3D printing set to play a significant role in Xaar’s financial future

Written by Colin Gillman on Monday, 09 January 2017.

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Xaar is to open a 3D Centre in the UK in January to deliver 3D printing services and equipment to OEMs, material suppliers and end users. Xaar says its 3D business is a key part of the company’s 2020 strategic vision where it aims to increase total Group sales to £220m by 2020.

Based in Nottingham, the new 3D team is headed by Professor Neil Hopkinson - the original inventor of the transformational High Speed Sintering technology (HSS) - who joined the business last year to develop the company’s 3D business. 

HSS is a revolutionary technology which uses inkjet printheads and infrared heaters to manufacture products layer by layer from polymer powder materials at much higher speeds than other additive manufacturing processes. This technology is therefore of interest to companies looking to use 3D in volume manufacturing.  

Xaar has also added an experienced group of 3D engineers working in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Xaar Copenhagen team will provide design and process development expertise to help the company’s partners to commercialise HSS equipment, enhancing Xaar’s ability to secure further revenues in this fast-growing sector.  

“3D Printing is an important part of our strategic plan to grow total Group sales to £220 million by 2020”, says Xaar CEO Doug Edwards. “Our investments in the Nottingham and Copenhagen teams will significantly expand our capability in this sector, enabling us to achieve our growth plans”.


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Global large format sign and display market embraces Massivit 3D applications

Written by Colin Gillman on Wednesday, 16 November 2016.

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Sales of the ground-breaking Massivit 1800 3D Printer have surpassed expectations and are now well into double-figures worldwide. 

According to Avner Israeli, CEO at Massivit 3D, the way the global large format sign and display market has embraced the giant sized 3D printer clearly underscores the obvious market opportunity for 3D printed applications.

“Since launching the Massivit 1800 we have doubled the number of our employees and increased our global distributor network, such that there are now more than 20 distributors who are attending to customers worldwide,” he says.

2279 main resizedIn the UK, full-service printing-house Stylo Graphics has deployed the Massivit 1800 to produce eye-catching 3D models for the retail, interior design and hospitality sectors.

“As an early adopter of the technology, we are combining our traditional 2D printing expertise to establish Stylo at the forefront of large-scale 3D printed models,” says Simon Olley, Owner of Stylo Graphics. “Our clients are blown-away with the ability to produce larger-than-life, personalised 3D models. We can now work with them to realise their creative objectives while also propelling our business into exciting new markets.”

Meanwhile in Australia, large format 3D printing company OMUS purchased the Massivit 1800 to meet a growing customer demand for super-size, high-quality visual communications within retail, staging, display, events and architectural design.

“Our experience coupled with the printer’s capabilities will change the print and display landscape and we’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of the possibilities achievable. What’s more, the support and collaboration we’ve received from Massivit 3D to ensure we realise the printer's full potential, has been fantastic,” says Robert Grosso, Co-Owner of OMUS.

Retail brand development company Heidia, anticipates it will maintain its competitive edge using its Massivit 1800. 

"This solution will allow us to elevate our traditional 2D POP displays to new levels and we believe that it will be key to unlocking new business opportunities,” says Ofer Gal, Chairman of the Heidia Group. “As a producer of over 85% of the POS campaigns in Israel, we are continually looking at how to stand out from the crowd and we believe that this investment will support that objective.”

Inspiring creatives, as well as offering another dimension to print service providers, the 3D printing solution for large format visual communication applications removes the previous time and cost constraints of manual model making. It helps to drive profitable growth for print providers by enabling the production of eye-catching, 3D printed sign and display projects - beyond those that can be achieved with 2D printing devices.


InPrint Italy promises to be the keynote industrial printing event

Written by Colin Gillman on Thursday, 27 October 2016.

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From 15 to 17 November InPrint Italy will bring to Milan the whole gamut of industrial printing, showcasing its three macro sectors: functional, decorative and packaging from across some 120 exhibitors. 

‘Functional’ printing is present in almost all objects in everyday use. Mobile phones, washing machines, dishwashers, cars, computers, smart technology and consumer electronics all employ industrial printing as part of their manufacturing processes. At InPrint Italy this sector is represented by companies such as the French firm Ceradrop, which designs and markets digital printers designed exclusively for the printed electronics industry and Smart 3D printing, and is able to offer new opportunities for feasibility studies and product launches. From the United States comes Engineered Printing Solutions, recently acquired by Xaar, specialising in industrial inkjet integration with a strong focus on direct to shape. And then there is the Italian company Seristampa, noted for printing logos and stickers for multinationals in the car and motorbike industry, as well as manufacturers specialising in household appliances, fashion, etc.  

Another leading sector is ‘decoration’. Industrial printing is very closely involved in the creation and decoration of flooring, textiles, wallpaper and even furniture. For flooring, for example, digital printing offers clear advantages over traditional printing: print can actually be applied to a substrate for application to the finished surface, vastly increasing the opportunities and encouraging ‘on demand’ production, without storage. This means that production itself becomes much more efficient, the products can be made to order and, last but not least, designers have more creative freedom. Take, for example, the applications that Canon is exhibiting at InPrint Italy for flooring, textiles, ceramics and cork. No less impressive are the textiles and leather exhibited by Agfa Graphics. Inca Digital will demonstrate its capabilities as a company specialising in the development of industrial inkjet technology solutions, while Heidelberg is bound to catch the eye with the launch of the Omnifire 1000a direct to shape industrial inkjet machine. Also worthy of attention is the Italian company Metis Systems, noted for its scanners used in artistic reproduction and which has recently achieved significant 3D printing innovations thanks to an agreement reached with Kuei, another exhibitor at InPrint Italy.

The third sector to benefit from industrial printing is packaging. Think about all the things we consume and the way they are packaged. How have they been packaged? What do the markets and retailers require for their packaging? What functionality should they have? As with the most recent media, packaging has an added value for the marketing and distribution process sectors. Intelligent packaging helps the market to sell more units. What does the packaging have to offer in terms of what we eat and drink? Innovative packaging increases sales. With the innovation of special inks for screen printing on luxury products and direct to shape technology, this sector is becoming increasingly interesting and positive for the industry. Among the exhibitors at InPrint Italy are at least three Italian companies that are leaders in decorative printing: Martinenghi, with its Michelangelo, the revolutionary digital printing press for hollow articles (tubes, cans, etc.); Sirpi, which for 50 years has been developing water and solvent-based and UV-curing applications for a wide variety of print media; and ThallosJet which specialises in research, production and marketing of printing products intended for industrial and biomedical applications.

Moulded Sign Before and After web resizedMimaki will be at InPrint showcasing its solutions for industrial print applications made possible by its innovative portfolio. Taking centre stage will be the new UV flatbed UJF-3042 MkII and UJF-6042 MkII printers that provide excellent ink adhesion to acrylics and many other materials, including glass, metal and resins. They are also ideal for producing membrane switches or wallet smartphone cases that must be pressed or folded. Also on show will be the company’s UJF-7151plus that will run thermoforming ink – a unique, stretchable ink suitable for a wide range of thermoforming applications, especially those requiring exceptional hardness and durability such as automotive parts. The ink is available in CMYK, white and a unique clear ink that can also add texture. A Formech 508FS vacuum forming machine on the stand that will also help visitors experience the entire thermoforming process.

What links these three segments is an increasing need to respond to changing demand from consumers. Manufacturers are requiring more innovative technology that enables flexible production, an ability to print short runs and a need for mass customisation. Digital inkjet production is responding to this demand and is positioning itself as a genuine new option. At InPrint Italy all this will be brought together in three days of exhibitions, seminars and discussions that are certain to inspire the manufacturing sector, thanks to the presence of innovative industrial printing technologies, products and services and the focus on the up-and-coming Italian market, recognised worldwide for printing on textiles, ceramics, wood, packaging and other manufacturing sectors.


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Massivit 3D printer provides attention-grabbing wow factor for Ghostbusters movie launch

Written by Colin Gillman on Friday, 09 September 2016.

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New York-based large format print business, Carisma, has created ten eye-catching 3D printed graphics to promote Sony Pictures’ summer blockbuster, Ghostbusters, using its Massivit 1800 3D Printer.

The promotional campaign saw Carisma produce the ten 14 feet (4.27 meters) 3D printed images of the iconic ‘No-Ghost’ sign, which serves as the logo for the movie.

The ten models were 3D printed in robust Dimengel material over ten days before being affixed as illuminated 3D printed wraps onto a fleet of double-decker buses and used nationwide during a month long campaign - 

Who you gonna call?

According to Moshe Gil, Founder and CEO of Carisma, the entertainment giant called upon Carisma’s expertise to produce a visually-captivating promotional campaign that would turn heads among the public during the movie’s release.

“When it comes to creating stunning projects with the attention-grabbing wow factor guaranteed to create a stir, then our Massivit 1800 3D Printer is our method of choice,” says Gil. “Visually-appealing bus wraps are not a new application area for companies like ours, but the capability to offer 3D printed versions takes that application to new creative frontiers.”

According to Gil, as with many sign and display projects undertaken by the company, his team had to work to a fairly short production timeframe, but thanks to the attributes of the Massivit 1800 3D Printer, were able to complete and install the job on time.

“Fortunately the combination of the printer’s high speed and robust material enabled us to rapidly output ten identical models that also boasted the durability to withstand a month outdoors on the road,” he explains.

“The impact of the bus wraps was incredible, particularly at night when the public were drawn into the eerie glow,” he adds. “Most importantly, our client was delighted that the project achieved the objective of producing a huge buzz ahead the movie’s launch.”

Carisma’s Ghostbusters campaign follows an earlier project with Sony Pictures in which the company was commissioned to produce similar visually-striking 3D printed bus wraps for The Angry Birds Movie.

“Sony Pictures was so blown-away by the attention generated around The Angry Birds Movie campaign that it sought something similar for Ghostbusters,” explains Gil. “As a business owner, retaining clients by undertaking repeat work is critical and this is a clear example of how the Massivit 3D Printer enables us to do exactly that.”

Previously, Carisma produced large format applications using mixed substrates including cut illuminated acrylic, PVC boards and lenticular lenses. According to Gil, the Massivit 1800 3D Printer has added a new dimension to his business and has significantly enhanced its service capabilities. The company can now offer game-changing, engaging 3D elements with traditional 2D applications to elevate the creative possibilities for its vast client portfolio. These clients include the likes of Macy’s, Disney and Samsung.

“Before the Massivit 1800 3D Printer was launched there was a substantial gap in the market for a solution with the capability to produce large-scale models with a super-fast turnaround time,” he explains. “As an innovative company we always think outside the box and this is what led us to Massivit 3D. The Massivit 1800 3D Printer delivers a new level of creativity and extends our design capabilities further than ever before.”

Lilach Sapir, Vice President Marketing & Business Development, Massivit 3D concludes: “Carisma is a prime example of a printing house active in the visual communication and large format segments adopting 3D printing technology to enhance its competitive edge and build its client base. 3D printing enables such companies to quickly and cost-effectively produce visually-striking campaigns that standout from the crowd.”


Watford based Stylo takes UK’s first Massivit 1800 super-sized 3D printer

Written by Colin Gillman on Monday, 11 July 2016.

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Papergraphics has sold the UK’s first Massivit 1800 3D printer to graphic production company Stylo, a Watford based display business providing bespoke tailored solutions for retail, interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D displays.

With the ability to create ultra-large scale objects in a few hours, the system is expected to open up realms of new possibilities to a variety of industries including the entertainment, events, retail, and signage sectors.

According to Simon Olley, managing director at Stylo, 3D printing on such a large scale will dramatically change the way the company does business. “Create, innovate, print is our company vision. We underpin this by investing in the latest technology. 3D printing is an exciting new service we will be able to provide to our existing and new customers.”

Standing at a height of 2.6m and width of 2.4m, Massivit says this is the only 3D printer in the world that enables customers to create bespoke 3D sculptures up to 1.8m high, 1.5m wide, with a depth of up to 1.2m. Couple this with its capability to print up to one foot per hour and it is a technological innovation that will significantly evolve the visual communication market. 

Doug Gilbertson, director at Papergraphics, says: We are at the cusp of the 3D printing revolution as the capabilities of this printer opens up the market to a multitude of industries that previously had limited access. The first sale of the printer to Stylo showcases the agility of the printer and we’re excited to keep working closely with them as we continue to provide after-sale support. It’s an exciting period and we’re proud to be at the forefront alongside Massivit as the printer comes to the shores of the UK and Ireland.”

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How can you win more customers for your printing business

How can you win more customers for your printing business

Anybody who has run a printing business for any time will at some stage ask themselves the question “How do I get more customers?” The trouble with this is it’s a perennial question that has no right or wrong answer. You could always start by learning to think differently and...

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