Thursday, October 29, 2009

Xerox's New Silver Ink

Xerox Silver InkThe brains over at Xerox have just developed a new type of ink that is so much more than the typical kind we see today. The ink can conduct electricity so that it can be used to put electronic circuits on top of things such as plastic, textiles or film. But what does this mean for us? It means that soon we will be able to bend or even wear our electronics and even print out a gadget on a plastic sheet the same way you print out a document.

There has always been a problem with trying to incorporate this technology. Silicon chips have always been too heavy and expensive to be able to be used in lightweight devices. However, Xerox has solved this problem by using lighter materials. Xerox also plans to sell these materials to other businesses that have a vested interest in making wearable electronics.

With a plastic, you can unroll it into a sheet and deposit electronic circuitry onto it. This allows you to build it up layer by layer. In order for it to o work you need a conductive link, something that contains metal and is also able to be sprayed or printed on. This is where Xerox steps in. They created a silver ink that melts at 140 degrees Celsius. Typically metal melts at 1,000 degrees Celsius. Plastic melts at 150 degrees so an ink that is laid on top of plastic can not melt at a higher temperature or the plastic will melt.

According to Angele Boyd, an analyst with IDC, "This opens a whole new world for electronics. With printable electronics, the future of electronics will include plastics and fabrics. The Xerox technology opens up opportunities for lower cost applications in traditional electronics and for new applications around plastics and fabric."

This silver ink and electronics on plastics could be used to build things like plastic electronic book readers like one that is being built by Plastic Logic. Flexible eReaders would be more flexible than traditional ones and thus would be less susceptible to damage. The would also be extremely lightweight. The possibilities with this technology is endless. You could potentially weave a computer into your clothing or make smart boxes for pills to tell if they are safe or tampered with in any way.

This technology has been a long time coming. Scientists have been dreaming about it for ages and Xerox has been working on it for the past 8 years. but Xerox isn't alone in their quest for technology like this. Hewlett-Packard has also been researching this for the past 10 years. According to Xerox, it has been able to create lightweight and cheap components necessary to print circuits on plastics. Xerox has already created a cheap and lightweight conductor, semiconductor and a dielectric element.

The circuits for these plastic chips will be able to be printed by printers just like a document without the necessary use of a clean room like you have to use now. Xerox has already made research samples of the product and is in talks with different manufacturers who could potentially use plastic electronics. Aside from what has already been mentioned, the plastic circuits could be used to make things like light and flexible signs, solar cells, low-cost radio frequency identification tags (RFID), sensors or novelty fashions. Whatever they get used for, this is definitely going to be a big step forward in the world of technology and another step closer to that futuristic world we only dream about in movies and books.

Source: Office Product News

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The New GEI 5636 by GEI WideFormat

The New GEI 5636 by GEI WideFormat
Visual Edge Technology Company, GEI WideFormat, has announced the new GEI 5636 engineering copier as part of the GEI WideFormat product line.

The new copier has output speeds of 10 D-size prints-per-minute and features an easy-access clamshell design, a front copy exit tray which holds 99 D-size drawings, and a color LCD touch-panel interface. Changing toner and paper is easy to do with front-loading drawers that hold four rolls of 500-foot-long media. It also gives users the ability to preview thumbnails before printing, allowing for better conservation of materials.

The GEI 5636 also features an embedded color scanner, which makes sure that changes and additions are capture and circulated effortlessly. In addition, the external printer controller will interface with inkjet printers for complete colorcopy systems.

"We are very pleased to provide our customers with such an exciting new product. The GEI 5636 has innovative features, such as color scanning, paired with ultra-fast output speeds," the President of GEI WideFormat, Roger Ilgen, said of the copier in a press release.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Z Corporation's ZPrinter 350 Creates 3D Objects

ZPrinter 350Everybody knows that 3D is way better than plain old 2D and now, thanks to Z Corporation, you can finally print actual 3D objects right at your workplace. The ZPrinter 350 is the world's first automated, monochrome 3D printer. Z Corporation is no stranger to 3D printers and like the other ones in their inventory, the ZPrinter 350 converts 3D data into physical models. The ZPrinter 350 comes with a host of high-end functions like snap-in binder cartridges, self-monitoring operation, 0.8in/hour vertical build speed, 300x450 dpi resolution, automatic material loading, integrated recycling of unused build materials, control from both desktop and printer, 8x10x8 inch build size, office safe building materials, aggressive dust control and absolutely zero liquid waste.

The ZPrinter prints in STL, VRML, PLY, 3DS and ZPR and is compatible with Windows XP Professional as well as Windows Vista Business/Ultimate. The ZPrinter constructs completely 3D models in white. The models are made out of high performance composite and show an impressive amount of detail once finished. According to John Kawola, CEO of Z Corporation, "The ZPrinter 350 gives a lot more engineering departments access to advanced 3D printing technology at a value price. ZPrinting is going to improve the quality of their products, speed their developmental processes and ultimately help the bottom line."

In addition to all the great features that come with he ZPrinter 350, you also get all the advantages of the entire ZPrinter line. The 350 comes with things like the
Zprinter 350 3D Modelindustry's lowest operating cost (about one-fifth the cost of other technologies), breakthrough ease of use by performing most tasks automatically, high resolution which allows the printing of complicated geometries with precise detail, fast print speed running five to ten times faster than all other systems, high throughput to easily print multiple models at the same time, and safety and office compatibility by not having any large supports which may need to be cut or dissolved by hazardous chemicals.

The ZPrinter 350 definitely seems like a top notch machine and looks to greatly improve your 3D model making needs. If you want to put this thing in your office, be prepared to drop about $26,000. A small price to pay incredible 3D models made right next to your cubicle. The ZPrinter 350 is available now through Z Corporation's reseller network or website.

Source: Office Product News