HP has introduced a ‘pro’ version of its Sprout Immersive computing platform, pitching it at both the creative industry and education.
The all-in one has a range of capabilities, focusing on collaboration, augmented reality and 2D/3D scanning. It features a 23-inch (1,920 x 1,080) 10-point touch-screen, a 20-inch touch mat and an Illuminator for scanning 2D and 3D objects and projecting images onto the touch mat.
In terms of hardware the updates to the original HP Sprout are relatively minor. There’s a more powerful CPU and GPU, more memory and faster storage. 3D scanning speed has improved by 25%, but this is down to software, rather than hardware.
There have been a number of developments in software and there are a growing number of third party apps available.
For collaboration, Sprout Companion for Skype for Business allows users to swap between the front and down facing cameras, share a Sprout 2D capture, and annotate on the Skype whiteboard using the Sprout pen and mat.
For product development, most of the apps revolve around conceptual design and 3D printing. They include Sprout-optimised versions of Autodesk Tinkercad for entry-level 3D design; Autodesk Sculpt+, for 3D sculpting; Autodesk Print Studio for prepping models for 3D printing; and The Foundry Made with Mischief for digital sketching.
There’s also a neat application from Mobile5 called SizeUP, that measures an object’s dimensions precisely and instantly.
So where can the HP Sprout Pro be used in product development? HP told DEVELOP3D that it has design customers using the Sprout Pro for early stage design, but admitted that the machine was not really powerful enough to move into detailed 3D design using apps like SolidWorks or Catia.
It could be used at the tail end of the manufacturing process, however. HP says that by projecting images onto the touch mat, it could help speed up factory assembly times and reduce errors.
In terms of specs, the Sprout Pro features an Intel Core i7-6700 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GT 945A GPU, 8GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (expandable to 16GB), 1TB SATA Solid State Hybrid Drive with 8GB flash acceleration, and an Adonit Jot Pro stylus.
The Illuminator, which features an Intel RealSense 3D Camera, can capture 3D objects to an accuracy of 0.5mm, the same resolution as the previous model. It does this using a combination of projected stripes with a high-resolution 14.6 megapixel camera. Models can be exported as OBJ files.
There’s also an optional Capture Stage, a rostrum that rotates and tilts to help capture all of the details of a model.
We look forward to test-driving the HP Sprout Pro soon.
The machine will also be demonstrated at DEVELOP3D LIVE in Warwick on March 31.