BARCELONA: HP chief executive Meg Whitman has confirmed that the firm is busy developing its own range of 3D printers with a focus on speed and quality, in order to leap ahead in this nascent market.
Speaking at the firm's annual Discover event, Whitman promised that this was a key area of innovation within the firm's Labs division to overcome challenges that others have failed to address.
"HP Labs is on the case. We've been working hard to introduce 3D printing technology that overcomes the two biggest obstacles with current technology in the market place: speed and quality, which are two pretty big stumbling blocks," she said.
"So you'll soon see a lot more about the unique solutions that HP is developing that leverage our incredible IP and institutional knowledge in this space. HP has been the leader in bridging the physical and virtual worlds for more than 20 years and we're going to bring that to 3D."
HP already hinted that 3D printing was on its agenda during an earnings call in November. 3D printing is seen as a major new area of IT for its potential to transform a whole range of industries. HP will be hoping its heritage in printers helps it leap to the top of the market, as other, more niche vendors start to bring their own 3D printers to the market.
The UK government is working to try and ensure that the technology becomes a key part of IT education in the UK, with grants of £500,000 for schools to invest in 3D printers. Firms such as McDonald's and Tesco are also considering the opportunities and challenges the technology could pose.
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