The Prospect Of US Military 4D Printing

At first, the world got excited about 3D printing, even the military. However, with technology, there will never be complete satisfaction; people want more every single time. This has led experts coming up with the prospects of 4D printing. It has been foreseen to be the mother of all inventions if and when it comes to being.

Advances of printing technology through time

What is 4D printing?

Fourth dimension printing is the creation of adaptive materials. What does this mean? This means that unlike 3D printing that created fixed shapes, 4D printing will create shapes that can change in to new shapes or change functionality. Consider the case of science fiction movies where robots turn in to cars. It uses the basic layering process of 3D printing but the shape changing is brought by the inclusion of shape memory in the creation of items. That is the technology being aimed at by the military. The US military has shown great interest in this technology due to its possible magnificence when it is actualized. They have funded researchers in three universities with $850,000 to come up with an eligible application. The amount might seem a lot but not to the army that usually spends millions in their operations.

When this technology comes to life, the military will benefit in numerous ways. 4D creations will be able to change their shape and functionality when demanded to do so. It will require external stimuli to do this. With the military, they would be able to acquire all-in-one weapons, protection and camouflaging capabilities. They could be able to create tanks whose metal component adapts to the particular environment it is in to offer impeccable camouflage. They could be able to create guns that can convert to high powered guns upon demand. For protection, they could create uniforms that change their structure in the face of destructive components such as poisonous gases. The ability of creations to change will be in the tiny micro levels of the structure instead of the whole item; this will bring the assurance of top notch functionality.

The key factor in creation would be to use components that can change their properties, shape or functionality in the face of certain stimuli. The stimulating factors will have to at least be environmental factors such as water for easier effectiveness. Well, currently all this is just a theory. The real work is being done by the researchers who will hopefully find answers soon. If the military has invested in such a project, then it definitely means that the imaginations can soon become a reality.

Advances in Military Printing

The world of prints and printing is changing beyond recognition. Until recently when we thought about printing we were thinking about images and documents that simply printed onto paper or even card. Today we are on the edge of a whole new era in printing technology; we are coming away from the standard 2D standard document and moving into 3D printing and even 4D printing and what an exciting time it is.

There are many industries that are utilising 3D printing and although the tech is still very new it is making great advances. The long term uses and benefits have not truly been recognised but one area where it is showing very useful is within the military around the world.

If you think back to the recent war in Afghanistan and Iraq then you may recall the huge logistical task it took to get troops and equipment into the field. Everything from weapons, weapons parts, vehicle parts to shelters for the bases has to be shipped from home or neighbouring countries. Currently you cannot replace everything with 3D printed items but it is certainly making many jobs easier.

If you are not familiar with the technology in 3D printing then allow me to briefly explain. Objects are created using a specially designed type of printing machine; this can be very similar in size to a desktop machine for smaller parts and objects to a huge scale set up actually capable of printing out a shelter or a building. The system works using a multi-pass system building the object up from the ground up in layers of whatever the substrate maybe. Many different substrates can be utilised including metals, plastics and even a type of concrete. The benefits to this are huge and very useful as rather than having to stockpile parts they can be simply printed. The 3D printer receives its instructions from CAD drawing software that can be simply emailed from anywhere to anywhere in the world, an engineer could quite easy program his own design and print or build anything that the military are short of in the field without having to rely on transport shipping them in. Currently there are limits on what can be created in this way but the list is growing ever longer.

Armed forces around the world are waking up to the usefulness of this technology, the US Army are already printing guns and parts, even ammo whilst the British RAF have recently successfully printed, installed and tested parts for their fleet of Tornado fighter jets. The parts were actually printed and installed at sea during war trials to show the usefulness of this forward thinking technology.

Apart from the ease of getting hold of parts and the ability to create things as and when you need them this tech is also set to save governments millions of dollars with the British claiming it will save them £1.2 million ($1.96 million).

The future of 3D printing is a very exciting prospect indeed.

The Need For Military 3D Printing

3D printing is the future of manufacturing. It will eliminate long hours and days of processing by converting it to a simple few hours. The effectiveness and efficiency of 3D printers has led to the military investing in this technology. This kind of provision means that trivial demands will always be met. Such assurance is completely necessary to the military. Why?


The battlefield is a place where anything can happen. Needs and wants become a crucial necessity especially in the face of accidents, destruction and inadequacy of supplies. Availability of 3D printers on the battlefield will ensure that the military prints their own supplies. They can print weapons and temporary shelters whenever the need arises.


3D printing will assure the military that their demand will always be met with supply. The best assurance is on time. With 3D printers, they know that they can get anything as soon as they need it.

Resource saving

Whenever the military needs anything while on the battlefield, the government has to put in extra effort and resources to provide all these items. This means that extra time, money and labor are used to make provisions to the military. With 3D printers, the government will only have to spend on buying or constructing the 3D printers. The military will then carry the printers with them wherever they go. In the event that something becomes necessary, they will make it for themselves on the battlefield. The government and the country will never be bothered again on trivial matters of provision.

Expanding boundaries

Owing to the fact that 3D printing allows for the creation of almost everything, the military can use this opportunity to create new machinery, tools and weapons. They can get creative in their designs, create them and test their efficiency. This can be seen with the first printed gun that was created, tested and it actually worked. With this technology, they can tap in to new zones and expand their boundaries. They will have no limitation.

Military investment in 3D printers is one of the smartest moves they are making. They are the ones who know what they need, how they need it to be and when they need it. 3D printing will satisfy all this. It will give them independence from the government and vice versa. Spare parts, weapons and such items will all be in their control. With such provision, they will more likely than not, serve the country better than ever before. This is because their focus will be on their service and not worrying about supplies. It is a wonderful investment.

New Trends In Digital Printers And Prints

A few years back, the thought of digital printers and prints was merely a distant dream. However, in the modern era, this printing technique has become the in thing. We can almost certainly say that the days of other printing techniques such as offset, letterpress, lithographic, gravure, and many others have been numbered. At the same time, digital printing is also going through a renaissance. Newer and better techniques are being developed every other day. Some trends that have shaped the sectors include the following:

More Fine Prints

The rivalry in the market has become more intense. The customer has also become more demanding. To keep up with these requirements, it has become necessary to produce quality prints that are very clear. This is being made possible by the availability of more color shades and tones. Previously, 4 colors were being used. These were Cyan, Magenta, Black, and Yellow. However, current techniques employ as many as 8 colors. This makes it possible to produce high resolution prints that are quite remarkable.

Faster Print Runs

The world has become quite hectic. People are demanding prints as soon as possible if not immediately. Well, thanks to improved technology, it has become possible to produce prints in the shortest time possible. The print runs have become short and faster hence reducing turnaround time. Since no plates are prepared, or dies cut, the customer can also make alterations without incurring additional losses. Furthermore, variable data printing as well as customization has become much easier.


The push for environmental friendly or green manufacturing is gaining momentum by the day. The digital printing sector has not been left behind. In fact, this strategy is being adopted in all sectors of the industry. For instance, the inks used to print are made from natural materials which have no harm to the environment. The printers are becoming more energy efficient consequently reducing the emission of green gases and saving power at the same time.

Better techniques have led to faster and more effective printers. Gone are the days when a person had to rely on bulky printing presses to put images or text on a medium. Nowadays, it is a simple as using a desktop printer. If you are looking to promote your business or advertise your products and services, then you may need to think of digital printers and prints. This applies to posters, banners, business cards, brochures, flyers, packages, and much more.

A Short Guide About Block Printing

Block printing or woodblock printing is a process in which images, patterns or texts are carved into wooden blocks in a way that the pattern or letter protrudes from the wooden block. These blocks are inked with a dye or pigment and are then transferred on paper or material using pressure. Originated in ancient Japan, China and Egypt block printing, acts as a medium for pictorial expressions and can be used in both crafts and fine arts applications.

Block printing is perhaps one of the simplest and slowest methods of textile printing. However, this type of printing is capable of producing highly artistic results that are unobtainable by any other method. The fact that the variety of deigns depends on the skill of the woodworker, only skilled workers are capable of producing good designs. The cost of making a block print deign is usually less. However, durability of a design is very low and depends primarily on the durability of the wooden block that is used to create the design.


Block printing is usually used for production of fine wallpapers and textile decoration. There are basically three way of creating a hand block printed fabric – direct printing( applying dye directly on the fabric with the help of the block), resist printing(using lime or wax to resist the dye) and discharge printing( using repulsive material to open the dyed areas of fabric whenever the block is impressed on the fabric). In textiles, blocks are created with environment friendly dyes, derived, plants and vegetables. These pigments are then combined with kerosene and a binder to help them become resistant to dry cleaning or washing. The block which is dipped in color is required to be pressed hard to create a good impression of the craved design on the fabric. After the printing is complete, the fabrics are sun dried to help fix the color permanently.

Unlike modern printing techniques that use automated machinery to create various designs, the art of block printing is a very intensive process and creates deigns that are completely unique in themselves. Block printing is usually used on cotton, linen and silk fabrics. However, if you are using hand block printing, you can use your creativity and decorate fabrics by creating your own designs for home décor items such as napkins or pillows or clothing. Block printing is a great way to produce a replica of fine art prints, spruce up your stationary and design your own envelops or fabric or stylize your project or make a foster that is completely different and unique.

Lido Printing and Graphics Application

Emerging trends in the world of printing has given rise to the development of great printers that are used for commercial printing purposes. Modern magazines and newspapers make use of Lido printing solutions to develop high quality prints. Commercial printing services require the production of huge volumes of printouts. At most cases, digital printing methods require you to identify printing packages that will save you time and money while controlling your brand content. Modern print solutions that make use of premium papers to provide top rate products form perfect resolutions to many people.

The last few years has also seen an increase in the production of printing systems that use hot foil stamping. This means that your company logo embossed on the pages can be printed to provide a transparent output. Hot foil stamping for custom printing is one of the budding business opportunities in the print and media sector. You can make your brand stand out from the crowd by making use of the idyllic printing options that are available for mass production. This will help you in marketing your business effectively. Lido printing and graphics application in mass media also utilize the custom publishing with metallic ink.


Your print project can be customized with metallic ink options that customize folding options for printed pieces. Another application also involves the use of spot colours and Pantone Matching system, PMS in printing. The PMS is one of the up-and-coming applications that modern publishers are making use of in improving on the quality of the prints.

Additionally, understanding the advantages of using 2 colour printing when branding is needed can help you in selling out your business enterprise. Perfect binding on clear magazines using customized window envelopes that are printed with your preferable logo is another way utilizing the Lido printing and graphic systems. Numerous online sites offer printing solutions at relatively low prices. The prices are calculated to ensure that you get real value for your money. Promotional packages are also offered to customers who need large volumes of printouts.

Printing has never been much easier, thanks to modern technology. The use of computer software programs in aligning the bindings and improving the quality of the prints is another way of improving on your brand value. Printing pages with pictures without degrading the quality will make your brand stand out in a unique way. This will help you in marketing your brand as the quality of the prints will differentiate your products from those of your competitor’s.

Want to Print Your Own Wallpaper? Here’s How

If you think wallpapers are old-fashioned, think again. Wallpapers are actually making a comeback and they are not just for old houses anymore. Now, you can see wallpapers even in contemporary houses and apartments. But if you don’t like the designs that are currently available in the market then you can opt to just print your own wallpaper. Yes, that’s right! You can design and print your own wallpaper. Not good at designing? Then have an artist design the pattern for you. After getting the design, all you need to do is to go to a print shop with a large format printer and have your wallpaper printed. Sounds easy and fun right?

Let your imagination run wild

The best thing about printing your own wallpaper is that it allows you to let your imagination run wild. You are not confined to the run-of-the-mill designs that you can see in old houses. You can develop your own patter. Or if you want, you can ditch the con concept of patterns altogether and simply print a large picture or artwork that will serve as some sort of mural for your home. You can show your personality through a custom-made wallpaper. It can completely change the look of your home and it can turn your any room in your house from being drab to fab.


Think out of the box

When you think wallpapers, most of us have the notion that we need to cover the entire wall completely. That is the old school way of using wallpapers. Nowadays though, it is perfectly normal to see wallpapers that covers just a part of a wall. If you are planning to do this then you still need to paint your wall and you need to make sure that the wallpaper that you are going to print will match the color of your wall. Another thing that you can do is to combine wallpapers. Who said you need to have the same design or pattern on all of the walls in your home? With custom-made wallpapers it is easy to think out of the box.

Set your inner artist free

You can set your inner artist free by designing your own wallpaper. Another great thing about wallpapers is that it is easy to put them on, much easier than painting your wall. And if you get tired of your wallpaper then all you need to do is to design and print a new one. You don’t need to be stuck with the same design for years.

Understanding Types Of Ink

There are different types of ink in the industry currently and the difference is brought by the effect they offer. Knowing the difference will help users choose the most favorable type for their work.

Solid inks

These are the most recent type of inks to be created. They are vegetable oil-based inks whose blocks are melted and applied on paper. The ink remains on the surface of the paper. The colors used are not broken down by a neutral base hence the end product is very vivid and vibrant. This means that the risk of fading is very minimal. The cartridges used to hold these inks are recyclable and this makes the ink eco-friendly.



These inks are made using a water base. When used on a surface, the ink soaks the paper and spreads over the surface. This effect only happens to porous surfaces that allow absorption. As such, these types of inks are perfect for craft work since only a few drops will work on a large area. They are often termed as messy due to the spreading effect and as such, they are not good for neat work projects. The good thing with these inks is that they dry up very fast due to the water base used and they are quite affordable. The downside could be that they eventually fade with time.


These are color pigments floated on a resin base or glycerin. When these inks are used on a particular surface, they sit at that exact spot. This means that they are not soaked up, absorbed or spread over the surface. Each color is made of a neutral base and colored pigments and as such, the intensity of a color lasts the test of time. When using these inks, the end product is usually vivid and vibrant since the ink does not spread. This fact makes the end product last for a very long time without being susceptible to any change. They are slightly more expensive than dye-based inks but this is worth it due to the durability.


This other group of inks is special due to their specific roles. Solvent inks are some of the special types of inks that are used on bill boards and plastic products. During creation, they are made water proof using special heaters. This ensures that the colors don’t fade even in a constantly wet environment. UV-curable inks are used on steel, ceramics and wood. Their color molecules are saturated with UV rays to become rich and durable.

There you have it. This simple grouping will help users choose inks according to their desired effects.