HP reveals 3D printing technology

October 30, 2014

The OEM revealed the Multi Jet Fusion technology alongside an “immersive computing platform”.

HP's 3D printing unit

HP’s 3D printing unit

In its press release regarding the new technology, the announcement of which was reported yesterday, HP stated that the new technology would “set standards in quality, performance and speed”, whilst its computing platform Sprout would “redefine how creation and technology come together”.

The two releases come under a “blended reality ecosystem” that is “designed to break down the barriers between the digital and physical worlds”, with the Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology “engineered to resolve critical gaps” in the market concerning “speed, quality and cost”, whilst the Sprout platform would help “create a foundation for future immersive technologies”.

The 3D printing technology is built on HP’s thermal inkjet technology, and uses a “unique synchronous architecture” to image surface areas of objects “at least 10 times faster than the fastest technology in the market today”. It also uses a proprietary multi-agent process through the thermal inkjet to “simultaneously apply multiple liquid agents” for “greater accuracy, resiliency and uniform part strength”.

Other features include improved accuracy and detail as well as “break-through economics” utilised by “unif[ying] and integrat[ing] various steps” of the printing process to reduce costs, time, energy usage and waste. The technology is available today, but wider distribution of the system will begin in 2016, and the OEM is “inviting open collaboration” with customers to improve the technology over the next few years.

The Sprout technology meanwhile uses an “immersive” user interface for a “new computing experience”, combining a scanner, depth sensor, high-resolution camera and projector into one device to “take physical items and seamlessly merge them into a digital workspace”. An application marketplace has also been produced to allow collaboration and “take advantage” of the platform.

Dion Weisler, Executive Vice President of HP’s Printing & Personal Systems (PPS), and future CEo of HP Inc., commented: “We are on the cusp of a transformative era in computing and printing. Our ability to deliver blended reality technologies will reduce the barriers between the digital and physical worlds, enabling us to express ourselves at the speed of thought – without filters, without limitations. This ecosystem opens up new market categories that can define the future, empowering people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”

Stephen Nigro, Senior Vice President of HP’s Inkjet and Graphic Solutions, added: “As we examined the existing 3D print market, we saw a great deal of potential but also saw major gaps in the combination of speed, quality and cost. HP Multi Jet Fusion is designed to transform manufacturing across industries by delivering on the full potential of 3D printing with better quality, increased productivity, and break-through economics.”

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HP set to make 3D printing announcement

October 29, 2014

Dion Weisler, CEO of HP Inc.

Dion Weisler, CEO of HP Inc.

The OEM has scheduled an announcement today in New York, which is rumoured to concern 3D printing.

Forbes reported on HP’s announcement, set to take place later today in New York City, which asks those attending to “reimagine the possibilities of creativity”, with speculation surmising that the OEM will launch its plans for a 3D printer, an announcement that was set to be made in June but which did not come to light.

The news outlet noted that today’s conference is part of a “blitz of announcements this week”, and is “likely to include a push into 3D printing”, referencing the fact that HP CEO Meg Whitman has “said several times this year” that HP “intends to make a full-fledged launch of its plans for 3D printing before the end of its fiscal year”, which will be Friday 31 October. Additionally, 3D printing news outlets including 3Dprint.com believe today will “officially put” these plans “on the map”.

Forbes stated in turn that “many analysts think HP is stuck in stagnant or shrinking markets”, and the recently-announced split will allow HP Inc. – the division focusing on printing and to be run by Dion Wiesler – “to prove the sceptics wrong”, especially as it will “be an industrial giant” with revenues expected to reach around $55 billion (€43 billion) a year.

Weisler “isn’t talking publicly yet about specific product roll-outs”, but “spelled out his determination to develop new growth prospects” for printing and PCs, tablets, phones and “other devices”, with his game plan calling for HP Inc. to spend around 70 percent of its efforts “on making the most of existing business”, with a “second wave” of activity “in markets that are well-understood but not yet a part of HP’s business”, followed by a “third wave” in new markets.

He stated: “We have to show we can operate across all three waves. If you stop only at the first wave, eventually you run out of tricks. Operate a big company as if you’re a cook in a small kitchen.”

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HP cartridge achieves record-breaking print-out

October 28, 2014

Credit: Numberphile

Credit: Numberphile

One million digits of mathematical constant Pi printed using just one HP eight millilitre ink cartridge.

PIworld.com reported that a record was broken after YouTube channel Numberphile partnered with HP Specialty Printing Systems’ Denmark-based OEM customer HAS Systems in a print project, which saw one million digits of the mathematical constant Pi printed on a single roll of brown 70gsm Kraft paper using only one HP Durable Black ink cartridge.

The print was “powered by HP Thermal Inkjet 2.5 technology”, with the digits printed at HAS Systems’ facility in Denmark in eight-point Courier New font. The digits took just over 48 minutes to print, and once completed, the print-out was rolled-out at a UK airfield, measuring 1.052 miles or 1.69 kilometres.

Brady Haran, filmmaker and video journalist at Numberphile, said: “HP ink withstood challenging UK weather conditions like wind, rain and mist, and the last digit was printed as clear as the first one […] this is a remarkable proof point for the reliability, consistency and efficiency of original HP inks.”

The article states that the project has been “rated as a world record by an independent mathematical professor”, and has submitted an application for the Guinness Book of World Records.

You can watch a video of the project below.

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Printer creates “self-destructing” paper

October 28, 2014

Credit: Diego Pisanty

Credit: Diego Pisanty

Device coats paper in chemicals, causing it to ignite in 60 seconds.

Daily Mail reported on the development of a £4,000 ($6,400/€5,100) printer that prints documents which will then self-destruct a minute after being printed, with the device created by UK-based photographer Diego Pisanty as part of a project called ‘This Tape Will Self Destruct’.

The printer coats one part of the paper with potassium salts and layers another section with glycerol gel. These two sections are pressed together by the printer once the print is finished, triggering a chemical reaction which causes the paper to “ignite in 60 seconds”, allowing the reader just one minute to read the printed document before it catches fire.

Pasanty, who spent a year building the printer, likens the self-destructing paper to scenes from the 1966 spy series Mission: Impossible; explaining that the recent NSA and Wikileaks scandals “reminded me of 1960s spy novels […] it was this blurring of fiction and reality that made me want to take something from a spy thriller and make a real, functioning object”.

However, he admitted that the device may not be useful in today’s digital world: “I don’t think the security agencies will be using this technology any time soon. They’re more interested in encryption for digital files. There isn’t much need for the destruction of hard-copy documents any more.”

The device was debuted in September in Mexico’s San Pedro Museum in Puebla, but has since been put into storage “having been deemed a major fire hazard if operated without supervision”.

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New dealer MPS solution launched

October 24, 2014

Norm McConkey

Norm McConkey

MPS Toolbox aims to “support office imaging dealerships […] to increase profits and revenue”.

The software, from Canadian company Tangent MTW, features “robust software tools” that help support print management programmes, and is designed for office imaging dealerships as a “unique solution […] architected to leverage existing MPS programme investments and infrastructure”, the company notes.

MPS Toolbox combines device information from a company’s remote monitoring and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software in order to “quickly deliver comprehensive assessments” as well as fleet optimisation, profit identification, proposal generation and analysis of supplies vendors for sales staff to use when looking at customer accounts.

The company also noted that MPS Toolbox “provides business optimisation” through the simplification of “data analysis processes”, and while the software is currently part of Parts Now’s R4 MPS programme, used by “dozens of dealerships within the industry”, it will be available as a software as a service (SaaS) release from $199 (€157) per month.

Norman McConkey, Principal of Tangent MTW and Creator of MPS Toolbox, commented: “There is an abundance of untapped revenue that dealers can access within their existing account base. From new hardware, less expensive service programs, and higher profit margins in their cost per page programs, MPS Toolbox is designed to show dealers how to capture this information and leverage it immediately.

“After years of struggling with flat or declining revenue and managed print programs that have yet to deliver on the cost reduction and revenue promises made, MPS Toolbox offers dealers in our industry something tangible to get excited about. Dealers already have all of the data they need within their remote monitoring systems. MPS Toolbox fits into the equation by answering the question: ‘you have data, now what?’ We’re the ‘now what.’”

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HP launches new wide-format printing app

October 23, 2014

The Latex Mobile app allows mobile printing for the OEM’s Latex 300 machines.

HP's Latex 360

HP’s Latex 360

The app, showcased at the SGIA Expo by the OEM, introduces “smart printing capabilities” to the Latex 300 range of wide-format printers, and allows users to “remotely monitor their printers, track job status and receive printer alerts”, offering an “innovative user experience” for the Latex 310, 330 and 360 devices in the range.

Xavier Garcia, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Large-Format Sign and Display Division, commented: “Print service providers (PSPs) are under increasing pressure from customers to deliver on-time, urgent jobs while providing guaranteed, industry-leading work. The HP Latex Mobile app marks the beginning of a new era of smart printing, giving customers peace of mind while they are at and away from the print shop, as well as helping them to better address time-sensitive requests and gain customer loyalty.”

Jose María Miñarro, Manager at HP customer Miñarro Impresión, got to try the app, and added: “The HP Latex Mobile application has not only simplified my working processes, its remote monitoring capabilities also give me the confidence to know what’s happening while I’m out of the office.”

The Latex Mobile app will be available for download in January next year for smartphones, and mid-2015 for tablets, with both releases for iOS and Android.

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Ricoh releases new mono machines in USA

October 23, 2014

Ricoh's SP 213SNw

Ricoh’s SP 213SNw

The devices feature wireless connectivity and mobile printing compatibility.

Ricoh USA launched the three new monochrome models, with one single-function and two MFPs making up the release. The SP 213SNw and 212SFNw are the MFPs, whilst the SP 213Nw is the single-function device, and all three offer wireless connectivity, mobile printing compatibility and “environmentally friendly features”.

All three printers also feature the OEM’s all-in-one cartridges, print speeds of 23ppm, Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) standard security and manual duplexing. The all-in-one cartridge is said to be “recyclable”, according to Ricoh, whilst all the printers feature 80 fonts for “creative printing in many styles”, as well as a “fanless” design that “helps keep the printers and MFPs especially quiet”.

Matt Sakauchi, Vice President of Technology Marketing at Ricoh, stated: “With simplified Wi-Fi connectivity you can skip the cables, connections and complicated instructions, and begin printing to your new device in just a few steps. Such simplicity is integral to our mission of delivering information mobility in the new world of work.”

The SP 213Nw is available for $145 (€114), the 213SNw for $195 (€153) and the 213SFNw for $245 (€193).

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Brother releases new monochrome range in Australia

October 22, 2014

Brother's MFC-L2703DW

Brother’s MFC-L2703DW

The eight new printers are said to offer “value and reliability for improved efficiency”.

The range of devices includes four MFPs, or Multi-Function Centres, as well as four single-function machines, with Brother International Australia stating that the printers are designed to deliver “affordable, reliable printing” to SMBs. Value-related features include automatic duplexing and standard and high-yield toner cartridges (1,200 and 2,600 page-yields respectively).

The printers include the HL-L2300D, L2340DW, L2365DW and L2380DW single-function machines, and the MFC-L2700DW, L2703DW, L2720DW and L2740DW MFPs. All printers bar the HL-L2300D feature wireless connectivity and mobile compatibility, allowing users to use Apple’s Air Print and Brother’s mobile printing apps, and each features either an LCD or touchscreen.

All the devices feature a ‘Deep Sleep’ power saving mode “which kicks in when the machine is not in use”, whilst in terms of speed, the HL-L2300D, L2340DW and MFC-L2700DW reach 26ppm, and the remaining five devices reach 30ppm.

Kelly Wilson, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International Australia, stated: “Brother constantly strives to offer our customers quality printing while keeping costs low. To provide Brother users with greater value, reliability and convenience, every printer and Multi-Function Centre from this new series is feature rich at an affordable price so every customer can enjoy stress free printing.”

The HL-L2300D is available at AU$129 ($113/€89); the L2340DW at AU$149 ($130/€103); the L2365DW at AU$169 ($148/€116); the L2380DW at AU$229 ($201/€158); the MFC-L2700DW and MFC-L2703DW at AU$249 ($218/€172); the MFC-L2720DW at AU$279 ($245/€193); and the MFC-L2740DW at AU$329 ($289/€227).

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Fuji Xerox releases two new A4 MFPs

October 21, 2014

Fuji Xerox' ApeosPort-V C3320

Fuji Xerox’ ApeosPort-V C3320

The colour and monochrome devices feature “high functionality” for “diverse work environments”.

The OEM stated that the “highly customisable” ApeosPort-V C3320 and 4020 have been designed to “cater to the needs of both large corporations and small and medium-sized businesses” in the Asia-Pacific region, with the aim of helping these businesses “optimise performance and drive productivity”.

The A4, digital MFPs are colour (the C3320) and monochrome (the 4020), and utilise controller software to connect to the OEM’s mobile and cloud services, as well as “provide universal operability and software functions” similar to that of an A3 MFD, particularly with a tilt-able seven-inch touchscreen, and warm-up times of 20 seconds and 18 seconds respectively.

In terms of mobile and cloud connectivity, the printers are compatible with Google Cloud Print, Air Print and Print Utility across “various mobile platforms”, and can also be linked to Fuji Xerox’s Working Folder, which allows users to “digitally store scanned documents or upload received faxes automatically”.

Other software features include the ability to add “build-on software” customised to a business’ specifications; utilisation of Fuji Xerox’s server-less On-Demand Print to link with other machines on a network; and the ability to use the OEM’s security solutions to “take total control” of printers fro a central server, “thus enhancing data security”.

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AIOs can be hacked through scanners

October 17, 2014

An AIO with the scanner lid open - the lasers would reflect off the lid into the machine

An AIO with the scanner lid open – the lasers would reflect off the lid into the machine

Researchers hack printers and computers through lasers shone at the printer’s scanner.

PC World reported on the hack, discovered by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, which works by “flashing visible or infrared light at the [open] scanner lid” of AIO machines, thereby infecting the printer and by extension the computer attached to it.

The experiment came about after cryptographer Adi Shamir, alongside researchers Yuval Elovici and Moti Guri, aimed to find “methods of controlling malware running on air-gapped systems”. Air-gapping isolates computers from the internet, and is “considered one of the best ways to defend critical systems and their sensitive data from cyberattacks”, but this can be “undermined” using the printer hack method.

The three wanted to “subvert the goal of preventing internet-based attacks”, as if a virus is installed on a computer disconnected from the internet through a USB drive, the hackers would “have a hard time controlling” it or stealing information because “there is no internet connection”. However, if an AIO is connected to a computer with malware, attackers could “issue commands to a malicious programme […] by flashing visible or infrared light at the scanner lid when open”.

Shamir presented the ‘Scangate’ hack at the Black Hat Europe security conference in Amsterdam, with the research finding that “if a source of light is pointed repeatedly at the white coating on the inside of the scanner’s lid” during scanning, the image will “have a series of white lines on darker background[s]”, which match the light hitting the lid.

Using Morse code to send the message in light, and then interpreting the Morse code into binary data, the hacker could then access data on the computer through the malware already on it, as the malware would “interpret the commands” as instructions. Shamir added that “several hundred bits of data” could be sent in one scan, which PC World states is “enough to send small commands that can activate various functionality” in the malware infection.

Additionally, the researchers “successfully” tested such an attack from 200, 900 and 1,200 metres away, using a laser to “flash visible light at the window of the office where the scanner was located”, lighting the room and sending the message. A more powerful laser could “produce reliable results from up to five kilometres away”, with infrared light more likely in this case to work “because it’s invisible to the naked eye”.

Also, instead of waiting for the malware to “initiate a scan”, hackers could wait until the scanner is used, and “then run their attack”, with the lines appearing on the sides of the scanned document. The three researchers again revealed that they “found a way for the malware to send data back to the attackers”, using the light from the scanner to send information back judging by the “amount of time the scanner’s light is on and reflects the open lid”.

Data that could be stolen this way could include encryption keys, though detecting scanner light from a distance “would require very sensitive equipment”, and on a higher floor hackers would “have a hard time getting good visibility”, though a drone could be used “to get closer and observ[e] the scanner from a better angle”.


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