Future Links November 3rd

Here are our daily links with the most important news from the printing industry. Today they feature 3D technology for skull reconstruction, co-creation for more sustainable packaging solutions, a grant for 3D printed medical devices for newborns, intelligent packaging in the pharmaceutical industry, the pros and cons of transfer and direct dye-sub printing, Stratasys and others invest in desktop metal printing firm and Ricoh’s first 3D printer.

Scientists to regrow skulls with 3D printing technology
Here is another way in which 3D printing may be able to revolutionize medicine: Scientists in Australia are working on a ‘radical new procedure’ where they regrow skulls using stem cells and 3D printers. The team plans to use the technique on patients who need cranial reconstructions. If successful, they say it would reduce the risk of complications and surgical time while also providing massive cost savings.
More at International Business Times

Co-creation helps British brands find sustainable packaging solutions
Brands in the UK increasing partner with suppliers and other stakeholders to find better ways to reduce waste and increase the value and functionality of packaging throughout its whole lifecycle. This reflects a growing trend in which brands take a close look at packaging as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy.
More at Sustainable Brands

Grant supports 3D printing medical devices for newborns
A few years ago, researchers at Northeastern University invented a new way of 3-D printing strong, flexible materials in industrial quantities. Now, federal health officials are asking them to shrink the process down small enough to make custom medical devices for newborns. The National Institutes of Health are supporting the work with a 225 000 USD grant. The scientists hope to develop customized catheters for babies in urgent need of surgery.
More at Boston Globe

Intelligent packaging set to take off in the pharmaceutical industry
A consortium of leading pharmaceutical brands is exploring ways in which intelligent packaging solutions featuring sensors and NFC technology could change the way pharmaceuticals are produced and consumed. The group is working with researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing to examine all aspects of the medicine supply chain. They are looking at how printed electronics on medicine packaging could be used to battle counterfeiting, alert patients to product tampering and tell them whether or not the drug is fit for consumption.
More at Design Week

The pros and cons of transfer and direct dye-sub printing
For years, printing via a transfer medium has been the standard dye-sub method. However, new methods called direct dye-sublimation or direct disperse can print directly onto a fabric without requiring a transfer sheet. It’s tempting to think, “Aha! Now I can save money on transfer paper,” but it’s not quite as simple as that. Both varieties of dye-sub have their advantages and their disadvantages. Before investing in one of the two systems, it is beneficial to understand their advantages and limitations.
More at Printing News

Stratasys invests in metal printing firm
Plastic seemed to be the material of choice for desktop printers but this is changing. Despite its limitation and costs, the focus of the 3D printing market is rapidly shifting toward metal 3D printing. A new company called Desktop Metal wants to take it another step forward, to the desktop. A consortium of investors including Stratasys and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers are willing to support Desktop Metal’s vision with 14 million USD in a Series A financing round.
More at 3D Printing Industry

Ricoh enters the 3D printing market with its first printer
Ricoh’s 3D business at first looked like it was service oriented with little interest in proprietary technology. This has changed with the launch of the first 3D printer developed by Ricoh itself. The AM S5500P is an industrial selective laser sintering unit. The machine is being targeted at the manufacturing prototyping market and can handle both polyamide and polypropylene powders.
More at Output Magazine