3DP Saves HP? > > >

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Hewlett-Packard can become great again – a brand that stands for engineering excellence

But currently a  bumbling, stumbling company trading on its name, growing in size but losing its reason for being.

CEO Meg Whitman keeps promising to turn things around, but her moves make no sense to me. The move that makes the least sense was the decision taken this summerto end its relationship with 3DPrinting leader Stratasys(SSYS), whose printers it had been selling as the “DesignJet” line since 2010.

This is a business at the very top of its hype cycle, projected to be a $3.1 billion industry in 2016 by Wohlers Associates.

Not much when your sales are running at $130 billion/year, but growing fast and ready to transform the world.

At his blog, Terry Wohlers says 3DPrinting” has reached a tipping point, where it moves from being a niche market to a mass market. That’s when HP walks away?

At Shaping the Future, Christopher Barnatt notes there are many types of 3DPrinters. The Stratasys units HP sold use “fused deposition modeling” or FDM – injection molding plastic goes in as a thread and is deposited into the input design. 

Prices for most units run from $10,000-$20,000 to as low as $399 for the “junior” version of the Printrbot kit.

In the business world most 3DPrinters today are used for prototyping, but they can be used for final production in some highly-customised areas such as dental implants and motorcycle parts. I personally think this is going to expand into multiple industries rapidly, a “mass customisation” revolution.

I’m not the only person who thinks so. Bob Lewis of Infoworld calls 3DPrinting a “litmus test” of IT leadership. The business is rapidly consolidating around two main players, Stratasys and 3D Systems (DDD), either of which HP could still acquire, SeekingAlpha notes, although perhaps  not for much longer…?

Stock quotes in this article: HPQASSYSDDDADSKFDX

Adapted from: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11719888/1/how-3d-printing-could-save-hp.html?kval=dontmiss