Mar.25, 2014

Last week all 3D printing stocks took a hit, after Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Meg Whitman told shareholders that the company will outline plans to enter the commercial 3D-printing market in June.

Whitman said HP's inhouse researchers have resolved limitations involved with the quality of substrates used in the process, which affects the durability of finished products. She said HP will make a "big technology announcement" in June how it will approach a market that has excited the imagination of investors and consumers.

It turns out her timing was a bit off. Hewlett-Packard Co. made an update to its corporate blog over the weekend.

"During our Annual Meeting of Stockholders on March 19, HP answered a shareholder question about our 3-D printing program and inadvertently stated that we would be making a technology announcement in June, when in fact we are planning to make that announcement by the end of our fiscal year," wrote Hewlett-Packard Chief Technology Officer and head of HP Labs Martin Fink.

HP's fiscal year end Oct. 31.

Investors believe that HP is late to the 3-D printing market, Fink explains:

Critics might say so, but that could be because they're making the mistake of equating the opportunity in 3D printing to other consumer technology or printing breakthroughs. We want to make good quality, high accuracy parts. Today, you can get a really good inkjet printer capable of producing beautiful prints for very little money, in just a few seconds. The average consumer would be disappointed in the results from a similarly-priced 3D printer. The quality just isn't there and it takes hours and hours to produce even simple parts.

HP told shareholders that the company is solving a number of technical problems that have hindered broader adoption of the 3D printing process, including the slow speed at which things print, and the quality.

But we all have to wait until the autumn for more official news from HP.


Posted in 3D Printer Company

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lassi wrote at 5/7/2014 6:45:01 AM:

they will make a uv/laser activated liquid using printer, but print on open space, not liquid immersion. techs just not ready for them yet but that is where their inkjet head specialties come in. one of the liquids is a support structure that then dissolves in water.

Greg wrote at 4/2/2014 4:46:32 AM:

They already were in it and got out... WTH?

john pickens wrote at 3/26/2014 6:06:20 AM:

Maybe they should make a big splash in the growing handheld tablet market! Oops...

jkocurek wrote at 3/25/2014 6:45:03 PM:

This is yet another example of Meg Whitman's inability to make a plan. Will HP enter the 3d printer market? Oh, probably. But the odds are that the market will have left them far behind at that point.

ThatGuy wrote at 3/25/2014 6:14:07 PM:

I don't know about open arms.... I think they will add some important scale and technology to 3D printing. I think that the R&D geeks were all proud of what they had done, an then real people saw what they were making and were less than thrilled with the results. How many of us are really proud of a print and then we show it to some one and they don't see the beauty of it? Either that or the final plans and product will be decided in June for a roll out later in the fall. It would take that long to get everything in place and people trained for a global roll out of something that new.

Pottertown wrote at 3/25/2014 5:36:45 PM:

Why wouldn't you want HP in the market? Competition is GOOD. Look at the incredibly high quality, reliability, and repeatability you get from home printers (laser and inkjet). The low price and technical ability is in no small part due to HP (and yes, others like them). If you want 3D printing to become better, and more affordable, welcome HP with open arms.

AMnerd wrote at 3/25/2014 3:58:39 PM:

Looks like the CEO has no idea what's going on in their R&D

jd90 wrote at 3/25/2014 3:40:25 PM:

I can't say I want HP in the market, but they've managed to exclude themselves pretty handily.

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