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


SME to Display Art Created with 3D Printing and Imaging

If you use additive manufacturing, 3D printing, or 3D imaging technologies to create works of art, here is an opportunity to get exposure and recognition for your work.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is seeking submissions for artwork that will be displayed in the Contemporary Art Gallery during the RAPID Additive Manufacturing Solutions Conference and Exposition to be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 10-13, 2013.  The deadline for submitting entries is March 4.


“RAPID presents artists familiar with design software and additive manufacturing processes the opportunity to display their work to an appreciative audience, while providing traditional artists the opportunity to explore this new medium and participate in the 3D printing industry,” said SME business development manager Gary Mikola.

To enter, submit renderings in JPG file format along with your credentials and a list of the processes used to create the artwork. Event advisors will select the submissions that will be displayed in the gallery. Preference will be given to artists whose works have already been created using additive technologies. But artists are encouraged to submit works in CAD/STL files because a limited number of entries will be printed by professional additive manufacturing service providers.

All artwork in final form must be durable and stable for display on a 2-foot square surface pedestal. Artwork will be prominently displayed on the RAPID show floor. Artists will receive publicity and promotion in the form of press releases, listings in the printed show directory, online visibility in the RAPID Contemporary Art eGallery and social media marketing.

“This innovative artistic medium will provide an economic boon to the artists themselves, as well as to the additive manufacturing industry as a whole,” Mikola added. Since SME introduced their Contemporary Art Gallery in 2010, more than 50 works of art have been displayed.


Artists are using additive manufacturing, 3D printing and 3D imaging technologies to create dimensional art with complex patterns and geometries.  First, they use CAD software to create digital models of their work. The CAD files are converted into a 3D-printable STL file format that is then transferred to a 3D printing / additive manufacturing machine.

The machine outputs different materials onto a platform, building cross sections one layer at a time. Each layer corresponds with the virtual cross-section of the artists’ CAD file to create the final work of art. (For an example, see the post: Portrait Sculptures Created with 3D Printing )

The RAPID Additive Manufacturing Solutions Conference and Exposition is North America’s definitive event featuring 3D imaging and 3D printing technologies. The expo attracts buyers, sellers and end-users of design, prototyping, tooling and direct digital technologies. RAPID is produced by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the premiere source for manufacturing knowledge, education, and networking.


RAPID Additive Manufacturing Solutions Conference

What Is Additive Manufacturing?


Portrait Sculptures Created with 3D Printing


Learn About All Things 3D at 3DCAMP Houston 2012

The University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the School of Art will host 3DCAMP Houston 2012 on Saturday, September 29, 2012. Expert speakers will discuss how 3D technologies are impacting fields ranging from architecture, art, and education to engineering, medicine, and science.  At 3DCAMP, you can see how 3D laser, modeling, and illustration technologies are being used in sculpture, architectural visualization, game development, building information modeling, and the design and fabrication of Hollywood props and themed environments.

The all-day symposium is open to the public. The $15 symposium registration fee includes access to presentations by more than 15 speakers and a juried 3D art exhibition. Vendors will also be on hand to demonstrate the possibilities and uses of some of the most interesting and mind-blowing 3D technology.

“The rapid evolution in visualization technology is playing a critical role in advancing many important areas, from medical and surgical techniques to new methods of energy realization and information transmission,” said Mark A. Smith, dean of the University of Houston’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “With the university playing a critical role nationwide in these developments, it is satisfying as well as natural to help bring this understanding to our community through 3DCAMP 2012.”

Mike de la Flor’s 3D medical illustration of T-cell being attacked by HIV

Rex Koontz, director of the University’s School of Art adds that, “Technology, art and design are converging into a significant force on our cultural and economic landscape. The School of Art welcomes the opportunity to work with the cast of 3DCAMP to further the goal of creating synergies between art and technology.”

The conference is being chaired by David Morris, the technology consultant who started 3DCAMP in 2009. While attending school at Texas A&M, he helped create a popular open-source 3D modeling application that has been downloaded over 100,000 times by users around the world. Morris says, “I created 3DCAMP to help people understand what a wide variety of applications there are for 3D technologies—especially in an economy as rich and diverse as Houston’s. I would like to expand the audience for 3DCAMP this year, to be even bigger and better than before.”

Call for Entries in Art Exhibit

3DCAMP Houston 2012 will also host “The Third Dimension,” a juried exhibition of artwork of all mediums that use 3D technology in the creative process. The opening reception will be held from 6 to 9 pm on Friday, September, 28 and the exhibit will remain open to the public during the symposium on Saturday, September 29.

The exhibition will be curated by artist and gallery owner Lori Betz, who is also president and founder of Houston Art and Culture, a local non-profit organization established to enrich the community with arts mentoring and scholarships. The jurors will be members of 3DCAMP’s organizing committee.

Traditional and digital sculptor Gil Bruvel uses rapid prototyping printing of metal.

All artists are welcome to apply. All art styles and mediums are encouraged, including digital and film, as long you adhere to the theme, “The Third Dimension” and have used a 3D technology during some point in your creative process. The deadline for submitting entries is September 3.

Betz says, “The exhibit will feature artwork that uses some of the techniques and technologies that the speakers will be talking about. It’s like nothing you have ever seen before.”


3DCAMP Houston 2012

Third Dimension Art Show at 3DCAMP: Call for Entries

3D Pavement Art Depicts Vastness of Grand Canyon

If you will be traveling near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this summer, stop by the National Geographic Visitor Center and be photographed with the 3D pavement print created by Kurt Wenner.

Entitled “Grand Canyon Illusion,” the piece is a visual mind and eye puzzle that conveys the vastness of the canyon. Visitors are encouraged to “complete the art” by stepping into it and being photographed. In the photo, you will appear to be perched on an outcrop high above the Canyon floor.

“It’s a sunrise idea –the colors need to be at the surface of the illusion,” said artist Kurt Wenner. “The thousands of different colors make it so momentous.” Within a 15-foot span, the transitions in the art provide a journey for the eye, one that is as smooth as possible. As he puts it, “You’re trying to reach to infinity.”

It is the first Kurt Wenner permanent 3D illusion composition to be exhibited in North America.

Wenner’s large-scale drawing process involves a form of perspective known as anamorphism, a technique that several great artists first used during the Renaissance to develop illusion in art. These artists used the technique to depict soaring architecture, floating figures, and dreamscapes on massively large ceiling frescoes.

By combining elements of this classic Renaissance art with traditional street painting techniques, Wenner gave birth to a new art form called anamorphic or 3D pavement art. Audiences can not only ‘view’ Wenner’s art, but also ‘interact’ with compositions that appear to rise from the ground or fall into it.

“We are delighted to have visitors from all around the world interacting in and learning from Kurt Wenner’s 3D Grand Canyon Illusion here in our courtyard,” said Janet Rosener, Director of the National Geographic Visitor Center. “Through the magic of Wenner’s fine art, we aim to give our visitors a higher level of understanding and appreciation for this special place and to help them get the most out of their vacation at the Grand Canyon.”Nature Valley® is the presenting sponsor of Kurt Wenner’s Grand Canyon 3D artwork.

“Kurt first came to our attention through a National Geographic documentary, Masterpieces in Chalk, filmed in 1987,” said Robert S. Perkins, Chief Executive Officer of Destination Cinema, the National Geographic Visitor Center’s parent company. “We would like to suggest that, when visitors come to experience the Grand Canyon, they should take the opportunity to see the artwork of Kurt Wenner, a man many consider a natural wonder of the art world.”

The National Geographic Visitor Center is located on highway 64, one mile south of the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. The center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. March 1 to October 31 and from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. November 1 to February 28.


National Geographic Visitor Center: Grand Canyon


Kurt Wenner Grand Canyon Installation


LuxFolio Lets You Show 3D Photos and Designs on Your iPad

The LuxFolio™ Stereoscopic Portfolio iPad app ($2.99) lets you view and present 3D stereoscopic images on your iPad or a connected monitor, TV, or projector. The images can be produced with special 3D cameras or mounts or with 3D rendering software.

The app was produced by Luxology, an independent technology company in Mountain View, California that is developing next-generation 3D content-creation software. Luxology’s flagship product is modo 3D rendering software that is used by film and broadcast artists, computer graphics specialists, photographers, packaging designers, game developers, and web designers.

In the LuxFolio app, Images can be viewed in one of three ways:

The 2-up mode displays both images side-by-side and is designed to support connected stereoscopic video displays.

The wobble mode shifts between left and right views to simulate the act of moving your head side-to-side to see the stereo parallax of a scene.

The anaglyph mode works with commonly available red-blue 3D glasses. This view combines the two sides of the stereo pair using different colors, so that the left image is mostly blocked by the blue filter over the right eye, and the right image is blocked by the red filter over the left eye.

Modo screenshot on LuxFolio. Courtesy of Luxology.

You can organize images into slideshows with adjustable slide duration, plus manual forward, backwards and pause controls. Full screen iPad viewing is supported with zoom and pan functionality using standard iPad gestures.

“The LuxFolio app lets customers of modo and various other 3D software packages view their stereo assets on the go,” said Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “We are just beginning to tap into the image presentation and processing capabilities of the iPad and look forward to presenting customers with new and exciting options in the future.”





Trends in 3D Entertainment Featured at 2011 NAB Show

In a recent Content Insider newsletter, Andy Marken reported that the state of 3D filmmaking and broadcasting was one of the themes discussed at the 2011 NABShow® April 9-14 in Las Vegas.

NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) was originally formed to advocate for the interests of radio and television broadcasters. But like other associations, they have rebranded some programs to reflect the ongoing convergence in communications technologies. For example, the NABShow is now described as “the world’s largest electronic media show.” The event attracts more than 90,000 attendees from 151 countries and covers filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums.

In his newsletter, Marken reports that 3D filmmaker James Cameron chided broadcasters for not moving faster to make 3D content available on a wider range of screens. Here are some of the stats and projections cited at the conference:

  • There are about 25,000 3D movie screens worldwide (8,000 in the US).
  • Between 2008 and 2011, there were 160 3D movies released. About 140 3D movies will be released between 2012 and 2015.
  • In the US, 10 3D TV channels will launch this year; 25 will launch in 2012.
  • In the US, one-third of households will buy a 3D TV in the next three years.
  • In Europe, 42% of homes are projected to have 3D TVs by the year 2014.
  • In 2011, about 95 million 3D devices (including gaming devices, set-tops, and PCs) will be sold.
  • By 2014, the global installed base is projected to be nearly 900 million 3D-capable devices.

Of course, statistics and projections often turn out to be wildly optimistic. And Marken points out that a lot of these statistics assume that people will either accept the idea of wearing glasses for their viewing or the current “glasses-free” technology will be refined.

He also notes that if one-third of US households buy a 3D TV in the next three years, it means that two-thirds won’t.

Nevertheless, if you’re in the business of producing content, it’s important to pay attention how quickly new forms of technologies might be adopted. And to a certain extent, the adoption rate of 3D-capable devices will depend on the quality and variety of available content.

Other sessions at the 2011 NABShow focused on social media and mobile delivery of video, cloud computing and storage, and how the converging TV and film industries (Tellywood) could optimize their content assets.

There was talk about Google’s plans to produce content for YouTube and discussions of trends in the online video-viewing habits of different generations. More people are watching videos online than ever, but we’re also all watching more video content in general. Right now, people over 18 years old spend an average of five hours a day watching TV compared to three to five minutes a day watching online videos.

By the year 2014, eMarketer analysts predict that more than 90% of people from age 12 to 34 will turn first to the web to watch video content.


Sculpteo Can Convert Photos of People into 3D Figurines

Picture some of the photo-merchandise possibilities of the latest 3D printing service offered by Sculpteo. After you upload front- and profile-view photos of an individual, Sculpteo artists will interpret the visuals to create a 3D model of that person which they will send you for approval. You get to choose the clothing and colors.

Sculpteo Mini Figurines

Within a few days, you will receive a personalized figurine (or 3D avatar or mini-action figure) between 3 to 4 inches high. The figurines are manufactured on a 3D digital printer, which builds and solidifies a material layer by layer until the finished object is created.

Sculpteo Bridal Party

The mini-action figures could be popular for graduation, birthday, and retirement parties or bridal showers and weddings. You might also create mini-action figures for sports-team banquets or as gifts for children of military parents serving overseas. You can figure out many other possibilities as well.