Emerging Technology

3D Printing Investing

HP opened the world’s first 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab, and launched its Material Development Kit in collaboration with SIGMADESIGN.

Technology giant HP (NYSE:HPQ) this week announced 2 new innovations in 3D printing: a Material Development Kit and the world’s first 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab.

Material Development Kit

HP collaborated with SIGMADESIGN, a private product design and engineering firm based in Vancouver, Washington, on a Material Development Kit (MDK) that can facilitate early screening of 3D printing materials as part of the HP Multi Jet Fusion Open Platform certification process.
According to an article on 3D Printing Industry, this is similar to how Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) sets standards for software development.

HP Material Development Kit

The MDK will enable a quicker materials certification process since companies will be able to quickly test their 3D powder before submitting the materials to HP for testing. “This greatly simplifies the testing and certification process, leading to faster innovation cycles while achieving strict quality standards,” the press release said.
SIGMADESIGN President and CEO, Bill Huseby, stated in the press release that combining HP’s open platform with the “ability to enable voxel-level control”  would be good for the 3D printing market since, he said, “Many companies, both large and small, do not have the internal capabilities to execute their 3D printing vision as quickly or as broadly as they’d like.” In an article on 3D Printing Industry, Huseby said, “If 3D Systems and Stratasys aren’t getting nervous they should be.”
In an email to INN, HP’s Worldwide Analyst and Public Relations Lead, Michele Guthrie, said that the MDK is, “available to anyone who would like to purchase it from SigmaDesign if they would like to begin testing their materials in their own labs before coming to work in the Corvallis lab.”
The press release stated that the MDK is anticipated to ship in spring 2017.

The world’s first Open Materials and Applications Lab

HP Open Material and Applications Lab

Located in Corvallis, Oregon, HP unveiled the world’s first laboratory to aims to help companies develop, test and deliver new materials and applications for 3D printing.
HP’s Michele Guthrie explained in an email that, “In house experts at HP include engineers, materials scientists and other technology specialists who can assist partners as they develop and test new materials for the Jet Fusion 3D printer. These specialists know the ins and outs of the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D platform, they understand the characteristics of the powders that are best suited for the technology, and they are ready to partner on site as the companies look to iterate and improve their materials. The lab, MDK and this collaboration is helping accelerate the process – what normally might take months is taking weeks, etc.”
Guthrie also explained that although there no specific cost to using the Open Materials and Applications Lab, “becoming a materials partner is a business agreement between HP and the partner.”
In a blog post, HP said that cross-industry collaboration to spur innovation and expedite time-to-market is the focus of the lab.
HP also announced that BASF and Evonik, its existing partners, are developing innovations in 3D printing in the new Open Materials and Applications Lab.
BASF Head of 3D-Printing North America, Kara Noack, stated in the press release that they have developed “multiple versions of thermoplastic elastomers including TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane, adding to an already comprehensive product portfolio.”
Meanwhile, Evonik Head of the Business Line High Performance Polymers, Dr. Matthias Kottenhahn, said that in only six months, the company has been able to, “develop, certify and begin selling an innovative new material with significant property advantages.”
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Securities Disclosure: I, Pia Rivera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.



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