The 3D printing world is rich with substantial announcements lately, and HP has certainly been stealing the lion’s share of headlines.
In setting up the framework for shaking up the 3D printing world over the last year, HP’s public relations department begain with a campaign of announcements about making announcements. All the secrecy and build-up culminated somewhat at the end of last month with a major press conference announcing that HP would split into two entities, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, and HP Inc, which would be responsible for rolling out their 3D printers. The momentum has been growing since, with their plans to take the lead as the new 3D printing boss on the horizon, with their Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology.
Now Spain’s Board of Ministers has an announcement of their own. Coming out with enormous support for HP’s efforts in 3D printing, and an effort to solidify their foothold in the 3D printing arena, Spain has earmarked a €21.25 million fund to further HP’s research and design efforts at their headquarters in Spain. HP has maintained a printing division in Sant Cugat del Vallès since 1985, and currently employees 2,600 workers there, which includes 450 highly specialized engineers.
With a handful of other similar HP facilities around the world dedicated to development of large size printers, Spain is thinking competitively and globally in dealing HP a generous hand — with the hopes of making their country a forerunner in the new technology. With Spain’s funding, HP’s response will be to add a number of new employees, while also creating 12 new positions, and 60 new partnerships in:
- Competent manufacturers
- IT services
- Research centers
No doubt, the world waits with anticipation to see HP’s new ‘3D Printing Ecosystem’ in action, with products due to roll out in 2016. Building on their famed current thermal inkjet printing used for traditional HP printers, they haven’t re-created the wheel, but by all accounts they are, from their well-known foundation, creating a magnificent new vehicle with Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology.
Sprout is also gaining a lot of attention. Touted as a fully functioning Windows PC that even has Martha Stewart’s stamp of approval, it is a ‘creativity station’ featuring custom software that affords users the ability to meld digital and physical realities by manipulating things with their fingers, or even using elements like a magazine clipping. The Workspace app acts as a library for photos, documents, videos, and more. Sprout also features a 3D camera, scanner, and a variety of tools, as well as a second touchscreen which allows items to be scanned in just by placing them there, thus allowing further manipulation.
Without surprise, HP has also ignited an even brighter flame in their competition, with 3D Systems announcing an even more powerful new 3D printer on the horizon..and we’ll wait to see what’s in the works next from big 3D printing player Stratasys. HP is setting the bar high, which means we should see some very interesting shifts and progressions in 3D technology over the next couple of years, and on.
What do you think of the latest announcements from HP? Join us for discussion in the HP to Receive Funding from Spain forum at 3DPB.com.