HP is busy developing a new age 3D printer for the market according to the company’s CEO Meg Whitman. She adds that the announcement will be made in the coming months, probably around June which will be the company’s first such printer in 2014.
At the shareholder’s meet this Wednesday, Whitman said HP has solved two major problems faced by current 3D printers in the market. The first big problem is the speed. Even notable 3D printers used by businesses today are pretty slow which hampers the number of models made every day. Further, the quality of these prints is nothing extraordinary and not even durable.
But these new age printers from HP will solve both these problems. According to Whitman, in-house researchers of the company have managed to resolve limitations associated with the quality of substrates in the process, which will improve the durability of the finished product.
“We actually think we’ve solved these problems,” said Whitman at the annual shareholders meeting. “The bigger market is going to be in the enterprise space,” manufacturing parts and prototypes in ways that were not possible before.
The company estimates that the 3D printing industry will grow rapidly and the worldwide sales of software, 3D printers and other allied services will go up to $11 billion by 2021. That’s an $8.8 billion increase in just 9 years. So, the company plans to take advantage of this growth by introducing better printers.
However, HP is targeting businesses first, as the demand will be more in that sector. 3D printers can have many different applications for a sector like manufacturing, for building prototypes and finished products. But eventually, even end consumers will find use for such high tech printers.
This year 3D printing industry is expected to grow by 67 percent as compared to 2013. As a result, many new players have entered the market and there are several notable companies who are already selling them to the consumer. For example, makerbot sells 3D printers to the masses. There are also small companies selling these devices, for as less as $600, so pricing too will be a deciding factor.
Given that the company is focusing on quality and speed, one can expect them to retail for thousands of dollars. Further, the target crowd is businesses rather than end consumers, which allows them to charge higher for better products.
Also, it’s quite likely that HP only makes the announcement this June and the actual product may ship a few months later, probably by the end of year.
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