Tech giant Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) announced on Wednesday, October 31st that it was launching a new 3D printer it claims will be 10 times faster than current models. HP also unveiled a new computer with built-in scanner, projector and touchpad at a marketing event in the Big Apple today.

HP Is Moving Into 3D Printing; Unveils Faster 3-D Printer

Faster and better 3D printer

Hewlett-Packard noted that 3D printing had remained a niche technology to date largely because it was a slow process with very expensive printers that mostly turned out low quality products.

The tech titan, however, claimed that its new 3D printer would be much faster –and therefore cheaper — for manufacturers. The new device will also produce a better-quality product than its competitors at the same price point (the exact price point remained unspecified).

HP needs 3D printing to grow

A number of analysts have identified Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) as one of the companies that needs to move in on on the potentially huge market for 3D printing as their traditional market is eroding.

“We estimate that the global 3D printing market is set to grow from $1.15bn (£930m) in 2013 to $4.8bn in 2018,” noted Arnaud Gagneux, vice-president of technology transformation at CCS Insight.

Three-D printing guru Joris Peels said: “The existing 2D printing companies face dwindling prospects, with kids increasingly growing up in a world virtually without paper.”

Peels worked for HP as a consultant on its 3D printing efforts, but was not employed to work on the project being launched Wednesday. He noted: “Competing tablet products such as Amazon’s also have better business models than HP’s tablets since Amazon’s and Apple’s tablets put a store in the consumer’s hand letting these vendors make more revenue over time.”

“HP needs 3D printing to work and to work well,” he said.

Peels highlighted that HP’s new 3-D printer technology was different from other 3-D printing methods because it “hardens the entire layer in one pass and also uses several chemical compounds to do so. Existing technologies draw out a layer one curve at a time using heat or light”.

This “one pass” technology is also why Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)’s new 3-D printer is so much faster than the competition.