A few months ago, we reported on a 3D copier that scans an object and molds a smaller, physical black and white version. Now it seems that HP is preparing to mass-produce printers capable of creating three-dimensional plastic models that will likely target hobbyists and small design businesses.
According to Wired, 3D printers have been around for some time, available only for high-end industrial designers and architects using AutoCAD and other computer aided design programs. But with HP now "embracing" the technology for the mainstream market, smaller business will be able to "print" 3D artifacts based on their virtual 3D creations.
"This is the boldest step we have seen so far in 3D printing," said Scott Summit, chief technology officer for Bespoke Innovations.
"A lot of people want to do 3D printing but it is a mysterious world. With HP embracing it, it is likely to demystify the idea to many consumers."
Stratasys, a veteran 3D printer manufacturer, will build the new line of HP 3D printers. The former company already offers a desktop 3D printer costing around the $15,000 price range--this tag may accompany HP's line of printers when they finally hit the market. However, Wired added that do-it-yourself hobbyists have managed to create a 3D printer--the Makerbot--for a meager $950.
Currently HP has not released official pricing and availability for its upcoming line of 3D printers, so stay tuned.