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Evolving Digital Marking Technologies: Fight for Survival or New Battlegrounds?

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The dominant digital printing technologies today and for the near future are based either on toner - delivered by electrophotography, magnetography or electron beam imaging - or ink jet processes using liquid or solid inks. All of these technologies have various shortcomings, both technical and cost limitations, leaving room for potential new technologies.

But can any new technology emerge and be successfully exploited now, or will we just see incremental development of existing technologies? The industry is littered with novel, innovative yet unexploited techniques that never quite made it. Has the shake-out of mainstream technologies already occurred or is there scope for new ones? Success requires that a new technology be both technically feasible and financially viable and any new technology would need significant advantages over existing ones. Can existing companies with well entrenched and successful technologies adopt new ones, or is it only newcomers and upstarts who can succeed?

This paper reviews the shortcomings of existing technologies, considers whether any new printing or marking applications exist, reviews some of the emerging yet still to be exploited technologies - such as ToneJet, TonerJet, AIP, Elcorsy, Direct Imaging, microfluidics and reusable paper, and assesses what the scope might be for these and other currently invisible contenders.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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