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Not only are braille printers so expensive that most people can’t afford them, the heavy paper that is required often results in bulky documents and books, which is also less than ideal. Creative director at J. Walter Thomson in Bangkok Satit Jantawiwat wanted to find a way to solve these problems. He and his team started working on a Braille embosser for the home that wouldn’t cost a fortune.

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Packaging is often used to communicate product attributes. ‘Fresh’ is written on packages, or ‘low calorie’ or ‘great taste’ – and consumers have to rely on the printed words to assess the claim. This approach clashes with the axiom of creative storytelling that says ‘show, don’t tell’. A team at the creative agency `Jack the Maker’ in Portugal has taken the storytelling advice literally.

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As electronics are getting both smaller and more powerful, electronics manufacturers are searching for new ways to increase performance. One way to still push the performance forward is by improving the architecture of the electronic components by stacking multiple structural layers on top of each other. Beta Layout GmbH is using 3D printing technology to manufacture and test prototypes of innovative circuit carriers and printed circuit boards.

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To the tune of 130 exhibitors will be presenting their innovations related to workflow, automation, print technologies and their strategic cooperation models, marketing platforms and business models at the drupa innovation park in six theme parks, in the freely accessible stage programme and in daily interviews at the dip energy lounge.

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Designing and creating effective packaging solutions is usually a fairly fragmented process with different kinds of software being used at different stages from creation to production. This can lead to inefficiencies and unnecessary costs. Often, design flaws only become obvious fairly late in the process. Software maker Creative Edge has now developed a solution that addresses these issues.

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Inspection and error detection is a common quality assurance feature in 2D printing. Several 3D printers also come with webcams and alert systems to notify the user if something has gone wrong. But most of the time, when the alarms go off, it is too late to fix the printed product. The Australian engineer Chris Barr now devised a way to detect common problems in 3D printing.

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Social messages are incredibly volatile and get discarded almost immediately. Anything online can be edited or deleted at the click of a button. But printed content gets written, proofread, edited, put in a graphics design, preflighted and eventually actually printed. Whether offset or digital print, the sheer technology adds extra value to the content a publisher wants to disseminate, says Rainer Kirschke, Business Manager Mobile Publishing at Agfa.

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As printed electronics become more common, the Norwegian company Thinfilm is evolving from a technology to a product company. While all of their products show potential, experts forecast the highest growth in NFC Open Sense tags. Depending on the context, the NFC tags can serve several purposes: One of the most important one is anti-counterfeit protection. When used on expensive wine bottles, the tags can indicate whether a bottle has been opened.

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Siegwerk is now the first company in the market to offer LED UV printing inks for food and pharmaceutical packaging. Because the requirements for the food and pharmaceutical industries regarding safety and efficiency are very high, Siegwerk’s new ink is considered a real breakthrough.

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In his drupa cube opening keynote on 31st May, Frans Johansson, CEO of „The Medici Group“, will base his talk on the drupa theme “touch the future” and ‘Intersectional Thinking’. Here’s an interview with the bestselling author.

Future Links May 27th

Here are our daily links with the most important news from the printing industry. Today they feature Airbus’ 3D printing patent, Materialise’s partnership with Microsoft, Autodesk’s plans for seamless 3D printing software, Siegwerk’s inkjet inks for labels, Mitsubishi’s food packaging paper, Coveris’ aluminum-free pet food pouch and Agfa’s solutions at drupa’s touchpoint packaging.