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HP to outline 3D-printing foray by October

A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co plans to outline its entry into the 3D-printing business by October, as the computing company seeks to extend its dominance of traditional printers into a fledgling but fast-growing market.

Chief Executive Meg Whitman said last week HP would make an announcement in June, now that the company has solved a number of technical problems that have hindered broader adoption of the high-tech manufacturing process.

But in a blogpost updated over the weekend, HP said she had "inadvertently" mis-spoken and that the company was planning instead on making its 3D-printing announcement by the end of the fiscal year, which ends in October. (http://www8.hp.com/hpnext/posts/qa-martin-fink-what-hp-doing-3d-printing#.UzBm7WXn-M9)

Whenever it happens, HP's foray could give added momentum to a nascent industry dominated by smaller players like Stratasys unit Makerbot, and help counter criticism that the sci-fi-like technology is over-hyped and still too immature for widespread consumer adoption.

Whitman said last week HP will focus on 3D-printing for enterprises, rather than the consumer market.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Richard Chang)

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