Did anyone else just hear the 800-pound gorilla enter the room?

If you did, that was the sound of Hewlett-Packard announcing their plan to become players in the 3D printer market some time during the middle of 2014.

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, at a conference in Bangkok on Wednesday, dropped that bomb on the assembled throng.

"We want to lead this business," Whitman said. "We're excited about 3D printing."

Whitman provided the news at the Canalys Channels Forum in Thailand, and she added that she thinks 3D printing is "a natural business" for HP.

The sixth EMEA Canalys Channels Forum is dedicated to examining changes to the IT industry and assessing new opportunities in technologies ranging from 3D printing, machine-to-machine IP-based communications and open source programming.

Jin Weidong, Vice President of HP's printer unit in China, had already come out last week with his assessment that, due to HP's experience in the inkjet printing market, developing 3D printers was an obvious choice.

"China's 3D printing market is a huge business for every top printer manufacturer," Weidong said. "Players with the strongest technical background and partner network will gain the most market share."

It may well be due to the widespread (and positive) coverage 3D printing technology has gotten recently that HP has decided to take the plunge. As industry heavy-hitters like General Electric and Lockheed Martin are rapidly integrating 3DP, many concerns say they expect that the technology will make up nearly half their manufacturing operations within the next 20 years.

Whitman said that, while she believes 3D printing as a market is "in its infancy," she predicted that maturity will arrive within the next three years.

Hewlett-Packard Company, the American multinational information technology corporation headquartered in Palo Alto, California, provides products, technologies, software, solutions and services to consumers, small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises.

Founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, CA back in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, HP is the world's leading PC manufacturer and they specialize in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, and networking hardware. Packard and Hewlett began Hewlett-Packard with the modest sum of $538 in initial capital and then tossed a coin to decide which of the founder's names would come first. HP incorporated in 1947 and went public during November of 1957.