The key to a new Hewlett-Packard high speed printer is a very intricate injection molded ceramic part. As part of a $1.4 billion, five-year research project, HP design engineers approached a British ceramics company, called Morgan Advanced Ceramics, and asked if it could develop a piece that features 3,900 print nozzles. HP eyed ceramic because of its strength and hardness. Until recent years, ceramic was never a top choice for intricate, small parts because of the poor flowability of common ceramic compositions, and the expense of secondary machining. Morgan is now in full production of the component, which is part of a built-from-the-ground-up piece that rapidly distributes ink to paper, allowing full-color prints in 14 seconds.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
A fun and informative tour you can attend at the upcoming Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis, MD&M Minneapolis, and other events there, is the Materials Innovation Tour on Wednesday afternoon. I'll be leading it.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies.
You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived.
So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.