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Industrial Print Commentary & Analysis

Wide Format: Now and Venn (Premium Content)

What do we talk about when we talk about “wide format”? How is the term definitionally changing—and what does it even mean anymore? And more importantly, how does whatever we define as “wide format” play nice with other kinds of printing such as industrial, packaging, and commercial? And how can we navigate the “convergence” of these different print silos? Read on for more.


How MakerBot Is Shaping a 3D Future in Industry and Education (Premium Content)

For a dozen years, Forrest Leighton held marketing roles at Canon USA, and then spent four years with Marcomm Central. Today, he is Vice President of Marketing at MakerBot, a Stratasys company and a global leader in desktop 3D printing solutions. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne spoke with him recently to learn more about MakerBot and how 3D printing might be a relevant opportunity for commercial, sign & display graphics, packaging and textile printers.


InPrint Reflections: Moving the (Digitally Printed) Goalposts

A major theme of last week’s InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference in Chicago was the emerging distinction between two specific kinds of industrial printing: printing as part of a larger manufacturing process and what we have often called specialty printing. The conference explored the differences between them, where the growth areas are, and what the drivers of that growth are. Read on for some reflections on the conference.


Direct-to-Shape: An Intriguing Corner of Digital Print for Packaging (Premium Content)

Within the direct-to-shape printing for packaging market, digital printing is generally growing as a complement to offset, flexo, and other analog presses that print labels, folding cartons, flexible packaging, and corrugated. This article explores the direct-to-shape market by answering some basic questions about it.


On Demand Manufacturing: A Sea Change for the Apparel Industry (Premium Content)

Can apparel be completely manufactured in an automated environment? Not yet. But it’s coming soon and will revolutionize apparel manufacturing. Learn how NextWave, and its partners EFI, Klieverik, Zund, and Henderson are creating an on demand microfactory, which will be on display at TechTextil/TexProcess in Atlanta in May.


InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference to Highlight the Intersection of Industrial and Commercial Printing (Premium Content)

Inkjet technologies have been blurring, or completely eliminating, the lines between commercial and industrial printing. But understanding new print applications and new print markets involves more than technology. We talk with Frazer Chesterman, Director of FM Brooks, which is bringing the InPrint Industrial Print Conference to Chicago next month, about the dwindling distinction between industrial and commercial printing and the opportunities that are emerging.


Retail, Transportation, and Manufacturing Central to Hot Future of Thermal Print Supply (Premium Content)

New Smithers Pira Research forecasts strong growth for thermal printing, identifying retail, transport, and manufacturing as the top three applications for thermal printing equipment and supplies. Read on for an overview of the thermal printing market from 2018 to 2023.


The Shapes of Things to Come: Direct-to-Object Printing Bridges the Gap Between Industrial and Commercial (Premium Content)

New systems are emerging that can print directly onto three-dimensional objects, especially cups, glasses, and bottles, to serve what is emerging as a lucrative promotional drinkware market. In this feature, Richard Romano looks at direct-to-object offerings from Xerox, Inkcups, and Engineered Printing Solutions.


Threading the Needle in Digital Textiles (Premium Content)

There’s a lot happening in the world of digital textile printing, an exciting and vibrant market. It seems like every day we come across new products, services and applications that digital technology enables—either to streamline existing traditional methods or to enable entirely new capabilities. Israeli company Twine Solutions is bringing digital printing technology to the most basic commodity in the industry, the thread. Read more to learn how this technology can benefit your business.


The [Office] Space Age: Signs By Tomorrow Transforms the American Diabetes Association’s New Headquarters (Premium Content)

Environmental or experiential graphics are a growing trend in signage, with sign shops using the latest display graphics technologies and substrates to transform office spaces. As a result, sign and display graphics providers are working more closely with interior designers and architecture firms. Case in point: Signs By Tomorrow’s interior graphics for the American Diabetes Association’s new headquarters.


From 3D to 2D: An Interesting Journey

There has been a lot of hype over the last few years about 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, being the next big thing in the print-related world. We recently learned that EFI hired Gal Barak as its Inkjet Eastern Region Sales Manager. Barak most recently worked for 3D printing company Stratasys. Why did he make this move and what are his thoughts on 2D versus 3D? Read more.


Digital Direct-To-Shape Market (Premium Content)

Direct-To-Shape (DTS) has become a commonly used term in recent times. We want to try to clarify a little around the definition of DTS and to describe the state of this particular art. We are prompted to do this by our recent visit to the InPrint Europe Industrial Print show in Milan, Italy, where there was a lot of discussion of the potential of DTS as a market.


“Industrial Printing” Takes Center Stage at SGIA Expo 2017

What turned out to be the penultimate SGIA Expo featured an emphasis on “industrial printing”—a nebulous but increasingly common term for what mainstream printing may be morphing into.


SGIA Becomes an Association Partner with InPrint; Interview with SGIA President Ford Bowers

As interest in industrial printing gains momentum, the inaugural InPrint USA Industrial Print Show will take place in Orlando in April. We spoke with SGIA President and CEO Ford Bowers about industrial printing in general and the upcoming show in particular.


Michigan Tech Study: 3D Printing Ready for Prime Time

Study on 3D printing concludes that 3D production is now ready for the mainstream and every home. How does this impact MSPs using or considering using 3D printing as a way to get customers in the door?


Think 3D Printing is Not for You? Think Again!

3D printing was one of six focused areas at drupa 2016. Most printing operations are probably wondering how this can apply to their businesses. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne has some ideas to share that will shed light on the subject.


HP Set to Revolutionize Prototyping/Manufacturing with Jet Fusion 3D

It’s been some time since HP first announced it would be entering the 3D printing market with a production-class printer and it is finally show time. The HP Jet Fusion 3 Printing Solution will be unveiled at RAPID, the largest 3D additive manufacturing conference. As promised, the printer is 10X faster and half the cost of its nearest competitor.


Advanced Materials for Advanced Applications

Gearing up for drupa yet? At WhatTheyThink, we are. In fact, our drupa page is already up, so be sure to follow the news as the show gets closer! One of the areas worth investigating when you go to drupa is the developing area of advanced materials, whether it is resins for 3D printing, conductive inks, or advanced inkjet ink formulas.


Inkjet Ecosystems: Notes From EFI Connect 2016

EFI is integrating hardware and software for specialty printing applications, as well as making the most of its many recent acquisitions. Here are some wide-format-related highlights.


3D Printing Makes Room for a Fourth “D”

Just when we thought that the definition of “printing” had been pushed to the limit, along comes a new one that envisions morphing objects made of self-assembling materials.


HP 3D: Changing the Future with Additive Manufacturing

After doing a multi-year stint managing the established imaging and printing businesses for HP, Steve Nigro is back doing what he loves – running a start-up business. His current role is President, 3D Printing, at HP, Inc., with worldwide responsibility for creating and scaling HP’s 3D business.


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Event Calendar

InPrint Industrial Inkjet Conference, Chicago May 1-2
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SGIA FP3 — Functional Printing, Process and Products Conference, Chicago May 1-2
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Digital Textile Printing US 2018, June 8-9, Chicago
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