HP and Stratasys announce HP-branded 3D printer

“We believe the time is right for 3D printing to become mainstream,” said Stratasys Chairman and CEO Scott Crump.

We also believe that HP’s unmatched sales and distribution capabilities and Stratasys FDM technology is the right combination to achieve broader 3D printer usage worldwide. HP has made a similar move in this market before, capturing a dominant position in large-format 2D printers.”

Now we have a couple of heavyweights joining forces to bring 3D printing into the mainstream but we do not yet have the initial price point of the 3D printer. We are faced with the price gouging that may well follow if HP uses it’s current business model of making their money out of consumables more than the product itself.

The example of the cost of ink compared to other liquids in the graph above (slightly outdated from a 2006 gizmodo post, and maybe of interest to vampires in that it compares ink with the cost of blood, which is weird in itself, imagine if HP sold blood, but back to the story at hand)

Even though the cost of consumables may rise with a HP branded polymer cartridge at least it is a major leap forwards getting 3D printing onto the broader public’s radar. How many schools and businesses may be more comfortable buying a 3D printer from a ‘reputable, known brand’ rather than something like RepRap or MakerBot. What greater way to open up mass customization, consumer innovation, product hacks and mutilations than access to the tools used by the professional designers.

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4 Responses to “HP and Stratasys announce HP-branded 3D printer”

  1. Erik de Bruijn Says:

    @ … “access to tools used by the professional designers”
    Spot on! The impact of work done by professionals as opposed to amateurs is overrated. Innovations by professionals tend to be more conservative. Major breakthroughs more often orriginate from users. Obviously there’s a role for incremental improvements by professionals that can better productize such a machine. Read up on prof. Von Hippel for loads of evidence, the Leadbeater TED video also talks about that (Rise of the professionals amateur). This highlights the importance of service bureaus (like Ponoko) and affordable desktop production tools to strengthen innovation.
    Different perspectives of the roles of developers for an Open Source project, such as RepRap, compared to the designers for Stratasys/HP lead to different output. For this reason RepRap is more a development platform than an end user product. Just like Linux is not a single, tailored product, built for a specific purpose. Yet I think this exactly where its strengths lie, als well as its limitations. Makerbot has succesfully made a product out of RepRap technology. I thinks the combination is very powerful and will remain a valuable addition to other solutions.

    I think that for at least another year, Makerbot and the Stratasys/HP printer will appeal to different segments. The HP machine is guesstimated to still get a > 10k USD price tag. More than 10 times that of Makerbot. This will change as Makerbots become more capable and HP’s more affordable.

  2. Jon Says:

    Time is right to get into the laser cutting industry… although I understand the potential profit margins for 3D are far higher.

    Jon @ WoodMarvels.com

  3. Kristen Turner Says:

    if HP sold blood… hahhaa

  4. duann Says:

    Check out Replicator’s take on the HP Stratasys dealo where he thinks it may be just PR hype….

    http://replicatorinc.com/blog/2010/01/hp-stratasys-no-big-deal/

    And Develop3D’s take where it is about expiring patents and seems kinda excited about what it represents.. http://develop3d.com/blog/2010/01/hp-signs-deal-with-stratasys-let-the-3d-printing-games-commence