Today, HP unveiled its groundbreaking low-cost, full-color 3D printers at the annual SOLIDWORKS World 3D design and manufacturing trade event. The new HP Jet Fusion 300/500 printers are an industry first: capable of creating production-quality prototypes quickly, accurately and affordably — making advanced 3D technology accessible to a wider swath of digital innovators. And this huge leap forward in 3D printing began as HP explored a surprising realm of light — one that we’re unable to see.
Cheryl MacLeod, HP’s Global Head of 3D Fusion Science, leads the team of scientists and engineers at HP’s 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab in Corvallis, Oregon who are charged with developing the science behind the company’s portfolio of 3D printing materials. “We ultimately think of printing as a way to convey information,” says MacLeod. “And with 3D color printing, we now have an entirely new language.”
Breakthrough 1: Seeing the light
In developing the new Jet Fusion technology, HP’s 3D R&D teams called on the company’s deep expertise in the science of ink to create black fusing agents able to absorb heat at greater speeds, as is needed for 3D printing. But printing color with exclusively black agents isn’t possible, so a new solution needed to be found.