At a ceremony with numerous guests from around the world, Liechtenstein-based BVD Druck + Verlag AG (BVD) was one of the first print shops to take the Jetmaster Dimension “4D printing system” from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) into operation. This system supports customized printing of standard soccer balls and takes BVD’s business model further in the direction of end users. To coincide with the commissioning of the 4D printing system from Heidelberg, BVD’s online shop www.balleristo.com, which customers can use to order personalized balls, also went live. Four different balls are available and can be printed with up to three lines of text or any image. The printing system uses lightfast UV-curing inks for this purpose. BVD is next planning to offer multicolor printing and other ball sizes/items.
“We’re always looking to use new, creative applications, in some cases extending beyond the traditional printing domain, to occupy niches and expand our business model to include new markets. That’s the only way to ensure lasting success in the print media industry. The combination of innovative applications and online sales offers very promising potential,” said BVD Managing Director Peter Göppel at the ceremony.
Heidelberg unveiled the inkjet-based Jetmaster Dimension for customized printing of 3D objects in spring last year and calls this process 4D printing. It will make the process of customizing mass-produced goods faster, cheaper, and more flexible. End users are increasingly looking for personalized design options when shopping for mass-produced items such as sporting goods, footwear, furniture, and cars. High-quality printing with logos, text, and other graphic elements is usually their first choice. Inkjet printing offers the ideal solution, as it can deliver high-quality results in a wide range of colors on a huge variety of surfaces, without having to come into contact with the product. In the future, robot systems will also be able to print large-scale advertisements on airplanes, trucks, buses, trams, etc. – an application that currently requires expensive and time-consuming film-based solutions.
“The flexibility and creativity of inkjet technology offers our customers huge potential for new business models. Consequently, Heidelberg is working hard with a number of partners on new printing systems and applications for commercial and packaging printing based on this technology. The Jetmaster Dimension is the first inkjet printing system of this kind to be launched on the market. This summer, we’ll be starting series production of the Gallus DCS 340 digital press for the label market. And looking ahead to drupa, we’ll be joining forces with our partner Fujifilm to unveil a new digital press concept,” said Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Heidelberg Equipment.