Home-printer and computer-maker, Hewlett-Packard, has announced that they will make an announcement in June about the company’s intent to enter the 3D printing market.
Well, that was anti-climactic.
Though they are clearly tardy to the party, HP has set its sights on conquering the 3D printer market. According to PC World, “Hewlett-Packard claims to have solved the two biggest problems with today’s 3D printers.”
The company has said that they plan to target businesses first, and eventually reach consumers – kind of like laser-jet printing did. When asked if HP is late to market with 3D printing, Martin Fink, CTO and director of HP Labs, said “Critics might say so, but that could be because they’re making the mistake of equating the opportunity in 3D printing to other consumer technology or printing breakthroughs. We want to make good quality, high accuracy parts.”
So, HP wants to hit businesses with high-quality (and justifiably expensive) 3D printers. Seems like they are even later to that party.
According to Engadget, “we can expect faster performance. HP is also looking to enhance printing quality, and [HP CEO Meg] Whitman implied both of these upgrades will be evident in the company’s big announcement in June.”
With companies like 3D Systems and Stratasys holding firm with their grasps on the market, HP has a long road ahead of them to make any sort of impact in the world of 3D printing and rapid prototyping. They are already behind on the technical business end (it’s been around since the 80s), the consumer market is full of cheap, open-source printers, and non-technical businesses seem to have already been reached by the prosumer printers with low price-points.
That’s not to mention that HP is a big, cumbersome company that isn’t known for its elegance in any market. The rapid prototyping and 3D printing industry (on any level) is a fast-moving, nimble space, and a company like HP might just find itself to be a bull in a china shop.
While the company says that they will have faster, more accurate printers – well, the proof is in the pudding. Shortly after the HP announcement about their announcement, they changed the announcement date to October 2014. Call me overly suspicious, but I feel like this means that they realized it wasn’t viable or their tech wasn’t up to snuff. We’ll have to wait until
June October to find out. And if they’re going to buy their way in they better hurry up.
What do you think HP has to offer the 3D printing and rapid prototyping market? Is this a desperate attempt to enter a thriving (but somewhat flooded) market? Email [email protected].
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping