HP dialing in on 3-D printing innovation

"Vancouver, we’re told, will be at the center of the next industrial revolution.

“The vision is to fundamentally do things in a different way,” said Shane Wall, chief technology officer for HP Inc. “It’s a 30-year vision, and it’s going to start happening this fall.”

HP’s Vancouver campus is playing a big role in the company’s future and its planned revolution as it pivots from printers and PCs to 3-D printers, wearable technology and the “internet of things.” Though it’s one of many limbs of the California-based tech company, Vancouver is home to HP’s incubator, and it’s where the chief technology officer and the head of the 3-D printer division go to work.

“This is happening here,” Wall said on Wednesday as he shared his vision for the company in a new addition to HP’s Vancouver campus, a slice of Silicon Valley in a nondescript building at the Columbia Tech Center.

The “core technologies” for 3-D printing are being developed here, and the first line of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3-D printers go on sale this fall. Wall sees the foray into the burgeoning market as less of a bet and more of a promise.

“We’ve created technology that is going to absolutely revolutionize manufacturing,” he said. “We didn’t start at a technology standpoint; we took a look at where society is going.”

Sporting one of the company’s new smartwatches, a designer brand with built-in and hardly noticeable tech components, Wall said 3-D printing can shorten supply chains and give companies the power to manufacture for themselves — container shipping could be a thing of the past..."