The big news today was the anticipated release of HP's new line of 3D printers. The printers are actually made by Stratasys, makers of the Dimension line of printers by means of a joint venture the two signed earlier this year.
The announcement specifies two models, which will be available this May only in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. From LaserLines, one of the initial product resellers:
- The Designjet 3D Personal Printer (pictured above), priced at £11,050 (USD$17,000), is a true desktop model that's only 0.6m square based on Stratays' existing technology.
- The Designjet 3D Colour Printer priced at £14,260 (USD$22,000) provides a slightly larger build chamber and the ability to print in up to seven different colors.
Both packages include software, material, soluble support, cables and other necessary bits that should enable you to get started right away.
While product specifications seem a bit skimpy today, we anticipate the devices will offer capabilities, capacities and speeds similar to Stratasys' other products - meaning very high quality and a lot of very useful options. We think HP selected well here, as Stratsys has many years of experience developing what is now a very mature product line. As manufacturing and product experience increases, we figure HP will offer the devices in other markets later this year.
Are these devices for everyone? Definitely not, the near USD$20K price is well beyond home and hobbyist users - but it could be within the price range for small offices, architectural firms and others who want to go beyond using 3D print services. This is big news - simply because there will soon be an awful lot more 3D printers in the world, and that can't hurt at all.