Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Sprout

I haven't bought a 3D printer yet, but I'm looking . . . .  I just stumbled onto this: The HP Sprout.

It's a PC with built-in 3D scanner (in the unit overhanging the screen along with a projector and lights) and a huge touchpad which the overhead projector can turn into any control interface you can imagine.  It runs a Core i7 and a 1TB Hybrid drive and Windows.
You can check out a review of it here and here is HP's own video ad for it.

I'm guessing this is part one of HP's 3D strategy: part two, the HP 3D printer, is due next year and should be really interesting: how will they deal with two big issues of 3D print at the moment, colour and speed, while making something ordinary folks can afford? 

Regardless of that, nobody else seems to have noticed that this device has a pretty darn amazing interface  - if that pad had a soft surface and an LCD under it instead of the projection over the top, it would be the interface design I imagined as a kid - an infinitely flexible, design-your-own  approach to control.  Apparently the interface needs some tweaking but that's to be expected from a new idea, and I'm sure HP geeks are hard at work on it right now. This is the first new idea to actually excite my nerdiness for a long, long time.  Great work HP. 

What? That other computer company? no sign of them in 3D space so far. 

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