During Hewlett-Packard’s shareholder meeting Wednesday, CEO Meg Whitman noted that the company is planning to jump into the 3D printing business in June.
The disclosure came after a shareholder asked her why HP has dragged its feet getting into that market. She reponded that most 3D printing products today function so slowly “it is like watching ice melt and the quality of today’s 3D printing is not as good as it should be.”
However, she said , “we believe we have solved both of those problems.”
Although Whitman was vague on what sort of product might be introduced, she said HP would first target “enterprise” customers, meaning businesses, government agencies and other organizations.
That makes sense because the consumer printing market has slumped while printer sales to businesses remains relatively healthy.
Whitman’s announcement didn’t surprise Richard Kugele, an analyst with Needham & Co. In a note to his clients Thursday, he said, “HP’s entry into the market has been widely anticipated” and that it reflects the company’s realization that “the 3D printing movement is more than hype.”
Photo by LiPo Ching, Mercury News