Additive Manufacturing

SEP 2018

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING is the magazine devoted to industrial applications of 3D printing and digital layering technology. We cover the promise and the challenges of this technology for making functional tooling and end-use production parts.

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Page 25 of 43

SEPTEMBER 2018 Additive Manufacturing FEATURE / Metal Additive Manufacturing 24 By Peter Zelinski HP Enters Metal AM A binder jetting machine for scale production of steel parts is the next extension of HP's 3D printing offerings, but also the logical extension of technology the company has been developing for decades. What is the case for making production parts using additive manufacturing? Is the value to be found in the design freedom? That is, the freedom that allows for consolidating assemblies or optimizing geometry for weight savings? Or, is the value of additive to be found in the chance to explore new material possibilities? Yes and yes, says HP's Stephen Nigro. Yes to all this. Howev- er, there is one straightforward obstacle standing in the way. "You have to get the economics right," he says. "Once 3D printing becomes the economical choice for production, com- panies will use it, and then they will go on to realize all those other advantages from additive." Nigro is president of HP's 3D Printing business. Two years ago, the company launched a 3D printing platform for produc- tion of plastic parts. Now, with an announcement expected by the time you read this, the company is expanding its offerings to include a metal 3D printer. The target market for this new machine is not components representative of where metal AM is already succeeding—that is, not high-end components such as aircraft parts, not components made of exotic alloys—but instead automotive parts and other applications comprising the lion's share of industrial production. The target materials are iron and steel, starting with stainless. I recently had the chance to visit HP's engineering and manufacturing campus in Corvallis, Oregon, to learn about the metal 3D printer in advance of its introduction and about the company's plans for 3D printing through conversations with Nigro along with Timothy Weber, the company's global head of 3D metals. "3D printing is the biggest long-term bet HP is making," Nigro told me, and I saw this. In various departments

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