The future of printing

For as long as most of us can remember, printers have been an essential part of any home office. They are invaluable for producing physical copies of important documents, tickets and other paper references. Keeping them in working order is essential if you want to maintain high-quality copies of your work.

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The quality of your printouts can be severely affected if you buy unofficial cartridges or get them refilled. While it may save money in the short-term, your printer and your documents will suffer in the long-term. We’d always recommend that you purchase the correct cartridges and toner for your device. If you have a Canon printer for example, purchasing the correct Canon ink cartridges will give you the best results. Independent retailers, such as Viking, sell a variety of high quality printers and accessories to satisfying your home office needs and usually offer more competitive prices than going direct to the brands themselves.

Inkjet and laser printers are commonplace in the home, but there’s a more advanced method that’s making waves in the design, construction and medicine sectors. 3D printing is revolutionising the way we create objects and develop design ideas from the humble computer.

The method has been around for almost 30 years and has been primarily been used in the manufacturing industry. It’s only recently that 3D printers have started to make the transition into the home. However, one of these printers can set you back anywhere between £600 and £2500. These home models are also a lot more limited than their industry counterparts.

But what actually is the purpose of 3D printing; and how does it work? The 3D models are usually created with specialised software on the computer first and then transferred to printer to start the layering process. 2D images can be converted into slices that the printer begins carving and moulding into a finished 3D object. The objects are usually sculpted from a paste, plastic or metal.

3D printing is already taking steps to improving our lives. It is being used to create medical implants such as life-saving windpipes or metal bones. It is also theorised that 3D printing could one day use the power of stem cells to create replacement organs. It is hoped that one day this technology could allow us to ‘print’ a human heart or liver for patients awaiting a transplant.

While the mainstream application of 3D printing is still a pipe dream, there are continued advancements in the world of 2D printing as well. Brother recently unveiled their new laser printer series that promises a higher toner capacity, reduced energy consumption and a smoother print quality. You can read more about the new technology at eKantipur.

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