HP has set the timeframe for the hotly anticipated release of its 'business-leading' 3D printer.
Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting conference last week (March 18th), CEO Meg Whitman stated that the company is set to make a big announcement in June on how it will be approaching the maturing 3D printer market, saying that HP's in-house researchers have been working on some of the limitations regarding the quality of substrates used in the process, which affects the durability of finished products.
Last year, Whitman told attendees at tech conference the Canalys Channels Forum in Bangkok that HP would be releasing a benchmark-setting 3D printer in 2014.
"We want to lead this business. HP labs is looking at it," she stated.
HP's DesignJet 3D printer was the company's earlier attempt at a desktop rapid prototyping machine, but the model was later rebadged the uPrint by Stratasys in some territories. Whitman's statement in 2013 indicated to the wider market that HP is going to return to 3D printing with better technology and more muscle.
HP's intentions are more significant than just another organisation releasing a 3D printer. As a well established, multi-billion dollar multi-national, the well-known printer brand already has an equipped customer service facility - something many industry insiders say is lacking from even the biggest 3D printing players currently dominating the market. The present fashion for consumer 3D printing, therefore, could work well in HP's favour, particularly as such a familiar and trusted household name.
Whitman said that not only is HP looking to improve the quality and durability of finished 3D printed objects, but she was keen to investigate how to shorten the time it takes to complete a 3D print.
"It's like watching ice melt and the quality of today's 3D printing is not as good as it should be," she told shareholders. "The surface of the substrate is not perfect. We actually think we've solved these problems."