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HP partners with Elnik, GKN and Sandvik on Metal Jet

Partnerships are set to advance development of materials, applications and sintering for metal binder jetting

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HP is focusing on further advancing and developing all aspects of its Metal Jet technology and, ahead of the Formnext show in Frankfurt, where the AM industry as a whole comes together to set the stage for the coming year, the company is presenting deals that are expected to improve various key aspects of the end-to-end metal binder jetting process. These include three key partnerships. The first is with Sandvik, one of the first companies to embrace metal binder jetting through partnerships with both ExOne (Desktop Metal) and GE Additive, on material development. Another one is with GKN Additive, a leading metal AM service that has been working with HP on Metal Jet from the get-go, on tooling and also material innovation (as GKN is also a provider of metal powders). And the third one is with Elnik, a leading manufacturer of furnaces for part sintering, to fine-tune this key aspect of metal binder jetting post-processing.

Steeling with Sandvik

Sandvik is among the most important manufacturers of steel products in the world. The strategic collaboration with HP introduces cutting-edge materials like superalloys and high-performing, competitively priced 316L, amplifying the potential of HP’s Metal Jet technology and ushering in innovative applications across various industries. This collaboration also expands the already existing and successful collaboration to develop the foundational HP Metal Jet 17-4PH stainless steel powder.

Ramon Pastor, Global Head of 3D Metals at HP, stated, “This collaboration is a game-changer. Our collaboration with Sandvik broadens Metal Jet’s capabilities, empowering industries to revolutionize manufacturing processes and products.”

HP partners with Elnik, GKN and Sandvik on Metal Jet to advance development of materials, applications and sintering for metal binder jetting
Sandvik’s metal powder plant.

Sandvik and HP, working in tandem with industry leaders Parmatech and Endeavor 3D, are pioneering the development of cutting-edge materials. Alexandre Tartas, Global Head of Go-To-Market, HP Personalization & 3D Printing, emphasized that “these materials are strategically crafted to empower our valued customers, enabling them to explore groundbreaking applications, especially in the aerospace and industrial sectors. “

Customers benefit by combining HP’s process expertise with Sandvik’s materials expertise to jointly develop materials meeting customer specifications and requirements. Furthermore, customers can purchase powders directly from Sandvik and access HP’s Professional Services to establish a development program for their specific needs.

Andrew Coleman, Head of Additive Manufacturing at Sandvik, remarked, “By combining the expertise of our companies, I believe the collaboration will lead to advancements in both materials and manufacturing technology that will ultimately benefit our customers.”

Tooling with GKN

The expanded collaboration with GKN Additive, a global leader in digital manufacturing, will see the two companies embarking on an exciting journey to broaden the horizons of additive manufacturing. This collaboration encompasses the introductory qualification of a diverse range of materials for HP’s Metal Jet S100 customers, including ten different steel grades such as M2 tool steel and dual-phase steel (Free Sintering Low Alloy).

A strategic area of focus of this collaboration is advancing GKN’s efforts to combine HP’s Metal Jet S100 technology with unique material offerings to take tooling to the next level with a precision-focused approach tailored to address unique customer challenges. The aim is to accelerate innovations in the tooling industry to achieve enhanced productivity and unrivaled quality without the need for traditional machining.

HP partners with Elnik, GKN and Sandvik on Metal Jet to advance development of materials, applications and sintering for metal binder jetting
Early metal parts 3D printed by GKN using Metal Jet.

One such innovation involves the concept of ‘No Machining,’ where tools are developed to near-net-shaped forms, drastically minimizing material waste and production time. Another cutting-edge method is ‘Wire/Sink Erosion,’ which meticulously refines the contours of tools, ensuring unmatched precision and efficiency. Additionally, the integration of ‘HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing)’ technology has become instrumental in enhancing the density and integrity of 3D-printed components, thereby optimizing their overall performance. To bolster wear resistance and durability, ‘Plasma Nitriding’ has been introduced as a surface treatment, significantly improving the longevity of manufactured items. Moreover, the implementation of ‘PVD-Coating (Physical Vapor Deposition)’ stands out for providing tools with enhanced surface properties, further bolstering their resilience and functionality. These innovations collectively represent a stride in the manufacturing sector, promising more sustainable, efficient, and high-performance production processes.

GKN Additive and HP’s collaboration will continue expanding material availability and advancements for the tooling industry by combining GKN’s material and production expertise with HP’s process knowledge to accelerate qualification work. Customers can purchase powders directly from GKN and access HP’s Professional Services to establish a development program for their specific needs.

Sintering with Elnik

The collaboration with Elnik’s sister business, DSH Technologies, is set to accelerate the capabilities of HP’s commercial S100 Metal Jet Solution, providing customers with unprecedented sintering expertise and capabilities, and revolutionizing the potential of additive manufacturing.

Ramon Pastor, Global Head of 3D Metals at HP, further explained that “This collaboration equips customers using HP’s commercial S100 Metal Jet Solution with advanced sintering capabilities, opening up new horizons in 3D printing for industries worldwide.”

The acceleration of sinter-based additive manufacturing technology comes to life as collaboration meets action. HP has engaged Elnik Systems to develop a furnace configuration dedicated to processing metal additive manufactured parts, which are the cornerstone of their Metal Jet system development.

HP partners with Elnik, GKN and Sandvik on Metal Jet to advance development of materials, applications and sintering for metal binder jetting
Elnik furnaces at DSH Technologies.

Elnik Systems, a seasoned veteran in the debind and sinter furnace industry, has decided to collaborate with the HP team to help drive the adoption of the Metal Additive part-making technology. They have modified their standard metal injection molding debind and sinter furnace to accommodate the requirements that the BinderJet part-making technology demands.

Elnik’s sister business, DSH Technologies, LLC, has also joined in the collaborative effort to provide technical processing knowledge sharing and expertise to help part producers with a go-to-market strategy based on technical awareness and production scale capabilities.

Stefan Joens, President of Elnik Systems, expressed, “Working together with the HP team has been amazing. The mutual interest to see the Metal 3D printing technology advance through team effort discussion, innovation, and desire is what will help this manufacturing technology become a fully capable processing method of the future.”

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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