HP did try to make their way into the world of 3D printing at the turn of the decade, where they rebranded a Stratasys desktop 3D printer. However, that particular effort of theirs failed to be impress, and hence, it must have taken them all this while to regroup and think over their strategy. Basically, HP handed over the task of being a 3D printing vendor to its scientists, so as not to involve the marketing team – just yet. As a result, a new 3D printer with innovative technology within could very well make heads turn in the professional 3D printing market, where it will be known as the HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer.
After several months of rumors, Hewlett-Packard’s Multi Jet Fusion technology is here. And it is promising to revolutionize the 3D printer industry. But Wall Street is unhappy, as evidenced by the performance of 3D Systems and Stratasys stocks, following HP’s announcement last week. Obviously, Wall Street is concerned about competition. With a long presence in the printer industry, HP has the sales network and the scale to turn into a formidable competitor in the 3D printer industry. This is the wrong reaction in our opinion, as HP’s Multi Jet Fusion Technology will eventually give a big boost to the industry and the stocks of major players within it. To begin with, the 3D printer industry is an emerging industry that has yet to cross the tipping point, whereby 3D printers gain wide acceptance, as described in marketing literature by the Rogers Curve. Everett Rogers argues that the diffusion of new products is a multi-stage process that proceeds in five stages: awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. In the beginning, product diffusion is slow — as “innovators,” a small consumer group, adopt the product. Then, product diffusion gains momentum, as “early adopters” — a larger consumer group — connected to innovators adopt the product.