Amazon Wants To Put 3D Printers In Delivery Trucks
This Article Originally Appeared On The Verge
Amazon has been experimenting with new shipping methods lately, but one day soon it might not have to worry about sending items at all, and use 3D printers to produce them on the curbs outside customers’ homes instead. The e-commerce giant has filed several patent applications for a system that could print goods on-demand in “mobile manufacturing hubs” – trucks outfitted with 3D printers that could rapidly produce and deliver items on their travels. Most of us are familiar with printers where the print medium or substrate is fed into the printer with the use of rollers. This roll-feeding system is how desktop printers and many wide-format printers work. However, there is a different type of printer where the substrate is fed into the printer with the use of flat panels. The substrate is laid out on a flat panel and the panel is then placed on a solid platform inside the printer. This type are called flatbed uv printing. Flatbed are growing in popularity among print service providers. That is because the flatbed has opened for these business owners an opportunity to expand their business. While roller-fed printers are limited to substrates such as paper and textiles, the flatbed can print on non-traditional substrates like wood, ceramics, glass, metal, leather and mohair. More importantly, flatbed can print on 3D objects. This type of printer opens thousands of ways by which anyone can create printouts. Flatbed Printer Technologies Flatbed printers can work using different kinds of technologies. Many of these printers rely on inkjet technology, just like the regular desktop or wide-format printer. Some flatbed printers make use of solvent inks, although the environmental issues created by solvent inks are now forcing print shop providers to look at possible alternatives. The alternative to solvent ink printers that is growing in popularity these days is the type of printers that use UV-curable inks. While wide-format printers using UV-curable inks have yet to displace printers that use solvent inks, the demand for them is growing nonetheless. That is because UV-curable inks have a number of advantages over solvent inks. There are more substrates that can be used safely with UV-curable inks. These inks are also more resistant to fading. In addition, UV-curable inks help increase productivity by eliminating labor and materials used for pre- and post-processing. Printers using this type of inks are also easier to maintain because the ink dries easily and does not clog printer heads. Flatbed Printer Applications Flatbed printers have changed the way many people look at printing because this printer has made possible printing on substrates that cannot be accommodated by roll-fed printers. With flatbed printers, people can customize everyday objects such as coffee mugs and laptop lids. They can also personalize their interior decorating projects at a different level by designing their own bathroom tiles, by printing their doors instead of painting them by hand, among other things. It can be quite amazing to watch the various generations of office equipment come and go, especially since this seems to be happening at such a quick pace. For those of us who have been there since the beginning of this wild and unpredictable ride in the world of technology, we can honestly say that each generation of equipment seems to be getting more efficient, more powerful and certainly more impressive. How many of us can remember being amazed the first time we used our computers, photocopiers or printers? here are a variety of multifunction printers available for both home and office. If you have a home office, you might want to consider purchasing a small desktop unit with a print engine that is based on either a home desktop inkjet printer, or a home desktop laser printer offered in black or color. If you are looking for an office unit, you can easily find a multifunction printer that will meet your needs. multifunction printers have been created to meet the criteria for any type of office, be it a small business or a large corporation. In many medium to large sized companies, the multifunction printers are often used as the main ‘go to’ piece of equipment within the corporation. These are usually large, stand alone units that are programmed as the central printing device(s) or reprographic department device(s) and are particularly relied upon for speed and efficiency. Thanks to the creation of multifunction printers, you no longer have to worry about purchasing, maintaining and fixing a variety of separate devices. Now, you can benefit from the ease and practicality that a multifunction printer can bring to your personal and work lives. Maybe it is time to consider investing in a multifunction printer – especially if you are old enough to remember just how impressed you were with that first printer – the one that usually took more than 90 seconds to deliver the page that you printed – how the times have changed. It pays to look behind the scenes before you purchase a multifunction device. The easiest way is to check on-line or magazine reviews of the printer you are looking to buy. This is because manufacturers will always ensure that their products are always seen in the best possible light – this is all down to the spin that their printer manufacturers’ marketing departments provide. Unfortunately for the end user, this means the printers’ features such as the speed of print, duty cycle and supply costs that printer manufacturers display on their website or in promotional materials will always be best-case scenarios that will rarely reflect use of the printer in the real world. Therefore, the easiest way to get another opinion on the printer you want to buy is to see what the actual product users have to say.
The patent filing explains that the system would help speed up the delivery process even further and help reduce the warehouse space the company needs to hold. Barcode scanners can help with time and delivery efficiency in this respect too, click here to learn more about this equipment. “Time delays between receiving an order and shipping the item to the customer may reduce customer satisfaction and affect revenues generated,” Amazon says in the documents. The Wall Street Journal imagines a scenario in which the mobile hubs could be used to supply customers with replacement parts for their car, or other 3D-printed items, before a road trip on the same day.
The company has yet to be awarded the patent for such mobile manufacturing hubs, but it’s just the latest in a series of schemes to reduce the time it takes to ship items. In early 2014, Amazon was awarded a patent for “anticipatory delivery,” a system that would let the e-retailer send products to shipping hubs that it believes will sell well based on previous searches and purchases. Amazon is also using new hardware to try to cut shipping times down – in 2013, the company announced an ambitious plan to use drones to deliver some items, long before the FAA set rules on commercial drone flights.