3D-printer manufacturer Stratasys Inc. recently announced it has signed an agreement with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to develop and manufacture for HP an exclusive line of 3D printers based on Stratasys’ patented fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology. Used by product designers and architects, Stratasys 3D printers create 3D plastic models directly from 3D digital designs. According to the agreement, HP will begin a phased rollout of the 3D printers in the mechanical design market in selected countries later this year, with the right to extend distribution globally.

“We believe the time is right for 3D printing to become mainstream,” says Stratasys Chairman and CEO Scott Crump. “We also believe that HP’s sales and distribution capabilities and Stratasys FDM technology is the right combination to boost 3D printer usage worldwide. HP made a similar move in this market before, capturing a dominant position in large-format 2D printers. Together, we hope to repeat this success with 3D printers.”

“There are millions of 3D designers using 2D printers who are ready to bring their designs to life in 3D,” says Santiago Morera, vice president and general manager of HP’s Large Format Printing Business. “Stratasys FDM technology is a great platform for HP to enter the 3D MCAD printing market.”

An archived Web cast discussing the details of this agreement will be available for 90 days under the "Investors" tab of the Stratasys website.