HP announced in 2014 that they were going to move into the 3D printing arena, and just this month have revealed their Jet Fusion 3D Printers for which they are now taking orders. This is by no means a consumer product (the price tag for one model is $132,000), but it could mark a new phase in the evolution of 3D Printing.
Two main problems in 3D Printing that HP has set out to solve are those of speed of printing, and quality of the produced problems, and they claim to have made progress in both areas. They claim these printers can produce “functional parts” at up to 10 times the speed of current printers.
Here are a couple of videos that HP has put out that provide an overview of what their printers can do.
Regardless of the claims of how superior this new line of 3D printers are compared to others, HP getting into the 3D printing field to this extent shows that the investment levels are high, and most likely will spur greater competition in the field.
It seems to me that there is much more potential for HP in 3D printing than with traditional 2D printers. Printing on paper has its limits, and is getting less necessary these days. Anyway, I added a new world to my vocabulary today: voxel — it’s the 3D equivalent of a pixel. In one of the videos it explains that individual voxels will be able to be printed its own properties like color, material and flexibility.
More information is here: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601472/can-hp-make-3-d-printing-into-a-mass-manufacturing-technique/