Researching What Comes Next
The economies of scale of mass production could give way to the benefits of on-demand, mass-customized products, in addition to the benefits delivered via rapid prototyping of new test products. Google “3D printing” and you’ll discover a wide array of innovative applications of “printing” technology that would blow Gutenberg’s mind.
Against these revolutionary technological advances, some of the other issues we’re dealing with now may seem pedestrian and mundane, but they’re nonetheless important.
- Spot-color proofing affords an opportunity to cost-effectively enhance the fidelity and impact of conventional ink-on-paper production runs.
- Soy-based resins as a replacement for petroleum-based resins have real meaning given the rising cost of petrochemicals. Soy-based resins find support in both the sustainability camp and among advocates of greater petro-independence. (THAT sounds more and more appealing each time I fill up my gas tank.)
WMU’s Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging is a testament to this integrative kind of change. It continues to evolve and adapt to the new era of print, giving students the tools to work across departments—including industrial manufacturing, engineering, physics and biosciences.
As academia changes, and the workplace as well, we’re not always able to see the evolution. Day-by-day, it may not seem like what we do is dramatically changing, or that new print technology is shifting how we operate. But make no mistake; our industry is changing, and there are worlds of opportunities out there—some, more easily seen than others. And you don’t need to go back to school to see them.
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC