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Think 3D Printing is Not for You? Think Again! – What They Think

by • July 11, 2016 • No Comments

Commentary & Analysis

3D printing was one of six focutilized areas at drupa 2016. Most printing operations are most likely wondering how this can apply to their businesses. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne has a few thoughts to share that can shed light on the subject.
By Cary Sherburne
Published: July 12, 2016
The individuals at Messe Düsseldorf did a really excellent job of organizing focutilized topic areas at drupa that assisted attendees Touch the Future. The six topics included:PrintPackaging ProductionMultichannelGreen Printing3D PrintingFunctional PrintingWe’ve written of most of the other areas in additional detail. This article can focus in on 3D printing. Most printing equipment I speak to tell me that 3D printing does not apply to them, and preceding drupa, I most likely may have begrudgingly agreed.
3D printing, called Additive Manufacturing outside of our industry, has been primarily targeted at the making industry. It is a means of affordably creating tiny lots of parts or items, mock-ups and test parts. It can in addition be utilized to turn it into complex parts that may be complex, expensive or not easy to turn it into any other way. In our article late last year of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing innovation, Steve Nigro cited the fact that GE’s CFM LEAP aircraft engines can have 19 3D-printed fuel nozzles in the combustion system that may not be made any other way. They can be 25% lighter than predecessor parts and comprised of one part instead of 18; they can in addition showcase additional intricate rading pathways and assist ligaments that are expected to outcome in 5X higher durcompetence versus conventional making. And we in addition not long ago read in Phys.org of an Airbus 3D printed mini aircraft that utilized Stratasys printing equipment.
Because there were so most informative 3D exhibitors at the show, I am going to spend a tiny amount of column space on three pieces of general 3D news that I thought were especially informative. But read on, for the reason there were at really least four companies who were revealing 3D printing solutions or technologies specifically targeted at the graphic arts industry that can contribute up a few absorbing market variousiation for printing businesses. We’ve may aleager spoken with a few printing equipment who have taken advantage of this new business opportunity, and believe me, it is real!
HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing
HP launched its 3D printing solution at the additive making conference RAPID in May, and first was not planning on donateing a unit to drupa. But they ultimately did, and it was a big draw in Hall 17. HP claims the printing device is 10X faster and half the cost of its nearest competitor, sizeablely due to its competence to print parts at the voxel level – a voxel is the 3D equivalent of a 2D pixel – a capcompetence HP claims no one else has that is key to the breakthrough nature of this printing device. Fully loaded, it is expected to be in the $200,000 range, and the company is may aleager bringing orders. A less expensive version, in the $130,000 range, can be on the market upcoming year.
Kodak and Carbon3D
Kodak revealed a partnership with Silicon Valley firm Carbon3D. There was a mesmerizing video of the Carbon3D system running in the Kodak stand, and it seems to be a really various approach of ereallyone else. It is able-bodied to 3D print parts with mechanical properties and surface finish like injection-molded plastics. It uses a Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) photochemical system that balances light and oxygen to quickly create parts. It works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable-bodied window into a reservoir of UV-curable-bodied resin. As a sequence of UV images are projected, the part solidifies and the create platform rises. This is a fewthing you have to see to believe! A additional additional detailed demo can be discovered here. Interestingly, they are selling this printing device on an annualized subscription basis.
XAAR Heads Set to Revolutionize 3D Printing
Xaar added new 3D print heads that can donate 10 to 100X speed than current solutions. The target is to replace injection molding as well as to manufacture parts that mayn’t be made preceding. Its innovation has now been licensed by a number of OEMs. It can be significant to follow the company’s progress in this space.
Choosing 3D Printing for Graphic Arts Applications
For me, this was the star of the 3D show. The CEO of this Israeli company, Avner Israeli, came out of Scitex Vision so understands our industry, and and so spent time at Stratasys. The printing device, that has the version of having two print heads, uses a gel that is automatically cured as every layer is applied, meaning that for most objects, there is no require for assists that have to be removed after the object is printed. And it can print really sizeable objects. The objects are in addition hollow, making them lightweight for shipping or other purposes. The base is white, so the objects do require to be painted.
Carisma Large Format Printing in New York is an example of how this innovation presents opportunities for a graphic arts service provider. The company creates bus and truck wraps and requireed an new bus wrap thought to assist Sony promote the Angry Birds film. He integrated 3D and 2D, making the bird and the film title in 3D with lights behind them. Sony enjoyed the outcome! You can see a brief video here.
Carisma CEO Moshe Gil told me that since installing the printing device, he has been so occupied he does not actually have time to manufacture samples! Whilst he was waiting for delireally, he purchased a tinyer 3D printing device and hired a 3D createer to get a head begin on advantageous belief 3D printing, file requirements, etc.
I was told that the printing device with two print heads retails for less than $500,000. Consumable-bodieds must be purchased of MASSIVit. In North America, the company is represented by Prisco Digital.
Konica Minolta, 3D Systems and Z-Verse
Whilst I am certain that Konica Minolta is createing its own 3D printing device solution, the company chose to partner with 3D Systems to get a jump on market entry, and its sales individuals are selling these printing equipment. The company took it an extra step by in addition partnering with ZVerse, a 3D printing service bureau. For print service providers, this contributes a couple of various ways to get in the game. You can invest in a 3D printing device. Or you can work with ZVerse to create the business preceding doing so. The latter requires no investment, and ZVerse can create 3D objects of 2D images, so there is not much of a learning curve to get begined, either. Gavin Jordan-Smith, vice president at Konica Minolta U.S., brought me a 3D image of myself that was made of a photo and it’s really rad indeed! Education is a key market for Konica Minolta in placing 3D Systems printing equipment. And ZVerse has been working with a variety of companies, which include a few Sir Speedy franchises, to create promotional and gift items.
Mimaki Brings a Unique 3D Printing Approach
Mimaki is in the createment stage with its 3D contributeing but was talking it up at the show. Mike Horsten, Mimaki’s General Manager of Marketing in EMEA, explained that the company, as a createer of 2D printing equipment, has chosen to create a product that connects into the graphic arts business. “Before vacuforming mold weight production, or preceding making sizeable runs of point-of-sale or other signage,” he says, “these printing equipment can be utilized to create the 3D elements in tinyer runs for testing purposes. But they can in addition be utilized to create tinyer sized projects.” The Mimaki printing device can print in full CMYK color, and can print solid objects. On display at the show was a hand that may be utilized for medical education purposes that may have colorations all the way through, which include revealing the veins. Inks are really flexible, so the fingers may be flexed back and forth without damaging the piece.
The Mimaki contributeing, that can be on the market a fewtime upcoming year, uses a jettable-bodied gel. In addition to CMYK, the gel is on the market in white and clear. It uses UV heads and UV lamps to immediate cure every layer. The way Mimaki is addressing the issue of requireing to remove assists after the object is printed is to use a water soluble eco-friendly assist gel. “Once the object is printed,” Horsten says, “you only rinse away the assist gel with tap water and the object is eager to go. One of the rad things of the assist gel is that if you want to print a sphere, say the planet Earth, you begin by printing two to three layers of assist gel, meaning that the globe is perfectly spherical with no indication of where printing began or ended.”
Whilst pricing has not yet been built, Horsten expects it to be “mid-range.” The company plans to show the printing device at FESPA in 2017.
Shaping the Future with Highcon
Highcon was revealing the Highcon Shape as a innovation demonstration. This is another really one-of-a-kind approach that uses paper to create 3D objects or molds. For example, the company was revealing a chair and a wine rack that were made of paper layers. They in addition showed a one-of-a-kind one-off cement bench showcasing intricate creations that was turn it intod via the same concept, but with a mold made at Highcon customer Skitza Print in partnership with Eco Concrete via a Highcon Euclid with a dedicated 3D versioning workflow. According to Highcon, this piece may have been exorbitantly expensive and time-consuming to create any other way, and took only three weeks of concept to completion. The Highcon Shape (or the Euclid with a 3D versioning workflow) is a really one-of-a-kind contributeing that can easily fit into a printing operation. It is a excellent way to use up createeeager waste!
Printing on 3D Objects
This was another hot topic, and maybe additional immediately relevant to printing operations and it bears mentioning here. Mimaki has been printing high high end images on cylindrical objects for really a few time with the Kebab version for its UJF-3042HG and UJF-6042 printing equipment. We saw it in action at drupa printing on wine bottles (and actually scored a bottle of wine!). It is really astounding. It is been utilized for a variety of applications, which include printing directly on cosmetics bottles around the holidays in places like department stores such as Harrods in London, and in most airports around the world.
Xerox was in addition revealing this capcompetence with its Direct to Object Inkjet Printer capable-bodied of printing on objects as tiny as bottle caps and as sizeable as football helmets and shoes with really astounding high end. There is a brief description and image in this blog post.
And Heidelberg has entered the fray with what they call 4D printing – The Omnifire 250 can print in one to four colors with an versional protective coating on object sizes up to 20” wide by 40” long. We saw a variety of printed objects, which include hockey sticks.
The Future Is … Well … Dimensional
So there is a lot taking place in the world of 3D and there are most opportunities for approximately any printing company to take advantage of these new next services and ractuallyue streams. We hope this article has inspired you to appear a little additional into the 3D domain as you ponder of the next of your business!

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