HP has initiated some bold new manuevers as it enters the world of 3D printing. They have not only entered the 3D printing world, but they have improved the 3D printing process speed by up to ten times. They have also implemented a new desktop environment that blends the virtual with the physical. The company introduced Sprout (see sprout.com for more info) and it’s new 3D printer, HP Multi Jet Fusion, on Wednesday October 29th.
The 3D printer is designed for businesses using the HP Thermal Inkjet system to form multiple layers of print materials at once. HP claims it will use less materials, make less expensive parts, and make them faster than current 3D printers. Their 3D printer uses a layer by layer technique to form the object while also fusing it. It’s faster and more economical, according to HP. The final version will hit shelves in 2016. The new virtual PC, Sprout, lets people put an object on a scanner, and then interact with that object using a touch pad and touch screen. The entire Sprout system is a Windows 8.1 computing system, a 20 inch touch screen, the Sprout Illuminator (projection device), touch pad, and 3D scanner. There is an optional stylus. It retails for $1899 currently, which certainly makes this cutting edge technology affordable.
HP has split itself into two companies as it launches these two exciting products. One company is focused on the PC and printing, while the other company focuses on technology. This will give HP the ability to continue strongly with its PC and printer business, while still working on new incarnations of these two exciting new products it has introduced to the world.
As somebody who spent 22 years working for HP I welcome this corporate split and the advantages it offers the company.