TechRepublic reports on the recent launch of HP’s Jet Fusion 300 and 500 Series of 3D printers. These printers are “capable of voxel-level printing across the full color spectrum.”
The Jet Fusion 300 and 500 Series’ costs “start [at] around $50,000 and are targeted toward SMBs. Since the machines are relatively low-cost, they could help make 3D printing more accessible to a broader variety of businesses and professionals.” Though, these machines’ focus on voxel control “could foreshadow the future of 3D printing in manufacturing.”
Gartner Research Vice President Pete Basiliere explains the specifics behind voxel control in 3D printing: “a voxel is a three-dimensional pixel. Just as the pixel is the core of the technology within flat screen TVs – where the computer dictates what color the pixel should be – HP’s Jet Fusion printers can determine color for each of the three-dimensional voxel cubes. This is different than extrusion methods, like FLA, that lay down a continuous stream of material. Voxel control, plus the color range offered by HP, could allow these printers to create prints with much higher detail.”
As Basiliere elaborates: “in the prototyping world, you’ve got parts that could be very realistic. By realistic, I mean compared to the part being made in a state of production. In addition to more functional prototyping, it also means that if a business can make the product with materials available from HP, it can offer it as a new product itself, customized with small batch, quick manufacturing.” Basiliere has coined this process “local production for local consumption.”
It remains to be seen if voxel control and HP’s new “local production for local consumption” process will take off.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of TechRepublic