What to look for in a 3D printer?

3d printed item

With the surge of digital technology, the internet, and online ads’ progressive effectiveness, the printing business and photographers took a big hit back in 2008. Industries such as these had to take a good long look at how they were going to adapt and compete in a world where everyone had a digital camera in their pocket and, direct mail was facing fierce criticism in its effectiveness within the digital landscape. 3D printing may be what drives the industry back to life as we move forward into a new “normal” in business today.   

So what does one look for in selecting the right 3D printer?  Here are some questions, printing experts suggest to consider…  

  • Do you really need a 3D printer?
  • What kind of printer should you consider?
  • Which printer’s capabilities meet your expectations?
  • What are your ultimate goals?
  • Where’s the best place to buy your 3D printer?
  • Technical FAQs covered include:
  • How important is the 3D print speed?
  • What type of materials should you print with?
  • What size print bed should you go for? 
  • What do you want to print exactly?
  • What size do you need to print your 3D objects?
  • What type of materials does your printing need to use?
  • What print resolution do you need to print at?
  • Do you print with more than one color?
  • What surface should be built upon?
  • Closed or open frame?
  • Are there limitations of this printer based on specific requirements?

According to the PIA (Printing Industry Alliance) report, the Great Recession “shrunk print’s economic footprint by historic proportions last year (in 2012)” with 8 percent (2,943) of total printing plants closing and 15.6 percent ($25.9 billion) of the total volume of printing falling between 2008 and 2009. They state that print will remain a principal part of the economy despite recent declines.  This industry has been doing the necessary footwork to get an idea of which way the wind is blowing in the overall economy to find its proper place and be competitive while doing it.

This industry’s long-term struggles continued over the last five years to 2021 as digital products and services increasingly displaced traditional printed materials. Historically, printers were central to both publishing and advertising. However, over the past couple of decades, rapid technological change has upended both markets and sent the industry into structural decline. The migration of media content and ad dollars to digital platforms has notably continued over the past five years.  

Another severe blow to the printers ushered in with the global pandemic wave of COVID 19 in 2020.  Witnessing many changes and adaptations in every industry, the printers have not been an exception. Globally, we have probably seen the best transition in the worldwide market, and the change wave is hitting businesses across industries, and forward-thinking printers are gladly inviting the ‘transformation.’  

With the printing industry, it will never be the same dies and prints again. Independently owned printers are adopting the latest methods and opportunities to expand their business reach. To understand how printing businesses will hope to adapt, here are ten trends to look for:  

  1. Customer Security

Businesses that include education and medicinal services put resources into technology that needs ID identification to gather reports. This change results from customer security being one of the most important aspects, taking a front seat in various organizations. As these organizations search for ways to improve effectiveness with remote work, advanced technology joining will be a central perspective in the printing business sector, which would allow speedier and more verified printing.   

  1. Technological Adoption

Web to print solutions which helps to print business to simplify and automate orders and reordering for their retail, corporate & reseller clients. It comes with all exclusive tools that enable the robust B2B strategy for businesses to highlight their top products, services, and promotional offers to engage customers, generate new and repeat sales, increase productivity, and expand their print business.  Embracing new developments to stay competitive in the market by choosing IoT-based web to print software, would continue to help the printing industry to experience further developed tools.   

  1. Change in Design

No longer is the need for customary prints loaded with elements.

  1. AI

Print business leaders have been utilizing AI technology in their business models. As 2020 encountered some astounding capacities for printers, expect to see some upgrades. Xerox and HP have just extended their abilities in this segment. 

  1. Digitalization

Printing tools are receiving the new report feature included. It allows customers to digitize their documents and store information easily in a verified manner. Digital work process forms that interact with customers to the frameworks will develop as these enable customers to work remotely and keep printing through any device they need.

  1. Inkjets

To serve the changing market, the technology of inkjet web to print solution has occurred, operating the print business, bundling, and brand markets.  

  1. Association of IT

As indicated by a survey by Quocirca, Global Print 2025, businesses will support IT specialist co-ops more than traditional print providers by 2025. 

  1. Adoption of Cloud MPS

Another move that is occurring in the industry is the reception of cloud-based MPS. Market leaders, including Ricoh, Xerox, and Lexmark, have adopted this technology. Cloud MPS means that printer software and files are hosted externally, through the cloud. This is advantageous to have access to an extremely scalable network, external security, and complete external management.  The incorporation of cloud MPS will diminish the intricacies of on-premise printing.

  1. Embracing Customizing Prints for the Customers
  2. 3D Printing 

3D printing starts in 2021 with three key trends 

  1. going back to the drawing board to rethink manufacturing 
  2. enabling the personalization of products and 3D printers themselves
  3. creating new solutions, fast

We believe that additive manufacturing (AM) is meaningful when it empowers people to make better choices. The global pandemic has shown that AM can step up and provide meaningful solutions to emerging challenges.  The value lies in being able to create things that no other manufacturing method can.  The capability to customize, to print with fewer components and with less waste, means that it ensures solutions are socially inclusive and, operate with sustainability at their core.