Future Links February 23rd

Today our news roundup from the printing industry covers a major venture capital investment for FDM Digital Solutions, Müller Martini’s view of the digital future, an open-source printer for biomaterials, a call for better after-use strategies for plastic packaging, Disney’s patent for 3D scanning and printing, massive growth predicted for the printed electronics market and new on the drupa blog: How printing conquered the rainbow.

FDM Digital Solutions closes major venture financing deal
As 3D printing technology matures, the field becomes increasingly attractive for investors who see high growth potential. FDM Digital Solutions, a 3D printing specialist from Burnley, UK, has received 425 000 USD in funding from Rosebud Finance and the North-West Fund for Venture Capital, both managed by Enterprise Ventures. This is already the second major financing round: FDM had previously received 1.2 million USD from the two investors in January 2014.
More at 3ders

Müller Martini views digital as the way of the future
Finishing specialist Müller Martini has backed digital workflow as the trend it will promote at this year’s drupa. Bruno Müller, chief executive of the Müller Martini Group, says the company’s Finishing 4.0 system covers the parallel management of processes and process data as well as the connectivity of its machines and systems. He describes Finishing 4.0 as the key factor in the company’s strategy.
More at i-Grafix

Researchers create open-source printer for biomaterials
The speed with which new 3D printing technologies evolve is breathtaking. Now, researchers at Rice University have modified a commercial-grade CO2 laser cutter to create OpenSLS, an open-source, selective laser sintering platform that can print intricate 3D objects from powdered plastics and biomaterials. The system costs at least 40 times less than its commercial counterparts according to the university and allows researchers to work with their own specialized powdered materials.
More at Science Daily

Call for better strategies for plastic packaging after-use economy
A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the World Economic Forum titled “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics” lists some worrisome statistics. They include: There is likely to be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight by 2050. 95 % of plastic packaging’s potential value lost after its first use. Only 14 % of plastic packaging collected for recycling. The report calls for new strategies to integrate plastic packaging into the circular economy.
More at Green Biz

Disney’s patent for high-resolution 3D scanning and printing approved
One problem that was plaguing 3D printing from a scanned model was the fact that it is difficult and expensive to get a high-resolution copy of an object that was scanned. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office now approved a patent application by Disney that could dramatically change 3D scanning with the purpose of creating a 3D printed copy. The technique involves hooking a 3D scanner up to a database of 3D models.
More at 3ders

Printed electronics market set for massive growth
The market for printed and flexible electronics is expected to grow to 69 billion USD by 2026, according to predictions by IDTechEx. Interesting new products are brought to market by a variety of companies. One example is Enfucell, a Finish company that has demonstrated the use of its battery in cold chain monitoring, which is becoming increasingly important in the pharmaceutical industry.
More at EE Times

New on the drupa blog: How printing conquered the rainbow
Colors fill us with bliss, but they have been hard to seize for centuries. Maybe the wish to grasp the rainbow is what pushed humanity to tame color. It has been a long, arduous enterprise. But we have finally learnt the trick: how to trap colors in paper, tissue and objects, and distribute them to millions of people. What follows is the story of how the printers conquered the rainbow.
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