If you work in the corporate world or have your own home office, you would have a good understanding of the advancements and capabilities that your printing technology possesses. That’s not to say that the laser print standard is by any means old tech, it’s just that this format has seen many enhancements in addition to the wonders we have seen with 3D printing. If you have ever doubted the printing industries appetite for change, let’s round off all the advancements we have seen over the last decade and what we anticipate is just around the corner.
Let’s start with the hardware
Most of the leading printing manufacturers have begun modelling printers using recycled plastics, metals and minerals. This preserves virgin recourses and gives used materials a second chance in production. HP has said that by 2030, their whole fleet of printers will be crafted from recycled materials. Additionally, printers like the Brother 2130 have been associated with the circular economy, with Brother suggesting recycled paper is the way forward for their technology. Printer cartridges will continue to be produced using recycled materials as they have for more than eight years, with this movement gaining momentum as they partner with Planet Ark and other influence environmental organisations.
Enhanced workflow and remote access
Just as the office environment is changing, so too is the way we print. With business models now incorporating contractors and remote workers, printing technology allows individuals to print remotely from any corner of the globe. Imagine sitting on a conference call with your team who are in the office, and then sending through a print-out that speaks to the very discussion you are calling about. This provides a frictionless workflow that benefits the entire team, without the inevitable bottlenecks that can occur with a team that operates in a different location.
3D printing really is a mind-bending concept and one that has continued to fine-tune it’s capabilities since it was first released in recent years, with 3D production up 51% in 2019. There are obviously some industries that are more excited about this technology, like Health, Automotive, Education and Aerospace and Defence. There is an argument that 3D printers cannot exist in isolation, and actually need to come with accompanying additives like CAD design integration and CNC machining, so consider this if you are incorporating this technology in an upcoming budget. You can also look for second-hand machinery dealers such as this one. If you have an office job, you may not need this sort of technology too frequently but will become the norm further in the 2020s.
Quality and security
There has always been a security consideration for common printing, as anyone can walk to the printer and collect a document that might be sensitive. Instead of furnishing each HR manager, payroll officer or GM with their own printer, printing technology has allowed printers to print their document, and then ‘release’ the print once they have arrived at the machine and can securely remove it from the tray themselves. This secure pull printing has been very effective for a number of industries, and in most cases, it actually reducing the number of prints as they may not be released for whatever reason. Printing technology has also developed to a standard where the printer can make its own decisions about print quality and colour used, so as not to deplete unnecessary ink or output. This will continue to improve with AI integration appearing in future printing models.
In no time at all, this very article could be eclipsed by the imminent advancements in printing technology. If you have been looking to replace your old printer for some time now, explore some of these capabilities, and ensure that you discard your printer responsibility by returning it to the original manufacturer.
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