Roughly a year and a half ago, a momentous change occurred in the 3D printing industry when HP unveiled its Multi Jet Fusion industrial 3D printing system. The system was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before, offering unprecedented thermal control, speeds of up to 10 times faster than other industrial 3D printers, lowest cost per part, material reusability, and an open materials system, as well as an open development plan that invited other companies to develop their own 3D printing materials for the MJF.
Fast forward to the start of this year, and the Multi Jet Fusion system is in use by several partners, all of which have reported being seriously impressed with what the machine can do – its speed, its precision, the quality of the parts it produces. Well after its release, Multi Jet Fusion technology is still causing a buzz as it spreads across the world, with this year set to bring the newest MJF 3D printer and an expansion of materials capabilities. HP continues to solidify partnerships with companies eager to put the system to use, and the latest of these partnerships sees the MJF being utilized by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).The CEA plays a large role in research and development in four main areas: defense and security, nuclear and renewable energies, technological research for industry and fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences. The organization works to meet challenges in current and future manufacturing, particularly regarding materials and processes, and will leverage Multi Jet Fusion to optimize production costs and productivity gains through the full life cycle of 3D printed parts.
“We were looking for a partner in the field of thermoplastic 3D and were quickly convinced by HP’s disruptive approach to this market. It is a question of completely reinventing the way of designing and manufacturing goods,” says Florence Lambert, Director of CEA-Liten. “Between CEA’s mission to truly accelerate innovation for industry, and HP’s commitment to making digital transformation a reality in the industry, we’re working together to build manufacturers of all sizes at the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
In the longer term, the CEA will also work to develop new materials through the MJF’s open materials development platform.
“When the industrial sector turns to 3D printing solutions for profitability and to digitize their production processes, organizations such as CEA play a very important role,” says Emilio Juárez, Sales Manager 3D Print Business for HP EMEA. “An essential element of our strategy around 3D is innovation. We work together with the most prestigious research centers in the world; the CEA is a perfect example. With the support and contribution of CEA, HP will continue to drive the transformation of a global manufacturing industry that represents a $12 trillion market.”
In other HP news, the company is also teaming up with the NFL to provide FitStation, a solution that uses 3D scanning, to offer players personalized cleat recommendations. The dual hardware and software platform takes 3D scans of the foot as well as foot pressure measurements and dynamic gait analysis to create a digital profile of each player. Special algorithms then match each digital profile to previously 3D scanned images of Nike, adidas and Under Armor cleats.
All 32 NFL teams have adopted the technology, which will become operational in every team equipment room by the beginning of next season.
The NFL’s Musculoskeletal Committee chose the platform for its ability to provide truly customized, individual data that allows for the best shoe type and size to be matched to each player. The committee studies injury mechanisms and injury prevention as well as analyzing injury data and trends, and says that a properly fitting shoe is key to preventing many injuries.
“We are proud to have HP onboard as an official sponsor and have the ability for the League and each of its 32 clubs to tap into their innovative 3D scanning technology,” says Renie Anderson, Senior Vice President of Sponsorship and Partnership Management for the NFL. “The NFL’s number one priority is continuing to enhance player safety and performance and by utilizing HP’s technology to give our players personalized cleat recommendations we’re able to continue that mission.”
“A shoe is not just about performance, it is an important piece of protective equipment. In the NFL, lower limb injuries are responsible for a significant amount of player time lost. A better-designed shoe can be a protective mechanism against injuries such as turf toe, Lisfranc fractures, and high ankle sprains,” says Dr. Richard Kent, a professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia and a member of the NFL Musculoskeletal Committee.
FitStation captures up to 500 precise measurements per second, and includes nine cameras to gather length, width and arch height data and create a custom fit shoe.
“FitStation is a truly disruptive platform that supports the high safety standards of the NFL and can help personalize players’ cleats,” says Louis Kim, global head of Immersive Computing, Personal Systems, HP Inc. “We see tremendous opportunities for FitStation to help athletes in the NFL and other sports perform at their best. It’s the latest example of how HP technology is fueling the future of computing.”
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