Voxels 101

A portmanteau for volume and pixel, the voxel drives a new era of local and personalized production. Voxels are used as the basic building blocks for 3D printing processes and are revolutionizing manufacturing by storm. Voxels are individually addressable volume elements that are the 3D analog of pixels. In 3D printing, voxels also print in a regular 2D grid-like pixels, but because they have depth, voxels can be stacked in thin layers to form objects.

HP Multi Jet Fusion Voxel Control

The innovative HP Multi Jet Fusion technology revolutionizes the way we design by harnessing the complete control of every voxel for microscopic precision. HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer enables users to control the properties of each voxel to give unmatched capabilities to define the physical characteristics of an object point-by-point. With voxel control so precise, a designer could make every voxel of their product a different color if they chose to do so.

HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers allow for the production of parts that cannot be duplicated by other methods of printers. Transforming Agents that control the interaction between Fusing and Detailing Agents, can be deposited voxel-by-voxel across each layer of a product produced by HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers. This advantage gives HP Transforming Agents control within a functional part for the following properties:
• Dimensional accuracy and detail
• Surface roughness, texture, and friction coefficient
• Tensile Strength, elasticity, hardness, and other material properties
• Electrical and thermal conductivity
• Opacity or translucency in plastics
• Color: embedded and at the surface

Voxel Printing Process

The incredible ability to have complete control of each voxel's characteristic makes HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D technology a gamechanger in the industry. The method helps produce products ten times faster than other 3D printers and gives designers extraordinary control over every fine detail of their designs.

During the printing process, the HP print carriage glides across the build platform while simultaneously laying down a thin sheet of material and fusing each layer. There are an impressive 30,000 nozzles on the printhead that apply Detailing and Fusing Agents to the material. Even more astounding, HP's printhead puts out 340 million voxels per second for breakthrough production speed. The process repeats until the designer's idea becomes a reality.

Before HP Multi Jet Fusion technology, 3D design software and printing methods did not allow designers to define voxels' characteristics both inside and out. Items produced with HP Jet Fusion 3D printers are not only characterized at surface-level but give individual voxels different properties in real time, enabling a truly flexible and customized production.

Design From the Inside Out

Traditional production methods and other 3D printers cannot compete with voxel-level control. Designers can influence how contents bond with each other. For example, a designer can decide what exact areas of their product will be soft and flexible while others are made rigid.

With ultimate voxel control, designers can also influence colors in a dazzling way that only micro-level accuracy can make possible. With HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers, designers can infuse different hues into individual voxels to create brilliant arrays of color configurations. The productions can be extremely aesthetically pleasing and in some cases, even save lives.

Take, for example, a replica of a heart created by an HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer; a surgeon can reference the colored model with its network of multicolored veins and arteries to better assist their patients. A traditional 2D black and white x-ray cannot provide the same sort of detail that a colored 3D printed model can. In theory, these replicas could potentially support better surgical outcomes for millions of patients.