Hewlett Packard is set to enter the growing 3D printer market in mid-2014 as a serious player.
The Register has reported that CEO Meg Whitman, speaking at tech conference the Canalys Channels Forum in Bangkok this week, told attendees the printing and computing market leader is working on a new 3D printer that will hit the market next year.
She stated the company is keen to join the next wave of advancements sweeping the additive manufacturing technology sector.
"3D printing is in its infancy. It's a big opportunity and we are all over it. We will have something by the middle of next year," Whitman remarked.
HP's DesignJet 3D is the company's earlier attempt at manufacturing a desktop 3D printing machine. It has been rebadged uPrint by Stratasys in some territories. But this announcement indicates HP intends to create greater waves in terms of what its proposed 3D printers can do and how they can infiltrate the marketplace, potentially rivalling heavyweights 3D Systems and Stratasys.
"We want to lead this business. HP labs is looking at it," Whitman said.
She said in her announcement that faster build times and lower costs are on the agenda for HP's new 3D printing offering.
"To print a bottle can take eight to 10 hours," the CEO said. "That's all very interesting but it's like watching ice melt."
Whitman did not reveal much in terms of what HP's 3D printing product for mid-2014 will be, but she did forecast how she feels the industry will progress in the medium-term.
"These businesses go along, get a little traction, go along, get a little more traction, then hit the knee of the curve," she explained.