HP to enter 3D printer market in 2014

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HP plans to enter the 3D printer market in mid-2014, its chief executive Meg Whitman has revealed.

Speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum in Bangkok, Whitman said although 3D printing was in its infancy, HP is actively developing products, which will be released within the next 12 months.

"[3D printing] is a big opportunity and we are all over it. We will have something by the middle of next year," Whitman told attendees.

"We want to lead this business. HP Labs is looking at it."

HP also wants to increase the speed of 3D printing and look into making cost effective machines.

"To print a bottle can take eight to ten hours. That's all very interesting, but it is like watching ice melt," she said.

Whitman added 3D printing is still three years away from becoming a big business.

"These businesses go along, get a little traction, go along, get a little more traction, then hit the knee of the curve," she said,

3D printing is being used in high-tech industries to prototype products and is beginning to gain traction in the consumer maket too.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 brings support for 3D printers and Maplin has started offering a 700 Velleman K8200 device which can be assembled at home.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.