Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive, Meg Whitman, expressed interest in the burgeoning 3D printing market during the company’s quarterly financial analyst conference call today.
Although 3D printing is still a market in its infancy, HP seems willing to throw its rather sizable hat into the ring early on. So far, the 3D printing market has been dominated entirely by startups such as Shapeways and MakerBot, so the presence of a multibillion-dollar business such as HP should go a long way to securing the fledgling market.
In response to analyst questions during the conference call, Whitman confirmed that HP did have intentions to “play in the 3D printing market”, largely due to its adjacency to the current printing business. Whitman characterized the 3D printing initiative from HP as an “acorn” which might grow into a giant oak, and promised many interesting things to come from the company in 2014, although a lot of technology still has to be done.
“It’s obviously different from paper printing but some of the technology is the same,” she said. With HP entering the 3D printing market, it will be interesting to see whether the technology will become more accessible to everyday users.