Future Links June 12th 2015

Today our news roundup from the printing industry covers a connected newspaper prototype, Ford’s new 3D print store, new 4D printing material developed by MIT researchers, a case study about productivity-boosting new equipment, a discussion about the future of bioplastics in Europe, Linpac’s planned price increases and Canon’s designer guide to inkjet printing.

Are connected newspapers the way of the future?
As newspapers, books and magazines look to reinvent themselves, connected paper with conductive ink is believed to play a major role in this over the next few years. The Liverpool Echo worked together with the University of Central Lancashire and the agency Uniform to develop a prototype. The trial was based around the end of Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool career. The page used conductive ink and when the user pressed a printed button a commentary from one of Gerrard’s most memorable moments was played on the connected hardware.
More at Prolific North

Ford lets users print their own 3D model
Printing your own real car may still be way off in the future but car enthusiasts can now at least get a taste of what this future may look like. Ford announced that it is opening a one-stop 3D digital shop. With the help of Turbosquid, Ford fans can use 3D printing technology to make their own models of Ford vehicles or opt to purchase a 3D digital file from a growing library of more than 1,000 Ford vehicle images.
More at Forbes

MIT researchers develop new 4D smart materials
As 3D printing is moving into the mainstream, exciting work is taking place in research labs all over the world exploring the promises of adding another dimension to have 4D printed materials. These are materials that change their properties such as shape, flexibility and texture when exposed to outside stimuli like heat or humidity. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have now developed a material that can be 3D printed and changes its properties as pressure changes.
More at 3D Print

Case study: New equipment boost productivity at printing businesses
State-of-the-art Stahlfolder automation from Heidelberg has enabled two Virginia printing companies to increase their folding capacity and substantially boost productivity, yielding important benefits for customers as well as for employees. The speed of the machines enabled the printers to produce significantly more brochures and other printing products in one shift.
More at What They Think

Experts discuss bioplastics prospects in Europe
European Bioplastics (EUBP) and the Austrian Energy Agency (AEA) hosted a meeting in Vienna with over 75 thought leaders and senior experts involved in the important process of advancing the bioeconomy in Europe. Special attention was given to the opportunities to advance bioplastics.
More at Packaging Europe

Linpac announces price increases
Fresh food packaging manufacturer Linpac said that its rigid and flexible packaging prices would have to increase due to spiraling polymer costs. Linpac operates 18 plants supplying over 70 countries with a wide range of rigid and flexible packaging solutions for the food industry.
More at Packaging News

Canon’s designer guide to inkjet printing wins award
Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., today was awarded by the Visual Media Alliance for Designer’s Guide to Inkjet. The award recognized the outstanding achievement and was presented at the annual 2015 Showcase Awards.
More at American Printer