Tag Archives: Hewlett Packard

Friday News Round Up, 21/03/2014

Mostfun 3D Printer Raises Over $20K In A Week On DemoHour

Mostfun 3D Printer

Chinese 3D printer manufacturer, Mostfun has raised over $20,000 in less than a week on DemoHour, a Chinese based crowdfunding site. The Mostfun comes in two different models: the Mostfun Sail and the Pro. Separating the two models is WiFi connectivity, which comes on the Pro but not on the Sail.

Overall print volume is 120 x 120 x 120mm and objects can be printed at a 100 micron layer resolution. XY positioning accuracy is 15 microns and the nozzle diameter is 0.4mm. PLA thermoplastic is the Mostfun’s main printing material, while supported software packages include  Cura, RepetierHost and MF studio.

Prices for the Mostfun range from $460 for the Sail, to $690 for the Pro on the DemoHour campaign, which ends on May 12. These will go up to $575 and $768 respectively when the printers go into retail. All backers will receive their printers before the end of August of this year.

Mostfun 3D Printer 2


HP Outlining Plans To Enter The Commercial 3D Printing Market In June 


2014 is going to be a big year for 3D printing and one of the most hyped up pieces of news, was the announcement that HP would be entering the commercial 3D printer market in 2014. Hewlett-Packard (HP) will be outlining plans to enter the commercial 3D printing market in June, Chief executive Meg Whitman told shareholders on Tuesday. Company engineers and designers have apparently fixed a number of issues and problems that have hindered broader adoption of 3D printing.

The two major problems surrounding 3D printing have been the focus of the additive manufacturing and R&D team at HP. One was the cripplingly slow print speeds and the other was the substandard surface quality 3D printing produces. According to Whitman, researchers at HP have resolved limitations involved with the quality of substrates used in the process, which affects the durability of finished products. She said HP will make a “big technology announcement” in June how it will approach a market that has excited the imagination of investors and consumers.


3D Printing Transforms Smartphones Into Virtual Reality Devices


The Oculus Rift has been at the forefront of the modern virtual reality revolution, but a new product combining 3D printing and smartphone technology could let you take virtual reality anywhere. Altergaze, a new Kickstarter product, uses a fully 3D printed visor that will create up to a 110° field of view at high resolution (1136 x 640 on a iPhone and 1920 x 1080 on a Samsung S4). It will track head movements to six degrees of freedom and is just 15.8 cm x 8.2 cm x 7.2 cm in size.

Altergaze’s team said:

“Used as a handheld device, the Altergaze delivers one of the widest field of view ever developed for any commercial VR interface, all in a lightweight compact package.

For gaming and other complex interactive applications, the Altergaze can be strapped to your head. Optionally, you can use a 2nd device, such as your laptop or tablet, as a universal controller.

Used in combination with the iPhone 5 (Retina Display) images look sharp, bright and colourful, with only a minor screen-door-effect. The low latency head-tracking is provided by the smartphones gyroscope, with an impressive 9 degrees of freedom.”

The design is open source and customizable. A £30 pledge will net you the 3D files for all three different Altergaze models, giving you the ability to print them yourself. Those looking to get a fully assembled kit will find the £100 pledge to be their best bet. Estimated delivery time is November 2014. Watch the video below to see how the Altergaze is assembled and check it out on Kickstarter.






Important 3D Printing Patent Expires

SLS Patent 3D Systems

Yes it’s happened, a key patent related to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) has expired. The patent, originally filed by Carl R. Deckard on May 31 1994 and issued on 28 January 1997, has started the ball rolling for a year that will see several 3D printing patents coming to an end.

Expiration of patents related to FDM (fused deposition modeling) five years ago saw a dramatic reduction in price for the technology. FDM 3D printers couldn’t be found below $25,000 and now they are approaching $250.

SLS is a printing process where powder is hit by a laser, in layers to fuse material together and create a solid object. A massive range of materials from glass, ceramics, plastics and of course metals can be turned into 3D objects with SLS. Currently the technology is too expensive for consumer level 3D printers, but that could change over the course of the next few years. Compared to FDM printing, SLS is far more advanced and can create much more detailed objects.

Patent #5,597,589: ‘Apparatus for producing parts by selective sintering’ was owned by Deckard’s start-up company (DTM), which has since been acquired  by 3D Systems.

The patent includes the following description:

“An apparatus for selectively sintering a layer of powder to produce a part made from a plurality of sintered layers. The apparatus includes a computer controlling a laser to direct the laser energy onto the powder to produce a sintered mass. The computer either determines or is programmed with the boundaries of the desired cross-sectional regions of the part. For each cross-section, the aim of the laser beam is scanned over a layer of powder and the beam is switched on to sinter only the powder within the boundaries of the cross-section. Powder is applied and successive layers sintered until a completed part is formed. Preferably, the powder dispensing mechanism includes a drum which is moved horizontally across the target area and counter-rotated to smooth and distribute the powder in an even layer across the target area. A downdraft system provides controlled temperature air flow through the target area to moderate powder temperature during sintering.

So what does this mean for 3D printing and more importantly you? Expect to see a significant increase in the number and production of SLS machines, followed by a sharp decrease in price. This won’t happen over night though, companies manufacturing these new SLS printers will be wary of the dozens of other patents still valid that feature SLS technology.

3D System’s main competitor, Stratasys and their subsidary MakerBot will almost certainly be some of the first companies to take a shot at SLS technology, while avoiding the active patents. Hewlett Packard (HP) intends to launch into the 3D printing market this year and they will surely be aware of the patent. HP’s massive bank account could mean that 3D System’s and Stratasys’ could be facing a new competitor over the next couple of years.

2014 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for 3D printing, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what could happen.


HP Pulls Back The Curtains On Massive 3D Printer

Martin Fink at HP's Photonics Lab. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

Martin Fink at HP’s Photonics Lab. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED

While it’s strictly not an official unveiling, Hewlett-Packard (HP) has shown of their 3D printing for the first time to Wired Magazine, giving them an insight into the technology in development at the PC manufacturer. Wired had to venture into HP’s Palo Alto research labs where Martin Fink, the man who runs the labs, showed them the monster 3D printer.

Naturally, HP wasn’t too keen on photos but Wired claims that the printer stood five feet tall and was cobbled together from existing jumbo-scale metal printing parts and some new custom-built equipment. It’s a prototype, so don’t expect to see the massive 3D printer in shops next year when HP launches their first 3D printer.

Apparently the real secret is a special polymer that HP has crafted in their materials lab. The material was stored in a container about the size of a six-pack and was closely guarded. “We want to have smooth parts and we want to have resilient parts,” Fink says. “Part of the technology breakthrough is the material.”

Although 3D printing is gaining traction, Fink believes that the technology still has a long way to go. “People have this vision in their head of the Star Trek replicator, where you’re Captain Picard and you say ‘Tea. Earl Grey. Hot,’ and magically it just shows up,” Fink says. “The reality is so far different from that. They’re not even close.”

Fink believes that consumers will go to “print service providers”, such as Shapeways, before home 3D printing takes off. HP appears to be going after the specialized 3D printing service market rather than the consumer side. “That, we think, is actually a very, very viable market,” Fink says. “Now how big do we need to make this for this type of market, that’s still to be determined.”

The team at the research labs has been working with HP printer division product teams in Barcelona and San Diego on the project, with an aim of producing a profitable product. HP spends 3 billion dollars each year on research projects.

Source: www.wired.com



HP Will Not Enter 3D Printing Market Via Acquisition


Hewlett-Packard (HP) is looking to shake up the 3D printing market over the next couple of years after it enters it next year. On the company’s quarterly financial analyst conference call on Tuesday chief executive Meg Whitman gave 3D printing market a big endorsement and said HP will enter the market organically, not via acquisition.

“This is an acorn in 2014 and 2015 with very good long potential,” Whitman characterized 3D printing as an “acorn”. “Right, you’ve heard me say we got to plant acorns than they will eventually become oak trees but you should think in 2014 and 2015. This is an acorn that maybe has very good long potential but the market is at its earlier stages. There’s a lot of potential to print in ways most consumers and companies would find acceptable.”

HP’s shear size and marketing ability will almost certainly squeeze out some of the small manufacturer’s that have made a name for themselves in the 3D printing market. Whitman see’s this as a natural progression for HP, “We feel very excited about 3D printing. We want to lead this business.”

“So we intend to play in the 3D Printing market because it isn’t adjacency. It’s obviously different than paper printing but some of the technology is the same. And at least as we see here today, we anticipate adding — entering this organically. And what we’re doing is focusing on what’s the value proposition by market segment, whether that be consumer or industrial.” said Whitman.

Whitman believes that 3D printing will take off in the next three years or so and it will take some time for HP to gain traction with future 3D printing business’s. She also said that the company would employ “new technology” to address the current speed/price issues of 3D printing.

“We’ve got some very interesting things coming. So stay tuned in 2014.” said Whitman.


HP Moving Into 3D Printer Market Next Year


PC shipments are down and long time manufacturer Hewlett Packard (HP) are looking into other industries to increase their revenue stream. HP’s CEO Meg Whitman announced a potentially game changing announcement at the Canalys Channels Forum in Bangkok: “We are excited about 3D printing… we want to lead this business. HP Labs is looking at it.”

HP’s designers and engineers have two targets in their sights, lower cost and the time it takes to print objects.  “To print a bottle can take eight to ten hours. That’s all very interesting, but it is like watching ice melt,” she said.

3D printing won’t be replacing PC’s as HP’s main source of income any time soon though. Whitman said “3D printing is in its infancy.These businesses go along, get a little traction, go along, get a little more traction, then hit the knee of the curve.”

HP’s entrance into the market will be sometime next year with Whitman saying “3D printing is in its infancy. It is a big opportunity and we are all over it. We will have something by the middle of next year.”

It will be interesting to see what HP’s entrance into 3D printing will do for the technology. We may find that many of the small companies creating 3D printers at the moment disappear after a while due to their inability to compete with HP’s price points and massive resources.