HP 3D Printing Executive Shares Client Success Stories

Demand increases mass-personalization, performance, and sustainability

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11/01/2021

Christine Dunne

 

Recently, Keypoint Intelligence interviewed Jon Wayne, Head of HP 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing’s Commercial Business, about the company’s 3D printing achievements. This blog post is an excerpt of the exchange, which was focused on HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology for producing plastic objects and HP Metal Jet products for making metal parts.

 

Jon Wayne, Head of HP 3D Printing & Digital
Manufacturing’s Commercial Business

 

Christine Dunne: What are the most common applications/industries HP’s 3D printing technology is being used for?

 

Jon Wayne: The simplest answer is that there is not a single industry that doesn’t represent significant opportunity for this technology. By unlocking a new era of mass-personalization, performance, and sustainability, we aim to disrupt a range of large industries including automotive, consumer goods, health and wellness, and industrial.

 

With our metals business, automotive and sporting goods have already yielded breakthrough production applications from market leaders. For example, Volkswagen has produced Metal Jet parts that have passed crash-test certification and are meeting the required milestones to move into production for the T-Roc Cabriolet. Auto manufacturers are amongst the most demanding in the world. This is the first time an automaker is using metal binder jetting for structural components production; benefits include components that weigh half as much as those made from sheet steel.

 

HP Metal Binder Jet Technology at Volkswagen

 

Cobra Golf has commercialized putters using both Metal Jet and Multi Jet Fusion technology to achieve scalability from prototyping to production. They are using HP 3D printing solutions to help design clubs that take advantage of the ability to create unique structures and distribute weight more effectively for high moment of inertia (MOI) and stability.

 

Earlier this year, we partnered with Syng to create the world’s first triphonic speaker. Designed by Christopher Stringer, who previously worked on the designs of many iconic Apple products for more than two decades, the speaker’s “smart sound” can be attributed (in part) to 3D printing. A key element of the Cell Alpha is the Triphone, a three-horned sound projector that resembles a halo as it encircles the middle of the spheroidal speaker. Together, HP, Syng, and Forecast 3D came together to design and manufacture the Triphone component using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, which enabled the team to streamline the design process to create efficiencies and flexibility in the creation of a complex part.

 

Syng’s Triphonic Speaker

 

We also work with SmileDirectClub, creating the next generation of oral care through advancements in digitally manufactured teeth molds that are highly personalized and more sustainable than ever before. HP Multi Jet Fusion has brought speed and scale to a highly customized industry. In 2020, SmileDirectClub made approximately 6.7 million individual 3D-printed molds.

 

CD: Could you talk a little more about how you are helping SmileDirectClub in particular?

 

JW: At SmileDirectClub’s SmileHouse facility in Antioch, Tennessee, 60 HP Multi Jet Fusion printers work to produce customized teeth molds. Every mold is custom made for each customer’s smile following their doctor-prescribed clear aligner treatment plan. The 3D printed molds are then used to shape SmileDirectClub’s signature BPA-free, clear plastic aligners—which are shipped directly to consumers. According to SmileDirectClub, HP Multi Jet Fusion has brought speed and scale to a highly customized industry. As mentioned earlier, in 2020, SmileDirectClub made approximately 6.7 million individual 3D-printed molds.

 

SmileDirectClub’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D Production Factory

 

Leveraging 3D printing enables SmileDirectClub to produce millions of molds used to create aligners each year, while also keeping the costs affordable for its customers. A major advantage of 3D printing for orthodontia is the ability to create patient-specific solutions in unique geometries, eliminating the cost of extra tools for shaping each product.

 

3D printing also reduces the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process. Instead of mass-producing parts and products, 3D printing happens on demand, producing only as much as customers ask for, which reduces waste. And the process creates more opportunities for recycling, keeping the material in use instead of in the landfill. SmileDirectClub sends used molds to HP where they get chopped into pellets for reuse, primarily in the automotive industry.

 

SmileDirectClub’s partnership with HP is set to grow with a new facility in Columbia, Tennessee that will significantly expand its manufacturing capabilities and create 600 new jobs. The new facility—named the SmileFarm—is expected to match the current production capacity, which totals 75,000 aligners a day.

 

Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

Wayne shared quite a few other details about HP’s 3D printing business in the interview, some of which we will explore in future blog posts. As Keypoint Intelligence moves into the world of 3D printing, we are eager to hear more client use cases and success stories from HP as well as the 3D printing industry in general.

 

For more information on 3D print, head to The Key Point Blog and The Key Point Podcast. Also, stay tuned for some exciting announcements regarding Keypoint Intelligence’s involvement in the 3D print space.