HP launches 3D printing as a service models

HP's bet is that industrial customers will adopt the as-a-service model for additive manufacturing.

HP said it will launch 3D printing as a service models and expand its digital manufacturing network.

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The news, announced at the Formnext additive manufacturing conference, comes after HP outlined expanded partnerships with Siemens and Volkswagen. Volkswagen said has completed a production run with 10,000 parts produced with HP 3D printers.

HP bets that industrial customers will adopt the as-a-service model for additive manufacturing. The company outlined a base subscription service (3DaaS) that features automatic replenishment of supplies, billing, and usage tracking and on-site support.

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The base pay-per-build service is available for HP Jet Fusion 5200, HP Jet Fusion 4200, and HP Jet Fusion 500 series 3D printing equipment. Should customers pay per build, HP could get some kind of cut of every manufactured part. Conversely, customers could also buy equipment and supplies upfront, handle their own replenishment and depreciate the gear over time.

HP's argument for the as-a-service model is that subscriptions require less up-front capital and can enable customers to expand prototyping and production faster. HP also has a 3DaaS Plus subscription that integrates hardware, supplies, and services. This subscription starts with HP Jet Fusion 340 and will expand from there in the future with additional subscriptions.

In addition, HP has expanded its manufacturing network with Prototal in Europe and Solize in Japan. These service providers join a group of partners that use Multi Jet Fusion and Metal Jet systems to produce parts.

HP's Multi Jet Fusion platform has produced 18 million parts in the last 12 months.