Xaar to grow its 3D printing prowess with Hopkinson appointment

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Ben McCabe

Written on 07/01/2016 | Posted 1 year 11 months 10 days ago

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Hopkinson's most recent undertaking, The Factum Project, has been funded by Innovate UK Hopkinson's most recent undertaking, The Factum Project, has been funded by Innovate UK
Xaar has significantly upped its additive manufacturing game as it brings the academic credited with inventing high-speed sintering (HSS) in to head up its 3D printing business.
Professor Neil Hopkinson has spent 19 years in the sector, with stints at 3D Systems, Loughborough University, De Montfort University and the University of Nottingham. Most recently, he has led the three-year Factum Project based at the University of Sheffield, which looks to scale up the production capabilities of new additive manufacturing technologies. This project has seen his team work alongside many industry partners including Xaar, which provided expertise in improving the performance of third-party fluids.

What is high-speed sintering (HSS)?

A combination of ink-jet print-heads and infrared heaters, HSS is a rapid method for laying down polymer powders in layers to create 3D objects.

Hopkinson, who joins the company in March this year, will lead a team focused on both the advancement of HSS technology and developing other 3D printing processes to help Xaar's OEM partners in this area. 

"Industrial 3D printing is entering an important phase of maturation and I am excited to be joining Xaar at this critical time," states Hopkinson. "It is clear that ink-jet printing will be an important enabling technology as the 3D printing sector scales up to be an integral part of mainstream manufacturing. 

"As a leading supplier to printing equipment manufacturers all over the world, Xaar is in a strong position to accelerate the adoption of HSS technology within a number of key applications."

"We are thrilled that Neil has agreed to join us," adds Dr Doug Edwards, chief executive of Xaar. "We are excited about the potential for HSS and other additive manufacturing technologies to expand Xaar's horizons and exploit new opportunities."

"We are proud of the achievements of Professor Hopkinson and his team and we welcome Xaar's investment to progress the commercialisation of this exciting technology," comments Professor Mike Hounslow, pro vice-chancellor for engineering at the University of Sheffield. "It's a fantastic example of how our research translates to industrial application and we look forward to continued engagement with Neil in his new role." 

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