HP´s new printers recently announced have been launched in the color market segment. In the 3D world, 3D printing has never been easy as coloring of the part during the printing process adds another complexity. Indeed, up until now there were few 3D printers available in this niche segment. HP´s entrance is based upon their experience in 2D color printing. Indeed, some of HP´s competitors used HP print cartridges in their 3D printers to print in color!
Color 3D printing is useful in particular in the consumer products segment and also in some areas of medical where color can add value. Depending on who you talk to, the consumer products 3D printing segment could be worth $6 billion by 2025.¹
The machines start from $50,000 which might not sound cheap but is a reasonable price compared to competitors. The printers can use the new 3MF file format, which has native support for color printing.
As with the other HP 3D printers, the printers are expected to support open materials standards to enable support over time of a wider set of materials and enable lower material costs.
¹ Smithers report – The Future of 3D Printing to 2025