Sub Total
Excluding delivery and voucher code discounts.
Go to basket

Free Delivery on all orders to UK mainland within 3 working days.

HP Tech@Work
Today's trends for tomorrow's business
The wild world of 3D printing

The wild world of 3D printing

As you may have heard, 3D printers are going beyond the simple plastic creations we’re already familiar with. Way beyond. Scientists, engineers, doctors and creative makers are developing printers for advancements in health care, city planning and space travel. Oh, and now you can print sneakers and pizza, too. Here’s a roundup of the latest and greatest developments in the 3D printing world.

Medical treatments

A variety of 3D printing techniques are being used to create more customized medical care and treatment plans for patients.
  • The FDA has approved the first 3D-printed drug: Spiritam, which controls seizures brought on by epilepsy. The pill utilizes 3D printing to create a more porous structure that dissolves faster and allows patients to swallow high doses more quickly. It has opened the doors for additional 3D-printed drugs that can be packaged in precise doses that are custom-tailored to each patient.[1]
  • 3D models of patients’ organs are helping doctors plan out surgical procedures before they make an incision. In January an Irish surgical team was able to do a kidney transplant from a father to his 3-year-old daughter by creating 3D replicas of the father’s kidney and the daughter’s abdomen.[2] More recently, a 3D-printed surgical model of an infant’s heart helped surgeons repair his life-threatening congenital heart defect.[3]
  • Arm prostheses made by 3D printers have been around for a little while, but prosthetic legs (which need to support the patient’s weight and allow them to move) are a little more complex. Fortunately, a team of Dutch orthopedic developers has built a leg prostheses that has helped one little girl walk unassisted, and there will be more to come.[4]
  • Actual human body parts may not be far off, either. A team of Swedish researchers managed a 3D “bioprinter” to create cartilage that can keep its shape; their goal is to create implants that can heal human noses, ears and knees (researchers say vital organs are going to take much longer to develop.)[5]

3D-printed cities

Well, almost. But we’re getting close. Here are some feats of 3D structural engineering.
  • A San Francisco-based startup called Emerging Objects used 3D-printed blocks of sand to create a structure nicknamed the “Quake Column.” Influenced by ancient Incan construction, its angular blocks are designed to shift and resettle during seismic activity. It’s still early, but the design could have large-scale influence on buildings in earthquake zones in the future.[6]
  • Architects are hoping that the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of 3D-printed housing will be able to help communities in need. Singapore has plans to build 3D-printed homes for its elderly population; the Brazilian startup Urban3D envisions housing designed to combat the country’s urban slum problems.[7]
  • On the other side of the world, Dubai announced plans for the first 3D-printed office building as part of their “Museum of the Future.” The building, built by a printer that’s six meters wide, will feature exclusively 3D-printed interior elements, too.[8]

3D printing and sustainability

Can the environment benefit from 3D designs? You bet.
  • Developing concrete that can be used in 3D printing is still a challenge, but a group of UCLA researchers are on the right track. They’ve developed a way to harness the carbon from power plant smokestacks and use it to create a new building material—CO2NCRETE—that 3D printers would fabricate.[9]
  • A sustainable energy source that looks like a tree? Makes perfect sense. The 20-foot-tall solar-powered “Smart Palms” in Dubai glow at night and let you recharge your laptop and mobile tech during the day. Made from concrete and 3D-printed fiber-reinforced plastic, they have the ability to charge up to 50 devices at a time.
  • An Ontario startup hopes to use the power of 3D printing to bring clean energy to impoverished areas of the world. First up: Taking two giant 3D printers down to Nicaragua to build 50 “micro wind” turbines that will provide the area with a sustainable form of electricity.[10]


Remember the food machine on The Jetsons that popped out dinner with the punch of a few buttons? It could become a reality sooner than you think.
  • Why order a pizza when you can just print one? The Beehex 3D printer, which was showcased at South By Southwest in March, wants to make that happen.[11]
  • Looking for something a little fancier? A highly-developed printer called the Foodini is being used in high-end cuisine. Made by Barcelona-based Natural Machines, the Foodini is being used by elite chefs to create beautiful, intricate designs on their dishes. Its makers hope that the tech will have a mass-market appeal to casual cooks, as well.[12]

Printing in space

That mission to Mars? It won’t be possible without a few 3D printers.
  • Pizza’s not the only thing that the inventor of the Beehex, Anjan Contractor, is thinking about. He has also received a $125,000 grant from NASA to develop a 3D printer that could build customized, nutritious food for astronauts during long-term space travel.[13]
  • The International Space Station just got a new 3D printer, too. NASA recently sent a 3D printer and printing supplies developed by tech company Made in Space to the ISS to make life a little easier for astronauts. The long-term goal is for space travelers to be self-sufficient instead of waiting for supplies from earth. Need an antenna to fix your rocket ship radio? Just print one up.[14]

Fun stuff

Practical, schmactical. Ready for a little 3D-printed fun?
  • Imagine being a kid and seeing a commercial for an awesome new toy, then printing it up in your living room. We’re not quite there yet—but we’re getting close. Mattel recently unveiled the Thing Maker, which will retail for $299.99 and work with an app for iOS and Android to let users make their own figurine designs and build them on the spot.[15] Pley, the “Netflix of Toys” rental service, has plans to rent 3D toy printers to families as well. [16]
  • Need running shoes that fit really, really well? Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and other footwear companies (as well as several startups) are all developing ways to create custom foot insoles for your new kicks.[17]
  • The fun isn’t limited to big companies either. Individual makers are gathering on sites like Thingiverse to showcase their DIY 3D-printed creations. Need a 3D-printed garden hose or a doorstop shaped like a cow? Now you know where to find it.
  • Looking for hip wedding day décor that fits your budget? Agate place cards are popular but expensive. The Sprout allows you 3D-scan and print[19] affordable faux versions—and at the last minute.[19]
[18] Optional Dremel printer required for 3D printing and sold separately.
[19] A Practical Wedding, How To: DIY Faux Agate Wedding Decor

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.


Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See

“Best All In One Printer” and “the easiest printer you’ve ever had to set up” from Wirecutter. ©2020 The Wirecutter, Inc.. All rights reserved. Used under license.

Get Marvel’s Avengers when you purchase HP gaming PCs with qualifying 9th gen or 10th gen Intel® Core™ i5, i7 and i9 processors. Redemption code will be sent out by email within 60 days of purchase. Limited quantities and while supply lasts. Offer valid thru 12/31/2020 only while supplies last. We reserve the right to replace titles in the offer for ones of equal or greater value. Certain titles may not be available to all consumers because of age restrictions. The Offer may be changed, cancelled, or suspended at any time, for any reason, without notice, at Intel’s reasonable discretion if its fairness or integrity affected whether due to human or technical error. The Offer sponsor is Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA. To participate you must create an Intel Digital Hub Account, purchase a qualifying product during the redemption period, enter a valid Master Key, and respond to a brief survey. Information you submit is collected, stored, processed, and used on servers in the USA. For more information on offer details, eligibility, restrictions, and our privacy policy, visit

© 2020 MARVEL. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

The personal information you provide will be used according to the HP Privacy Statement (