HP is betting big on 3D printing technology as part of its future. The computer giant recently announced plans to split into two companies, one of which will focus on enterprise software and services and the other of which will focus on consumer devices including notebooks, tablets, and printers… along with 3D printers.
Now HP is starting to show off some of its 3D printing technology, and it’s not quite like anything else on the market.
First up is a new 3D scanning system called Sprout. It’s basically a Windows all-in-one desktop computer with a 3-camera system mounted to the top which face down at a big touch mat.
Place an item you want to scan on the touchpad and you can scan them in seconds to create digital copies which you can manipulate using either the 23-inch, 1080p touchscreen display on the monitor or the 20-point multitouch capacitive mat.
HP released a demo video showing the Sprout scanning physical objects (like a paper crane) as well as books.
You can also use Sprout as a general purpose computer. It has an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, NVIDIA GeForce GT 745A graphics and Windows software.
Sprout is available from the HP Store for $1900.
Scanning objects is cool and all… but what if you want to print physical copies?
There are plenty of 3D printers on the market, but HP has developed its own technology which it calls Multi Jet Fusion that the company says will enable faster, more accurate printing.
The system allows for resolutions of 1200 dots per inch, the company says it offers better color reproduction than rival systems, and creates sturdy products: in order to demonstrate just how tough the end product is, HP released a demo video showing a 3D printed part being used to lift a car.
HP hopes to launch the first 3D printers based on its new Multi Jet Fusion technology in 2016 and they’ll initially be aimed at manufacturing and other enterprise markets, not consumers.