Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Can Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), and Apple Inc. (AAPL) Benefit From 3D Printing Technology?

Page 1 of 2

The 3D printing industry is garnering a lot of attention lately as 3D printer models reach your local office supply store or are available for purchase online. As prices have dropped, interest in the technology has increased among amateurs and professionals alike. Many issues revolve around the use of this technology, such as the potential lawsuits that may arise from piracy of copyrighted designs and product liability of items that have been repeatedly modified by different parties, which may impact the companies that make the technology available.

Despite the challenges arising from its use, 3D printing is expected to change manufacturing, especially of items that are produced in lower volumes, and make it easier for the average Joe or Jane to build a prototype. How can companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), or Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) jump on this emerging consumer trend that could provide opportunities for future growth?

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Microsoft and its latest Windows update

At Build 2013, a developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) presented Makerbot’s Replicator desktop 3D printer model and how Windows 8.1 provides native support to 3D printers, the first operating system to have this capability. According to Barron’s and The Verge, “developers will be able to add 3D printing capabilities to their apps, and printing an object will be a simple tap on a ‘charm,’ a utility shortcut on the side of the Windows 8.1 screen.” In addition, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is planning on selling the Replicator in its stores, however, Windows 8.1 supports 3D printers from other vendors.

Shares of Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) and 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), which provide 3D printers to the consumer sector, rose after the announcement, while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares rose as well. Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) recently purchased Makerbot and entered the consumer segment to compete with 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD)’ Cube desktop 3D printer, currently sold at Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS). It will be interesting to see if Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s addition of 3D printing capabilities to Windows will increase interest in the software and 3D printing and translate into higher sales for both products.

At HP, something’s brewing in the lab

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) first ventured into the 3D printing space through a partnership, created in 2010, with Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ:SSYS) to create HP-branded 3D printers. The arrangement ended last year, but HP’s R&D team hasn’t abandoned research in 3D printing technology. A 2012 tech report from Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) Labs discusses an ongoing project, called RAGNAROK, exploring the use of glass as a material in 3D printing, also referred to as additive manufacturing.

Page 1 of 2