Future Links November 9th

Here are our daily links with the most important news from the printing industry. Today they feature Athena’s 3D printer for food and circuit boards, research on toxicity of some 3D printing materials, 10 ways packaging can strengthen a brand, Pack2Go requests EU to keep up standards, researchers at ETH Zurich add a dimension to 3D printing, Roland DG’s new textile printer and new on the drupa blog: WEF views 3D printing as key technology.

3D printer makes multiple products from circuit boards to food
Athena Personal Manufacturing Robot is able to 3D print with plastics, pastes and foodstuffs. It can also make printed circuit boards, cut vinyl, and perform a range of other technical tasks. The open-source printer is made by Phidias, a start-up company based in Michigan. The founders worked together doing research before they decided to create their own open-source, multifunctional machine.
More at 3ders

Research will investigate toxicity of some 3D printing materials
It was an accidental finding: When Shirin Oskui, a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside, used a 3D printed part in her study of zebrafish embryos, the embryos subsequently died. A follow-up study also showed that 3D printed parts could harm fish embryos but it also established that exposing 3D printed parts made from liquid resin to ultraviolet light reduces their level of toxicity significantly. The next step in the research will be to study the components of 3D printing materials and try to estimate how harmful they could be to humans.
More at RT

10 ways packaging can strengthen a brand
There are many aspects to consider for effective packaging design ranging from visibility on the shelf to emotional appeal. Good packaging design may advantage of hybrid approaches that integrate both rigid and flexible materials to attain better shelf life while improving sustainability and customer interfaces. Flexible film and smart labels can improve interaction with consumers.
More at Packaging Digest

Pack2Go urges European regulators to keep up high standards
Food and beverage service and convenience packaging manufacturers in Europe are concerned that some packaging sourced outside the EU may be putting consumers in danger. Paper packaging manufacturers in Asia tested by Pack2Go Europe in the past year was found to contain recycled fibers which are not allowed in packaging in direct contact with food and drinks according to EU rules. They are now urging EU regulators to keep up the EU standards.
More at Packaging Europe

Researchers from ETH Zurich print programmable soft 3D parts
The new method is able to create soft structures that are programmable and consist of different materials. The microstructural features have only been seen in biological materials grown in nature until now. The multifunctional shape-changing soft devices could be used to create mechanical means for joining parts in the human body such, as tendons and muscles, or for selective pick-and-place systems in soft robotics.
More at 3ders

Roland DG launches new textile printer
Roland DG has launched a new inkjet printer for the textile printing industry, the Texart XT-640. The machine has been designed especially for the production of fashion, sports clothing, interior design and soft signage after the company spotted a demand for higher volume runs of ‘fast fashion’.
More at Print Week

New on the drupa blog: WEF 3D printing survey
As the 3D printing is about to enter the mainstream, the World Economic Forum (WEF) takes note. They asked more than 800 executives and experts from the information and communications technology sector about their expectations on 21 tipping points. Read the experts’ views on how 3D printing will change manufacturing and medicine in the years to come.
More in the article