Gadgets

3D printing gets a big endorsement from HP CEO Meg Whitman

Above: Type A Machines makes a 3D printer that competes with MakerBot. Why buy a Type A instead? It is $900 cheaper, prints larger objects (up to 10x9x9 inches), and is more reliable, according to Elijah Post (pictured on the right), who creates documentation and does tech support for the company. He said the machine had been tested out with a 48-hour continuous print job and didn't stop once -- a rarity in the world of 3D printing, apparently. Side note: Type A's headquarters are on the top floor of TechShop San Francisco, a popular workshop for hackers and makers.

Image Credit: Dylan Tweney/VentureBeat
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Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman gave the fledgling market of 3D printing a big endorsement today on the company’s quarterly financial analyst conference call.

meg whitman, the new ceo of HP“We intend to play in the 3D printing market because it is [adjacent]” to HP’s own multibillion-dollar printing business, Whitman said in response to a question from an analyst.

“What we are focusing on is what is value proposition by market segment,” Whitman said. “We have some very interesting things coming. Stay tuned” for something in 2014.

But she characterized the effort as an “acorn.” She said that HP plants acorns, and some of them grow into giant oak trees. She said a lot of technology work still has to be done.

“It’s obviously different from paper printing but some of the technology is the same,” she said.

Rival startups such as Shapeways and MakerBot are already in the market. It’s time for them to look out, since an elephant is about to get into the bathtub.

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