For those that have not been introduced to the Maker Movement that is sweeping the hearts and minds of engineers, creatives and more, let me get you up to speed on some cool things happening.
The Maker Movement has become a worldwide phenomenon, inspiring individuals, young and old, to DIY (do it yourself). The Maker Movement is encouraging invention, creativity, and learning-through-doing. At Ninthlink, we’re pretty excited about the Makers on our team and can’t believe the amazing stories shared by Makers around the world! Wide format printers are those that have a print width between 17 in and 100 in. These printers are used to print posters, banners and signage. They provide a much more economical solution than technologies like screen-printing. They use rolls of print material and some of them have built in hot air dryers to prevent sticking of prints. Some of the most popular wide format printers are: 3M Scotchprint Printer 2000: 3M is still developing large-format electrostatic printers and loved by the users for low cost and fast output. Accuplot inkjet printers: Accuplot 3400, 4300, and 6200 are popular large format printers that are loved by all because of their quality and flexibility in using hardware. They come with Epson Pizzo heads and therefore can be replaced and changed without much hassle. Agfa Sherpa: These are large format ink jet printers that are available in 61 cm (24 inches) to 2.21 m (87 inches) size range. The operation is fast and reliable in terms of color reproduction. They come with color-management tools and can be used for posters, backlit display as well as vehicle graphics. Roland FJ 400/500/600/540 and roland uv printers Versatile and fast working large format printers from Roland are liked by all because of their quality. They have eight/twelve color head models as well along with earlier batch of six-color ones. Alpha Merics Spectrum: They have automated positioning system-based machines with sizes ranging from 52×90 inches (300 dpi) to 600 dpi monochrome imagesetter, pen plotters, etc. Orion from Gerber: Capable of producing extremely lustrous print for outdoor advertising that can be used without lamination. It is a solvent-based printer ink. It is liked for robust construction and reliable output. Arizona 1100-3: These printers from GretagImaging and Oce provide quality output and Arizona 180 digital screen press is popular for fast and clean operations. As a service company, we love when you call us for printer service. It is an opportunity to help you in a moment of need, but too often the needs we see are a crisis that shouldn’t have happened. I personally find it amazing that people often spend more for a piece of equipment that makes them money than they spend on their car which costs them money, but they take far better care of their car. Not only does this apply to the cosmetics, where people put solvent rags and splash ink all over their printer, but also even more importantly, the mechanics, the heart and soul of the printer. Do you drive your car 20,000 between oil changes and wait until it breaks, or do you change your oil at regular intervals? The good news, is maybe you can’t perform the full preventive maintenance program your printer may need, but you can do your own “oil changes” between major service intervals, often stretching that interval out further. Like your car, your printer has fluids and fluid systems that need to be clean for optimum life and performance. Though each printer has its own maintenance routine, there are a number of things that apply to pretty much anything out there, whether by Mimaki, Mutoh, HP, Roland, or other manufacturer.
One of the most fascinating engineering-oriented pursuits of the movement is 3-D printing. We couldn’t resist getting our hands on such a progressive technology and now have two 3-D printers (or MakerBots as they’re called) at Ninthlink. Maybe one day, we’ll print something as fascinating and as useful as fighter jet parts or windpipes!
It’s not just adults or engineering graduates who are gravitating toward the Maker Culture. According to DonorsChoose.org, an organization donating 3-D printers to public schools, children are becoming the next generation of Makers. The Maker Movement is providing young students with an alternative form of learning. For those that don’t excel in the average, public school classroom, getting to be hands-on with 3-D printers, makes learning fun.
Even the White House has jumped on the Maker bandwagon and is hosting its first ever Maker Faire. Maker Faires are held in more than 100 locations around the world and attract Makers of all kinds. It’s been said it is the “year of the maker” and hosting such an event at the White House will only bring more positive awareness to the Movement.
So, why is Ninthlink loving on Maker? We love to stay on the forefront of trends and are always experimenting and testing new ideas for projects. Ask us more about how to collaborate on a maker project.