María José García

María José García

When thinking about Hewlett-Packard (HP) people often associate the brand with what they are well-known: their front office IT technologies and wide-format printing. Now they are developing high-volume 3D-printed parts for Ford’s Super Duty F-250 trucks and also replacement parts for Nissan older models.


Courtesy of Ford.


HP has been part of many advanced manufacturing applications for a while so it was a matter of time to enter the automotive industry. With projects like Foxconn’s use of HPE Pointnext services to address quality assurance issues, they developed HP Metal Jet printer for mass manufacturing of production-grade metal parts. Now both Ford and Nissan announced their new sustainability programs by HP 3D printing technology.

Re- using 3D printed powders and parts for injection-molded fuel-line clips for its trucks has opened an entire door of opportunities for other fuel-line clips on other vehicles where these parts and processes can be used.


Courtesy of Ford.


“Many companies are finding great uses for 3D printing technologies, but, together with HP, we’re the first to find a high-value application for waste powder that likely would have gone to a landfill by transforming it into functional and durable auto parts.” According to Debbie Mielewski, Ford technical fellow.

According to Ford, “recycled materials from HP’s 3D have better chemical and moisture resistance than conventional fuel-line clips, are 7%lighter and cost 10% less.”


Courtesy of Ford.


Nissan applications

Hp 3D printing technology is being used to design and manufacture 3D-printed replacement parts for Nissan’s NISMO (the motorsports and performance division of the Nissan Motor Company). To produce all of these parts, HP is using its Multi Jeti Fusion platform. The first part is a plastic part of the harness protector for the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R which was first produced from 1969-1973, then from 1989-2002. The part is now being produced by HP using High Reusability PA 11 which provides high mechanical properties and design flexibility.

Automotive industry is being changed by implementing these projects to the table due to its full potential of creating replacement parts for extended periods. Also, producing and storing parts for vehicles that have been discontinued, updated, or overhauled can benefit from this, as manufacturers don’t often retain molds for these parts for storage and logistics terms, so re-creating them tends to be expensive or even impossible for some.


Courtesy of Ford.


“We are seeing leaders of the industry like Nissan recognize the massive cost implications of storage, molds, and logistics for replacement parts and how industrial 3D printing can help,” said Jon Wayne, head of global commercial business for 3D printing and digital manufacturing at HP Inc. “Digital manufacturing is a viable, long-term solution for accelerating production and transforming supply chains.”

It is definitely intriguing how the 3D industry has been taken to many other industries and how there are more and more applications to solve many different needs out there, even for high-volume pieces which was a little bit doubtful at first. We hope to see even more applications in the future.


Courtesy of Ford.


Wednesday, 31 March 2021 20:30

Sustainable homes

At first, when we started to hear more and more about 3D printed homes, I must admit I was a little skeptical for many reasons of how it could work. I’m sure if you’ve been into 3D printing for a while, you must have thought that too back then. Printing processes were too long and expensive, so it felt so far from being a good choice for a big product or project. Nowadays, the potential for 3D is huge and it’s clear there are lots of possibilities for it. High-scale prints are way faster and compared with other materials, they could be a much more sustainable and affordable option.


Sustainable-homes

Courtesy of Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects


Palari Group, which is a development company dedicated to offering innovative and sustainable building strategies for the real estate market, and Mighty Buildings, a construction technology company that is innovating the construction industry by using 3D-printing and robotic automation. They have recently come up with a plan to develop the first 3D-printed zero net energy homes community located in Rancho Mirage, California. Its plan is to develop a 5-acre parcel into a community of 15 eco-friendly homes.


Sustainable-homes

Courtesy of Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects


The first world’s planned community of 3D-printed homes will cost a total of $15 million and it revolves around the integration of technology and sustainability. The project aims to minimize its environmental impact by eliminating 99% of construction waste and utilizing solar energy and weather-resistant materials. So definitely sustainability-caring buyers will enjoy living in a smart and healthy home.

"We could not be more excited for this groundbreaking collaboration with Palari, and to be a part of the creation of the world's first 3D-printed zero net energy community," said Alexey Dubov, Co-Founder and COO of Mighty Buildings. "This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing - able to be deployed rapidly, affordably, sustainably, and able to augment surrounding communities with a positive dynamic."


Sustainable-homes

Courtesy of Mighty Buildings/EYRC Architects


Each property will have stone wall texture for the exterior and floor-to-ceiling windows. Mid-century modern architecture will be present on the design and each will be 1,450 square feet that consists in 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a secondary residence of 700 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. Each backyard will feature a swimming pool with a deck and views of the mountains that surrounds the place. All energy will be solar supplied with the optional Tesla Powerwall batteries and EV chargers.

"We are thrilled to launch this first development of 3D printed sustainable homes and partner with Mighty buildings to realize our common vision of transforming the way we build homes of the future," said Basil Starr, Founder and CEO of Palari, "3D printing allows us to build faster, stronger and more efficiently, making it integral to our platform of streamlining home-building process centered on sustainability of construction, materials, and operations." Palari is planning to build communities of sustainable healthy smart single-family homes in suburban locations across California, introducing a new era of homebuilding. During the presale stage, prices start at $595,000 for a base 3BR/2BA model and go up to $950,000 for a two-home configuration with upgrades.


Sustainable-homes

Courtesy of european business review


I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled about what’s next, not only for sustainable homes and lifestyle but also for what 3D printing possibilities are.


Sustainable-homes

Mighty builings logo



Sustainable-homes

Palari logo



Sustainable-homes

Rancho Mirage, courtesy of Palari


The first thing that comes into my mind when someone mentions signage is all of those large and colorful billboards. Obviously nowadays, there are so many kinds of signage and each of them can play a role in every company’s marketing strategy.

Using tablets for your business is not a new thing, but not everyone is using it though, and here are some facts about why it would be a good idea to start implementing something that simple but genius that may deliver a great customer experience.


Courtesy of ELC Sign


The first main purpose would be flexibility, and this is because as I mentioned before about the big old billboards, tablets give you flexibility and save you the need of installing big structures to hold them. Also, they keep you away from printing at all so they can also save you money in the long term. Instead of it, you can change your advertisement anytime you want or need.

Nowadays there are so many kinds of tablets. Different sizes and different features for you to decide which one fits you best. From taking your order from a restaurant to product discovery, data gathering, and many other tools, tablets can be used for many different businesses and many times could be a fresh and fun way to be different and creative with the way you use it.


Courtesy of Global Sources


This led me to my next point: create personalized content. Having a tablet lets you create content directly related to your target, even if you have different ones you could change your apps, designs, data gathering, and so on...

The best thing about technology is that not only it is constantly evolving, but these days, as I mentioned before, we can implement tons of new features and other options besides touchscreens. For example, content controlling from user’s own phones, QR codes scanning, polls, multi-purpose marketing games, staff contacting in real-time, etc. And all of these combined will make user experiences great.


Courtesy of Cision PRWeb


Another great feature with tablets is in my opinion, the more important one: Analytics and insights. One of the best characteristics of technology is that with the right analytics, you can identify what is working for your business and what is not. Obviously having this information lets you constantly improve your marketing strategy so you can have better results.

Also, having the opportunity for users to choose between a variety of digital signage content could let them know that their opinion is been taking into consideration and this is always a win-win for everyone because the user is feeling part of the campaign or project, while the brand is having analytics and solutions to improve.


Courtesy of Image Holders


So, telling you to use tablets definitely doesn’t make me a trendsetter, but to encourage you to start implementing it may be a good thing long term for your business if you want to step up and create creative digital signage content.


Courtesy of Real Eyes Discplays


Wednesday, 03 February 2021 18:00

How will 3D printing industry step up its game

3D printing definitely has its own market and with time, people are more and more willing to invest in a printer so they can print anything at home like a regular 2D printer. Also, there are some good competitive prices out there and nowadays buying one is more accessible and cheaper than some years ago.

3D printers were really impressive since their beginning, but not everything was perfect, and 3D printed pieces had a lot of improvements in order to function well and deliver reasonable printing parts. In the present, prints have a lot to improve when it comes to quality, but the truth is that the most inconvenient issues are printing timings and that is because they are way too prolonged and some prints could even take more than 24 hours to be ready so obviously this has been one thing to keep in mind before you even consider to print something.


3D printing sample at APPPEXPO 2018 in Shanghai, FLAAR-REPORTS archive


3D printers normally start to print from the bottom of the object and they start adding a layer at a time as they prin. When objects are irregular at the top or any other area needs it, the printer and the software add support material to these parts and it can easily be removed and thrown away after the print is ready. Creating this support material makes a print to take much more time than having the printer print just the piece itself. So it is more costly and time-consuming, especially for metal or any other material besides plastic.

Luckily for us, two researchers at Penn State have created a new system that reduces the amount of support material needed on each print by having a system with five axes instead of just having the typical x, y, and z.


3D printing sample at APPPEXPO 2018 in Shanghai, FLAAR-REPORTS archive


Xinyi Xiaoa and Sanjay Joshi proposed in a paper called “Process planning for five-acid support free additive manufacturing,” using a 3D printing with a movable build plate or extrusion arm to create objects in 3D space as they are printed, therefore making each surface flat while it is been extruded.


Screenshot courtesy of Penn State University


“Using a five-axis deposition machine has the potential to build structures without the need for supports,” the researchers wrote. “However, there is a lack of automated process planning software to support the full use of five-axis machines. [We introduce] an automated method that allows reorienting the part during the build using a five-axis machine.”

The main idea is that this process could cut objects into separate pieces that must be printed on a different axis, so prints won't need support material and therefore can be produced faster. For example, in the image below the software cuts the rabbit into 4 pieces dividing it into different axis.


Screenshot courtesy of Pennsylvania State University


On the other hand, if you print the rabbit on a regular 3D printer, it probably would be completely covered by support material and some parts would have difficulty being removed entirely.


Screenshot courtesy of Instructables In-House Art


“Large metal components, using traditional additive manufacturing, can take days and waste lots of materials by using support structures,” said the creators. “Additive manufacturing is very powerful, and it can make a lot of things due to its flexibility; however, it also has its disadvantages. There is still more work to do.”

Right now there aren’t many 5-axis printers available in the market and definitely not for home printers, but imagine having to say goodbye forever to the annoying process of removing support material… I bet many people would be pleased.

Wednesday, 06 January 2021 20:59

Key Packaging Functions

Packaging has been a part of products for so long, and it sometimes may seem like it is just another way for transportation or a way to make our products look good when they are sealed, but in reality, there is so much behind packaging, that in some occasions it can play a crucial job when it comes to the customer trying to decide whether to buy a product or not.





There are some key functions to create a good packaging and here are 7 of them to keep in mind if you are creating one for your products:

Protection

The first one and the more obvious is clearly to protect the products. Choosing the right materials is as important as the main product because when you are transporting it, you need a good way to be sure your products will get safely wherever you send it. Handling and loading also need to be easy when you are transporting mass products. This is where I understand why a board box has been the solution for decades. It may be green, it’s cheap and it works.



Meeting customer needs

There are some products that have very specific and special details that need to be clear to the customer, this could be a special ingredient, a material, chemical, etc. That in some cases people are whether looking for or avoiding, so it is crucial to specify all of this information, in order to help clients to know if this is the right product for them or not.



Providing information

Depending on the kind of product you are selling, obviously you may need to make clear to the customer some specs and important information like related warnings, warranty timings, expiration dates, etc.



Communicating product identity

Many well-positioned brands have their own brand identification method, and packaging many times can be by your side to help customers create brand recognition and to establish yours among many other brands. Imagine you have a fridge full of sodas and each of them has its own tag but no logos… will you be able to tell which one is what by just seeing its brand colors? I know I will, because they have good brand recognition, and if I have known the product and I’ve liked it, I would probably continue buying it and therefore recognizing it.



Selling

No matter what people say or think, a good-looking packaging will always stand out or be more buyable than a bad one. I don’t think I know anyone who will buy an ugly product before a more attractive one when both have the same price. Why would anyone? And actually, there are many people out there that specifically look for great packaging just to collect them and display them. Obviously, this could be the case for some specific products but not all.



So, these are important steps to keep in mind, obviously, there is so much behind a package and there are different kinds of them (primary, secondary, and thirdly) and as a friendly reminder, always keep in mind that sustainable packaging is being bought for many more people these days, and also you can help our planet by having them.

Tuesday, 08 December 2020 20:06

How to Giclee? The right way to sell

In the past there was only one opportunity to sell your art. If you had a wonderfully made piece, there was only one buyer and that was it, it was gone. Nowadays, giclee has been reproduced in mass and all types of artists can sell their work multiple times and many more people are able to appreciate it. Selling giclee has its advantages both for the seller and the buyer. First, the seller (or artist) is able to see a bigger reward from a single piece that has been put a lot of effort to and his or her art can be exhibit at many more places. And for the buyers who may have loved the original piece but couldn’t necessarily afford it. Seeing it this way, it’s worth planning a great business strategy for your art pieces. Here are some tips and what you need to know to create, reproduce your prints, and sell them.


how to giclee

Giclee printing sample. Photo courtesy of Kialara.


Know and choose the right type of print

Prints can be made with methods like lithography, monotypes, screen printing, etc. There traditional techniques are commonly use to print fine arts. However, giclee can be produced with large format inkjet printers and the colors may be more accurate and it tends to deliver a high-quality print. Not all inkjet printers produce giclee prints, so it is crucial to always keep in mind these four elements: resolution, ink, paper, and printer type.

What makes a giclee?

As we have mentioned in the past, the resolution of a giclee print must have a minimum of 300 DPI because the more dots of color you can print in a small area, the more detailed print you will get.

Regarding inks and paper, they must be hight quality and considered “archival” which are used to ensure longer lifespan of the print without a relevant fading. Printers used for giclee generally use up to 12 ink cartridges which produce a wider range of colors, for high quality prints.


how to giclee

Giclee printing sample. Photo courtesy of Dstudiouk.


Open vs limited edition

The great thing about giclee is that you can decide and have the option to choose between open editions, which are unlimited number of prints created and sold, or in the other hand having a limited edition which obviously can’t be sold in mass but the value of a limited edition is pricier than the open one, so often these are bought by collectors and have a great revenue as well.

Using the best printer to create your editions

One of the things with large format printing is that the market is constantly evolving and its products are improving every time, so the printing quality has become better over time. One great way to choose your printing studio, is asking. Asking other artists in your community, recommendations, printing samples, a good research will make you get the best fit for you.

The right amount

A great way to choose a right quantity of prints, either way for limited as for open editions, is to create your target customer. Who are you trying to reach? What price point fits them and how many prints will I be selling? Always keep in mind that the fewer editions there are, the higher price point you will be able to ask to your buyers.

Where to sell

Art fairs, exhibitions, emerging collectors, and fans, are great places and people to sell your art. A good advice for you and basically for all artist in the world, is that you make sure to inform your buyers that they are getting a printed piece from the original. This way they can be conscious that the original piece price point is way higher but they can have a well-made print without spending too much.

Track your editions

Marking and numbering your prints will make sure the integrity of the limited editions, usually with a fraction like “9 of 50”. Save the buyer’s information, not only for future purchases, but to track where are your prints, as for personal buyers or for gallery exhibitions.


how to giclee

Giclee printing sample. Photo courtesy of Reed Art & Imaging.


So if you are into giclee but don’t know where to start selling, these recommendations might help your business get on track.

Friday, 02 October 2020 22:58

Roland DG ZT-1900 Textile Printer

Roland DG EMEA announces its largest and most productive textile printer to date the “ZT-1900”. This dye-sublimation printer is 1.9m wide and delivers quality print on applications including; fashion, sportswear, personalized interior decoration and soft signage.

The new ZT-1900 can print 220 sqm/hr in draft mode and 150 sqm/hr in production mode and a mirrored CMYK configuration for increased productivity. An integrated infrared dryer allows quick drying, and a 5 kg ink container capacity enables fast finishing, while high levels of automation allow 24-hour production.

Four double-channel Kyocera printheads deliver detailed text, image quality and vibrant solid colours. Roland's high-density dye-sublimation inks produce a wide colour gamut and are compatible with coated and uncoated paper for production versatility. The ZT-1900 also handles lightweight paper (>18gr/sqm) and large paper rolls up to 450kg to reduce paper cost and increase printing time without stops.

"The ZT-1900 is ideal for existing users of digital sublimation printers seeking to increase production, and for businesses who are currently using analogue methods who want to move into digital with a high-productivity, high-quality system. The cost efficiency and low running costs of the ZT-1900 will also benefit anyone working to extremely tight margins.” Paul Willems, Roland Director of Business Development and Product Management EMEA.


Photo courtesy www.rolanddga.com


Have you ever straightened your hair or at least known someone who has? Obviously, heat is in charge of making this change, but with the minimum amount of water, its effect could reverse completely or at least to have a notable change. Why does this happen? It’s really simple… Hair has shape memory and in response to some changes or stimulations, it will return to its original shape.

Imagine your clothes could do the same? For example, a T-shirt that expands when exposed to moisture and that shrinks when dry or having a one-size piece of clothing that fits all person’s measurements? Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) developed a biocompatible material that can be 3D printed into a predetermined shape and programable to go back to its original shape. It is made with keratin, which is extracted from Agora wool used in textile manufacturing.

One of the main characteristics, or at least one of the most important in my opinion, is the reduction of waste in the fashion industry, “The implications for the sustainability of natural resources are clear. With recycled keratin protein, we can do just as much, or more, than what has been done by shearing animals to date and, in doing so, reduce the environmental impact of the textile and fashion industry.” Said Kit Parker, the Tarr Family Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics at SEAS.


Keratin fiber textile. Photo courtesy of The Harvard Gazette.



Keratin fiber textile. Photo courtesy of The Harvard Gazette.


As mentioned before, when this keratin-based fiber is stretched or exposed to an external stimulus, the structure re-aligns to fit some determined shape and it remains in that position until it is triggered to go back to its original shape.

As an experiment, one fiber sheet was turned into a permanent origami shape. Once it was set, the researchers submerged it in water and they unfolded and rolled it into a tube and dried it. Once it was set again and turned into a fully stable tube, they submerged it again so the process was reversed and it folded back into an origami star.

“This two-step process of 3D printing the material and then setting its permanent shapes allows for the fabrication of really complex shapes with structural features down to the micron level,” said Cera. “This makes the material suitable for a vast range of applications from textile to tissue engineering.”

So for a little twist when it comes to textile, it sounds like a great way of innovation and this might be the future for the fashion industry for reducing its gigantic waste this industry produces.

Tuesday, 01 September 2020 20:14

3D Ceramic Printing Brands & Applications

We all know ceramics have been on the market for so long and they have even been a trending material for a while when it comes to 3D printing materials. Obviously when it comes to ceramics, the first thing that comes to my mind is kitchenware and pottery (even its applications have a wide variety of markets) and I bet you are surrounded by ceramics at home without even acknowledging it.

3D ceramic parts are a bit challenging and most of the time the cost increments to much. This has led companies to wander and try different and new printing techniques.

There are brands that provide 3D ceramic printing services and we are giving you a few of them for you to start your business or to provide new and different products with these techniques.

3DCeram

3DCeram is a French company with over 15 years of expertise in 3D ceramic printing. Their focus on applications is aerospace, biomedical and jewelry. The brand offers serial production services and they develop and create their own ceramic 3D printing. They believe in a “support-free” system which relies on a technology that doesn’t leave any support marks on the printing parts surface.

Kwambio

Kwambio is a company that focuses on ceramic materials. Being a New-York based brand has let them to work with different designers and artists to create different products. Its main applications are artistic, kitchenware, sculpture making, industrial products, jewelry. Their actual production is in Ukraine with their self-developed 3D printers.

Formatec

Formatec is a brand based on The Netherlands which specializes in developing and manufacturing ceramic technical components. The brand is mainly focused on ceramic injection molding (CIM) processes to produce the ceramic parts. They create high quality parts by using DLP (Digital Light Procesing) technology which also helps to create even larger volumes of products. It’s main applications are medical, dental, industrial design, aerospace parts.

In-house production Printers

Obviously outsourcing is a great idea for many applications in the ceramic printing world, but in some cases an in-house production can save you a good amount of money. So, it’s important for you to know that there are a few great options in the market if you decide to give it a try. These machines are expensive, but it’s always nice to know or even have an idea of what kinds of printers are out there.

  • CeraFab S Series: The CeraFab System can incorporate up to four production units. In comparison with some previous models, these series work with an increased building speed, which lets a production time faster, increasing its productivity. It also works with a database that stores printing jobs so it facilitates the process. With a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels ensures the absolute precicion of the printing component.

  • CeraFab S Series. Photo courtesy of Lithoz.


  • Admaflex 300: Released in late 2019, the Admaflex 300 is meant to produce large-scale parts with a volume size of 200 x 200 x 300 mm. This printer works for both ceramic and metal materials, according to your needs.

  • Admaflex 300. Photo courtesy of Admatec.


  • X1 160Pro: This printer is capable of printing several materials. ExOne is well known for its metal 3D printing systems and they recently announced new ceramics like alumina and silicon carbide, which are materials often used in the medical and aerospace industries. With a very large volume size, this printer can print 800 x 500 x 400mm.

  • X1 160Pro. Photo courtesy of Businesswire.


    So, if you are interested in ceramics, you should definitely dive into the 3D printing industry and give it a try since there are more launches and there is a growing process of materials range.

    Summer is here, but we actually are spending much more time at home these days, so it’s important for you to feel comfortable and good in your own space. The best thing about the quarantine, is that people is spending their time by upgrading and sprucing up their homes.

    Since it is summer, it is obvious that trends come with bright colors and bold patterns, so here are some ideas for you to add the summer vibe to your homes while the quarantine is still on:

    PLAID everywhere

    Plaid, gingham and check have returned from the past and they are strongly seen on décor trends, so adding some fresh colored plaid like lime or pistachio in cushions, a bold wallpaper, a flower pot or even a kitchen decor can easily update your living room or any other area in your home.


    Plaid cushions

    Plaid cushions. Photo courtesy of Freedom Tree.


    Flowers and many more flowers

    Who doesn’t love flowers? Vibrant and giving so much life to any room, flowers are the best way to brighten up a space. A statement vase is also a great way to focus the eye. Even flowered wallpaper could be a nice way of changing.


    Flower wallpaper

    Flower wallpaper. Photo courtesy of Domino.


    Tropical twist

    Any tropical print screams summer immediately, so adding touches of this colorful print is a good one.


    Tropical wallpaper decor

    Tropical wallpaper decor. Photo courtesy of Amazon.


    Some shells

    Shells are a great way to add little details to your space and if you can’t go to the beach right now, you could bring the beach to you. It spreads the summer vibe around the room and it also can look really nice if it is done correctly. An example could be a jewelry little dish, a lamp shade or even a towel holder on the wall.


    Shell decor

    Shells for home. Photo courtesy of Anna Spiro, House Beautiful.


    Desk lamps

    Changing lamps or just lamp shades could be a great and easy upgrade to a room. You may want to try some rose gold applications, or any vibrant color like yellow or any warm color that matches your room decor, also marble details looks really good.


    Vibrant lamp shade

    Vibrant lamp shade. Photo courtesy of Anna Spiro, House Beautiful.


    Natural wood elements

    Obviously any wood could work great all year long, but if you are trying to have a little more of a summer vibe, definitely try lightest woods and try to match it with whites and lighter colors.


    Light wood home decor

    Light wood home decor. Photo courtesy of Aedriel.


    Tie-dye trend

    Tie-dye is definitely not for everyone, I know this, but the truth is that this trend from the past has had a strong comeback this year and many people is wearing it on their clothes, but how fun would it be to add a touch of this popular trend on a cushion, a flower vase, or why not, a sheer curtain?


    Tie-dye trend

    Tie-dye trend for home decor. Photo courtesy of HGTV.


    Pastels and calm

    Pastel colors give a soft, calming feeling to your home. Some ways to implement it is through wall paint or wallpapers, or if you want to go easier, you may try little accessories and decorative elements.


    Pastel home decor. Photo courtesy of Wallsauce.


    So now you have some ideas, but there are tons of ways you can spruce up your home and give it a summer vibe on these time of the year.

    Home décor trends have been evolving and changing over the years and they have led and shaped the way our spaces are being designed and decorated these days. These trend changes are notable through the decades and some of these are still being used but maybe with a twist or a renovated style, keeping the essence of the vintage vibe.

    Home décor is a great way for people to express themselves and to show their personalities through their walls, furniture and any other decorative piece. What we definitely can see through times is that people are more daring now when it comes to designing and creating a space.

    Here are some design practices since 1960 and back to these days to compare how time had past.

    1960s

    Heavily influenced by the pop art movement from the 50s and pop artists as Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, there were bright colors, mix different materials, bold patterns, interesting shapes and clean lines for furniture, usually darkened wood. Wallpaper were absolutely present on this time. The excess of combining florals or geometric patterns was a thing and it went out of style with the time, but it definitely has a comeback now.


    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at the 60s. Photo courtesy of Decoratorist


    1970s

    First, who remembers the typical bold patterned linoleum floor? My grandma still has hers at the home and it’s so funny that these trends, that I never liked before, are actually coming back and it looks GOOD!

    Bean bag chairs were all over the stores and everyone had one or wanted one. Wood paneling and bold paint colors, crocheted blankets (usually with squared patterns), lava lamps, huge boxed TVs and radios or record players, floral couches. All of these were a thing back in the 70s.


    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at the 60s. Photo courtesy of Decoratorist


    1980s

    Using lively colors were still there, and some striking statement pieces from the 70s, continued into the 80s. Pastel colors went on trend. Window and shower curtains were light blue or baby pink everywhere. Some couches were still floral, but the patterns were not as bright and neon as 70s and 60s.


    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at the 80s. Photo courtesy of The gikitiki.



    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at the 80s. Photo courtesy of Showcase of interior design: Pacific Edition 1992.


    1990s

    In the 90s, after years and years, people started to relax with the extravagant colored walls and wallpapers… Also, furniture was on a more neutral color scheme, mostly beiges and woods were there, but most wood colors were seen. Huge recliner couches were the sensation on every living or family room.


    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at the 90s. Photo courtesy of shechive.


    2000s

    Starting a new century led people to want a more modern home. This decade we saw brighter and bolder designs, as well as more clean designs. People started to buy futuristic pieces for their homes. Lightning started to be a focus point. Furniture had cleaner and more neutral and plain colors. Some walls started to be re painted with bold colors as accent walls, but most people left them white, because of the freshness and calm the whites spread.


    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at 2000. Photo courtesy of Rensup.



    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at 2000. Photo courtesy of Artificial Plants and trees.


    2010s

    I would describe this decade as clean, fresh, calm, and some greenery. Light colors everywhere, on walls, furniture, pillows, curtains, etc. Some touches of colors and patterns as focus points, but whites were a huge thing on early 2010s. Ending the decade, we could saw wallpapers and bold wall colors are strongly coming back.


    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at 2010. Photo courtesy of Katie Hodges Design.



    How-has-home-decor-evolved-through-the-decades

    Interior décor at 2010. Photo courtesy of istock.


    2020s

    This era is really exciting because people is innovating, creating, developing their imagination to create really cool interior design. We can see that lightning plays a huge role, accent walls with wallpaper or bold paint is really on trend right now. Playing with different materials, patterns and lights are totally in right now. So let’s see what else is this decade made of for interior design.


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    Interior décor for 2020. Photo courtesy of House Beautiful.



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    Interior décor for 2020. Photo courtesy of Love Property.



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    Interior décor for 2020. Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams.


    Have you ever printed something where the quality just doesn’t fit your expectations? The printing industry is huge and competition get tougher and tougher with the time, so having the best quality would make you be a first choice to your customers. There are a few steps and simple rules to follow when creating a file to print on a T-shirt. Make sure you take notes, so you can get the most from your printed T-shirt.

    Here are some points to keep in mind at the moment of creating and sending your file for print:

  • The first thing you need to know is that the maximum printing area is 12 x 16 inches, so that’s your base but the best thing for you to do is visualize that measurements on your shirt for you to have a better idea of the space.
  • Printing quality is (in my opinion) the most important part. A pixelated logo will always look bad. The quality for the resolution will depend on the size of the piece, usually the minimum is 150 DPI but it’s best if you use 200DPIs. A recommended size is a maximum of 400 x 400 pixels trying not to exceed 10MB so the file can be easier to load.
  • Respect transparencies. Some people are fully aware of the differences between JPG and PNG but for those that don’t, you may think your image doesn’t have a background but if you are using JPG the white part will show, so always remember (if you aren’t sending an editable file) to use PNG for transparencies.
  • Keeping in tune with the previous point, you should know that PNG will always have a better quality so it can be always a good idea when comparing with JPG. However, PNG files are always heavier so sometime you could struggle to send that kind of files.
  • In the other hand as previous point, it can be best if you decide to send your files in an EPS format. This will be easier to decide which is the best way of printing.
  • T-shirt characteristics: if you want to have the best results, you should know your products, so having all the information required from the T-shirt if crucial. Be sure of what is the correct size of the T-shirt to make the correct logo or image size, know about the material of the garment, so your image can be printed properly.
  • Always remember that T-shirts have a texture and feel when printing, and some logos may look slightly different. This will also depend on the fabric you are using.
  • T-shirt printing can be a fun experience if you consider these previous points. And a proper use of T-shirt printing may get you great results if you’re planning to make it for your business, a cause or any other purpose.


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    T-shirt printing at FESPA Munich 2019. Source: FLAAR-REPORTS



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    T-shirt printing at APPPEXPO 2019. Source: FLAAR-REPORTS



    Get-the-most-from-your-printed-T-shirt

    T-shirt printing at FESPA Munich 2019. Source: FLAAR-REPORTS



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    T-shirt printing at APPPEXPO 2019. Source: FLAAR-REPORTS


    Do you remember when you were little and sometimes (or always) you found yourself using a T-shirt with your favorite character on it or a simple quote, or anything to just give a message? I remember I used to wear them all the time... and sometimes as a grown up, I still wear them eventually.

    T-shirt market is huge and these days can still be used as a market strategy to promote basically anything. This market has enormously developed in the last couple of years and it is expected to cross 10 billion USD by 2025.

    Here are 8 reasons why T-shirt can still be on trend on 2020:

    Branding

    An easy way of branding is through items that people use daily. They can be for staff members because it can play as your presentation card or even for customers. T-shirts can be easy items to promote your brand and make a presence. Just keep in mind T-shirt designs are not the same as 20 or even 10 years ago. Nowadays design matters and if your planning on somebody using your T-shirt, its because it looks really nice and also doesn’t scream your brand on every single corner. So something subtle may work best instead of putting a huge logo. Obviously, everything will depend on the market you are working for.


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    T-shirt Branding. Photo courtesy of
    Weareutopia

    Customers

    As I mentioned before, they can be used by clients. Why? Everybody knows that client loyalty is the key for a business to succeed, and having a happy client may be an opportunity for more clients to approach you. T-shirts can be a complementary gift or a sign of appreciation.

    Off-work promotion

    A well-designed T-shirt that looks good may not be a problem for workers to use it after their working hours finish and this is when branding can be present with a unique image anytime.

    TV and movie characters

    Living in this era has made us have almost any movie or TV series just a click away and at a reasonable price, so it’s really common that you, your family, your neighbor, etc. are watching the same TV series or movie at the time. Not only it is a nice way of expression to use a T-shirt with your favorite TV show character or quote, but also, it’s really trendy to see anyone on the street wearing one of it.


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    TV series T-shirt. Photo courtesy of Amazon.


    Promoting team work

    Not every owner or boss knows that creating a solid team could make your business succeed. This is because customers and tasks are being taken care by employees and almost everything is done by them. Custom T-shirts can be a motivation for your staff to build a bond with the brand and create a bond with the rest of the team. Therefore, accomplish more goals and objectives.

    Costs

    Compared with some types of promotional items for events, T-shirts are a much more affordable option to produce. Also, a great printing quality helps it to prolongate its lifetime so the visibility of the brand will be for an extended period.

    Fashion statements

    The truth is that these days, almost anyone can design a T-shirt art that fits his or her personality, so as a great way of expression is a perfect tool for outstanding and to give a personal and unique message.

    Causes

    Promoting different causes is an excellent opportunity not only to get funds but also to promote your cause with more people and make an unconscious awareness about it. For example a Save your Planet cause, in which you are being allowed to change people’s mindset about nature just by making them wear them.

    So, if you want to try it, T-shirts could be a great and easy tactic to level up and make your business to stand out.


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    T-shirt printing at APPPEXPO 2019, Shanghai. Photo from FLAAR Archive.



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    T-shirt Branding. Photo courtesy of Printshome


    There are tons of UV curing applications, its constant innovation has led to consider that UV curing is one of the most versatile market in the world, this without mentioning that its characteristics provide multiple advantages and great results over many different materials.

    Faster production and lower costs are some of the most common challenges for automotive manufacturers and suppliers face.

    UV Curing is a great potential solution when it comes to industrial coatings and to transform automotive parts and body manufacturing.

    Here are some of the many benefits of using UV Curing coatings instead of heat:

  • Reduce floor space and utility costs, UV Curing doesn’t require large ovens to execute the process.
  • Coating process time. UV-cured coatings can take a few seconds to cure, so there is no comparison with the 30 minutes baking cycles. This also helps reducing sag, dirt defects and oven cleaning processes.
  • Reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be harmful chemicals. UV curing operations ranges from 0-15%, while traditional baking processes ranges from 40-60%.
  • Improving resistance to scratch and marks.
  • Durability and resistance to chemical degradation.
  • The filter effect of UV absorbers protects the substrate against color change and photochemical degradation, which can lead to delamination.

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    Drying and curing of coatings, photo courtesy of Heraeus


    The benefits of using UV Curing lights on automotive manufacturing are high and manufacturers must step up and start implementing UV. So basically, UV is changing the entire game to improve automotive processes and deliver better quality products in less time.


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    UV Curing for car coatings, photo courtesy of Auto Body Connect


    We all know UV Curing is a very extended market that has been there for many years when it comes to the wide format printing world. Its applications are involved in multiple industries around the globe and in different trade shows, we can expect new releases and new possible applications to use UVC.

    One opportunity for the UVC world is to reduce the Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) by automating the process in the current hygiene protocol integrating UV with health care equipment. UV curing brands making medical equipment are creating smaller UVC LEDs to develop portable and handheld disinfection devices to improve the protocols. UV Curing LEDS are a major upgrade for HAI preventions, they deliver targeted UVC light in the optimal disinfection wavelength range and the energy consumption is little.


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    UV Curing LED lights, photo courtesy of Banggood


    Using UV Curing LEDS to address a specific surface and to achieve a specific log reduction has allowed to re-create better designed devices that complement chemical disinfection by delivering a uniform and efficient UV disinfection process. Here are two potential applications into the HAI industry:

    Reduction of Clostridium Difficile (C-diff, a pathogen that can survive weeks or even months over a surface. It can be present on clothing and high-contact devices such as mobile phones, laptops, stethoscopes, diagnostic tools, etc. Nowadays this is commonly treated with isopropyl alcohol disinfection wipes but they have an offensive odor, dries the skin out and can damage equipment. UV Curing LEDs can be applied in an easier way, and without being so invasive as alcohol.


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    Clostridioides difficile Infection, HAI, photo courtesy of CDC.


    CLABSI or Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections cleaning are also being disinfected with alcohol for preparing catheter hubs. The process involves a 30-second scrub with alcohol and other 30 seconds to dry and be effective. This process is completely manual so the risk of human error could be very harmful and fatal, that’s why a LED device, attached to an infuser and delivering a consistent, trackable UVC dose could be a more efficient and process.

    UV Curing LEDs has made their way into the health industry, and it is great to see how more brands are joining the market as it is a great opportunity to implement and improve healthy and cleaner habits into hospitals.


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    Hospital operating room, courtesy of Medical News Today.


    Workflow has always been a part of the printing process in every printshop. Thanks to the development of new resources and new products, automation has been on the loop for a while now and with the time, many more companies are intrigued of how it can be implemented on their businesses due to the idea of having less dependency on human hands and more on technology. As we do in many other daily used products (like smartphones or virtual assistants at home, for example).

    Nowadays, technology has become part of our lives and routines and why not taking the best advantage of every industry? Machines and software controlled by technology is a great idea and the process of using it has revealed many benefits. First, optimizing time in every process, cutting down hours spent on each workstation by one or multiple people. Effectiveness and significantly decreasing production, detecting errors and progressively improve quality.

    Choosing the best solution for your business will depend on your needs, budget and your business goals. There are many products in the market so you need to be clear and also realize that this will not be your magic wound and everything will be solved in your printshop. There may be some limitations, pros and cons, depending on the product you choose. Some of the existing workflow solutions in the market need third party tools to work correctly on the entire printing process, so it’s crucial to pick whatever fits you best.

    Konica Minolta AccurioPro Flux

    Konica Minolta launched a flexible automation software series that targets Central Reprographics Departments (CRDs), Print Service Providers (PSPs), and in-house print shops of schools or companies. This technology has been developed to let customers to automate and streamline operations, expand their print services and allow delivering high-quality digital prints in a quicker time.


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    AccurioPro-flux, courtesy of Print Innovation Asia


    AccurioPro Flux has three modules for workflow; the Essential Module contains all print room need for prepress and make-ready management, Premium includes a server to enable collaboration between clients and print team, and the Ultimate version adds a web-to-print function. AccurioPro Flux increases productivity in many ways:

    • More efficient prepress workflow by automating recurring tasks.
    • Minimizing the manual labor required to conventionally sync color and mono printouts.
    • Maximizing the use of different printers to achieve greater efficiency without human intervention.
    • Take up a large amount of the operator’s time.
    • Make-ready function decreases time spent on pre-flight test.

    AccurioPro Flux Essential – Prepress and Output

    It is the entry-level product of the print automation software series. It offers prepress processes, centralized tasks and control of all production machines. It also has a ready-to-use tool which allows to do some editing without switching to a separate app. Basic preflight check is available, which detects printing problems due to incorrect PDF files, missing fonts, images with low resolution and transparencies. Third-party devices allowance is integrated, so the user can control all machines in the printing room, including machines from another manufacturer.

    AccurioPro Flux Premium – Automation and Collaboration

    Premium version of AccurioPro Flux not only offers every aspect of the Essential module, but also a server designed for even greater automation and collaboration. With Premium module, users are able to work from anywhere through the app, whether from a PC, Mac or a mobile device. Users are also able to process print jobs directly on the printer through de Flux Panel, checking, previewing and editing. Besides detecting errors, the Flux server can be synced with third party system such as ERP and MIS for a more streamline process. It also facilitates collaboration between team members and every operator can have a personal and individual account so everyone can work at different workstations at the time. Print steps can be sent to clients through email updates automatically.

    AccurioPro Flux Ultimate – Web-to-print

    This last module of the software includes a web-to-print functionality. This allows clients to submit their orders through the online shop and 24/7. Documents by clients can be automatically preflight checked before printing them. The flux Document Converter allows uploading up to 300 different file formats to the web-to-print platform. This online shop can be also integrated into IT environments.

    So Konica Minolta has provided a great option out there in the market so print shops can become not only automated, but improving in many aspects of their businesses including printing speed, the reachability for clients to deliver documents to printer queue, faster and larger communication between user-machine and at distance, so if you are considering stepping up your print shop, this may be a great solution.


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    Konica Minolta AccurioPro Flux, Courtesy of Konica Minolta


    When it comes to sustainability, there are some industries, brands or products that immediately come to our minds, but when speaking about fashion you may be aware that it’s one of the most polluting industries of the world. Fast fashion has become a gigantic market and thousands of people buy clothes constantly and without measure. Huge fashion chains are growing nonstop and it’s not only shocking how much waste they produces per year, but the amount of carbon, heavy metals and plastics that end up in the sea are slowly hurting our planet. Fortunately for us, there are big brands that are environmentally aware of that and are doing something about it. That’s the case for Kornit Digital.


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    Fashion environmental impact, courtesy of The Guardian.


    Kornit Digital is a company that has been on the market for a while. Founded on 2002 and with offices in the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific. Their products are being sold in more than 100 countries all over the world. They develop and manufactures different types of products for the textile industry. Well-known for their NeoPigmen process and their sustainability standards Kornit have been implementing green practices to their processes to contribute to reduce the high impact the textiles industry creates.


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    Kornit Atlas t-shirt printer exhibited at FESPA Munich 2019, FLAAR-REPORTS archive.


    The company is very vocal about their beliefs and their actions to become a more sustainable brand each day. Kornit, as a leader brand in the fashion industry, as they mentioned, work with a zero-water waste and low carbon footprint policies, also they avoid manufacturing un-purchased clothes. All of this to reduce or minimize the environmental footprint. They believe in creating this mindset to performance better and greener practices in every steps of their processes.


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    Waterless

    It is shocking knowing the level of water waste on every conventional dyeing and textile printing process. The daily water consumption on a regular textile mill with a production of 8000 kg of fabric per day, goes for about 1.6 million litters, 16% for dyeing and 8% in printing. It takes about 500 gallons of water to produce enough fabric to cover a sofa. This without mentioning the water is polluted with toxic chemicals. Kornit’s technologies are reducing this high impact with a 100% waterless process utilized in every printing system they manufacture, getting rid of pretreatments, steaming or washing required.


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    Printed samples at FESPA 2018, FLAAR-REPORTS archive


    Neo Pigment Inks

    Their revolutionary water-based inks are free of heavy metal, formaldehyde and Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APE). This makes in general the printing and dyeing process, a much more convenient in terms of non-hazardous, non-toxic and biodegradable. All their processes combined (waterless printing process, biodegradable inks and energy saving system) created an eco-friendly and a more sustainable alternative for textile printing.


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    Compliance

    Since day one they have been environmentally conscious and one of the commitments they have is to reduce the footprint of the company, their partners and customers through their sustainable policies that address the ever-changing industry needs and standards.


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    Kornit Storm HD6 Color ICT exhibited at APPPEXPO 2019, FLAAR-REPORTS archive


    So, despite apparel and fashion industries have been really harmful for the planet over many years behind, bid brands like Kornit are reducing this giant impact and providing more conscious options without leaving behind great quality and really good-looking products. So, if you are looking for greener options, always reach for companies with sustainable ideals.

    Keep up with the latest trends about de digital printing industry and learn more about different technologies, equipment, media & substrates, inks, etc.

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