HP Inc. and Legor Group SPA have entered a strategic collaboration for the development of precious metal materials for HP’s Metal Jet system. Legor, a leader in metals science and production of best-in-class alloys, powders, and plating solutions, is the first to produce specialty precious metal materials for the jewelry and fashion accessories markets designed to work with HP’s 3D metal binder jet platform. Legor emerged as a leading provider of precious metal powders for metal PBF processes, however, the use of direct precious metal AM in PBF is catching on very slowly. Because it offers more geometric freedom and requires no supports, binder jetting could finally open up new opportunities for direct 3D printing of precious metal jewelry.
“Our vision for additive manufacturing goes beyond small series and prototyping,” said Massimo Poliero, President & CEO of Legor Group SPA. “We see a future where every modern business will have one or more of HP’s state-of-the-art binder jetting printers in its facilities, enabled by Legor’s technology, design, and support to reduce the time to market for both precious and non-precious metal parts. This strategic partnership with HP is the keystone to accelerate this vision and move the industry toward more sustainable manufacturing.”
“Our work with Legor aligns perfectly with HP’s vision to disrupt manufacturing norms, accelerate digital manufacturing, and sustainable impact for customers around the world,” said Didier Deltort, President, HP Personalization & 3D Printing. “The combination of our breakthrough Metal Jet 3D printing platform with Legor’s materials expertise and customer-centric approach will disrupt the luxury jewelry and fashion industries. This is an exciting milestone as we prepare to make Metal Jet more broadly available to the market later this year.”
The collaboration will initially focus on enabling the production of functional stainless steel accessories for the jewelry and fashion markets. In parallel, the companies will implement a rigorous R&D program to parameterize and characterize bronze and silver powders and eventually gold powders, the core material in the precious sector. HP and Legor will work to optimize the printing and sintering parameters for these new materials and the surface finish results. Research will take place in the new Legor 3DMetalHub in Bressanvido, Italy, a center of excellence focused on accelerating additive manufacturing for the luxury industry.
In addition, working closely with HP, Legor is creating opportunities for its customers to take advantage of the cost, quality, and productivity benefits of HP Metal Jet and helping them integrate sustainable manufacturing into their businesses. The advantages of HP Metal Jet enable Legor to transform product manufacturing on behalf of customers in the precious sectors and beyond. Along with design freedom, production flexibility, and lowering development costs, HP Metal Jet enables customers to economically manufacture high-quality metal parts at scale.
Poliero added, “Producing metal powders and 3D metal objects is part of our DNA and we have always been collaborating with customers in the jewelry and fashion accessories world. The digital capabilities of HP Metal Jet provide an alternative method to the classic investment casting which requires the combustion of waxes or resins and the use of gypsum (calcium sulfate) as casting material, containing free breathable silica. It is our way to promote more robust and intentional sustainability into production processes.”