7 Industry Predictions About the Future of Printing Technology
There are people who claim that newspapers and printed books are bound to disappear, and people who claim that they never will. The printing industry has come a long way since the invention of the printing press, and the truth is that, despite what some might think, its future is very promising.
Different printing processes will keep evolving and becoming more customizable, while new ones will keep being developed. Let’s learn more about the possible future of printing technology.
1. Printing processes will become more sustainable
Many industries are making efforts to do their part to protect the environment. The future of printing technology is expected to turn to more eco-friendly processes.
Recycling paper and cardboard is simple, but printing processes will become a lot more sustainable when all printer cartridges will be just as easily recycled and remanufactured, instead of being discarded.
The ink inside those cartridges will also become more and more eco-friendly: vegetable-oil based inks are slowly replacing solvent-based inks, and food-safe inks are also being developed to be used in the food packaging industry.
2. Sheet-fed inkjet printers will become more and more popular
Web presses are useful for people who are interested in high volume, high speed printing. However, since they print on large rolls of paper, and also take care of folding and sheeting, those presses are heavy, expensive, and costly to use and to maintain.
Sheet-fed printers are an interesting alternative that is slowly gaining in popularity. Sheet-fed printers print one sheet at a time, and are usually used for low volume, high quality printing jobs. As sheet-fed inkjet printers are being faster and more efficient, they will surely replace web presses for many operations.
3. 3D printing will become more accessible and make our lives easier
You have certainly already heard of 3D printing, but maybe you have no idea of how this printing technology has the power to make our lives easier. 3D printers can easily print out three-dimensional objects out of plastic resin. These objects can simply be fun little sculptures, but they can also be functional objects.
As 3D printing becomes more accessible and more affordable, it will allow people to manufacture the customized items they want, when they want them, instead of relying on the products offered by manufacturers and retailers.
Artists and inventors will take advantage of this technology to create beautiful and practical things without needing to leave their homes. The future of printing technology is bright,and it’s all thanks to the wonders of 3D printing.
4. Businesses will be able to customize their printing presses
Some businesses have unique printing needs, and they can have a hard time finding a printing company that can meet all of these needs in a cost-efficient manner. Fortunately for them, some innovative printing press manufacturers are there to meet their needs with customized presses.
As these custom and flexographic printing solutions gain popularity, businesses will be able to use different components to build their own, unique printing presses. They will not have to turn to different suppliers to complete their projects, as they will be able to handle them from start to finish.
5. Digital embellishing machines will keep improving
Digital embellishing machines can add raised texture, foil, glitter, glossy spots, and other embellishments to printed products. They have been around for some time, but those machines keep becoming faster, more efficient, and more functional.
Many companies choose digital embellishment to add a unique touch to their printed materials, which can help them stand out from the competition and market their brand more effectively. Digital embellishing machines will only become more present in the future, so you might as well examine your different design options and start using foil, spot varnish, or embossing.
6. Photonic printing techniques will find many applications
Photonic printing is simply a process that uses light to print on a variety of materials. Thanks to laser technology, it’s possible to print without any ink. Eventually, photonic printing will commonly be used for watermarking and identification purposes.
Some companies are already offering photonic printing services to their customers, which allow them to print out messages and graphics on their packaging, right at the point of sale. This is a unique way for them to customize their products and to engage with their customers.
7. Conductive inks will have many different purposes
Conductive inks are made from conductive materials such as silver, graphite, and polymers. They can be used to print out circuits, which can allow a simple piece of paper or fabric to enter the digital world.
If you have already taken the subway, your ticket was probably printed using conductive ink technology. Some recent cars don’t have a radio antenna: instead, they have some conductive circuits printed on their rear window.
In the future, conductive inks will probably be used to create smart clothing, soft robots that can bend without breaking, and who knows what else.