Digital printing first made its mark in 1993, but it has had a relatively small impact on the massive industry of print production. Nanographic printing sets the bar higher and promises some real changes to the world of print technology. Unlike digital printing, nanographic printing uses a special kind of ink that is more cost-effective and makes it possible to print without printing plates. Using a rubber blanket instead of plates to apply images makes it possible to create extremely high-resolution images with no smearing or dot gain. The nanoink also uses a greater surface area, which lends itself to a stronger color.
A Revolution in Food Packaging
Because nanoprinting makes it easy to create custom labels while still mass-producing products, the technology can be of good use to medical companies and food companies where security is an issue. The technology allows the potential for a wide array of security techniques that can be implemented directly into the printing process. If you have a product that is shipped internationally, nanoprinting can make it more cost-effective to print a single run of products using a single serial number.
An Environmentally Friendly Option
The ability to print high-resolution products that are also friendly to the environment acts as a boon to the print industry. Products made with nanotechnology can be re-used since the images can be easily replaced when it comes time to repurpose materials. The materials use less power since the time required to print is significantly reduced. The images are also highly resistant to abrasions and scratches, which means older inventory won’t need to be turned over as often. The cost to print is the lowest in the print industry, which makes it possible to invest in increasingly green technologies and there are zero emissions from the print process. While businesses don’t always have the luxury of adopting green technologies, nanotechnology is one industry that actually pays for itself.
The Problem of Digital Media
Many traditional publishers have seen a decline in profits largely due to digital products. Digital products cost virtually nothing to print, they can be delivered across the world immediately and they have a much faster production to market ratio. Using nanotechnology, it’s possible to reduce the time it takes to get print to market. This can make print media more competitive since there are still many types of content that are better suited to print media. Textbooks, industry resources and technical manuals are just a few options that could benefit from nanoprinting. For many businesses, the answer to commercial printing is the HP Indigo. This digital press created by HP offers an unprecedented level of control, speed and efficiency.
Less Need for Inventory
With nanographic printing, the stock room may find itself in decline. The ability to print professional level print books on demand is already changing the way print media is created. Amazon.com and its new collaboration with CreateSpace is one example of how fast printing processes can change an industry. It’s now possible for digital authors to spend an extra hour preparing a book for print and the company creates a production ready book within 24 hours to ship to customers. In the past, writers would have to order runs of 50 to 1000 books and pay for the cost of housing the printed media. Fast turnaround rates make it possible to make prints from a digital file on a per-order basis without the need to keep stock on hand.
Beyond nanographic printing, 3D printing is making it possible to create an ever-increasing barrage of marketing, promotional and educational materials. It’s now more affordable than ever to get a custom print project prepared, and the nature of 3D printing means that virtually any object or media can be printed on. This opens the doors to the future where creative minds can imagine and realize increasingly fantastic projects that were previously deemed impossible.