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​HP bets on innovation with 3D printing play, but will it pay off?

​HP bets on innovation with 3D printing play, but will it pay off?

Tech giant unveils world’s first production-ready commercial 3D printing system, betting on a market billed for further consolidation.

HP Inc has unveiled the world’s first production-ready commercial 3D printing system, betting on a market billed for further consolidation.

In launching both the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer and HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer for price points of $US130,000 and $US155,000 respectively, the new-look vendor hopes to “revolutionise” design, prototyping and manufacturing of current 3D print systems.

The official party line is that the products deliver physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems, providing the ability to deliver mass customisation for organisations.

“Our 3D printing platform is unique in its ability to address over 340 million voxels per second [a voxel is the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel in traditional printing], versus one point at a time, giving our prototyping and manufacturing partners radically faster build speeds, functional parts and breakthrough economics,” HP 3D printing President, Stephen Nigro, said.

“The new HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution delivers a combination of speed, quality, and cost never seen in the industry. Businesses and manufacturers can completely rethink how they design and deliver solutions to their customers.”

According to Nigro, the HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer is ideal for prototyping, offering improved productivity and the capacity to grow usage at a lower cost per part.

Meanwhile, the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer is designed for prototyping and short-run manufacturing needs, with high productivity to meet same-day demands at the lowest cost per part.

With HP now taking orders on both products, with the HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 Printer and HP Jet Fusion 3D 3200 Printer expected to be delivered in late 2016 and early 2017 respectively, Nigro said the vendor has also collaborated with software partners around the design-to-print process with partners including Autodesk, Materialise and Siemens.

“Through its integration with key manufacturing software solution providers, HP is enabling deeper integration of 3D printing into manufacturing processes,” he said.

Specific to the local region, HP South Pacific Managing Director, Robert Mesaros, said the new 3D system is looking to "reinvent the $100+ billion manufacturing industry" in Australia.

"We see a massive untapped opportunity in the industrial 3D printing market and anticipate strong adoption to reinvent industrial design and manufacturing," he said.

"We have already deployed an end-to-end solution and are working with a wide range of leading manufacturers and co-development partners, such as Nike, BMW, Johnson & Johnson to optimise the technology."

But the launch comes following a “tough year” for vendors within the 3D printing market, as outlined by recent Canalys findings, which claim that many industry players struggled to maintain growth rates and, as a result, have been forced to take stringent cost-cutting measures.

As reported by ARN however, the tech giant has been touted a disrupter in the market, with companies left “vulnerable to attack from newer enterprise-focused vendors, such as HP, which are just starting to enter the market”.

According to Canalys, the total market is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.5 percent from 2015 to 2020, with shipments of 3D printers forecast to grow at a CAGR of 67.2 percent, to reach 2.4 million units by 2020.


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