Tag: printing

Get more consistent printing from your printer

By Eyal Goldshmid for TCPalm

Typically, when one sees faded printing, it indicates that that your ink levels are low or that the ink has been exhausted from a cartridge. If ink levels are full, then the problem may be caused by something faulty inside the printer, such as a blocked jet head or ink sticking to a roller instead of a page, which can sometimes happen if you are printing in an area with high humidity.

But in all those cases, the issue would happen across the board, not selectively depending on the program you are using.

If you are able to print normally via one channel (Works, Quicken) and not another (a web page or email), then the problem would most likely be caused by an incompatible version of the programs you are using, a default printer calibration found inside a program’s print settings or an outdated printer driver.

Start with the programs themselves. Please go to the manufacturer websites for your browser and email program, respectively, and download and install the latest versions of the programs. This should ensure the issue is not one of compatibility between the programs and Windows 10. You can find the latest versions of each program by performing a Google search on the applications, such as (latest version Google Chrome Windows 10).

After doing that, try printing again and see if the problem continues or not. If so, then update the drivers for the printer.

Drivers are programs that help your computer communicate with its hardware peripherals, like printers and monitors. Sometimes, after completing a Windows or program update, device drivers will need to be updated manually so they can stay in sync with the updates.

In Google, type “latest printer driver Windows 10 (your computer make and model).” This should lead you to the printer manufacturer’s support site, on which you can download the latest drivers for the device.

If you already have the latest drivers installed, then the installation program will tell you so and you can move to the next step. If they are not installed, please install them and see if the problem continues or not.

If so, then see if a print setting in your web browser or email program is causing this to happen. Launch your email program or browser, open a page or message you are having trouble printing, and click file, then print, then properties, and scour through the print settings console there, searching for an odd setting that may be activated. Given the information above, you will want to look for a line that tells the printer to avoid or conserve black ink or something similar to that. (Each printer has a different setup for this, so without knowing your printer make and model it’s hard to offer more specific instructions than this.)

If you find such a setting, modify it accordingly and the printer should print normally again. If you cannot find such a setting, then contact your printer’s manufacturer support team for additional suggestions and advice.

Why would you start a business in a dying industry? Just ask Alexander Knieps.

In this electronic world, many say print is dead. But Alexander Knieps, the founder of online printing company, Printulu, echoing the words of famous author Mark Twain, says reports of this death are greatly exaggerated.

“If you look at how this industry is developing, I don’t think we are moving into a paperless industry, at least not in the next 50 years. Afterwards, I don’t know. It is all about what channel is out there and whether it is affordable,” says Knieps.

We meet Knieps at an industrial park in Modderfontein, east of Johannesburg. This is where business cards, posters, postcards, and flyers are printed for thousands of companies, media houses and coffee shops across South Africa. In a matter of minutes, a pile of paper flows from the printer.

On this spring day, the sun shines brightly and the sky is clear. The tranquillity is shaken by the loud rattle of paper being printed.

“In our age of technology, when you are studying, nobody thinks, ‘ooh, let me go into paper’. I think it is a very rare thing,” says Knieps.

Knieps, who is born and bred in Germany, founded Johannesburg-based Printulu last year. The name is a combination of the words print and Zulu (a South African language). He studied business at EBS Business School in Germany and got his master’s degree at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

Starting the business has been far from plain sailing.

“The first couple of months, we were completely bootstrapped. You get your first clients, you show some nice traction, and then, in the beginning of the year, we raised some funds, which were a couple of million rands, which are enough to last for the next two years,” he says.

Investors are hard to find.

“South Africa is not the easiest place to raise money. There also isn’t much money in the market because of the current economic climate. [When] it comes to online printing, people just look at the industry itself; they don’t think how you could invest deeper. There aren’t many investors and it takes a while to close deals [compared to] anywhere else in the world,” he says.

Knieps says the future for paper printing is mass production.

“We are batching up all these smaller orders and print them in bulk and that is how you can disrupt the market. Hence, you see a shift from offline to online in the industry,” he says.

He calls on other entrepreneurs to get with the times.

“The industry is very inefficient in a way that there is a lot of competitive pressure. There are thousands of printers in Gauteng who are operating with an archaic business model. You have inefficiency on the one side and macroeconomic pressure on the other. That is why a lot of printers are closing down even though we are growing strongly at the moment. If you see those components, it actually makes people a lot more price sensitive and that actually helps the business to scale,” he says.

Print dead? Not in the world of Knieps.

By Melitta Ngalonkulu for Forbes Africa
Image: Forbes Africa

Just a quick scroll through your inbox and it won’t be long before your come across statements like “think before you print”; “please consider the environment – do you really need to print this e-mail?”; “go green – go paperless”; and “do your bit for the environment and choose e-billing”.

The misconceptions about print and paper are still a major issue for the industry.

As these messages are unsubstantiated, they are misleading and can have a lasting effect on consumer perceptions of print and paper.
The print and paper industry is a world leader when it comes to sustainably-managed materials, renewable energy and recycling.

Some of the most common myths surrounding paper are:

European forests are shrinking;
* Planted forests are bad for the environment;
* Paper is bad for the environment;
* Paper production is a major cause of global greenhouse gas emissions;
* Only recycled paper should be used;
* Print and Paper is a wasteful product;
* Electronic communication is more environmentally friendly than paper-based  communication;
* Digital is always the preferred means of communication; and
* Packaging is wasteful and unnecessary.

Some key facts about print and paper’s sustainability:

* Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by an area the size of Switzerland – that’s 1 500 football pitches every day;
* Europe recycles 72% of its paper;
* 84% of the industry’s raw materials come from Europe;
* Between 2005 and 2013, the CO2 emissions of the European pulp and paper industry were reduced by 22%; and
* 56% of the industry’s total primary annual energy consumption is biomass-based.

TwoSides has created a new fact sheet, full of alternative e-mail sign-offs, to help encourage individuals and businesses to use fair, factual and honest statements in their e-mails.
The company has come up with a number of alternative footers for you to consider:

* Print and paper is renewable, sustainable and powerful. If you print, please recycle.

* Printed emails create a permanent and sustainable record but please ensure all waste paper is recycled.

* Responsibly Produced Print and Paper is Renewable, Recyclable, and Powerful. Visit www.twosides.info for more information.

* Responsibly produced paper has unique environmental features. It is highly recyclable and comes from a renewable resource. If you print, please recycle.

* Print on paper is a practical, attractive, and sustainable communications medium. If you print, please recycle.

* In Europe there is no shortage of trees. Responsibly produced paper is a renewable and recyclable product and can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate. If you print, please recycle.

* If you print, please recycle. Ensure you choose paper from companies that source fibre from well-managed, certified forests.

* Yes, it’s OK to print your emails – but please recycle waste paper.

We shouldn’t have to feel guilty about printing our e-mails. Just ensure that you use paper from certified or sustainably-managed forests, print double-sided and always recycle.

Source: www.twosides.info

 

Of all the applications of 3D printing, the one which seems most astonishing is the possibility of one day being able to use the technology to print out vital biological organs.

But while we’re not at that point just yet, a team of researchers at the U.K.’s University of Bristol recently announced a significant new advance in the form of a brand new bio-ink, a printable liquid material made out of living cells. In time it is hoped that this new bio-ink may be used for the 3D printing of cartilage and bone implants for damaged body parts such as joints.

“What’s different about our work is that we’ve got a hybrid system in which the bio-ink is made up of adult stem cells and two polymers, one of them naturally occurring and other artificial,” Dr Adam Perriman, a senior research fellow at Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, tells Digital Trends.

“The artificial polymer controls the phase behavior of the ink, which comes out as a liquid and becomes a solid. The second natural polymer, extracted from seaweed, then provides the structural fidelity needed to sustain cell nutrients.”

If talk of “naturally-occurring polymers” and “phase behavior” is a bit much to absorb on a Monday, consider that one of the big challenges with bioprinting is allowing effective nutrient access for the stem cells used in the bio-ink — thereby creating a material which can be used to print a living structure. The hybrid bio-ink created by Perriman and his colleagues achieves this.

Once the cell nutrients have been introduced, the synthetic polymer is expelled, leaving just the stem cells and natural polymer. The results have already been used to 3D print tissue structures such as a full-size tracheal cartilage ring.

“Bioprinting is an absolutely enormous area in terms of its current growth and the scale of its eventual goal,” Perriman says. “We’re definitely excited about our developments in the field — and the work we’re continuing to do.”

By Luke Dormehl for www.digitaltrends.com
Image: www.digitaltrends.com

A team of scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has evolved their microscale 3D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time.

Inspired by natural structures like plants, which respond and change their form in response to environmental stimuli, the team has unveiled 4D-printed hydrogel composite structures that change shape when immersed in water.

The method was inspired by the way plants change shape over time in response to environmental stimuli. This orchid-shaped structure is printed with a hydrogel composite ink containing aligned cellulose fibrils, which enable anisotropic swelling. A proprietary mathematical model developed by the team precisely predicts how the fibrils will swell in water. After printing, the 4D orchid is immersed in water to activate its shape transformation. Credit: A.S. Gladman, E. Matsumoto, L.K. Sanders, and J.A. Lewis / Wyss Institute at Harvard University

“This work represents an elegant advance in programmable materials assembly, made possible by a multidisciplinary approach,” said Jennifer Lewis, senior author on the new study. “We have now gone beyond integrating form and function to create transformable architectures.”

Lewis is a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute and the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at SEAS. Another Wyss core faculty member, L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and professor of physics at Harvard University and SEAS, is a co-author on the study. Their team also includes co-author Ralph Nuzzo, the G.L. Clark Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In nature, the tissue composition and microstructures of flowers and plants have dynamic morphologies that change according to their environments. Mimicking the variety of shape changes that plant organs such as tendrils, leaves, and flowers undergo in response to environmental stimuli such as humidity or temperature, the 4D-printed hydrogel composites developed by Lewis and her team are programmed to contain precise, localized swelling. Importantly, the hydrogel composites contain cellulose fibrils that are derived from wood and resemble the microstructures that enable shape changes in plants.

Reported today in Nature Materials, the 4D printing advance combined materials science and mathematics through the involvement of the study’s co-lead authors: A. Sydney Gladman, a graduate research assistant advised by Lewis and specializing in the printing of polymers and composites at the Wyss Institute and SEAS, and Elisabetta Matsumoto, a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss and SEAS advised by Mahadevan and specializing in condensed matter and material physics.

By aligning cellulose fibrils during printing, the hydrogel composite ink is encoded with anisotropic swelling and stiffness, which can be patterned to produce intricate shape changes. The anisotropic nature of the cellulose fibrils gives rise to varied directional properties that can be predicted and controlled. Just like wood, which splits more easily along the grain than across it, when it is immersed in water the hydrogel-cellulose fibril ink undergoes differential swelling along and orthogonal to the printing path. Combined with a proprietary mathematical model developed by the team that determines how a 4D object must be printed to achieve prescribed transformable shapes, the new method opens up new potential applications for 4D printing technology, including smart textiles, soft electronics, biomedical devices, and tissue engineering.

“Using one composite ink printed in a single step, we can achieve shape-changing hydrogel geometries containing more complexity than any other technique, and we can do so simply by modifying the print path,” said Gladman. “What’s more, we can interchange different materials to tune for properties such as conductivity or biocompatibility.”

The composite ink the team uses flows like liquid through the printhead, yet rapidly solidifies once printed. A variety of hydrogel materials can be used interchangeably, resulting in different stimuli-response behaviour, while the cellulose fibrils can be replaced with other anisotropic fillers, including conductive fillers.

“Our mathematical model prescribes the printing pathways required to achieve the desired shape-transforming response,” said Matsumoto. “We can control the curvature both discretely and continuously using our entirely tunable and programmable method.”

The mathematical modelling also solves the “inverse problem,” the challenge of predicting what the printing toolpath must be to encode swelling behaviours toward a desired shape.

“It is wonderful to be able to design and realize, in an engineered structure, some of nature’s solutions,” said Mahadevan, who has studied phenomena such as how botanical tendrils coil, how flowers bloom, and how pine cones open and close. “By solving the inverse problem, we are now able to reverse-engineer the problem and determine how to vary local inhomogeneity, i.e., the spacing between the printed ink filaments, and the anisotropy, i.e., the direction of these filaments, to control the spatiotemporal response of these shape-shifting sheets.”

“What’s remarkable about this 4D printing advance made by Jennifer and her team is that it enables the design of almost any arbitrary, transformable shape from a wide range of available materials with different properties and potential applications, truly establishing a new platform for printing self-assembling, dynamic microscale structures that could be applied to a broad range of industrial and medical applications,” said Wyss Institute Director Donald Ingber, the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the vascular biology program at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of bioengineering at SEAS.

This work was supported by funding from the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centre.

By Kat J. McAlpine for www.news.harvard.edu
Image credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University

         

           

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