Heidelberg presents marketplace of ideas for customised colour 4D printing

A marketplace of ideas at the stand of Heidelberg will offer visitors to InPrint 2015, which is taking place in Munich from November 10-12, the chance to find out about the diverse possibilities of colour 4D printing. This is the name given by Heidelberg to customised, flexible digital printing of three-dimensional items such as soccer/golf balls, drinking bottles, and other curved surfaces. Depending on the application, companies such as manufacturers of branded and consumer goods can print customised images and texts on these items for all kinds of target groups. For this purpose, Heidelberg will be unveiling the new Jetmaster Dimension 250 – a four-colour press that can print items with a diameter of up to 250 millimetres based on cutting-edge inkjet technology. In dialogue with experts from Heidelberg and with the help of numerous practical examples, potential customers will discover how they can use 4D printing to expand their business model and unlock new market segments. ‘Heidelberg supports creative players both within and outside the print media industry with technologies that go beyond conventional printing. 4D printing based on inkjet technology paves the way for high-quality, cost-efficient customised surface finishing of mass-produced consumer goods, even in small quantities. Heidelberg is also planning a solution in time for the upcoming drupa that opens up new opportunities for industrial users in particular such as those in the automotive industry,’ said Jason Oliver, Head of Digital at Heidelberg. The InPrint exhibition will be accompanied by a conference program giving academics and practitioners alike the chance to find out about future developments, trends, and opportunities in industrial printing. On November 12, Oliver will be giving a talk about practical trends and the possibilities being opened up by 4D printing. Heidelberg first unveiled 4D printing around a year ago, initially in a version for black-and-white printing. The flexibility of this technology helps ensure cost-efficient production of small batches and customized end products. It is based on a combination of advanced inkjet technology and high-precision robotics. The modular Jetmaster Dimension range makes it possible to print all kinds of items, surfaces, and applications. Easy implementation of personalisation concepts adds further value. Heidelberg offers the press with the 4D service agreement on a click-charge basis that covers ink consumption, maintenance, and consumables and is geared to the user’s actual requirements. A variety of companies, traditional and Internet print shops, and manufacturers of consumer goods have already embraced 4D printing. For example, Heidelberg has succeeded in convincing a German start-up company from the food retail sector of the benefits of a Jetmaster Dimension 250. Just in time for the start of the Christmas period, this company will be using a Jetmaster Dimension to personalise packaging and will do so in store and in colour for each individual. Customers will be able to watch the process and take the packaging and contents with them immediately. A buyer has also been found for the Jetmaster Dimension 250 that will be on display at InPrint in Munich. After the event, it will be heading to BVD Druck und Verlag in Liechtenstein, which offers a variety of balls with different print designs on its dedicated platform www.balleristo.com. Customers can configure their preferred model online and have it sent directly to their home. The new four-color press will complement the black-and-white machine that has been installed at the company since the end of 2014. BVD will then also be able to print customised colour images and texts on the various ball models for sports such as soccer, handball, volleyball, and golf. ‘All kinds of customers are using 4D printing from Heidelberg. This shows we are on the right track to open up new market segments ourselves by also getting companies outside the industry interested in printing,’ said Oliver.