Hot Summer Deals

Save up to 47% on select products,
plus get free shipping and easy returns.

Save up to 47% on select products.

HP Tech@Work
Today's trends for tomorrow's business
Could 3D printers be your next secret weapon?

Could 3D printers be your next secret weapon?

3D printers offer small to midsized businesses an unprecedented opportunity to differentiate themselves in their markets and level the playing field with bigger brands.

3D printers may seem like tools only a big business might care about, but with recent technological advances and price reductions, SMBs should care as much or more than larger companies.
In fact, 3D printers now offer small to midsized businesses an unprecedented opportunity to differentiate themselves in their markets and level the playing field with bigger brands.
Also known as “additive manufacturing,” 3D printers have been around for decades. Designers, manufacturers, scientists and technologists have primarily used them for prototyping and for very small batch customized fabrication. But their spotty quality and high price points limited mass adoption. That’s changed in the last two years with newer 3D print system’s ability to produce superior physical parts and products 10 times faster at half the cost. At the same time, several quality printers have come along recently to support the needs and budgets of SMBs, making them serious options for the first time buyer.
But why should an SMB care? Because, more than many emerging technologies, 3D printers can unlock a world of opportunity for SMBs while leveling the playing field with bigger competitors.
If you’ve seen 3D-printed items showing up around you and have wondered how or whether they might help your small or midsized business, consider their benefits in three areas: prototyping; customized products; and supply and distribution.

Prototyping like a pro

Designing and creating prototypes on your own can be a cost-effective alternative to outsourcing that function. Whether you own a 3D printer or utilize a print service provider (PSP), creating prototypes from this technology can help you quickly visualize products under consideration, present them to potential buyers and investors and test for design flaws.
What’s more, rather than waiting months for an outside company to build your prototypes, SMBs can create them in a matter of a few hours, making it possible to rapidly adjust to market forces.

Customizing products for customer experience

Forrester calls this “the Age of the Customer” because everyone has Internet access and can shop, compare and discern between product choices much more readily than at any time in history. That’s put incredible pressure on brands to deliver more personalized experiences for customers.
3D printing can help by allowing SMBs to imagine and quickly produce almost any customized product for customers, whether it’s personalized jewelry or clothing, coffee mugs with a customer’s last Facebook post printed on them or something far more imaginative.
Such possibilities bode well for manufacturers utilizing 3D printers. Indeed, PwC forecasts the market value of 3D printing for manufacturing will rise from nearly $9 million in 2017 to $30 billion by 2022, noting the technology has the potential to disrupt mass production to fulfill customer requirements for personalized products – anything from custom footwear to prosthetics and even cars.
In fact, on the footwear front, HP recently introduced the FitStation powered by HP, an innovative end-to-end footwear 3D scanning and printing platform. FitStation captures 3D scans of the foot, pressure measurements and gait analysis to create a unique digital profile. Superfeet, the leader in innovative, over-the-counter insoles, is piloting the platform in select stores to provide individual, off-the-shelf 3D printed insoles and custom footwear.
Similarly, at Lowe’s in New York, there was a six-month pilot project launched in 2016 called Bespoke Designs, which allows shoppers to use 3D scanning and printing to “digitally repair irreplaceable broken parts, customize cabinetry hardware with monograms, replicate precious heirlooms and more.”

Improving supply and distribution

While not quite as sexy, one of the significant benefits of 3D printing is that you do not have to produce then ship product across vast territories to reach distribution centers and consumers. All one need do is create a digital image and beam it to a PSP or other company owned 3D printer near their final destination. That’s why 3D printing is poised to revolutionize the part manufacturing and distribution supply chain.
For SMBs who care about the potentially enormous costs involved in transporting product by land, sea or air, this can be quite attractive. For those interested in saving the environment, they can take solace in knowing they didn’t burn up much fuel getting items from Point A to Point B.
By decentralizing manufacturing and bringing it closer to the consumers it serves, 3D printing will enable the on-demand production of customized goods – effectively reinventing business as we know it.
There is little doubt 3D printing can open many doors for SMBs. Those choosing to ignore this technology will simply will not have the same opportunities as their ambitious and savvy competitors.
Read more about the HP 3D Printing offerings here.

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

Disclaimer

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 HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com 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 https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle

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 http://www.microsoft.com.

HP Rewards qualifying and eligible products/purchases are defined as those from the following categories: Printers, Business PCs (Elite, Pro and Workstation brands), select Business Accessories and select Ink, Toner & Paper.