HP recently announced their new, sub- $100k, 500 Series of 3D printers utilizing their innovative MJF (Multi Jet Fusion) 3D print technology. This is the same technology being used in HP’s revolutionary 4200 production-level 3D printers that were released in 2017.
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The recent introductions from both HP and Carbon have not only affected how we can produce functional parts in new print processes but they are also approaching the investment in two very distinct ways. Carbon only leases their solutions for a specified period of time with no true ownership – similar to the way software licenses have gone to subscription models. HP has chosen to create an open powder platform that they believe will drive down consumable prices to lower the cost per print
Why are machine shops and tooling departments leading the way as early adopters of 3D Printing for prototyping and end use parts? Spoiler alert – they’re drastically reducing costs and boosting their competitive advantage.
Netfabb basic is a free software designed with 3D printing in mind. I use it to check and automatically repair bad STL files before printing. The last thing I want is to have a large build fail half way through, wasting time and print material. It also has the ability to open over 20 different CAD formats, making it easy for me to handle the multitude of different files I receive for printing. It can be upgraded to a pro version that allows for many more features but for most of my applications, the free version is great.
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