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Innovative technologies and materials are creating new possibilities for the print packaging industry and resulting in the continuous development of this sector. To find out how our industry is going to evolve within the next years and to identify the upcoming key-trends on the global print packaging market, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), in partnership with NPES – The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies and the VDMA, the Mechanical Engineering Industry Association of Germany has conducted a joint comprehensive study.

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How do you know if the coffee in your to go mug is ready to drink without trying and maybe burning your lips? Do you have an idea if you can still eat the meat in your fridge even if the expiration date is already exceeded? Actual there is no practicable answer but nanotubes stamps could bring the solution! Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a stamping process that involves carbon nanotubes which might cost-effectively print electronic ink onto almost any surface – whether rigid or flexible.

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Big, bigger, The Box! Within the 3D printing industry, experts experiment with extremes such as printing on a nano scale or aim for big solutions. Especially in industrial 3D printing manufacturers are in need of printers, which can print large parts e.g. for trucks. Most industrial 3D printers are already able to print metal or resin, but not accurate when it comes to printing with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). But, in contrast to metal, FMD 3D printing can be scaled up to create big parts. This is what the Swedish startup BLB Industries uses in their The Box 3D printer – one of the biggest 3D printers in the world.

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It is official: Delhi is the city with the world’s worst air pollution. More and more people using vehicles, the continuing growth of industrial areas and various other reasons lead to an increasing amount of smog released into the air. That is why Graviky Labs, a spin-off group of MIT Media Lab, launched Air-Ink last year. This invention converts exhausted gases into ink.

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Shorter runs, faster cycle times, more customized textile-based products for home and fast fashion – the textile market poses enormous requirements to its players, demanding big-scale printing solutions. With its newly launched Tiger-1800B direct-to-textile printer, printer-and-ink-company Mimaki reacts to these and foresees a bright future for digital textile printing.

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The food industry presents some of the most demanding coding and marking challenges for food companies. During the printing process, which has to be efficient and reliable, codes on products do not only have to withstand extreme variations in temperatures. Color fastness, cleanliness and hygiene are also playing an important role when printing them. This is why the choice of the right coding system for labelling food products is essential.

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Lately, digital drawing and sketching is booming. Where paper and pen are no longer in use, tablets such as Surface, Wacom or iPad and their styluses are taking over. In creating experiences as close to the real as possible, producers face not only a common goal but also a common difficulty. Now reMarkable, the self-named paper tablet, enters the market.

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After already presenting great pioneers of printing such as Johannes Gutenberg and Alois Senefelder in former blog posts, our series continues with another excellent inventor of our industry: Tolbert Lanston, who developed the Monotype Machine.

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The media hype for 3D printing has been very high in the last few years. Although it is nothing new in printing industry there are still some exciting 3D-printed innovations entering the market. Anyway there are some interesting developments, which are worth keeping an eye on. This is why we gathered some trends in 3D printing technologies, which printing professionals should bear in mind for the future.

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Looking back at a great year, we definitely do not forget to look forward as well. After all, drupa 2016’s motto was “touch the future”! At K 2016, another trade show within the field of competence “Machinery, Plant and Equipment” at Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, we took the opportunity to meet some exhibitors from drupa 2016. While displaying innovations for the plastics and rubber industry, they reviewed drupa 2016 and answered a few questions. We asked them, which future trends they see regarding the next drupa, how they prepare for drupa 2020 and what they are looking forward to the most when thinking of it.

Future Links CW 12 – Green Printing Edition

This edition of our future links is all about green printing. Be it the launch of a new sustainability standard for textile printing, a new product range with health and environmental advantages or printing with cellulose, the five pillars of sustainable printing production or tips for ecologically printing in business: This week revolves around sustainable and eco-friendly solutions from the printing industry.