From on-demand product customization to UV cured inks, printing technology has shown significant advancements throughout 2021. Let’s take a look at the applications of inkjet and 3D printing technology for customized products, prototyping, low-volume manufacturing, and even fast-food packaging.

Key Development Insights

The use cases for inkjet and 3D printing technologies are growing. UV cured inks can be used for rapid prototyping, low-volume manufacturing, and customization. The team at NOVO has created a new application of Piezo technology, using it to create lattices of multiple materials.

In a highly-demanding digital age, the need for consumer customization has given rise to many branches of on-demand printworks. Further, it has become necessary for companies to go through extensive product engineering development processes to frequently pivot their product lines. Startups can use inkjet printing technology to develop product lines, while existing companies can find faster, better ways to not only produce their products but also customize them.

3D printers and inkjet printers provide product engineers with a faster path to rapid product development and product deployment, thereby improving the entirety of the engineering product development lifecycle. While inkjet printing isn’t yet viable for higher volume engineering product development, it can be used readily for prototyping and low volume needs.

As inkjet printing technology further improves, it will also be able to achieve faster production speed and faster time to market. Eventually, many companies may rely upon these types of inkjet and 3D printing technologies for manufacturing to scale.

Fused Filament 3D Printing Mesh

A Proof-of-concept has been developed by NOVO’s R&D group for fused filament 3D printing mesh, with two gantries printing and extruding two separate, consecutive print zones onto a mylar film. This system can be developed using a properly configured off-the-shelf printer architecture, with low-cost extruded aluminum or a waterjet cut plate design.

Thermal Modeling Processes in Inkjet Design

Thermal modeling processes can produce fast, easy customizations through inkjet technologies, while piezo design can produce fast, uniquely-latticed 3D designs. Piezo printing can also be used to co-print multiple materials, with each material filling a different volume within the overall design.

UV Cured Inks

UV cured inks can be used for rapid product creation and customization, offering a wide range of colors and finishes. 3D printing technology can be used for fast-food packaging, especially with new edible inks. These inks can be used to further customize edible products.

Pagewide Arrays

Pagewide arrays offer many potential applications, from large-format 3D printing to industrial ink-jetting. These arrays can be used for direct-to-shape printing, as well as for prototyping and low-volume manufacturing.

On-Demand Product Customization and Innovation

In general, many industries are moving toward on-demand product customization and innovation, which 2D and 3D printing technologies can support. From edible inks to Piezo printing, the ability to print new and custom products provides for user customization as well as faster and easier new product lines.

A Novel Print Head Cleaning Process by NOVO

Apart from generating new manufacturing and product ideas, NOVO is also working on quality-of-life improvements and enhancing the overall experience of 3D print processes. NOVO has been developing a novel print head cleaning process, which will improve maintenance and reduce error.

3D Web Printing Technologies

The ability to 3D print on web-based materials can be used for large-scale production, such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. This technology uses an array of nozzles that deposit material onto a web, which is then cured using UV light. The process is continuous, making it well-suited for high-volume production runs. But it’s not just used in heavy industries; it can also be used for smaller, one-off manufacturing.

Direct Applications of Inkjet Technology

Inkjet 3D printing technology can be used for a variety of applications, from low volume to high volume production. In the food and beverage industry, inkjet 3D printing can be used for on-demand product customization. 2D images can be rapidly produced on 3D containers or packaging. Edible inks can be used directly on food products.

In retail, inkjet 3D printing can be used to create and rapidly deploy products. Inkjet 3D printing technology can be used to rapidly produce 3D products to scale, compared with other methods such as extrusion printing. As these technologies become more advanced, the detail and size of prints will grow.

Generate Products with 2D and 3D Printing

Whether printing 2D on 3D objects or printing 3D, NOVO can help organizations determine the best manufacturing processes for a given product. We offer a wide range of options for 2D and 3D printing, from low volume to high volume production.

2D and 3D printing presents a wide array of product possibilities. Whether organizations want to prototype a new set product line-up rapidly or whether they want the capabilities to print their products on demand, there’s a system that exists for them.

NOVO has extensive experience building architectures from the ground up in addition to customizing off-the-shelf systems for novel uses, creating new products, and creating products to scale.

Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about these advancements and what they can mean for your organization, talk to us today. Our familiarity with the industry’s existing commercial print heads, drivers, and ink—and our ability to seamlessly and robustly integrate them into other systems—can equip you with the knowledge to engineer your products, large or small.

We have extensive knowledge in designing machines to scale, handling a vast range of media that can be printed on—and our experience spans both 2D and 3D printing options. Not sure an existing product can help you develop your prototypes? We can help you make one. Contact us today to find out more.