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HP Unveils Plans For Metal Jet 3-D Printer

The printer, which will be available starting in 2020, will expand HP’s 3-D printing efforts beyond plastics.

HP Inc. on Monday released the first details on its plans for expanding into production of metal 3-D printers, with the announcement of the Metal Jet printer.

The expansion follows HP's launch of 3-D printers in plastics, both for creation of production parts and prototypes. HP's Multi Jet Fusion 4210/4200 models focus on printing final production parts, while the Jet Fusion 300 series and 500 series focus on prototypes.

[Related: HP Execs: The 3-D Channel Opportunity Is Huge, But Requires New Skills For Partners]

Tim Weber, global head of HP's metals 3D printing business, said in a briefing with reporters that the company is "going after mass production" with its Metal Jet printer.

Similar to what HP has done with plastics 3-D printing, "we're going to disrupt the industry again," Weber said.

The Metal Jet printer will focus on stainless steel parts and on industries including medical, industrial and automotive.

The technology uses HP printing technologies along with a method known as binder jetting to offer up to 50 times better productivity than existing metal 3-D printing systems, according to HP. The Metal Jet also produces parts at half the cost of other binder jetting systems, HP said.

For production runs of 50,000 parts or less, Metal Jet will be cheaper than other manufacturing methods, Weber said.

The Metal Jet will be priced at less than $399,000, and will get a limited release starting in 2020, with general availability in 2021, according to HP.

In the mean time, HP is also launching the Metal Jet Production Service, in which customers can upload parts designs and have them produced by two manufacturing companies, GKN and Parmatech.

HP did not disclose details on whether the 3-D printer will be available through resellers. A spokesperson said HP plans to share its channel strategy closer to general availability of the product.

HP runs separate channel programs for its Multi Jet Fusion 4210/4200 models and for the Jet Fusion 300 series and 500 series 3-D printers.

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