At HP Labs, researchers perform everything from basic physics and chemistry research to product development -- but the idea is to benefit from the company's work in printing and computing. This model of HP Lab's nanofingers, thousands of times larger than the real-world item, shows the pillars that can effectively grasp individual molecules for analysis.
In the Palo Alto lab, HP is repurposing more traditional technologies in a bio-lab with related microfluidics that squirt liquids other than inkjet ink. Here, researchers might print out constructions of different cells to mimic tissue types.
HP's massive Indigo printers, which can cost $500,000, are used to print photo books and other high-quality images at high speed. HP Labs is working to make components last orders of magnitude longer, with the ultimate goal of becoming as durable as the whole product.
Keith Moore, the vice president leading HP Labs' 2D and 3D printing work, explains how printing technology has improved by a factor of two about every two years -- for example, by being able to pack in smaller jets that can print with ever-finer detail.