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3D printing has revolutionized how we walk through printed shoes, how we live through printed houses and now German researchers brought it another leap forward. With their new micron-scale optics, they want to make medicine and other fields much more efficient. Even though other companies and universities have already come up with 3D-printed fiber optics in the past, this new optic drives the production of nano-optics in another way.

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Thanks to their versatility, printed electronics are booming. On our blog we have already shown how they can be used in the medical field, to prevent accidents, to solve crimes or to generate power. Who would have thought that they also are able to spread music throughout the world?

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In recent years, 3D printing is experiencing a boom. While helping to design and create products faster than ever before, this technology also known as additive manufacturing is revolutionizing every field it enters.
The result is that it is becoming more affordable. So, it has great potential in many areas – even when it comes to environmental issues.

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Innovation in packaging technologies is key to success since it offers great opportunities to increase brand identity and customer loyalty. This also applies to the pharmaceutical industry, which is constantly growing: Between 2015 and 2020 the market for pharmaceutical packaging will increase by 8 percent. But still, this sector of the packaging industry, in particular, faces many challenges such as medication intake errors or counterfeit drugs. This is where intelligent packaging comes into play providing several benefits for pharmaceutical packaging.

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Thanks to printing pioneers such as Johannes Gutenberg our industry has developed to a thriving field. Alois Senefelder is another visionary thinker in our series of printing pioneers. In this article we take you on a journey through the life of Alois Senefelder, whose invention of lithography serves as a basis for today’s reproduction technologies and offset printing.

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New developments in printing technologies and materials enter almost every part of our lives. In the past, these have also affected a very important one: our money. With the rise of money, laundering techniques, new ideas and concepts for keeping our money safe and resistant are needed. Security printing constantly evolves and comes up with innovative ways to keep paper bank notes from being copied.

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In the past centuries, several cultural assets have been destroyed due to iconoclasm. A graphic example is the Arch of Palmyra in Syria. Originally, it has been the entryway to the Temple of Baal and should demonstrate the extreme prosperity of the city. In 1980, the UNSECO added the historical building to its list of world heritages. But in October 2015 it finally was destroyed. Therefore the Institute of Digital Archaeology developed a technology, which is able to 3D print replicas of endangered monuments based on specifically edited images.

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E-Ink is known by a lot of people because of e-books, but this technology has a lot more to offer. Recently, drivers could spot trucks on the roads that are equipped with a billboard at the rear showing content that has been adjusted to their current location. Previously, the dimensions of truck advertising were very limited. It was only possible to cover them with adhesive foil so that advertisers had to opt for general content fitting everywhere at any time.

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As drupa 2016 impressively demonstrated: Printing makes the world more beautiful and enriches many parts of our daily life. Besides art, posters and sculptures, new printing technologies even allow creating couture. At this year’s show various exhibitors such as Highcon Systems, and students from the Media Design School Düsseldorf presented extraordinary dresses made out of paper, and the trend to print clothes made from different materials keeps increasing, as shown by Fujifilm’s latest collaboration.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is looking forward to an exciting future. Although it is going to entail many advantages, some experts are concerned about its environmental impact. After all, it will comprise more than 200 billion connected devices by 2021 resulting in a huge amount of e-waste due to the batteries needed in order to power them. But Finnish researchers are already searching for a solution.

Future Links CW 8 – Multichannel Edition

Omnichannel, multichannel, virtual and augmented reality – these terms become more and more important within a brand’s marketing strategy. This is why our weekly future links focus on developments in these areas – be it short-form shows for Snapchat and the Discover platform, Walmart’s omnichannel presence, Chick-fil-A’s new advertising campaign, an augmented reality effect for Facebook Stories or Lightvert’s ECHO technology.