HP Releases New Arkema Sustainable 3D Printing Polymer Ahead of AMUG 2024

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Ahead of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference in Chicago next week (March 10-14), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) has announced a new sustainable polymer offering, PA 12 S, for its Jet Fusion 5200 Series of 3D printers. Developed in collaboration with leading French chemicals supplier Arkema, HP claims that PA 12 S has a reusability ratio of up to 85 percent: “the highest reusability ratio” of any PA 12 material on the market.

Moreover, according to HP, PA 12 S can lower the cost per part compared to other PA 12 materials. The material has so far been adopted by users including Michigan-based engineering services firm Accel Digital Solutions, French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, French services bureau Erpro Group, and Dutch AM firm Materialise. HP expects PA 12 S to be available for the Jet Fusion 5600 Series sometime this spring.

In a press release about HP’s new low-cost, high-reuse polymer PA 12 S, Pieter Vos, Marketing & Product Director at Materialise, said, “Working with HP as a beta customer for PA 12 S is an important element in our strategy to make [AM] more accessible through an extended industrial grade materials offering. PA 12 S has proven its processability, delivering consistent parts with a great surface quality. We look forward to exploring application opportunities with our customers.”

Quentin Bertucchi, applications engineer at Erpro Group, said, “This PA 12 S material offers an unprecedented combination of surface finish and productivity, giving us new production opportunities when it comes to aesthetic parts. The smooth surface is an ideal base for further post-processing steps, sublimating the final result, and lowering the cost of providing complex smooth parts.”

Attendees of AMUG 2024 can learn more about PA 12 S at Booth Dia 9, Salon D, as well as a wide variety of other topics throughout the week in presentations by company insiders.

As a whole enterprise, HP has steadily increased its focus on sustainability in recent years, and the company’s 3D printing division is no exception. In this context, HP’s 3D printing unit has seen particular success in creating tooling for molded fiber packaging. Given that recyclability is one of the main appeals of molded fiber packaging, using PA 12 S for that application could make a significant long-term impact on HP’s meeting its emissions targets.

The release highlights another of HP’s strengths, which is working with partners to help them permanently build up the incorporation of AM into their supply chains. One of HP’s splashiest campaigns last year involved footwear, including a partnership with Decathlon for 3D printed soles. A major selling point to that project was the fact the soles and uppers aren’t glued together, enabling far easier recycling at the end of the product lifecycle. Again, the potential for Decathlon to build on that foundation by incorporating PA 12 S into the process means that the sporting goods retailer has more than a one-off product concept when it comes to its AM capabilities — it has a legitimate, lasting business case.

With the low-cost and optimal recyclability, it easy to envision HP incorporating PA 12 S into its activities related to the AM Industrial Navigator program, the company’s partnership with several other AM companies that is designed to gauge and accelerate the AM capacity of a given enterprise. Such a network could be especially useful, for instance, in the wider establishment of circular AM economies.

Images courtesy of HP

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