​HP gets new 3D printing leader, aims to scale business

HP's 3D business has secured multiple partnerships and expanded its ecosystem. Now the goal is to scale the business.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Hewlett Packard CEO Dion Wiesler said that Stephen Nigro, head of the company's 3D printing unit, will retire and be replaced by Christopher Schell effective Nov. 1.

The announcement, made on HP's fiscal third quarter conference call, comes at an interesting time. HP has made a splash in the 3D printing market, built out its channel and secured strategic partnerships with he likes of Siemens. Schell's mission will be scaling the business.

Schell is HP's president of the Americas region currently. The mission for Schell at the 3D printing unit "will focus on the next phase of scaling," said Wiesler.

Wiesler noted that HP's 3D printing business, less than 2 years old, has become the No. 1 commercial grade plastics 3D printing vendor.

That said, Wiesler also noted that "we are still in the very early stages of this business."

HP's 3D printing unit competes with 3D Systems and Stratasys. Both rivals have built up vertical efforts and have focused on large-scale production. Stratasys is looking for a new CEO and 3D Systems is run by HP veteran Vyomesh Joshi, who used to run HP's imaging and printing group. 3D Systems CEO Joshi on additive manufacturing, materials innovation and the state of 3D printing

Both 3D Systems and Stratasys have reported better-than-expected results in their most recent quarters.

To date, HP's 3D printing business hasn't been material enough to outline in earnings. In the long run, HP could use 3D printing to improve profit margins overall. Seventy percent of HP's operating profit is attributed to the printing unit.


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