HP Inc. Opens New R&D Center Devoted to 3D Printing in Spain

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HP León Plant manager Miguel Angel Turrado / PEIO GARCIA

HP Inc. reported last week that it’s opened a new research and development center in León, Spain, that will work with HP Spain’s headquarters in Greater Barcelona to lead the “fourth industrial revolution” by driving innovation in 3D- and even 4D-printing technology. Currently, the new research center, called the León Centre for Competence, employs some 50 high-skilled employees, with 13 positions still open, and plans to create a total of 100 new jobs within the next two years.

The new HP Inc. has stated that, along with immersive computing, graphic-arts printing, and office printing, it will also focus on 3D printing technology. In 2014, the Spanish government approved a total of €21.25 million to fund HP’s global headquarters in Sant Cugat del Vallès, Greater Barcelona, to specifically develop 3D-printing technology.

While 3D printing generally involves building up layers of material to create a three-dimensional object, 4D printing involves the creation of microfluidic materials to develop 3D-printed objects with electrically conductive properties.

“This initiative will allow León to write the first pages of the fourth industrial revolution,” said plant manager Miguel Angel Turrado. Turrado also said that HP’s presence in León has made the city an ICT pole within Spain, attracting some of the most talented engineers from within the country and beyond. The company now has a workforce of 300 skilled employees, and plans to hire 20 to 30 new workers each year until 2017. “[HP Solutions] was born in the spirit of a startup, an entrepreneur, but with the muscle and experience of a multinational with 76 years of history and a turnover of 50 billion dollars,” said Turrado.

HP’s global headquarters in Sant Cugat del Valles is the company’s largest office outside of the United States.

HP’s first in-house developed 3D printer – the Multi Jet Fusion Technology, which uses HP’s page-wide-inkjet-printing technology – will launch in 2016. In September 2015, HP appointed Steve Nigro, HP’s former senior vice president of its printing and imaging group, to head the new HP Inc. 3D-printing group.

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