It is safe to say that despite the constant rumours that the world is going paper-free, the printing industry as dynamic and booming as it has ever been. Two decades ago, printing experts wondered whether they would even have an industry in 2018. They need not have worried. This year, we’ve seen a number of new products that have attracted the attention of industry experts.
Canon Zoemini: a pocket-sized printer for printing pictures from a smartphone
Canon introduced the Zoemini device, its most compact and lightweight photo printer ever, which hit the shelves in September. It is designed to work with smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS. The accompanying Canon Mini Print application allows users to overlay filters, frames and the like.
The gadget measures just 118 × 82 × 19 mm and weighs in at 160 grams. It delivers 76 × 50 mm prints and its 500 mAh battery has enough power to provide approximately 20 prints per charge. Recharging is simple via the Micro-USB port.
Bluetooth connectivity means that getting your Smartphone to communicate with the Canon Zoemini is a breeze.
Polaroid Mint Series of Portable Photo Print Solutions
At the IFA 2018 exhibition, Polaroid Originals took the opportunity to present several new products at once.
The Polaroid Mint 2-in-1 is designed to cash in on the craze for selfies, and is a novel combination of camera and photo printer. It can print photos in colour, black and white and with a sepia effect, without leaving the shooting location. The device has a 16-megapixel sensor, and uses microSD memory cards with a capacity of up to 256 GB.
The Polaroid Mint is a related device from Polaroid, which is a portable printer for printing photos from Smartphones and tablets using iOS or Android. It prints full-colour images on 2” × 3″ paper.
HP Tango: Voice-activated Smart Printer
HP has become the go-to supplier in home printing. Its cheap inkjet printers and the ability to source low-cost HP 301 cartridges make it one of the most popular household choices. Now, the company has upped the ante and announced the immensely cool and fashionable Tango printer. The device is completely wireless, and does not support a wired USB connection at all.
The really fun bit is that you can interact with through a smart speaker. The device is compatible with virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana. Also, users can get a special mobile application that is available for the Android and iOS operating systems.
It uses HP Thermal Inkjet printing technology and can print 11 pages per minute in black and white or eight pages per minute in colour. Tango will be available on the retail market in November 2018.
New technology for 3D printing from HP
HP has also unveiled new technology designed for the mass production of metal parts using 3D printing. This will begin with the manufacture of finished parts made of stainless steel.
One of the first customers to use HP Metal Jet in industrial production was Volkswagen. Metal Jet makes it possible to create the most complex shapes that are beyond the power of other manufacturing technologies.
Carmakers have high hopes for technology. For example, it is expected to become the go-to tool in the production of lightweight components for electric vehicles.
Using HP Metal Jet for the production of parts also negates the preliminary manufacture of production equipment and tools.