HP’s Ramon Pastor Shares Updates on Company’s 3D Printing DivisionShivanand Anganti
Until 2023, the additive manufacturing (AM) sector appeared fragmented, primarily consisting of startups. However, beneath the surface, there was a growing inclination toward consolidation. Even if this consolidation hadn’t fully materialized, the perception of the industry was changing rapidly. HP, a company that stood apart since it established its 3D printing division in 2015, seemed to play a unique role in this evolving landscape. As 3D printing entered a scale-up phase, HP’s significance in shaping the sector’s trajectory became even more apparent.
One of the critical areas to watch in HP’s progress was its foray into metals. HP had been at the forefront of commercializing metal AM since it announced its entry into the market segment in 2018. The launch of its Metal Jet S100, a metal binder jetting (MBJ) platform, in the fall of 2022, was highly anticipated and marked a significant milestone in the 3D printing industry. Ramon Pastor, HP’s Global Head of Metals, Personalization & 3D Printing, shared valuable insights on this subject and 3D printing’s broader role within the company.
Pastor emphasized the transformative impact of new metal 3D printing approaches on traditional manufacturing methods. These advancements allowed manufacturers to shift to 3D printing metal parts for mass commercial use, providing cost-effective solutions at high volumes. HP’s Metal Jet technology, continually iterated upon, facilitated the development of metal applications more quickly and easily, ushering in a new era of digitized manufacturing.
In the realm of polymer parts, HP’s data-driven approach became even more pertinent. The data amassed by HP, including through assets like the Digital Manufacturing Network, could significantly influence how customers choose among various options for printed metal and plastic parts. The greater technical maturity of polymer parts was expected to lead to the expansion of 3D printed plastic applications for serial production sooner than metal applications.
One area with high potential for fast near-term growth was the commercial use of 3D printing for industrial decarbonization. HP’s leadership in 3D printing tooling for pulp fiber molds showcased the company’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions associated with packaging. This initiative aligned with HP’s Sustainable Impact goals, emphasizing the company’s dedication to advancing and democratizing 3D printing technology to power its sustainable impact journey.
In the face of global challenges such as climate change, economic recessions, and supply chain disruptions, traditional manufacturing methods faced limitations. 3D printing emerged as a flexible and adaptable solution, reducing reliance on manual labor, enabling localized production, and improving efficiency while combating the challenges of continuous volatility. HP, leveraging its expertise and heritage in the printing space, embraced this technology to drive innovation and collaboration within the additive manufacturing ecosystem.
As more corporate giants embraced additive manufacturing, HP’s established brand and reputation positioned it as a trusted partner. The company’s collaborations with major brands and strategic partnerships with service providers through HP’s Digital Manufacturing Network demonstrated its commitment to bringing the additive ecosystem closer together. HP’s vision emphasized the technology’s ability to complement traditional manufacturing methods, ultimately reshaping the way goods were designed, prototyped, and manufactured in the era of Industry 4.0.