The tech giant HP plans to launch a mid-range 3D printing system in the upcoming year that will develop mechanical colour parts followed by an effort for metal.

CEO Dion Weisler said on HP’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call:

We turned our 3D Printing initiative into a business with global reach, repeat customer orders and expanding partner materials ecosystem and revenue. This quarter, we continue to grow our business with new customers such as Medtronic, one of the largest medical device and service companies in the world. As previously highlighted, we added more than 20 new partners, including Henkel, our first worldwide reseller, and announced partnerships with Deloitte and Siemens to digitally transform manufacturing. Looking to 2018, we plan to introduce a new lower cost full color system, allowing us to expand into new markets.

It is yet to see the price range for the upcoming system, but the company has officially opted for a lower price range.

The tech giant hasn’t revealed any details regarding its 3D printing business but did say that it is receiving repeat sales with some firms ordering several units.

Weisler was promoting 3D printing business last month at the company’s securities analyst meeting too. 3D isn’t a popular thing now, but it certainly predicts HP’s future path.

At the analyst meeting in October, Weisler said:

The word materiality has different meanings, depending on which lens and which time horizon you look through. Is 3D Printing financially material to our results today? Absolutely not. Is 3D Printing materially important to the strategic direction of this company? Absolutely, yes. And I think whenever you have a $12 trillion market that you have the ability to transform, that becomes incredibly transformative for a company like HP, much in the same way that the laser printer and the inkjet printer did for Hewlett-Packard Company many years ago.

We will surely know with time how HP’s plans will turn out. For now, HP is preannouncing a roadmap with few details.

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