s no way that HP itself can develop and certify the some 30,000 materials made by all the materials companies in the world,” said Weber said on HP’s blog. “Working together in a hands-on, agile development environment enables us to test and certify materials that are compatible with our Multi Jet Fusion technology.”