Future Links August 12th 2014

Here are our daily links with the most important news from the printing industry. Today they feature a debate about the benefits of 3D printing, an acquisition in the packaging industry, stock analysts’ predictions, opportunities for print as a business model, an industry outlook for plastic sales, a new mobile printing app and an experts’ view of the future of 3D printing in space.

Debating the benefits of 3 D printing
Additive manufacturing has the potential to change the way we design, produce and purchase products – that much is clear.  How the new technology will impact society is a much larger issue with many open questions. The New York Times has asked several experts, an economics professor, a designer and a PhD student among them, to discuss future scenarios for the way 3D printing will change our lives. The result: An intriguing discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of this new technology that makes an interesting read for everybody who cares about the future of work, medicine and the environment.
More at New York Times

SaxCo International acquires one of the fastest growing private companies
Saxco International, LLC, one of the leading U.S. distributors of rigid packaging for the liquor, wine and beer industries has acquired Square Peg Packaging and Printing, LLC. Square Peg Packaging and Printing has been named one of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine for the past four years. The company designs and supplies glass containers as well as a variety of customized packaging materials and commercial printing for the brewing and beverage, electronics, food processing, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and general manufacturing industries.
More at Brewbound 

Stock analysts take a closer look at 3D printing
It’s earnings season and after market leader Stratasys posted better than expected earnings last week, the industry attracted renewed attention from analysts and investors, according to a Zack’s investment report. Research firms Gartner, IDC and Canalys predict solid long-term growth for the leading 3D printing companies. So far, however, Stratasys remains the only company among the larger players with a positive stock performance over the last six months. A clearer picture will emerge when the remaining two companies, ExOne and Voxeljet, release their second-quarter results on Aug 13.
More at NASDAQ

Opportunities for print as a service and a business model
The printing industry is clearly at a crossroads. Digital content distribution and declining margins are factors printing companies have to consider when deciding on their strategies for future growth. Industry expert Wayne Peterson provides an outlook for print as a process, a business model, a communication medium, an industry and a trade association and discusses which new opportunities and challenges arise from recent developments in each area.
More at What They Think 

3D printing boosts plastic sales
The market for polymers used in 3D printing has already reached 310 million USD and is expected to grow considerably over the next few years as 3D printers become more common in households, high schools and universities, according to a report by SmarTech Markets publishing. The report looks at a variety of materials including ABS, PLA, PC, PP resins, nylon, acrylate resins and thermoplastics and gives a ten-year forecast for their potential.
More at tct

International Paper offers printing app for a range of mobile devices
Printing from a mobile device via WiFi is easy – in theory. But in reality, you need the right app for each printer with which you want to connect. The Epson printing app does not print photos from my smartphone on my friend’s HP printer and won’t work well on a Canon printer either. The paper manufacturer International paper now offers the Hammermill printing app that is designed to work on a variety of printers – regardless of their brand as long as a WiFi connection is present. Journalist Les Shu at Digital Trends tested the app and found it works, despite some quirks.
More at Digital Trends 

Printing in space provides opportunities but won’t spark a revolution
A report by the National Research Council’s (NRC) Aerospace Engineering Board says that 3D printing is space will provide new opportunities but that some claims will not materialize as fast as some predictions suggest. The segment that is most likely to benefit in the near future is human spaceflight while the printing of whole space stations in orbit may be substantially further out in the future.
More at Space News 

U.S. demand for plastic containers is poised for robust growth
The U.S. demand for plastic containers is expected to exceed 32 billion USD in 2016, according to a study by the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm. Through 2016, plastic bottle and jar demand is expected to increase 2.8 percent per year to 165 billion units and single-serve containers for foods are also predicted to rise.
More at Packaging Europe 

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