When you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be generally willing to wait for the right solution. 3DTech Ltd invested in an HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer as they wanted to invest in their ability to offer 3D solutions at the international level. Even though they had already known about the existence of this specific printer for years, 3DTech decided to observe the development of the technology for a while and wait for the right moment to move on it. In 2017, the company was ready to acquire its own equipment for on-site production.
Tomi Kalpio is one of the company founders and is responsible for the company development. He explains: “The HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 grabbed our full attention right from the beginning. We follow the development of the 3D market practically every day because so much happens in this business in just a short time. As a printing solutions provider, HP is a major player. Whenever HP jumps into the latest thing – like here, with the 3D printing – people take notice. HP manufactures high-quality equipment, thus keeping the brand’s value high. If a device fails to perform up to standards, it’s a really a hard blow against such a highly-esteemed, global brand.”
Kalpio continues: “Sure, we were also looking at other products, but this was the one that really did it for us. You don’t just go out and buy a piece of equipment like this on a whim. That’s why we spent several years comparing the development of this printer with similar other printers. We went over our evaluation process and, in our opinion, the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 was the best investment for the future of our company. The HP 3D printer was available in the PLM Group product portfolio and we were already familiar with PLM Group from before. It felt totally natural to work with them.”
“HP’s technology is a complete departure from others. The Multi Jet Fusion technology is used by many international contract manufacturers involved in mass production, which we plan on competing with in the future. This particular technology allows for the cost-effective, high-quality manufacture of both one-off products and custom-tailored mass production. In addition to this, the growing range of materials available will enhance the competitiveness and flexibility of our offering,” says Kalpio.
From Barcelona to Salo
3DTech’s founders Tomi Kalpio and Marko Piira met with the PLM Group’s 3D Printing Business Development Manager Christoffer Wester in Barcelona in the summer of 2017 at an HP training centre. Kalpio explains: “We went to Barcelona because we wanted to get a firm grasp of the things we had been talking about regarding 3D printing. But, we had already been following the technology for a long time. It was a positive experience – the people were very nice and possessed a great deal of expertise. In addition the facilities were very impressive. We made a deal with the PLM Group for an HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer and agreed on all the details.”
The printer was delivered to the 3DTech premises and was ramped up at the beginning of August. PLM Group 3D experts and HP experts were on hand for the printer start-up. HP and the PLM Group work in close co-operation with the customer, as employee training and various types of service agreements are included with the purchase of 3D printers. Close cooperation ensures the customer an optimal end result and flawless printer performance. “And we have been very satisfied with the PLM Group as a supplier,” says Kalpio.
Wester explains: “3DTech wanted to mass produce high-quality plastic components and they were interested in the HP printer in question. They are the first company in Finland and the first customer to which PLM Group has delivered a 3D printer. It was a pleasure to work together with them and they were very understanding about the fact that this was the first time we had ever sold, delivered and installed an HP 3D printer.”
Acquisition of the HP 3D printer is a milestone for 3DTech. Kalpio continues: “We have only just started using the printer and we have high expectations for it. First and foremost, we expect it to meet HP’s specifications. The process is faster and more efficient than when using any other, equivalent piece of equipment for mass production. The quality of the end result is, at the very least, just as good as that achieved with other equipment on the market. Our goal right now is to spend this fall gauging the capabilities of the printer and, in turn, our ability to make additional investments. In real terms, time will tell how things turn out, but we do have a great deal of faith and hope that everything will work as expected.”
Gøran Jenssen, Business Unit Manager of 3D Printing at the PLM Group, is extremely pleased about the co-operation with 3DTech. “We have been a reseller of HP 3D printers since June 2017, and the printer purchased by 3DTech is the first HP 3D printer delivered by the PLM Group to be installed for the customer together with HP. When we first met with Marko Piira and Tomi Kalpio of 3DTech to discuss the HP printer, we were very impressed by the sheer amount of research they had done on these types of printers. They knew exactly what they wanted and we were able to deliver it to them. The HP 3D printers are the latest addition to our 3D printer product portfolio, and PLM Group has its own demo printer in Denmark. We want to be able to offer our customers comprehensive solutions and help them to see 3D printing as a manufacturing method worth considering. In autumn, we will highlight 3D printing at our SOLIDWORKS 2018 launch events.”
Business Development Manager, Additive Manufacturing
Products: HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200/3200