HP has finally revealed its plans to enter the 3D printing market or the additive manufacturing plane, as announced by President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Meg Whitman. In a recent meeting with shareholders, Meg Whitman, said “We are hot on the case of 3D printing.”
This is however not the first time, HP has decided to foray into the 3D printing market. The company had an agreement in 2010 to market HP-branded Stratasys 3D printers, but the deal dissolved in 2012. More recently, HP has provided inkjet print heads to Z Corp, a 3D printing company that is now owned by 3D Systems. Meg Whitman also acknowledges that 3D printing as an industry has some areas it needs to improve before it goes main stream. She further pointed out that the quality of the 3D prints were not as good as it should be, however, she also noted that HP’s late entry into the 3D printing market may be a turning point, as she thinks HP has been able to finally solve the above problems.
Although Meg Whitman, did not disclose exactly what is the “Big announcement”, coming up in June, but she did say that whatever HP offers will focus on large scale manufacturing primarily, before HP enters the consumer 3D printing market.
“We think the bigger market will be in enterprise space, that is, helping companies manufacture parts and test prototypes rather than helping regular folk’s 3D print Hershey Kisses at home.” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
I think, HP’s enthusiasm and increased involvement in the 3D printing market space should provide fundamental support for 3D Systems and Stratasys near term as it validates the viability of 3D printing technology and shuns the increased abuse cases available to disrupt the $10 trillion global manufacturing industry.