The FATHOM team recently announced the installation of a Multi Jet Fusion System by HP at its Oakland-based production center. The new addition further expands FATHOM’s comprehensive 3D printing and additive manufacturing services that already include industry-leading technologies such as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), PolyJet, Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). This announcement follows a recent partnership launch with Desktop Metal who created an office-friendly metal 3D printing system, another innovative technology FATHOM will adopt in-house this year.
FATHOM offers such a wide range of advanced technologies including traditional types such as CNC machining, urethane casting, and injection molding because our experts take an application driven approach to finding the best solution for your product development and manufacturing application challenges—speak with one of our applications engineers if you aren’t sure whether or not the HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology is the best option for your project.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS—HP MULTI JET FUSION SERVICES BY FATHOM
Learn more about how the technology works, material specifications, and recommended application uses. Can’t find the information you are looking for within this blog? Send us a direct message!
How does the 3D printing process work?
The HP Multi Jet Fusion system lays down a thin layer of powder on the print bed. The inkjet array in the print carriage then sweeps over the print bed, laying down two agents—a fusing agent, printed where the powder will fuse together, and a detailing agent that is used to reduce fusing at the part boundary to achieve greater detail. After the agents are applied, the print bed is exposed to a fusing energy from infrared lamps. The process continues layer by layer until the build is complete.
What is the standard lead-time and are there expedite options?
The lead-time is 2 to 4 business days and expedites are available but can vary due to part size, geometry, and quantity of parts—speak with a FATHOM team member for further details about accelerated lead-times.
Nylon 12 is available at FATHOM on the HP Multi Jet Fusion System—a commonly used thermoplastic that is strong enough for functional prototyping and production parts. FATHOM is only offering Nylon 12 on the HP machine at this time. The HP team has released another Nylon 12 material option with FDA approval for food contact, but Vesotsint 3D Z2773 is not currently available at FATHOM. Start a conversation with an Applications Engineer at FATHOM if you require a food safe material—the team offers a wide range of additive technologies and materials for consideration.
What color options are available and what is the surface finish like?
Parts produced are a non-uniform light grey and can be dyed in dark colors to achieve a uniform appearance (choosing to dye parts will extend lead-time). These parts will feel grainy similar to other power-based systems such as SLS but can be further post-processed if desired.
What are part size limitations?
The bounding box of the 3D printing system is 284mm x 380mm x 380mm (11.18″x14.96″x14.96″). Parts beyond this size can be split and adhered together during post-processing.
What is the standard accuracy, layer height, and minimum feature or wall size?
Expect an accuracy of +/-0.2mm up to 100mm or +/- 0.002 mm per mm beyond 100mm. The layer height is 80 microns. FATHOM recommends a wall thickness minimum of 1mm.
What is the minimum gap/hole size? Can you tap threads? What is the minimum thread size?
Minimum gap is typically 0.5mm between features. For tapping threads, FATHOM suggests using threaded inserts for anything under ¼-20 threads.
Is this a good process for low-volume or bridge-to-production applications? What about for prototypes?
Yes and yes. The 3D printing method allows for nesting in the z direction, so building many parts in one session is possible and can be done quickly. This is ideal for rapid production of low-volume applications. The process also uses Nylon 12, a thermoplastic that is fatigue resistant with flexibility to it. In addition to production type applications, the technology can also be used for prototyping. Choosing the right 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology is an application-driven process, so speak with an Applications Engineer at FATHOM to find the best solution for your project.
What types of applications are ideal for this technology?
Ideal uses for this technology are enclosures, electronics housings, complex ducts, lattice structures, and functional assemblies. The HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology is capable of 3D printing parts with high detail. It is also suitable for applications that require durability such as snap fits because of material strength. As with any additive technology, designing with additive manufacturing in mind also means you can take advantage of its ability to produce parts with high complexity which can result in reduced part count and geometries not possible to fabricate with traditional methods.
To learn more about FATHOM’s advanced manufacturing services for prototypes and production parts, start a conversation today!