HP is reportedly on track to start shipping its 3D printers this year, which it is pitching as manufacturing solutions rather than being just for prototyping.
Computerworld has published an interview with Stephen Nigro, HP’s president of 3D printing, who said the Multi-Jet Fusion machines were currently in beta tests and on track for delivery this year.
Their technology involves a dual-carriage system which repeatedly lays out layers of thermoplastic (100 microns thick) and chemical agents (through a printer head with 30,000 nozzles).
The claimed production speed is ten times that of sintering methods.
Nigro said prototyping was a potential use for the printers, which would retail between $US 100,000 and $US1 million, though they would “shine” in production.
"We're going to deliver something that's reliable," he told Computerworld.
"That's part of the reason it's taking us so long to put this system together. We're making sure it's a robust system."
Multi-Jet Fusion will be spruiked at South By South West in Austin, Texas next week.
The company has been relatively quiet about its 3D printer plans since their October 2014 announcement.