Open Platform to Accelerate 3D Printing

3D printing isn’t new, but four things hampered its growth: speed, price, quality of parts, and the closed nature of the industry.

So says HP Inc. Chief Technology Officer Shane Wall (Pictured) who was interviewed in the tech publication, The Register. To address the fourth restriction, HP Inc. claims it will deliver an open platform to the market, regarding 3D printing materials. As reported by TonerNews, the OEM is expecting to officially land into 3D world with the launch of its first 3D printer MultiJet Fusion sometime in later in 2016.

Wall pointed out that HP’s new 3D printer will address all of these restrictions. In addition to the open platform, other solutions will include a 10 to 100 times faster print engine, at about 20 per cent of the cost of existing business machines.

“We’ll still have print and supplies but our model will be different; we will open up the platform so people can have other supplies that come in. Theses other suppliers will have access to our APIs through an SDK that allows them to program the printer itself, and we’ll allow people to come in and do very disruptive new things that they wouldn’t have been able to do before. [This is] very different from HP and very game changing,” Wall said.

The “razor blade” model is quite common in 2D printing, while many 3D printer companies are no strangers to proprietary or chipped materials too. The open platform for 3D printing materials will definitely drive 3D printing to a new plane of development, as 3D printer companies are not going to restrict new materials for their new 3D printer, but instead practically invent or at least prefect the art of requiring proprietary materials.

Chris Connery, VP of global analysis and research at Context, pointed out, “Anything the 3D printer market can do, to move away from the razor blade model of 2D printing, can indeed benefit adoption. Across the board, all agree that materials and materials science will play a large role in the future of additive manufacturing and if printer vendors give material scientists the ability to work their magic, this indeed opens the door for engineers to find new ways to leverage this technology.”

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