Ricoh Launches 3D Printing Manufacturing Business 


Ricoh has launched a manufacturing business focused on 3D printing that at this stage is aimed specifically at the Japanese market.
Ricoh will sell 3D printers and associated output services directly to manufacturing customers, as well as provide consulting services to those customers using firsthand knowledge and experience.
Jacques van Wyk, COO at Ricoh SA said, ‘Ricoh is also looking to develop this business globally but it is too early in the development cycle to provide timescales.’
3D printing or production provides a practical and clean option for applications ranging from rapid prototyping and sampling of consumer goods and electronics to industrial, medical and dental applications.
Key features to the successful development of 3D printer manufacturing systems will be achieving all metal construction to support high temperature operations; rugged and durable design to support high duty cycle requirements; and a high flow rate of liquid materials to increase productivity.
In support of the growing demand for 3D printing and additive manufacturing, as well as wide format graphics and textile printing, Ricoh Europe has created its Ink Jet Technical Centre in Telford in the UK. Existing technical facilities and employees at Telford have close ties to Ricoh SA and its customers to supply the latest technical services and expertise.
Ricoh has already created flexible displays with printed circuits. They are laminated electrophoretic sheets, one with 200 pixels per inch and another with 300 pixels per inch, on entirely printed organic thin film transistor (OTFT) backplanes on a plastic substrate. Electrodes, semiconductors, insulators and wiring were all printed.
‘Applications for these technologies include low cost, low environmental impact, high resolution, low temperature processes on various large surface area, flexible devices,’ said Van Wyk. ‘This isn’t restricted to displays and it would typically include devices such as radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that are crucial to low carbon societies.’

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