HP Unveils Technology for Immersive Computing and Faster 3D Printing

HP Multi Jet Fusion
HP Multi Jet Fusion

For months there has been speculation that HP would make a grand re-entrance into the world of 3D printing. And indeed, they have.

At a launch event in New York on October 29, HP unveiled its vision for the future of computing and commercial viability of 3D printing.

According to HP, their advancements have the potential to revolutionize production and offer small businesses a new way to produce goods and parts for customers.

HP’s new Blended Reality ecosystem combines the new Sprout by HP computing platform and HP’s disruptive Multi Jet Fusion technology for 3D printing.

  • Sprout by HP
    Sprout by HP

    Sprout by HP is a first-of-its-kind “Immersive Computing” platform that redefines the user experience by combining a computer with a scanner, depth sensor, hi-res camera, and projector in a multi-screen device. With Sprout by HP, designers and makers can take physical items and seamlessly merge them into a digital workspace.

  • HP Multi Jet Fusion is a revolutionary technology engineered to resolve critical gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost, and deliver on the potential of 3D printing.

“We are on the cusp of a transformative era in computing and printing,” said Dion Weisler, executive vice president, Printing & Personal Systems (PPS), HP. “Our ability to deliver Blended Reality technologies will reduce the barriers between the digital and physical worlds, enabling us to express ourselves at the speed of thought – without filters, without limitations. This ecosystem opens up new market categories that can define the future, empowering people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”

HP Multi Jet Fusion Advances 3D Printing

Leveraging HP’s decades of leadership in the print market and advanced materials science, HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to resolve fundamental limitations in today’s 3D print systems while delivering higher productivity and quality at a lower cost.

Stephen Nigro, Senior Vice President of HP’s Inkjet and Graphics Solutions Businesses, unveils the new HP Multi Jet Fusion at the Sprout by HP and HP Multi Jet Fusion Launch event on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision for HP/AP Images)
Stephen Nigro, Senior Vice President of HP’s Inkjet and Graphics Solutions Businesses, unveils the new HP Multi Jet Fusion at the Sprout by HP and HP Multi Jet Fusion Launch event on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision for HP/AP Images)

“As we examined the existing 3D print market, we saw a great deal of potential but also saw major gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost,” said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president, Inkjet and Graphic Solutions, HP. “HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to transform manufacturing across industries by delivering on the full potential of 3D printing with better quality, increased productivity, and break-through economics.”

Multi Jet Fusion is built on HP Thermal Inkjet technology and features a unique synchronous architecture that significantly improves the commercial viability of 3D printing and has the potential to change the way we think about manufacturing.

  • 10-Times Faster: The technology images entire surface areas instead of one point at a time. This makes it possible to achieve breakthrough functional build speeds that are at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in market today.
  • New Levels of Quality, Strength and Durability: A proprietary multi-agent printing process utilizes HP Thermal Inkjet arrays to simultaneously apply multiple liquid agents and produce greater accuracy,resiliency and uniform part strength in all three axis directions.
  • Accuracy and Detail: The HP technology can deliver fully functional parts with more accuracy, finer details, and smoother surfaces than other 3D print processes. The HP Mult Jet Fusion method can be used to manipulate part and material properties, including form, texture, friction, strength, elasticity, electrical, thermal properties and more.
  • Breakthrough Economics: The HP technology unifies and integrates various steps of the 3D print process to reduce running time, cost, energy consumption and waste. This significantly improves the economics of 3D printing.

 Materials and Color Science

HP is committed to developing a platform that will become an industry standard. The company is focused on growing the highest potential commercial markets. While the HP 3D Print technology is available today, HP is working directly with customers under the HP Open Customer Engagement Program. Through this program, HP will continue to extend the capabilities of the HP 3D Print platform throughout development and will provide a certification process for partners to drive materials innovation. Wider distribution of the HP 3D Print system will begin in 2016.

By inviting open collaboration, HP and contributors will be able to achieve greater flexibility and versatility in 3D Print materials beyond the current use of thermoplastics, which will enable new solutions in segments such as additive manufacturing and will expand applications for engineering, architecture and consumer goods. HP will also bring its color science expertise and the full-color capabilities of traditional HP printing to the 3D world in future-generation 3D Print systems.

Sprout by HP Reimagines Computing

The first product available in HP’s Blended Reality ecosystem, Sprout by HP combines the power of an advanced desktop computer with an immersive, natural user interface to create a new computing experience.

Guests interact with innovative technology introduced at the Sprout by HP and HP Multi Jet Fusion Launch event. (Photo by Ivan Agostini/Invision for HP/AP Images)
Guests interact with innovative technology introduced at the Sprout by HP and HP Multi Jet Fusion Launch event. (Photo by Ivan Agostini/Invision for HP/AP Images)

“We live in a 3D world, but today we create in a 2D world on existing devices,” said Ron Coughlin, senior vice president, Consumer PC & Solutions, HP. “Sprout by HP is a big step forward in reimagining the boundaries of how we create and engage with technology to allow users to move seamlessly from thought to expression.”

Because a scanner, depth sensor, hi-resolution camera and projector are built into a single device, Spout by HP enables users to bring objects from the physical world into the digital workspace, where users in multiple locations can collaborate on and manipulate a single piece of digital content in real-time.

“People have always created with their hands,” added Coughlin. “Concurrently, technology has progressed from the first transistors, through calculators to today’s most sophisticated computing platforms. Until now, the physical and digital worlds have largely been separated and digital creation has remained in 2D. With Sprout by HP, we introduce the first immersive computing platform, seamlessly merging these two worlds together, enabling people to intuitively bring their creations, work, and projects to life in 3D.” Below are some of the features of Sprout by HP.

  • Dual-screen Experience: Designed for creative expression and human interaction, the workspace couples a vertical HD touchscreen with a 20-point capacitive touch mat.
  • The Sprout Illuminator: This projection system scans and captures real-world objects in 3D, allowing the user to immediately interact and create.
  • HP Workspace: The software platform built expressly for Sprout takes full advantage of the dual-screen experience to make working and creating seamless, intuitive and engaging.
  • True Remote Collaboration: The interface advances how users work, collaborate and share. Simultaneous visual and workspace connectivity, allowing concurrent creativity and content manipulation.
  • Advanced Platform: The next-generation computing platform features a powerful 4th generation Intel i7 Processor, 1TB of storage in an easy-to-use dual-screen interface, and a Windows 8.1 multi-touch experience.

Sprout Marketplace

The potential of Sprout by HP’s unique configuration is fully realized through the Sprout Marketplace, an application marketplace that contains a growing suite of applications that are optimized to take advantage of Immersive Computing platform to enhance how users work, play and engage with entertainment.

The Sprout Marketplace currently contains a suite of Windows-based applications designed uniquely for the dual-screen environment including the Martha Stewart CraftStudio, DreamWorks Animation Story Producer, Crayola’s Draw & Sing, GestureWorks Gameplay and first party experiences from HP including Create, Collaborate and Capture, enabling users to easily capture physical objects, manipulate them in a digital environment, and collaborate and share their creations in new ways.

New applications, including a range of creative applications for professionals, families, gamers and beyond, will continue to be added to the marketplace regularly. The Sprout Software Development Kit is available at www.sprout.hp.com/developer.

Sprout by HP is available for pre-order at hp.com today and will be available for purchase in select retail locations and at hp.com on November 9.


Sprout by HP


Video: Blended Reality


International CES Features 3D Printing Conference Track and Tech Zone

CESLogoThe scope of the International CES conference and expo extends well beyond everyday electronics such as TVs, tablets, audio systems, cameras, and gadgets.

The 2014 International CES (January 7-10) in Las Vegas will showcase how connected technologies are changing the way we run our homes, drive our cars, educate our children, monitor our health, care for the sick, buy things in stores, play games, and watch videos. Tech zones will include areas devoted to robotics, fashionware, fitness technology, digital health innovations, and 3D printing.

The 3D Printing TechZone will showcase the various additive manufacturing processes that are being used in making prototypes in the medical, aerospace, engineering, and automotive industries as well as the more compact 3D printers that are making the process more accessible to makers and consumers.

3DPrint_SponLogoA Conference Track entitled, “Don’t Believe the Hype? 3D Printing Uncovered” is being organized by experts from TCT Magazine and Personalize.

Personalize is a web portal that delivers 3D printing news and printable designs to consumers. TCT Magazine is a leading source of business intelligence on industrial 3D printing. They have been covering the topic for more than 20 years. The editors of TCT magazine note that “3D printing is an overnight sensation that has been around for 30 years. Consisting of tens of technologies processing hundreds of materials, there’s more to it than meets they eye.”

The 3D Printing Conference track at CES will bring together thought leaders, 3D printer manufacturers, champions of 3D printing-related businesses models, and industrial super-users of 3D printing processes.

Speakers will include:

  • Avi Reichental, CEO of the 3D printing equipment manufacturer 3D Systems,
  • Clement Moreau, CEO of the Sculpteo 3D printing service, and
  • TCT columnist and technology consultant Todd Grimm.

Other Programs of Interest to Creators

Sometimes, the disruptive impact of emerging technologies can difficult to predict. Many of the conference sessions are less about the technologies, and more about the types of changes they might bring.

For example, one session will focus on how Hollywood is being affected by the world of always-connected, always-on media and the ability to watch video whenever and wherever we want. Another session will examine how mobile photography on smartphones and tablets has affected photography-related businesses.

A session entitled “The Roar of the Crowd” will examine how crowdfunding through sites such as Kickstarter to deviantArt is changing how content is funded, created, and curated.

Other session titles include:

  • Merging Content with New Technologies
  • The Digital Copyright Debate: What Needs to Change?
  • YouTube: Unlocking the Power of Programming, Premium Content, and Advertising
  • The Future of Gaming
  • The Smartphone/Tablet Economy
  • The Multiscreen Universe
  • Redefining the Relationship Between the Consumer, Advertising, and Media Platforms
  • The State of Digital Music
  • Impact of the 3D Printing Revolution
  • The Power of Co-Creation and the Maker Revolution

International CES

The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Held in Las Vegas every year, it has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years—the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.

CES showcases more than 3,200 exhibitors, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more; a conference program with more than 300 sessions; and more than 152,000 attendees from more than 150 countries.


2014 International CES

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Enterprise-Class 3D Printers Will Be Available for Under $2,000 by 2016

Successful creative professionals can discern what types of technology skills might be most in demand in the next few years by reading reports from technology research firms. For example, designers should pay attention to what’s happening with 3D printing.

Analysts at the Gartner technology advisory service are urging enterprises to start experimenting now with 3D printing technology to improve traditional product design and prototyping, with the potential to create new product lines and markets.

In a report entitled “How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities,” they point out that 3D printing is already disrupting the design, prototyping and manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries and will soon become available to consumers via kiosks or print-shop-style services.

“3D printing is a technology accelerating to mainstream adoption,” said Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner. “It is a technology of great interest to the general media, with demonstrations on science shows, on gadget websites and in other areas. From descriptions of exciting current uses in medical, manufacturing and other industries to futuristic ideas — such as using 3D printers on asteroids and the moon to create parts for spacecraft and lunar bases — the hype leads many people to think the technology is some years away when it is available now and is affordable to most enterprises.”

Broad Acceptance of 3D Printers

The material science behind 3D printing processes and materials will continue to progress, and affordable 3D printers are lowering the cost of entry into manufacturing in the same way that e-commerce lowered the barriers to the sale of goods and services. As a result, the 3D printer market will continue moving from niche adoption to broad acceptance, driven by lower printer prices, the potential for cost and time savings, greater capabilities, and improved performance that drives benefits and markets.

Businesses can use 3D printing to design personalized products, components, working prototypes and architectural models to promote their brand and products in new and interactive ways. Indeed, there are opportunities to create entirely new product lines in which the finished 3D-printed product is what the consumer purchases.

3D printers are now priced so that any size business can invest in them and start experimenting with the myriad ways to monetize them. By 2016, enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for under $2,000. Early adopters can experiment with 3D printers with minimal risk of capital or time, possibly gaining an advantage in product design and time to market over their competition, as well as understanding the realistic material costs and time to build parts.

Furthermore, enterprise uses for 3D printers have expanded as capabilities of 3D scanners and design tools have advanced, and as the commercial and open-source development of additional design software tools has made 3D printing more practical. Gartner believes that the commercial market for 3D print applications will continue expanding into architectural, engineering, geospatial and medical uses, as well as short-run manufacturing.

“Businesses must continuously monitor advances to identify where improvements can be leveraged,” said Mr. Basiliere. “We see 3D printing as a tool for empowerment, already enabling life-changing parts and products to be built in struggling countries, helping rebuild crisis-hit areas and leading to the democratization of manufacturing.”

3D printing is already established in industries ranging from automotive manufacturing to consumer goods to the military, as well as the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Major multinational retailers have the means to market the technology to consumers and generate revenue by selling printers and supplies, as well as from sales of individual 3D-printed pieces. One vision is for the retailers to not only sell the printers, but also offer a service bureau that prints custom items or personalized variations on stock items, a key consumer trend.

Another possibility is for roving display vans to visit the retailer’s stores. Customers would visit these self-contained vans parked in front of the store that contain two or three operating printers and watch parts being made (including possibly their own personalized 3D item).

Alternatively, the consumer could order the custom or personalized part to be made while they are shopping, or to be available for pickup the next day.

Models of chains, gears, wheels, and even a dinosaur are made at the touch of a button on the using the Dimension 1200es 3D printer at Braintree Printing in Braintree, Massachusetts.
Models of chains, gears, wheels, and even a dinosaur are made at the touch of a button on the using the Dimension 1200es 3D printer at Braintree Printing in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Braintree Printing Adds 3D Printing Capabilities

When I read about reports by marketing analysts, I look for evidence that some of their predictions are coming to pass in the real world. On my Great Output blog, I recently published a news item about Braintree Printing, a 30-year-old commercial printing company that has recently purchased a 3D printing device. They will be using the device to enable customers to  convert  digital files supplied by customers into physical 3D objects, such as prototypes, customized parts, and architectural
and medical models.


Gartner Report: How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities

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