HP to launch 3D printers in 2016

April 21, 2015

The OEM discussed the Multi Jet Fusion technology at a US event, revealing it would be launched in late 2016.

HP's 3D printing unit

HP’s 3D printing unit

3Ders reported on HP’s appearance at the Inside 3D Printing event in New York City in mid-April, with the OEM’s Worldwide Director for 3D Printing, Scott Schiller, discussing the latest updates on the technology. 3Ders speculated that “despite the new developments from other developers” since HP’s announcement, the OEM “will still have a significant impact when they release the technology as a line of usable industrial-level 3D printers in late 2016”.

The Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology was announced by HP in October 2014, and is built on HP’s thermal inkjet technology, using a “unique synchronous architecture” to image surface areas of objects “at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in the market today”. Schiller gave attendees a “rundown on the current updates and developments”, including that the technology will be aimed at SMBs or “service bureaus” that “focus on printing one-off parts for third-party businesses”.

While other machines of a similar size and scale have been produced, HP’s will be “focusing on the speed and quality aspect”, alongside “sleek software” and open-source innovations. The first machines will utilise “thermoplastic-based 3D prints”, though Schiller added that other materials such as metal are “on the horizon”. The printing experience will also be “fully-considered from start to finish”, with Windows 10 integrated into the machines.

Schiller stated: “We can make other companies more confident about investing in this space, and we can help smaller companies by driving standards for 3D printing. We’re looking at the big picture and positioning for the long run. It could be in the future that we can find ways to emulate materials. It is the tip of the iceberg for what could be possible […] what about having the ability to make parts when they are no longer in production?

“As you can imagine, we have the biggest business enterprises in the world coming to us and saying, ‘Oh, do we have a vision for this’ […] I’m more excited about what we don’t see that’s coming. Good things are coming on the workflow side. The way you drive transformation, to get to that future that everybody is so excited about, is by really getting the key players aligned with a unified vision.”

3Ders added that although HP has “kept quiet for the most part” since it revealed the technology, Schiller’s update is a “nice reminder” that “the near-future of 3D printing is nearly unbound with possibilities”.

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Consumer and business printers compared

April 20, 2015

HP Officejet business printerPrinting quantity, port availability and internal memory are considerations you ought to consider before buying a printer for a business.

Notebook Review’s Vince Font has tackled the issue that “there are many consumer level home office supplies that could be sufficient for business purposes – like a multifunction printer that performs quadruple duty as  a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machines. But are you better off purchasing a business printer?”.

He lists five considerations an individual looking to buy a printer should think through. The first is the “workload it’s [the printer] is capable of taking on”. The average consumer printer can print 5,000 sheets of paper a month, while “higher end enterprise printers can handle far more”, between 20,000 and 100,000, or more.

Font advises: “Do your due diligence and create accurate projections of the quantity of print jobs your business needs.” He also encourages the reader to “look at the size of the printer’s paper tray” as even an efficient duty cycle can be undermined by “having to refill the tray numerous times throughout the day”.

‘Check Your Ports’ is the second piece of advice. While most consumers have USB ports for pairing the printer with a single computer at a time, they can also be used “to plug your printer into a wireless router that numerous computers throughout the office can access”. Nonetheless, in some cases an Ethernet port may be needed, for linking the device with an enterprise printing server.

The third consideration mentioned is internal memory. When “connecting a consumer printer to an enterprise printing server, the chief consideration should be the printer’s ability to store multiple print jobs without experience data bottlenecks”. Nonetheless, you should “check the internal memory specs” on consumer devices to know it’s adequate for “your business technology needs”.

More RAM means a “greater ability to shoulder the burden of numerous print jobs being sent its way”, and some “low end printers” have very limited internal memory that may be insufficient for “a busy office environment”.

The final thing to consider is “speed ratings”, which “estimate the time it takes to print a single sheet”. A maximum speed capability may not always be desirable, as the quality of a print job can be affected by the speed rating. “In other words, you can gain a lot of speed if you set your office printer’s default to draft mode versus super high quality,” Font adds.

Font concludes that “consumer printers can be used to great effect in business environments,” while an enterprise level printer may be more appropriate depending on how often and for what type of jobs the printer will be used. “While it’s not likely that the average value brand home printer can stand up to the fierce demands of enterprise printing, it may be sufficient for a modestly sized office that doesn’t rely on the printer as its central piece of equipment,” he stated.

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Disney pioneers ‘huggable’ 3D printing

April 20, 2015

Disney 3D printThe technique works by cutting shapes out of sheets of adhesive felt and welding each layer together.

The mass media conglomerate has teamed up with New York research institutes Cornell University and Carnegie Mellon University to work on the project, TechCrunch reported.

Once finished, the object looks like a layered cube, and by tearing away the excess felt the printed shape remains.

TechCrunch’s Greg Kumparak said the technique is unlikely “to change the 3D printing world”. He continued: “The resolution of the print isn’t stellar and the adhesive layers don’t look durable enough for your kids to toss around […] You probably won’t see something like this built for home use any time soon”.

Disney’s research lab previously looked into using 3D printing to try and create spinning tops that would spin despite unconventional asymmetrical shapes. Last week, research group Canalys published a report claiming the global 3D printing market will be worth $20 billion (€18 billion) by 2019. It is on track to generate around $5.2 billion (€4.8 billion) this year.

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Taiwan brings 3D printing to schools

April 20, 2015

Credit: 3Ders

Credit: 3Ders

The country’s Ministry of Education will develop mobile 3D printing labs to visit schools.

3Ders reported on the announcement of the ‘Fab Trucks’ by the ministry, which stated that its plan would “promote 3D printing amongst its youth” and “solidify the country’s reputation as a talent pool for 3D printing”. The trucks are mobile digital fabrication laboratories, and will visit 497 high schools and 160,000 students and teachers across the country in the next two years.

The “very ambitious project” will allow students to “experience and play with” 3D printing, with workshops and presentations taking place. The Ministry of Education hopes that the plan will “nurture a whole generation of talented creatives that are familiar and comfortable with 3D printing technology”, transforming Taiwan into a “creativity base set to compete internationally”.

There are six trucks costing $224,000 (€207,734) each, containing DLP (light-curing) and FDM (fused deposition modelling) 3D printers as well as a CNC milling machine and laser cutters. The ministry previously set up experiment centres containing 3D printers in a number of Taiwanese schools and has sponsored 3D printing classes, while also providing research and studies classes as well.

Wu Si Hua, Taiwanese Minister of Education, stated that the programme “lets students, through their experience and learning, realise their good ideas using new technology. Taiwan should quickly transform into an innovat[ive] society”. The trucks will enable students, he added, to “experience how [their] creativity can be turned into actual products”, and pupils will be able to use the trucks “as much as possible” for free.

It recently emerged that China is to install a 3D printer in each of its 400,000 elementary schools. Market analysts expect the global 3D printing market to be worth $20 billion (€18 billion) by 2019.

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Canon Virginia looks to diversify its workforce

April 17, 2015

canon virginia credit jonathon gruenke daily pressThe OEM’s US branch is looking to market its expertise in recycling, while work on its $100 million printer cartridge production line is already underway.

Canon Virginia is hoping to recruit employees who know how to utilise the latest technology, Daily Press reported. Its toner manufacturing and filling division is also set to grow. The subsidiary’s President and CEO, Toru Nishizawa, said this week that while the company “started out manufacturing” it is now aiming to “diversify and grow […] and transition and answer the demand from the community, and turn it into something more valuable”.

Senior Vice President Ron Briggs added that development of bespoke parts is allowing Canon Virginia to become more responsive to the need of its customers, while plans are underway to market to independent groups. “The more competitive we are here, the more we can attract more business here”, he stated.

However, Nihizawa also commented that the US continues to lack workers with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills. “We hope to find a solution within the city and state to find solutions together,” he noted.

Another issue is that many high school graduates do not realise that the manufacturing sector is no longer primarily focused on the assembly line. Briggs pointed out that most high-tech manufacturing is “all done by robots. It’s learning how to fix the robots to maintain the operation […] in order to have the knowledge to complete those operations, STEM is critical”.

Canon Virginia previously announced the $100 million (€92 million) investment in its production line and toner remanufacturing and refilling operation in January 2015. Virginia State Governor Terry McAuliffe said at the time that the innovative technology the expansion would involve would require “intensive higher scale training, and will provide workers with skills of the 21st century that are essential as we build a new Virginia economy”.


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Ricoh launches new LED MFPs

April 17, 2015

The SP 3600DN

The SP 3600DN

The SP 3600DN and RICOH SP 3600SF/SP 3610SF printers include LED printing, mobile technology and flexible media handling functions.

The LED technology can deliver prints at speeds of up to 31ppm, at a 1,200 x 1,200 dpi resolution. Users can print from smartphones and tablets via the RICOH Smart Device Print&Scan app, scan paper documents and convert them to digital, to be sent by email and stored in network folders, or on USB drives and FTP sites.

They can handle paper sizes up to 8.5 x 14 inches and a maximum 850 sheets, stocks up to 90 lb. index. The MFPs also have a cost-reducing two-art supply system, allowing for separate changing of the toner or the drum, plus the standard duplexing and low energy EPEAT Silver and ENERGY STAR-certified consumption.

Supplementing the machines’ copying, scanning and faxing abilities are the advanced features of ID card copy, G3 faxing, colour scanning, LAN faxing and TIFF, JPG and PDF file creation applications. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $355 (€329) for the SP 3600DN, $540 (€501) for the SP 3600SF and $605 (€562) for the SP 3610SF.

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West Point Products launches new marketing portal

April 17, 2015

The remanufacturer and MPS provider has launched Empower to make it “easy for dealers to connect with customers”.west-point-200x154

The “cutting-edge” marketing portal is said by the company to be “best-in-class”, and is exclusively available to West Point Products dealers as part of its Marketing Platform 2.0. Empower is described as an “intuitive, easy-to-use web-based portal” that allows dealers to “create and execute comprehensive marketing campaigns” quickly and simply.

Empower also enables dealers to connect with current and prospective customers “across multiple marketing vehicles” including the internet, email, social media, video and print. It provides “unlimited, ready-to-send” emails and customisable marketing literature in the form of newsletters and postcards, while dealers can also “measure and optimise” campaigns with its analytics.

Luke Goldberg, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Clover Imaging Group, stated: “We developed Empower based on feedback from our dealers that they need more marketing resources and customer touches.

“By providing our dealers with valuable, relevant content and templates for creating successful marketing campaigns, we are giving them the tools they need to consistently and effectively engage with customers and prospects. This is just another demonstration of our steadfast commitment to our valued customers.”

The company recently revealed that it had teamed up with PrintReleaf to connect customers to reforestation projects linked to their personal forest consumption.

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Static Control releases over 50 products during 1Q2015

April 16, 2015

The largest manufacturer of aftermarket imaging systems and components launched products in the first quarter including chips, toners, doctor blades and drums.NewProductsIcon

The products released consist of over 30 replacement chips for use in HP, Samsung, Lexmark and other OEM cartridges, with HP chips including 90, 91, 789 and 792 wide-format plotter chips. Static Control stated that it “redesigned these chips to allow for easier installation” for remanufacturers, with a new “easy install” and “proper ‘ink low’ and ‘ink out’ messaging”. The company also produced inkjet chips for use in HP’s 831 cartridges.

Chips for Lexmark offerings included multiple yield chips for use in the C782, X780 and CX310 printers’ cartridges, featuring “full OEM functionality and accurate reporting” alongside “being resistant to OEM firmware updates”. Static Control commented that “in order to [keep] providing firmware-resistant chips for these cartridges, it is vital for customers to send their used OEM chips to Static Control”.

For Samsung, chips with “regional variants” were released with yields of 30,000 pages for the MLT-D307U. The regional variants come as a result of Samsung “often releas[ing] cartridge SKUs across multiple regions”, with Static Control warning users to “be sure to check the cartridge part number prior to ordering to ensure the correct chips are ordered”. Other Samsung releases included a replacement chip for the MLT-D11S cartridges and a 40,000 page yield chip for use in the MLT-D309E and ELS cartridge.

Other chips launched included a regional chip for use in Kyocera’s TK-1124 cartridges, and replacement drum unit chips for Xerox’s WorkCentre 4150 cartridges and a chip for use in the WorkCentre, 5325, 5330 and 5335 cartridges. Chips were also released for use in Ricoh’s C262 cartridges, Konica Minolta’s bizhub 4000P cartridges (with a yield of 20,000 pages), Epson’s LP-S440 and S340 cartridges, and NEC’s 5300 and 5500 cartridges. Finally, multiple page yield chips were produced for use in Fuji Xerox’s P350, 450, CP305, P215, P255 and M255 cartridges.

One “complete system solution” was produced for Ricoh’s SP 5200 cartridges, consisting of Odyssey toner and drum and a replacement chip, with Static Control stating that “these cartridges are similar to the popular Lexmark T-650 cartridges”. The cartridge types “share remanufacturing techniques”, and Static Control’s drum and toner combination “was developed together to provide OEM-comparable performance”.

Other products released in the first quarter included an update to the NeverTAB PCR for HP’s 4600, offering a “superior level of resistance against toner additive build-up (TAB)”, and a universal HD toner for “a broad range” of Brother cartridges. Replacement toners for use in Samsung’s MLT-D307 and Dell’s 7130 cartridges rounded out the toners launched, while a doctor blade and wiper blade solution was produced for HP’s 1012 cartridge.

Finally, doctor blades for HP’s 1320 and P1505 cartridges, a replacement wiper blade for HP’s P2055 cartridges, and an Odyssey drum for Samsung’s CLT-x407 cartridges were launched.

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OKI launches new MFP series in Europe

April 16, 2015

The OEM has released the MC800 series of A3 “smart” MFPs.

OKI's MC873

OKI’s MC873

The new digital LED laser machines are said to “deliver fast print speeds and reliable performance for businesses of all sizes”, and include a smart extendable platform (sXP), OKI’s “embedded open platform offering enhanced workflow integration and document management”. The range includes the MC853 and MC873 MFPs, and is “well-suited” to SMBs and “departments within larger organisations”.

Among the features of the two printers are a “customisable” touch screen, programmable print and copy jobs and duplexing, as well as wireless and Ethernet connectivity. Both machines come in three versions: the dn (duplexing and network connections), dnct (duplexing, network connections and featuring a cabinet and second paper tray) and dnv (duplexing, network connections and three additional paper trays).

Print speeds vary depending on media size, with A4 colour and monochrome prints on the MC853 and MC873 reaching 23ppm and 35ppm respectively. With A3 paper, the MC853 reaches speeds of 13ppm while the MC873 reaches 20ppm, and both machines feature print resolutions of 1,200 x 600dpi, alongside copy and scan resolution of 600 x 600dpi. The printers also have Google Cloud Print and AirPrint compatibility.

In terms of paper capacity, the machines have a standard capacity of 400 sheets, while the dnct and dnv versions have respective capacities of 935 and 2,005 sheets. The colour cartridges for the MC853 and MC873 have yields of 7,300 pages, while another colour for the MC873 has a yield of 10,000 pages. In turn, the black cartridges for both have a yield of 7,000 pages and an extra MC873 black cartridge has a yield of 15,000 pages.

Tetsuya Kuri, OKI’s Vice President of Product Marketing for EMEA, commented: “Easy-to-use with fast print speeds, the new MC800 Series is an all-in-one solution to a wide variety of business needs. A sleek new design, user-friendly features and embedded sXP make these new devices ideal for taking control of document intensive processes within small to medium workgroups.

“In addition, they are perfect for supporting day-to-day colour and mono A3 and A4 print requirements for a broad range of businesses and industry sectors. Today’s organisations need intelligent, reliable devices that offer the flexibility to manage a range of different tasks. The new MC800 Series of smart MFPs enable SMBs to really take control of their document workflow and support a broad spectrum of business requirements.”

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3D printing market to be worth $20 billion by 2019

April 15, 2015

3d printerNew research suggests that the market could reach the valuation before the end of the decade.

ZDNet reported on the findings from analysts Canalys, who previously announced that the 3D printing market was worth $3.3 billion (€3.1 billion) worldwide. Canalys stated that the sector is on track to generate around $5.2 billion (€4.8 billion) this year, and will “become a double-digit billion dollar market” by mid-2016, before growing to a value of $20 billion (€18 billion) by 2019.

The site notes that the results indicate 3D printing “isn’t dwindling away any time soon”, with the sector including printers as well as “associated materials and services”. It also added that the market is set to “continue to upend the traditional manufacturing market, as it allows people to print real-life products and part replacements from their home or office”.

3D printing is “also having a remarkable effect on manufacturing, automotive, medical and other vertical industries”, which are “finding new revenue streams” in the sector. Canalys Research Analyst Joe Kempton commented that “we have seen improving print speeds, a wider range of materials and new forms of additive manufacturing methods”. He added that “an increase in vendors from Asia” has seen the region “tak[e] on dominant existing markets, such as Germany and the US”.

The Recycler also reported on how the technology is assisting people in developing countries.

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