HP's Sprout and Dremel Idea Builder Partnership
*not to scale*
It is clear from its activity since the announcement of Multi-Jet Fusion in October 2014 that HP intend on growing their influence on the 3D printing industry through a series of partnerships. Collaborations with Autodesk's Spark platform along with the likes of Microsoft, Dassault and netfabb to launch the 3MF file format have seen the company firmly wedge the door open to the industrial side to the industry.
Though HP have not ruled out entry to the consumer market with a machine of their own, the Multi-Jet Fusion Technology - expected next year - will be an enterprise affair. In order to keep the potentially lucrative consumer market on the back burner HP are taking that same collaborative approach as it announces a partnership between its Sprout platform and the Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer.
The idea is to create a closed loop ecosystem for 3D Scanning and 3D Modelling on the Sprout hardware and software through to 3D Printing on the Dremel machine. Dremel launched their desktop 3D printer at MakerCon last year and the announcement of the partnership with HP came at this year's event with HP's Head of Immersion Systems telling the MakeCon audience:
“We think consumers wanted the ability to go to a store and buy a single solution, and we thought that Dremel was a great fit. So now, today, a customer can go to a store and buy an end-to-end solution.”
Interestingly, the tool giant Dremel's foray into the 3D printing market mirrors that of HP's first stab at cracking the industry; both started their 3D printing lives with a rebadged printer a Flashforge Dreamer and Stratasys U-Print respectively.
Dremel have a long history of collaborating with partners in order to bring new products to market and have significantly improved the UI of the Flashforge model. With distribution on both Amazon and in Home Depot stores it is clear that Dremel are leveraging their significant retail expertise to bring a 3D printing product to the consumer, this partnership with HP will further cement their foothold.