Friday, 23 October 2015

3 Important Recent Inventions of the Printing Industry

Today, we live within a technological milieu that is very different from even just a few years back. The world is very connected and is highly dependent on digital data. We send emails, do virtual bank transactions, submit forms online, and read e-books by the thousands.

Despite such advances however, the printed world is still alive and kicking. The hard copy is here to stay, simply because it remains very useful in a lot of different applications.

Paper has traditionally been our substrate of choice, but now, we print on a variety of other surfaces on objects that perform a multitude of functions. Quite recently, we even began printing actual objects, seemingly out of thin air. Thanks to our new additive manufacturing technologies, we are now able to utilize model data to print three-dimensional objects that can be used for a range of purposes.

3D Printing

3D printing is actually the first item on our list of important recent inventions that revolutionized the printing industry. Read on to find out what the others are.

3D Printing

As mentioned, 3D printing gained wide acceptancein recent years, particularly during the first decade of the 21st century. Its origins, however, date back to the 1980s, when the first prototype 3D printing devices were originally developed.

At that time, the three-dimensional objects were typically printed using modified inkjet printer heads, whichaccomplished the process bydepositing successive layers of polymer even asthe material is quickly cured with ultraviolet light. Today, 3D printing can also be done using other techniques like extrusion deposition and sintering.

3D printing offers a lot of benefits for people who want to manufacture or engineer new products. The process makes it possible for prototypes to be created with ease, for customization to be accomplished effortlessly, and for rapid manufacturing to be carried out without the usual exorbitant costs.

Because 3D printing makes it possible to synthesize specialized objects with unique geometries, it has also become instrumental in scientific research and in the development of new, useful technologies.

Remanufactured and compatible printer cartridges

Before there were alternatives to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) printer ink and toner products, consumers had no choice but to purchase outrageously costly original cartridges. Ink products were so expensive that they often cost even more than luxury fragrances per unit of weight.

If you’re old enough, you may remember ink and toner refill kits. They were difficult to use effectively and were very messy. Thus, the introduction of remanufactured and compatible printer cartridges greatly democratized the industry. Finally, consumers were given the choice whether to purchase the more expensive OEM variants or to gain value by choosing alternative products instead.

Remanufactured printer cartridges are high-quality recycled cartridges. These recycled cartridges go through a lot more than the simple refilling kits. The remanufacturing process involves the use of advanced cleaning, refilling, and sealing techniques to give the used cartridges a new lease on life.

On the other hand, compatible printer cartridges are newly made cartridges. Like the remanufacturing process, the production of compatible printer cartridges is also held to high standards, so the resulting products typically match or even outperform OEM products when it comes to quality.

Both these types of alternative printer cartridge products are more affordable options for consumers, but in terms of environment-friendliness, remanufactured cartridges are favored by advocates of sustainable use of resources.

According to the non-profit organization Earth Share, remanufacturing uses up to 80% less energy than manufacturing new cartridges, and every old cartridge that is recycled saves about a gallon of petroleum.

Biodegradable printer ink

Biodegradable printer ink was first introduced during the oil crisis of the 1970s when nations in the Middle East imposed an oil embargo against the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan following these countries’ involvement in Israel’s war against Egypt and Syria.

Oil was important to the ink manufacturing industry since the production of conventional ink products required the use of petroleum-based oil. Anticipating the negative impact that the embargo would have on the ink manufacturing industry, researchers developed ink products that made use of non-edible vegetable oil instead.

Because of their vegetable oil content, biodegradable ink products don’t produce as much chemical emissions as traditional inks. Thus, they are better for people’s health and for the environment. Additionally, the use of biodegradable ink is also beneficial for recycling endeavors since this type of ink is much easier to separate from paper and other materials compared to conventional variants.

The printing industry is continuously evolving. As the needs of people and businesses change, we can expect more printing innovations in the future that will forever change how we use and experience this technology, which has been in existence since the dawn of civilization.

Hannah Jones

Author & Editor

From Skopje, Macedonia, Also works as Software Quality Assurance.

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