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Hewlett-Packard sets their sites on the budding, low-cost 3D printer market by signing a deal allowing them to brand Stratasys‘ pre-established technologies (see above demo) -

Stratasys Inc. (Nasdaq: SSYS), the leading manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement with HP for Stratasys to manufacture an HP-branded 3D printer. Used by product designers and architects, Stratasys 3D printers create three-dimensional plastic models directly from 3D digital designs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Stratasys wil develop and manufacture for HP an exclusive line of 3D printers based on Stratasys’ patented Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. HP will begin a phased rollout of the 3D printers in the mechanical design (MCAD) market in selected countries later this year, with the right to extend distribution globally.

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

“There are millions of 3D designers using 2D printers who are ready to bring their designs to life in 3D,” said Santiago Morera, vice president and general manager of HP’s Large Format Printing Business. “Stratasys FDM technology is the ideal platform for HP to enter the 3D MCAD printing market and begin to capitalize on this untapped opportunity.”

For those interested, a related audio webcast from a recent meeting between the two companies can be found on the Stratasys site. Hmmm … sorry HP, looks like Makerbot beat ya to this one ;) Here’s hoping HP’s printer’s consumables don’t end up costing more than the machine itself! [via Shapeways]

From the pages of MAKE:

make21_cc.jpg
MAKE Volume 21: Desktop Manufacturing

Collin Cunningham

Born, drew a lot, made video, made music on 4-track, then computer, more songwriting, met future wife, went to art school for video major, made websites, toured in a band, worked as web media tech, discovered electronics, taught myself electronics, blogged about DIY electronics, made web videos about electronics and made music for them … and I still do!


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Comments

  1. Maha says:

    I hope HP tries the whole “give the printer away and gouge on the ink” thing. Other clone brands will come out with their own compatable cartriges or refilling systems. It’ll almost be like trying to artifically inflate the price of white printer paper. Unless they integrate some electronics or other printing function into the cartridge itself?

    I’m staring at one of their large format printers right now.. 36″ rolled paper and like 1000$ worth of ink fully loaded(at official prices). More for businesses than consumers. My guess is they’ll gear their 3d printers in that same direction : /

  2. rijrunner says:

    Given the way HP gouges on ink and consumables, this can actually keep prices higher. There’s hundreds of ways to engineer in a vendor lockdown on this level of tech. You integrate the injector nozzle onto the storage bin. This process requires environmental monitoring and precise calibration. Its very easy to do that in a way to lock out other providers.

    Secondly, that video really reminded me of a joke video put out a long time ago which just used buzz words packed together that essentially meant nothing. This did not quite reach that point, but this was not aimed at the desktop crowd.

    1. Silverman says:

      I would love to see the joke video. Do you have a link?

  3. David says:

    Am I missing something? The Makerbot printer pales in comparison to a Stratasys printer. The Makerbot creates models that look like they were made from wet noodles.

  4. SomeDude says:

    Ok, so the printer will be 500$, and the refills 1500$, and it’ll print at a stunning 1200 DPI assuming it doesn’t break down shortly before the 30 day warranty expires?

  5. jeff-o says:

    A big manufacturer getting into this business can only be a good thing. I’m looking forward to seeing price points as well.

  6. Volkemon says:

    And…it’s HP, so the driver will be 8.2Gb so it fits on a DL DVD, and will probably include ‘features’ that pump up your startup time 7 minutes.

  7. rob0 says:

    The snarky comment at the end of the post – the makerbot isn’t the first 3d printer. It’s not a very good 3d printer. What does it have going for it? It’s a fun project that you can build at home (with a fair amount of effort) and make little 4 inch (10cm) sized doodads. That’s nice – if I had the money to spend on a toy like that and the time to build it I would. And I think Bre seems like a nice guy from his old videos, and Make really likes to shill for it, but enough already it’s not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Did you look at the video you posted – did you see the size and quality of the part they made?! It looks fantastic! You could never do something like that with a makerbot, first it’s too big and hey I don’t see anyone trying to show off a makerbot item as a profesional prototype, that’s not the market. And that’s my (long winded) point – just because it prints 3D doesn’t mean you have to get riled up and defend the Makerbot territory – they’re in entirely different market segments.

    OK now about the price of inks. Hardware manufacturers sell their hardware cheap (sometimes at a loss) and hope that you will buy more ink or other consumables so they can turn a profit down the line. If they didn’t do that the cost of the hardware would have to be higher, and it would be harder for folks to afford the printer in the first place. Yeah it costs you more money in the long run perhaps, but hey that’s the market at work right? People like to buy a cheaper printer – if there were 2 for sale one cheaper in the long run (less expensive inks) and one cheaper now – guess which one wins? Look at energy efficient appliances, they cost more initially but less in the long run, and guess what they have a harder time selling because the general public looks at the initial price tag.

    1. Collin Cunningham says:

      to clarify, my snarky comment was referring to the low-end 3d printer market (less than ~$1k) which, as far as I am aware, the makerbot cupcake cnc is the first entry into.

      Yes, I watched the video I posted. It is an example of Statasys’ current offerings which are far from affordable for individual users. At this point we can only speculate as to the output quality of HP’s unreleased product – I very much hope it’s amazing & affordable.

      Personally, when faced with the array of 2d printers available I chose a laser printer. I certainly did not mind the extra expense compared to an inkjet, considering how much I’d save on ink. Of course, I can only speak for myself.

      1. ~collin says:

        Well as far as the Makerbot being the first <$1K 3d printer…

        It’s not. It’s a <$1K build it yourself kit 3d extruder.

        The Makerbot isn’t a finished professional product (no offense meant – its a hobbyists, build it yourself with sdm parts and then use some opensource software type of project. Something many of us consider good fun – but hardly the same as an actual go down to the store and buy it turnkey solution).

        I wonder what HP could sell theirs for if it didn’t come assembled and used plywood for the enclosure, and left exposed wires etc.

        1. Collin Cunningham says:

          True, it’s important to discern between a kit and an assembled device – sorry, I was overlooking that key difference.

          Curious though – what other 3D printers are available in that price range?

    2. David says:

      I agree 100% with Collin’s comment. The Makerbot printer is a toy. Anyone seriously considering making prototype parts/models would not be using it. You will note how the videos for the Makerbot avoid showing close-up shots of the finished product because anyone who sees the results would be disappointed.

  8. […] is not the first brush with 3D printing for HP. Beginning in 2010, it distributed a line of HP-branded printers made by Stratasys in Europe. It also has a faint connection to the […]

  9. […] is not the first brush with 3D printing for HP. Beginning in 2010, it distributed a line of HP-branded printers made by Stratasys in Europe. It also has a faint connection to the […]