Chances are you've owned an HP printer at some point in your life. If not, you definitely know someone who has. The company is one of the biggest players in the hardcopy peripherals market, and printers account for a huge chunk of HP's revenue. Last year, it accounted for 40 percent of the market and was number one worldwide. Now, it looks like the company has set its sights on 3D printing.
HP today confirmed plans to enter the 3D printing market later this year. The news was confirmed in a meeting with shareholders. Meg Whitman, president and CEO of HP, said the company is 'hot on the case of 3D printing' and said the company would have a big announcement in June. While the news that a name as big as HP is about to throw its hat into the 3D printer ring is significant in and of itself, there's something more exciting behind this announcement.
Forbes reports that Whitman, while discussing 3D printing with shareholders, said that watching 3D printing in progress is akin to watching ice melt. In other words, it's slow and therefore not very interesting. Ms. Whitman also pointed out that there's room for improvement when it comes to the quality of 3D-printed objects. So why is HP getting into a business that still has so far to go before it can be considered suitable for mainstream consumption? Because its CEO reckons the company has solved those problems.
It might take a while for HP's technological feats to trickle down to the consumer (the company is going to focus on the enterprise market first), the fact that a big name like HP is willing to put its money where its mouth is and enter the 3D printing market is a fantastic sign for 3D printing and for those who dream of 3D printing goods in their own home without breaking the bank.