Ragnorok is a Norse prophecy that foretells an epic battle that will wipe out the current world order and dethrone its gods.
With such ambition does HP enter the 3D Printing marketplace.
Long have companies like 3D Systems and Stratasys ruled the fast growing, but relatively small and niche industry. These companies are hundreds of millions of dollars in net worth and not many competitors come close to their size or influence. They are quite simply dominant.
Consider a major player in much more mature and saturated markets and it is easy to see why the dominance of SSYS and DDD could easily be toppled.
HP has a net worth of 55 billion dollars. They spend over 2.5 billion dollars on research and development every year, and they have been criticized for letting it shrink that much. Yet, that RnD budget is more than the value of the entire market for all additive manufacturing goods worldwide and dwarfs 3D Systems and Stratasys paltry RnD budgets of 14.3 and 14.4 million dollars respectively.
So when HP announced today that it is entering into the 3DP market, one should expect a cataclysmic shake-up in the industry, especially when their first flagship project is aggressively named RAGNAROK (Research on Advancing Glass & Non-organic Applications to Recreate Objects & Kinetics.)
The initial project focuses on using 3DP to make glass and ceramic structures. If successful, this could open up new avenues for the industry as well as establish a foothold for HP to take on the current "gods" in technologies that they have traditionally dominated, like Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Stereolithography (SLA).
Ragnarok is often misinterpreted as the end of times, but it is more accurately the end of an era and the start of a new one, through destructive creation. Massive RnD expenditures in the infant industry could really signify that the end is neigh for some big time players, but also catapult the whole industry into mainstream relevance.