H3D HBD Brand Review and Case Studies

Updated Oct 14, 2022 118

Protected by two hundred Chinese and three international patents and complying with fourteen different standards, HBD 3D printers are used in industrial production by manifold companies, such as Matsui, WeNext, CISIRI. With more than 500 units sold, HBD continues to expand its research and development efforts, aiming, for example, to build a facility on 6.5-acre property acquired last year. Currently, the company offers a lineup of additive manufacturing equipment and materials applicable in a number of industries characterized by high requirements.

This is Top 3D Shop, and in this article, we will discuss the fast-growing China-based SLM 3D printer manufacturer HBD, also known as H3D HBD. Learn more about the company and applications of its equipment.

 

About the company

History

HBD, or Hanbang United 3D Technology, manufactures SLM 3D printers that create industrial-quality parts with metal powder.

HBD was founded in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, entered the metal 3D printing industry in 2007, and launched its first product, the HBD-150, in 2013.

Since then, the company has expanded its range by releasing several more models of industrial 3D printers, which also employ SLM technology, with different volumes of the build chamber and the number of lasers. From HBD-80 with a cylindrical 120 x 80 mm chamber to HBD-1500 with a build volume of 460 x 460 x 1500 mm and HBD-1000 with a chamber of 600 x 600 x 1000 mm, the company's 3D printers are used in many industries.

 

Prospects

Mock-up of the planned HBD center in Shanghai. Credit: HBD

After raising $60 million, the company plans to build a research, development, and production center in Shanghai, in order to expand its market share in the industry.

“Metal 3D printing is rapidly maturing, and will become a new technology comparable to traditional machine tool processing and production methods in the future. The current mainstream aerospace, industrial, medical, mold and other fields, and other industries will also be more applied to metal 3D printing technology, giving birth to trillion-level market opportunities,” said Jianye Liu, CEO of HBD.

HBD’s manufacturing and research facility will be located in the new Lingang area, adjacent to other large enterprises such as Tesla. HBD plans to invest in high-tech research and development, technical team building, and high-tech manufacturing.

“We have seen the rapid rise of metal 3D printing [technologies]. Among them, we believe that the development mode, leading products and services presented by HBD have high-value content and long-term competitiveness. Grand Flight Investment will make full use of the strong financial and industrial background of the Far East Horizon Group to help HBD accelerate its breakthrough to the next stage of development,” commented Yun Pei, Executive Director of Grand Flight Investment.

 

Technologies and applications

According to HBD, many of the company's customers use its 3D printers for aerospace, automotive and utility applications, and effectively solve their production problems by introducing HBD equipment. For example, one client applied the company's technology to optimize the geometry of a reactor heat exchanger by reducing the height of the part from 10 meters to 40 centimeters.

Technologies applied in HBD systems include:

  • Selective (multi)laser melting;
  • Laminar flow control technology for large wind farms;
  • Smart information management and control in the field of healthcare;
  • Smart control system of powder multi-laser melting;
  • Precise focus and energy control technology for highly repeatable 3D laser processing.

See below for application examples.

 

Aerospace and defense

Reducing the weight of a spacecraft by one kilogram lowers the launch cost by $20,000, so every gram counts. In civil aviation, weight is just as important, and reducing it saves a lot of money, given the number of flights per year.

In a traditional design, executed without the use of additive technologies and generative design, such issues as uneven load and stress distribution and excess mass can occur. These issues can be solved by optimizing the structure in topological design. Metal 3D printing helps not only to maintain functionality while reducing the weight of the parts, but also to ensure their enhanced rigidity and strength, as well as to secure uniform and rational distribution of material.

With metal 3D printing, industrial players can create structures of any complexity, and the cost of production does not depend on how complex they are, which provides greater freedom in design.

 

Advantages of metal 3D printing in the aerospace industry

  1. Eliminates complicated traditional processing procedures with no need to use molds; direct conversion of drawings into real objects greatly shortens the part manufacturing cycle, also improving R&D efficiency.
  2. Multiple parts can be pre-fitted to each other in 3D digital form, which speeds up development and improves production efficiency.
  3. In the aerospace industry, where raw materials are extremely expensive and their utilization rate in traditional subtractive manufacturing is low, saving materials makes production more cost-effective. Metal 3D printing technology has a higher material utilization rate, and the used raw materials can be recycled with simple procedures, bringing down production costs.

 

Application cases

Cooling circuit segment

  • 3D printer: HBD-350
  • Material: AlSi10Mg
  • Size: 277 x 293 x 397 mm
  • Printing time: 160 hours

Part 

  • 3D printer: HBD-1000 (4 lasers)
  • Material: AlSi10Mg
  • Size: 380 x 380 x 200 mm
  • Printing time: 41 hours 14 min

Turbine impeller

  • 3D printer: HBD-1000 (4 lasers)
  • Material: AlSi10Mg
  • Size: 390 x 390 x 66 mm
  • Printing time: 22 hours

Water-cooled combustion chamber

  • Material: nickel-based alloy
  • Cost was reduced from $15,000 to $4,500.
  • Production time was reduced from 60 to 15 days.
  • Part quality is significantly improved.

Hollow titanium handle

  • Material: TC4 titanium alloy
  • Size: 220 x 105 x 30 mm
  • Weight: 80 gr. (reduced by 30%)
  • Wall thickness: 0.6 mm
  • Requirements for dimensional accuracy: ± 0.5 mm

Housing

Base

Topologically optimized structural part

Turbine

 

Recommended equipment

HBD-E500

HBD-350

HBD-1000

 

Dentistry

Metal 3D printed crowns can be made without wax contouring, casting, or other traditional processes, while significantly reducing the amount of post-processing. Labor costs and associated risk factors are reduced by introducing SLM technology, since the process is automated, leading to a lower rejects percentage.

3D printing, combined with 3D scanning, fully meets the needs for customization in the manufacturing process, which has always been the cornerstone of dental production, and allows converting dental enterprises from the labor-intensive to the high-tech category.

 

Advantages of metal 3D printing in dentistry

  1. 24-hour automatic manufacturing greatly improves the production efficiency of dental-related parts.
  2. Exclusion of complicated labor-intensive processes and their inherent errors, common in traditional technologies.
  3. Fast and accurate one-step creation of parts directly from a digital model ensures their high quality and cuts down production time.

 

Application cases

Dental crowns

Partial denture frame

Prostheses’ bases

Dental bridge

 

Recommended equipment

HBD-150

HBD-150D

 

Orthopedics and prosthetics

The use of metal 3D printing allows for manufacturing personalized joints and bones endoprostheses tailored to each individual patient, reduces the risk of complications, increases the likelihood of successful surgery, and shortens the rehabilitation period. 3D-printed porous and lattice bone implants have a faster period of integration into the human body.

Metal 3D printing is also used to produce surgical instruments, guides, and fasteners, such as titanium bolts fixing the endoprosthesis to the bone.

 

Advantages of metal 3D printing in orthopedics

  1. Custom-made to fit the patient's bones, a metal 3D-printed part accurately fits the adjacent body tissues.
  2. Metal 3D printing allows to simulate the operation sequence in advance and carry out the actual surgical procedures as quickly as possible.
  3. 3D printing provides for producing porous and other types of structures that ensure a precise fit of the prosthesis to the bone and accelerate implant survival and muscle tissue adaptation to the prosthesis.

 

Application cases

3D printing of a surgical instrument, pic. 1

 

3D printing of a surgical instrument, pic. 2

3D printing of a surgical instrument, pic. 3 

Bone implants

Sacral bone implant

Spinal implants

Three hip implants integration examples

Hip prosthesis

Acetabular cup

Spine implant

Сranial implant

 

Recommended equipment

HBD-350

 

Casting and stamping of metals

3D printing is effective not only for creating unique and low production volume products but also helps to improve traditional processes for mass production of identical parts, such as casting. In traditional casting, the molds’ cooling channels are usually straight, leading to slow and uneven cooling. 3D printing allows the creation of complex molds with conformal cooling channels. Compared to traditional molds, the conformal channels provide for faster and more uniform cooling, faster demolding, and overall higher quality.

 

Advantages of metal 3D printing in casting

  1. Injection molds with conformal cooling channels are printed directly from a file, have a large heat dissipation area, and therefore cool faster, increasing production efficiency by more than 35%.
  2. Molds with conformal cooling channels ensure uniform temperature distribution, preventing warping, deformation, edge cracking, caverns and other defects.
  3. Metal 3D printing greatly expands product design possibilities, requires less manual labor, and greatly shortens the mold-making cycle, reducing production costs.

 

Application cases

Washing machine drum mold

  • The cost of the final part is 1.28 times lower.
  • Production efficiency increased by 29.5%.
  • Annual cost savings: $59,000.
  • Annual time savings: 2260 hours.

The next two examples are part sprues, with the cooling channels marked in red:

Sprue 1

Sprue 2

Home appliance mold insert

Shoe sole mold fragment   

 

Recommended equipment

HBD-E500

HBD-350

HBD-1000

 

Automotive industry

A combination of computer-aided design methods and 3D printing in the automotive industry speeds up automotive parts development and reduces test periods. The production of molds using traditional technologies is labor- and cost-intensive, while 3D printing allows the production of parts of complex geometry and structures that do not require assembly, which greatly simplifies and speeds up the development of car prototypes, providing for quick design alterations at all stages. This reduces the costs of developing and launching individual parts and vehicles into production.

 

Advantages of metal 3D printing in the automotive industry

  1. Metal 3D printing gives designers the freedom to work with more complex shapes, compared to traditional technologies.
  2. Results are consistent when manufacturing prototype parts, which speeds up the cycle of development and launch into production.
  3. Car parts created using 3D printing and generative design tend to be lighter while maintaining strength characteristics, which reduces the weight of the car and improves its dynamic performance.

 

Application cases

Exhaust filter

Intake manifold

Motorcycle intake pipe

Valve seat

Car part

 

Recommended equipment

HBD-E500

HBD-350

HBD-1000

 

New technology

In addition to SLM 3D printers, HBD offers its patented HBD-280F hybrid system, metal 3D printing powders, and devices based on a so-called LACM technology. The latter is a combination of metal 3D printing and laser cutting, which increases the dimensional accuracy of the resulting parts and ensures higher-quality surfaces, including internal ones.

HBD LACM 400 3D printer

 

Bottom line

The HBD lineup includes metal 3D printing systems with different chamber sizes designed for different tasks. The company is actively developing, which is evident not only in the increasing number of new equipment models, but also in the plans to expand the technical and research base. The quality, performance, and cost-efficiency of HBD systems are proved by over 500 units sold up to date. In the coming years, we can expect new breakthrough technologies from the company immediately after it finalizes the engineering and manufacturing center in Shanghai.

Learn more about HBD 3D printers from this overview.

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