Corvallis, Ore. — HP Inc. is opening up about its advanced digital manufacturing capabilities and forecasting disruption for processes including injection molding.
Additive manufacturing — now more commonly called 3D printing — has existed for decades, but the current HP push could make the modest niche market to a new level.
Digital manufacturing with 3D printing has the potential to disrupt the $12 trillion global manufacturing sector, said Timothy Weber, HP vice president and general manager of 3D materials and advanced applications.
HP has the "opportunity, strategy and tactics" to "leverage its deep capabilities" and achieve the major change, he said.
Weber guided a six-hour March 15 technology briefing and tour of HP's 3,500-square-foot 3D Open Materials and Applications Laboratory at the 11-building HP complex in Corvallis.
In demonstrating its talent, HP gave each attendee a "golden ticket" that was numbered, 3D printed and painted. The ticket played off a scene from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," alluding to the recently opened lab as a virtual candy store of advanced technology and processes.
As part of the event, HP partner SigmaDesign of Vancouver, Wash., said it plans on May 22 to launch a $24,150 material development kit enabling potential suppliers to advance new powder materials for possible certification for use on HP Jet Fusion 3D printers.
Weber set up the event with this perspective: "We are entering into the fourth industrial revolution with our innovative technology in 3D printing."
HP will present its case to attendees of the March 19-23 Additive Manufacturers Users Group conference in Chicago.
"It's all about plastics now," but, in time, will evolve in different technologies and other materials including metals and potentially ceramics, Weber said.