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3D Printing with HP Multi Jet Fusion technology

Introduction

Businesses find the MJF or HP Multi Jet Fusion technology appealing due to the large variety of 3D printing materials and its superior mechanical qualities. Learn about MJF, how HP MJF 3D printing works, and how this technology might benefit your company for small-run production or quick prototyping!

What is Multi Jet Fusion printing technology?

Multi Jet Fusion is an additive manufacturing method invented and developed by the company Hewlett-Packard (HP). It creates parts additively thanks to a multi-agent printing process. Your plastic part will be created layer by layer, according to your 3D model. 

HP Additive created MJF in 2016 by using its proficiency in inkjet printing technology and precise mechanics.

HP created a system that manufactured components layer by layer in a large bed of powder material at their global AM center in Barcelona. This system developed into the MJF technology used today, which is comparable to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and other powder bed fusion designs. 

How does MJF work?

In this process a fusing agent is applied on a material layer where the particles are destined to fuse together. Then a detailing agent is applied to modify the fusing and create fine detail and smooth surfaces. To finish, the area is exposed to the energy that will lead to reactions between the agents and the material to create the part.

When the printing process is complete, the build box is removed from the printer. An operator carefully extracts the parts from the build box and removes the remaining powder thanks to brushes and air blowers.

1 – Prepare your 3D file

The first step to start your 3D printing process is to create a 3D file of the part you need to create using a 3D printer. You can do this by using a 3D modeling software to create your object. Discover our selection of free CAD software to develop your project.

Preparing your 3D file for 3D printing with MJF is crucial; you will need a printable 3D file. As a 3D printing service, we see a lot of unique 3D printing projects, but we also see a lot of errors rendering some files non-printable. It’s possible for your file to be printable but your part can break in no time, be deformed, or not come out of the 3D printer as expected. In this article, we will help you with 3D printing troubleshooting for the most common 3D printing mistakes

2- 3D printing process

First, the printer’s movable construction unit is inserted, and then, a thin coating of the powder material is deposited when the material recoater carriage advances across the construction area. As it moves across the build area, the printing and fusing carriage preheats the powder to a certain temperature to ensure material uniformity.

Agents are fused onto the powder bed in locations that match to the shape and characteristics of the component using a variety of inkjet nozzles. The construction unit retracts once each layer is complete to make room for the next layer of material to be deposited. Up till the project is finished, this process is repeated.

3- Post-processing

Move the build unit to the processing station after it has cooled, then vacuum the unfused powder. You can then use water, air, or bead blasting to remove any remaining powder. Post-processes can then be applied to the 3D-printed parts, such as polishing, dyeing, and many more.

Why choose Multi Jet Fusion technology?

The Multi Jet Fusion process is the fastest plastic 3D printing technology, perfect for prototyping or manufacturing. Multi Jet Fusion is great for both beginners and experienced professionals because of its high precision and low cost.

MJF sets itself apart from other additive manufacturing techniques because it is made to produce larger quantities of intricate and detailed parts. This is a great solution if you are looking for a manufacturing technique for the production of end-use parts. MJF can produce accurate electronic components, mechanical assemblies, enclosures, and jigs and fixtures.

In opposition to 3D printing technologies such as SLA or FDM, with HP MJF, you do not need supports for your part. Supports are not necessary with the powder bed system because the parts are efficiently nested in the build area. Additionally, you can reuse the leftover powder for additional print production runs after the part is finished.

Which applications are best suited to Jet Fusion 3D Printing?

Multi Jet Fusion manufacturing technique is particularly useful to create unique plastic parts with a good surface finish. With such a technology, you can create very complex shapes in a very short amount of time. 

Thanks to this technology you can reduce costs and improve performance. The Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology can be used from mechanical (e.g. prototypes, articulated objects, geared systems), electrical, medical, ornamental, automotive, to even educational purposes.

What are the materials available with HP Multi Jet Fusion?

  • PA12 : Fine polyamide powder is used to construct the Multijet Fusion PA12 (or MJF PA12) items that are printed with Sculpteo. The 3D printed objects then have a high degree of impact resistance and excellent flexibility. Additionally, polyamide has great resistance to a wide range of substances, including hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, mineral bases and salts, alcohols, fuels, detergents, oils, and fats. Because of its high accuracy, HP plastic is suitable for both experts and novice designers. In fact, it appears that 3D printing plastic is a good replacement for plastic injection in terms of product development, rapid prototyping, and even production methods.

HP Nylon

  • PA11 : This is a bio-derived powder with high toughness. The unique feature of this material is that it provides good ductility and impact strength for all applications. Do you want strong components that can bear significant mechanical stress and loads? This renewable biomass sourced PA11 might be the perfect option. This PA11 material offers interesting properties for your components requiring skin contact and is a greener substitute for PA12. These PA11 parts produced by 3D printing using HP technology are gray.

medical material

  • PP: BASF is the creator of this PP (Polypropylene). Due to its excellent mechanical qualities, polypropylene has long been widely employed in industrial manufacture. Numerous new opportunities are now being made possible by the use of this material in additive manufacturing, hastening the transition of many businesses to digital manufacturing. Designers, engineers, and businesses can use PP to create advanced 3D printed prototypes as well as finished parts.

 

  • Ultrasint® TPU01 : Parts made of this material are robust, flexible, and long-lasting. If you need to create components that require stress absorption, high elasticity, and energy return, MultiJet Fusion TPU is the ideal 3D printing material option. This substance is perfect for intricate pieces and flexible lattices.Parts made with TPU are gray as they leave the 3D printer. TPU also offers a great level of detail and a good surface quality. The HP-created TPU exhibits good fatigue behavior, a high rebound, low compression set, and is ideal for serial production.

What are the advantages of HP Multi Jet Fusion?

If you want to production functional prototypes, or small production runs of end-use part, HP Multi Jet Fusion is a great alternative to SLS. MJF is an excellent choice if you’re creating components with intricate, multiple patterns that also include tiny aspects that must be durable.

MJF sets itself apart from other additive manufacturing techniques since it is made to manufacture larger quantities of intricate, detailed, and structurally sound items. MJF is a well-liked method for producing accurate and long-lasting housings for electronic components, enclosures, jigs and fixtures or even mechanical assembly.

MJF vs SLS 3D printing: what’s the difference?

Do you have a hard time differentiating between MJF and SLS? These two technologies are related since they both belong to the powder bed technology. However, there are some variations in the printing procedure, the materials available, the surface finishing options, and the mechanical characteristics ! 

Layer by layer, powder material is also deposited in a build area by SLS printers, but the machine fuses materials by sintering powder particles to the part’s subordinate layers with a laser. With SLS, the parameter are constrained, you can modulate the laser’s power to change the material properties of the part. With HP’s wide range of chemical agents, there are more opportunities to change the characteristics of each part’s voxel.



What are the the post-processing options got MJF 3D printing?

With MJF technology, you can easily improve your 3D printed objects to a high standard using some post-processings. These finishing techniques are unavailable for some Multi Jet Fusion materials such as PA12 or TPU; check out the compatibility between the post-processing and the material you need for your project.

  • Chemical smoothing: Chemical Smoothing allows for a smoother surface on plastic parts. This unique process enables a chemical reaction that creates a fully smoothed surface on your 3D-printed polyamide parts. This finishing option can be used with MJF TPU.
  • Polishing: Polishing is a process that makes the objects smoother to the touch, with layers that are still somewhat visible on rounded objects. At Sculpteo, the technique involves using small stones in a rotating/vibrating cauldron.
  • Color Touch: This finish gives your 3D-printed parts a satin look so that they look like finished products. Applying the Color Touch finish on your 3D parts, they get resistant enough to be exposed to external conditions; they resist scratching and rubbing.
  • Color Resist: This post-processing gives your 3D-printed parts a matte look that resists friction. Thanks to the post-printing treatment procedure we follow before applying the Color Resist finish on your 3D parts; they get resistant enough to be exposed to external conditions and resist scratching and rubbing. 

Finish touch

Are you willing to use Multi Jet Fusion?

Benefit from Sculpteo’s expertise 

Upload your 3D file, choose your MJF material and get your instant quote!

For your plastic parts, Sculpteo offers the best online 3D printing services. You may select from several polymers and coatings, obtain a price right away, and let us manage the manufacture in our ISO 9001-certified plant thanks to our knowledge of MJF technology.

Contact our 3D printing experts if you have questions about SLS and all the possible applications. 

They use Multi Jet Fusion to 3D print their parts with us!

  • Bernay Automation creates a sustainable and streamlined production process by adopting AM

Bernay Automation used the creative power of 3D printing and the dependable online manufacturing services of Sculpteo to quickly and affordably mass-customize their vibrating bowls. The company was also able to streamline and create a sustainable production process while still maintaining a competitive edge by integrating additive manufacturing technology into its production process. Discover their story

  • OVERLINE SYSTEM: Adaptable headphones to meet customers needs

In order to design a frame for their headphones that could be easily modified to meet changing consumer and market demands, Overline Systems turned to 3D printing technology. They also required a quick turnaround time, with cost-effective final part iterations, to get their headphones onto the market. Discover their story.

  • UWTI: From small series to production in a short time

Producing this game was a new challenge for Arnaud and Arnaud, going from prototyping to small series production in a short time. With 3D printing, Arnaud and Arnaud were able to adapt production to market demand, to reduce inventory and production overruns. Discover their story.

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