HP Promises No Lockdown with its 3D Printers

Having received a lot of controversy over its recent firmware update, HP Inc. has promised open and multi-source for its 3D printer raw materials.

Speaking at the 50th anniversary party for HP Labs, Tim Weber (pictured), global head of 3D materials for the firm, said that HP would not be the sole provider for consumables. Four other companies, including BASF, are already working on materials that can be used in HP’s forthcoming 3D printers – once HP Inc. has certified them as safe.

“These will be open suppliers, they will set the branding and the price once they have been certified,” he confirmed. While HP Inc’s first printer will only use one type of material – the popular plastic PA12 – more materials will be coming online from other companies in the next two years.

According to Theregister, HP’s first commercial 3D printer, the Jet Fusion 3D 3200, will go on sale by the end of 2016, at a price of $120,000. HP Inc. will begin to add color, specifically cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to its next 3D printer. That means there will be over 65,000 possible printing colors. Printing on ceramics is already working at HP’s labs, and other materials will follow.

Instead of focusing on 3D home printing, HP is more interested in manufacturing where 3D printers will be used for small-run items. HP believes 3D printing, with its ability to produce anywhere anytime, will make economic sense. In addition, the use of voxels (volumetric pixels) will make a difference to the traditional analogue manufacturing model.

(Source: www.theregister.co.uk/)

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