Company prints 10 houses in one day using 3D printer

April 17, 2014

One of the 3D printed houses. Credit 3ders

One of the 3D printed houses. Credit 3ders

Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. uses recycled materials to produce 10 houses in 24 hours using 3D printer.

Business Insider reported that Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. printed the houses “in pieces” that could then be “put together” using ”recycled construction materials and industrial waste to form a concrete aggregate”.

The task was carried out by the company in Shanghai’s Qingpu district using a 3D printer that was “500 feet long, 33 feet wide and 20 feet high”, with each of the houses costing “around $4,800 (€3,468) to produce.

Ma Yihe, CEO of WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co., explained: “We purchased parts for the printer overseas, and assembled the machine in a factory in Suzhou […] such a new type of 3D-printed structure is environment-friendly and cost-effective.”

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Memjet launches new page-wide colour inkjet print engine

April 16, 2014

A Memjet printhead

A Memjet printhead

The Aspen engine will enable commercial presses to print 225 feet per minute.

The company reported that the new print engine will “empower OEMs and commercial printers to control and customise colour printing”, whilst delivering a “cost-effective, on-demand” service for manufacturers and production lines.

The new engine is designed for both colour printing label and commercial presses, with speeds of up to 225 feet per minute in addition to “full dot control” and the ability to be retrofitted to old machines. The dot control allows for print shops to “ensure the accuracy of the data pipeline”, with users able to control more of what ends up printed on the page and in higher quality.

The Aspen printheads feature 70,400 nozzles delivering “millions of ink drops per second”, as well as a 1,600dpi “native” print resolution in full colour. The retrofitting meanwhile allows presses to be “enhanced with digital capability without the high cost or time required to rip and replace infrastructure”.

Aspen engines are available in three different configurations, including a single print engine “as a standalone printer”, two print engines “mounted side-by-side” for 17-inch media printing, and four print engines side-by-side for even larger prints. The new print speed of 225 feet per minute meanwhile is an upgrade on Memjet’s previous speed of 165 feet per minute.

Memjet’s Gus Piccin stated: “Customers value full control and real-time, precise printed material, and a guarantee that what’s on the screen is exactly what’s printed – down to shading and line values. OEMs and print shops with Memjet-powered technology can deliver value in the form of that control. Accurate, real-time printed material is a reality, and an avenue for opportunity and growth.”

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Mobile printer designed to travel across paper

April 15, 2014

A technical view of Mini Mobile

A technical view of Mini Mobile

Portable robotic printer, Mini Mobile, works by travelling across the surface of paper as it prints.

Gizmag reported on the Mini Mobile portable robotic printer, which has been designed by Zuta Labs of Israel, which is currently trying to raise $400,000 (€290,000) on Kickstarter to fund the project, with over $330,000 (€239,000) now raised and less than a month left to reach the target.

The idea for the printer came from Tuvia Elbaum, founder of Zuta Labs, who wanted to “provide users with a means of printing on the go” after he found he wanted to print on the go from a smartphone or tablet rather than waiting until he got home or to the office.

Elbaum explained: “When I went online to look for a portable printer, I only found printers that are either too big to really carry around or too small to print on a standard A4 page […] I noticed that all the printers had to have the paper feed through the device, so I thought why not put the cartridge on a robot and let it run around by itself, and that will allow the printer to be really small and yet print on any size paper?”

After looking at several different possibilities “from using rails that come out of the robot and help with stabilising the printer, to having the robot hover over the paper”, Elbaum and his team came up with today’s design, which uses “an inkjet for the printing” – although it can only currently print in black and white – as well as Bluetooth for connecting to mobile devices. It also uses a “high-resolution optical sensor” commonly used in mice; and a “rechargeable battery with an on/off switch” allowing it to run for one hour on a full charge.

The device, which is 10 centimetres x 11.5 centimetres and weighs around 300 grams, can print on “any size of paper” using an “omni-wheel system” to allow it to move around the page; reaching print speeds of 1.2 ppm at a resolution of 96 x 192 dpi, although the article states that the final product is expected to deliver a higher resolution.

Zuta Labs is trying to raise money for the project to fund the “custom-made parts […] to build the final prototype and for then going into production”; although Elbaum said that even if the target isn’t reached the company will be “well-placed to still continue having received offers from investors, accelerators” and “big tech companies”. He added that in future he hopes the device will be able to print in colour and on a range of different surface types.

The first of the printers are expected to be shipped in January next year.

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Samsung launches new machines in Malaysia

April 11, 2014

Samsung Malaysia’s Henry Tang (left) and Product Marketing Manager, Ku Wei Jian (right) (Credit: Norman Hiu/The Sun Daily)

Samsung Malaysia’s Henry Tang (left) and Product Marketing Manager, Ku Wei Jian (right) (Credit: Norman Hiu/The Sun Daily)

Printers offer near-field communication (NFC) technology to Malaysian consumers.

The Sun Daily discussed the product launch by the OEM, with the NFC machines said to be aimed at SOHOs (small office/home office) and SMEs (small and medium enterprises). The growing mobile printing market is one that the OEM is aiming to target in Malaysia, where it is “in its infancy”.

The first three models include the Xpress C410W, C460W and C460FW, which are all colour laser printers, and the last two of which are MFPs, with print speeds of 18ppm in black and four ppm in colour. A range of MultiXpress machines were also released, which are A3 MFPs with NFC technology, and Samsung added that these “cater to enterprise printing”, with another three models in this release. The devices will be available from June 2014 onwards.

Henry Tang, Samsung Malaysia’s Printing Solution Business Unit Partner Manager for Enterprise Busines, stated of the product launch: “Our whole range of printers is for the SOHO, SME and enterprise businesses but we will also work with third party resellers to make them available at places such as hotels and business centres. We will not rule out possible solutions such as retail, where people can tap, print and pay.”

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Solution provider profits grow in 2013

April 7, 2014

profitReport finds solution providers, including hardware, software and MPS providers, saw a growth in profit last year despite “waning” profitability in five major product and service categories.

Channelnomics reported on the findings of The 2112 Group’s 2014 Channel Profitability Report, which indicated that the average solution provider saw profits of between 11 and 15 percent of gross revenue in 2013 – slightly higher than in 2012.

However, the article notes that “while solution providers are netting more money, it’s getting harder” as profitability is slowing in five of the major product and service categories; including hardware, software, managed services, cloud computing and professional services, with managed services and professional services seeing profitability fall by “as much as one-half” last year.

Lawrence M. Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst of The 2112 Group, commented: “2112 sees a channel in transition. Solution providers are moving to accept the new realities of cloud services that replace or complement traditional hardware and software products. Part of the profitability challenge is natural commoditisation cycles as well as increasing competition. Overall, the channel profitability trend reveals how solution providers continue to sell products over systems/solutions that have higher aggregate value.”

He continued: “Channel health is measured in many ways, but none is more important than partner and product profitability. Everyone in the channel value chain — manufacturers, distributors and resellers — benefit from an ecosystem that’s able to generate profits through the sale and support of products and services.”

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HP launches two new Officejet inkjets

March 25, 2014

HP's Officjet X585 MFP

HP’s Officjet X585 MFP

The MFP X585 and X555 are powered by the OEM’s PageWide Technology.

HP announced the two new machines by noting that they can “handle rigorous printing demands at up to half the cost per page of lasers”, with the Officejet Enterprise Color MFP X585 and X555 utilising the OEM’s PageWide Technology, which “takes proven, advanced commercial printing technologies and scales them to a new class of enterprise printers”.

HP added that the machines are “enterprise ready” and are capable of printing at “twice the speed and at up to half the cost” of laser printers, with the same interfaces used as “12 million HP Enterprise LaserJet printers” as well as firmware that allows for enterprise software and solutions to be “easily accessed through one button” on the machines.

The PageWide Technology meanwhile, which has been used on the Officejet Pro X machines, has been scaled up to “expand choice for enterprise customers”, with the printers offering “greater cost savings with the lowest cost per page” in addition to a “spot or accent colour mode”, which includes a “small logo or line of hyperlink text”. Other features include print speeds of 70ppm in general office mode, which is “up to twice as fast as in-class competitive printers”, and 84 percent less power consumption.

Dion Weisler, Executive Vice President for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems division, stated: “Never before has an ink-based device been fully capable of meeting the performance requirements that large organisations demand. CIOs and IT decision makers can be confident that the HP Officejet Enterprise series provides employees exceptional enterprise-grade security, fleet management and mobile printing options along with the fastest speed and lowest total cost of ownership.”

The MFP X585 and X55 machines are set to be available from 1 April worldwide, with the former available from between £1,179 and £1,649 ($1,944/€1,407 and $2,718/€1,968), and the latter from between £449 and £729 ($740/€536 and $1,202/€870).

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HP announces new business printing services

March 21, 2014

hp-200x150OEM introduces new services and solutions to help SMBs and enterprises better manage and maintain printer fleets.

Techradar reported on the announcement of new services and solutions by HP aimed to help SMBs and enterprises to reduce costs and increase productivity; including “automated ordering and replenishment of printer supplies, expanded partner and multivendor support programmes and centralised management of printer fleets for enterprises”.

The new services and solutions are to be provided “directly through HP and its channel partners”; with HP Sure Supply allowing customers to reorder printer supplies. Customers with fewer than 10 HP printers will be able to replenish printer supplies using iOS and Android devices, while those with over 10 printers will be able to establish an approval system for ordering more supplies.

Meanwhile, HP’s managed print services (MPS) will be available in new locations and improved multivendor support will mean that organisations are helped to better manage mixed fleet print environments via a single partner.

Furthermore, HP’s Smart Decision Suite 2.0 will benefit enterprise organisations as IT managers will be able to “better monitor and analyse their printer fleets”; with the package providing “analytics tools, improved global invoice automation, contract administration capabilities, better reporting and fleet management”.

Commenting on the new services and solutions, Pradeep Jotwani, Senior Vice President, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions division at HP, said: “Regardless of the size and make-up of an organisation, effective print management is integral to help ensure costs are kept in line and employee productivity is at its highest.”

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HP planning 3D printer announcement in June

March 20, 2014

The OEM claims it has “solved the two biggest problems” with 3D printing.

Makerbot's Replicator Mini 3D printer

Makerbot’s Replicator Mini 3D printer

PC World reported on HP’s reveal of both a “big technology announcement” concerning 3D printing in June, and its boast that it has “solved the two biggest problems with today’s 3D printers”, according to CEO Meg Whitman.

The two issues, she noted are the “deathly slow” printing speeds and poor quality of prints, which Whitman claims HP has resolved, and PC World speculated that the announcement in June “doesn’t mean HP will release products”, but that it “implies the company will show what it’s working on and where it’s heading”, with the business market targeted before consumers.

Whitman commented: “There’s a lot of ‘buzz and hype’ around 3D printing, but the systems available now have two big challenges. [The speed is] like watching ice melt, [and] the surface of the substrate is not perfect. We believe we have solved both these problems and we’ll be making a big technology announcement in June around how we are going to approach this.”

The OEM will target business markets first because it thinks “there’s demand for systems that can be used to print prototypes and finished products”, whilst consumers’ first experiences will be “from a service provider […] where they’ll be able to send print jobs for fulfilment”. The site added that “there have been a lot of questions about HP’s 3D printing plans, partly because printers are such a huge part of the company’s business, and some people think it’s in danger of being left behind”.

The OEM had previously revealed in October 2013 that it was looking to enter the 3D printing market.

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HP improves security for mobile printing

March 17, 2014

hpmobilesOEM improves security in BYOD (bring your own device) work environments with new technologies introduced in its colour LaserJet printers.

PCWorld reports that to eliminate the security risks that can come with BYOD environments, such as “rogue devices” using the corporate network, HP has incorporated new technologies into its colour LaserJet printers, making peer-to-peer printing “easier to manage while ensuring document security on corporate networks” .

With NFC and Wi-Fi Direct, any mobile devices can connect to a printer on a network and print documents due to the technologies being independent of any firewall protecting printers, which can lead to rogue devices entering the network. To improve security whilst still allowing these features, HP has introduced an “independent module with Wi-Fi Direct and NFC that physically attaches to the printer and can easily be snapped out”, meaning that the use of peer-to-peer printing can be closely managed.

The OEM has also introduced new security software, the ePrint Enterprise 3.2 app for mobile devices, adding more security barriers before users are able to printer either through a peer-to-peer connection or a Wi-Fi network.

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West Point Products adds auto-toner fulfilment to MPS software

March 14, 2014

The remanufacturer and MPS provider added the software upgrade to the Axess suite.west point products

The service, called Axess Auto Toner Fulfilment (ATF), allows the company to “completely automate” the cartridge ordering process by using a “proprietary software application” that gathers data from printers before using an “algorithm to determine a toner cartridge needs replenishing”.

In turn, the system then “automatically notifies” users when toner is getting to a low level, and “orders and ships new products” to them after doing so. The company enhanced the Axess service last year and signed an agreement with ECi FMAudit earlier this year.

Ray Loisel, Senior Vice President of MPS at West Point Products, stated: “By automating the toner fulfilment process, West Point Products will help dealers reduce staff time, manual processes, and expense associated with order entry and tracking.

“The Axess ATF program will enhance the supply fulfilment process by setting printer specific thresholds that trigger proactive end-user communication and order notifications. This is the missing link for many MPS programs to improve the process of just-in-time toner fulfilment and profitability.”

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