What HP’s 3D Printing Venture Might Be: Some Speculation

Last week Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman was asked pointed questions about her company’s work in 3D printing. Her answers revealed an upcoming June announcement.

However, there were few details beyond this announcement. Whitman did comment on the very slow speed of 3D printing today, as well as the limited resolutions provided. Whitman also said HP would focus on business before consumers in this area. 

What does all this mean? Forbes suggests it could pulverize other 3D printing stocks, at least in the short term. This may happen. But what about the technical side? Let’s do some speculation: 

  • In June 2014, HP is to announce a 3D printing service focused on business, not consumers.
  • By going with a “service”, HP avoids issues of delivering and supporting machines in the field at customer sites. They can simply do it all “behind the curtain”, much like RedEye or Shapeways. 
  • This approach permits HP to test their apparently new 3D printing technology and at the same time gauge customer reaction to their print quality and pricing.
  • We suspect HP’s considerable expertise in inkjet printheads will be leveraged: micro-droplets of material could form the foundation of a very high-resolution device. 
  • HP could speed printing by using a great many print heads simultaneously, which, of course, they can do since they make print heads. 
  • We’re expecting to see some form of liquid-resin, high-speed 3D printing that uses HP print head technology. 

Expect a lot more speculation in coming months. 

Via Forbes
Image Credit: Wikipedia

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