HP's new 3D printer is 10x faster than rivals, shame it's so expensive

Jet Fusion models really are a revolution in 3D printing

HP has announced that it's now taking orders for its Jet Fusion 3D printers, with the hardware expected to begin shipping from late 2016.

The company claims that its Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution revolutionises prototyping and printing by delivering "superior quality" end products at half the cost (see note at the end of this story), and up to 10 times faster, than current rivals (FDM and SLS printer solutions in the same price bracket).

It offers printing at the individual voxel level (the 3D printing equivalent of a single pixel in 2D printing, as it were) so boasts high levels of accuracy, and also speed with the ability to print over 340 million voxels per second.

In short, we are looking at a huge boost in print speeds and far quicker prototyping of parts. And while this is aimed at commercial usage and the hardware is very expensive, it's exciting to see what sort of technology is in the wings and could potentially trickle down in some form to desktop 3D printing.

Magic combination

Stephen Nigro, president of HP's 3D printing business, commented: "The new HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution delivers a combination of speed, quality, and cost never seen in the industry. Businesses and manufacturers can completely rethink how they design and deliver solutions to their customers."

There are two models available, the HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 and Jet Fusion 3D 4200, with the former aimed at prototyping usage, and the latter designed for prototyping and also short-run manufacturing.

Pricing for the 3200 starts at $130,000 (around £90,000, AU$180,000), with the full solution comprising the 3D printer and Processing Station (which you can see on the right in the above image - this provides faster cooling and a cleaner finish, among other benefits) starting at $155,000 (around £108,000, AU$213,000).

The Jet Fusion 4200 will ship late this year, and the Jet Fusion 3200 will follow in 2017.

HP notes: "Based on internal testing and public data, HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solution average printing cost-per-part is half the cost of comparable FDM & SLS printer solutions from $100,000 USD to $300,000 USD on market as of April 2016. Cost analysis based on: standard solution configuration price, supplies price, and maintenance costs recommended by manufacturer. Cost criteria: printing 1-2 buckets per day/ 5 days per week over 1 year of 30 grams parts at 10% packing density using the powder reusability ratio recommended by manufacturer."