Among a host of new announcements, HP have stated that they are due to release 2 full color printers this year. Out of 4 printers they have announced, two of them have CMYK capabilities and come in varied sizes. The 2 printers (the 380 and the 580) use HP’s own multi-jet fusion technology. The other 2 B&W printers (340 and 540) are similar but without 8-agent configurability, thus the name.
The build volume for the 380 is 7.5 x 10 x 9.8 in (190 x 254 x 248 mm), while the 580’s is 7.5 x 13.1 x 9.8 (190 x 332 x 248) mm. The machines are fully multi-jet fusion, which probably means they use the same materials as HP’s larger machines. As for speed, HP has stated that a full build of 52 uniformly-sized parts requires 15 hours for printing and cool down combined.
What makes both these machines special is that it’s rare to find a color printer that matches a price range of about $50,000. Especially, when the machine can control the color in terms of each voxel in the print. This is a remarkable level of control and the video below showcases how precisely colors are implemented. This is particularly true of how well the printer shades and creates smooth color fades.
Multi-Jet Fusion With Color Printing
Multi-jet fusion printing is a unique method due to how it allows control over minute details. It enables control over each voxel allowing for it to be potentially a different material or color. The 380 and 580 both allow for 8 different agents to mix during the print allowing for varying properties per voxel.
One of the downsides of multi-jet fusion has always been how precise temperature control needs to be. Apparently, HP are handling this by keeping the build volume relatively low build volumes. This allows for a much lower cool down time.
The new HP devices will be available for viewing at Solidworks later in the week. Perhaps then everyone can get a better look at the machines in action.