AMS Spring 2023

HP’s HyperX Announces HX3D Full-Color 3D Printed Gaming Peripherals

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HyperX, HP Inc’s gaming subsidiary, announced a new personalized gaming accessories and peripherals brand powered by HP’s additive manufacturing (AM) division, at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas (January 5-8). HyperX is pitching the brand, called HX3D, as the next generation of gaming hardware customization.

In a press release announcing HX3D, HyperX’s global head of marketing, Daniel Kelly, commented, “We know gamers love customization, spending a lot of time and effort to update all kinds of in-game items, from characters to skins to weapons and beyond. HX3D is taking this love of personalizing a gaming experience to the physical world and enabling a wide range of fun ways to update and customize our award-winning HyperX gear.”

Image courtesy of HyperX

The first HX3D product — the limited edition HyperX “Cozy Cat Keycap” — will be available in the US through HyperX’s website sometime later this month, for an expected initial price of $19.99. Although, HyperX’s press release also explicitly specifies that the price “is subject to change without notice” and that the pricing at other retailers “may vary.” This, combined with the fact that the keycap is a limited edition, certainly seems to suggest that HyperX is aiming to establish a collector’s market.

Image courtesy of HyperX

Of course, for the AM sector, the most notable angle to the release is HyperX’s synergy with its corporate mothership’s AM division. Lane Babuder, writer for online tech publication HotHardware, points out that the Cozy Cat Keycap, as well as other concept keycaps on display at CES 2023, are made possible by “the help of parent company HP’s color 3D printing”.

Relevantly, in December, 2022, 3DPrint.com published an editorial by Brent Wright, a 3D printing orthotics and prosthetics professional, entitled, “Why Did HP Kill off its Full-Color 3D Printer?” This may very well be an answer to that question: color 3D printing has more value to HP, at least currently, as a tool in its in-house arsenal, than it does as a commercial offering.

The HP Jet Fusion 300/500 full-color 3D printer. Image courtesy of HP.

The likelihood of that idea is arguably supported by a quote from Francois Minec, the Global Head of Polymers for 3DP at HP, in Wright’s article: “We continue to support our customers using the Jet Fusion 580 printers to design, develop and iterate amazing applications. Whilst we have discontinued the 580 series, we are taking full advantage of the technology and knowledge…We have made the commitment to prioritize helping our partners and customers scale to production.”

This isn’t to say, finally, that HP will never take another crack at the commercial market for full-color 3D printing. If anything, in fact, the success of applications like customized gaming peripherals for HX3D might only increase the chances that HP will entertain a return to that market. If it does happen, though, the most lucrative area for HP to explore would be cornering the market on the polymers, themselves.

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