World’s largest 3D printer at Media Expo

Massivit 3D large format printer

The Arrow Digital team at Media Expo New Delhi 2019.

Arrow Digital, a distributor of materials and equipment for the digital printing and cutting markets, displayed the world’s largest 3D printer at Media Expo New Delhi 2019 for the first time in India. Massivit 1500 Exploration 3D printer provides large format 3D printing for the visual merchandising industry.

Ambika Yadav, brand manager (North), Arrow Digital, said, “We got the machine in April 2019 and the live demonstrations are attracting visitors to our stand. We intend to create branding for 3D printing in the market with this machine and for visual merchandising for props.”

The machine can print at the speed of 35 centimeters an hour; a 5 feet model can be made in approximately 5 hours. “Things like complicated frames cannot be printed on other 3D printers. This machine can be used for creating props, frames, and thermoform molds within a matter of hours,” Yadav said.

Speaking about the prospects of 3D printing in India, Ujjwala Uppadhyay, brand manager (West), Arrow Digital, said, “The 3D machines sold in India are very small. They use additive manufacturing (AM) techniques such as selective laser sintering (SLS) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to create models up to 2 feet. However, the Massivit printer is a large-format 3D printer that can create 1800 mm tall objects in one go. But 3D printing is still a new subject in the country. The visitors are still learning about the technology and are yet to accept it. But we are receiving positive inquiry at our stand.”

The company also displayed multilayer and textured print samples of EFI Vutek UV printer for signage applications. “EFI is already a known brand in the market. We have over 45 installations of the EFI UV printers in India. The printers are Green Guard certified,” Yadav explained.

Sharing Arrow’s experience at Media Expo, Yadav said, “We have been participating at Media Expo before Messe Frankfurt acquired Media Expo from MEX. The show is a good chance for us to meet our existing and prospective clients. Many of our customers visited our stand.”

According to Yadav, the industry is facing an economic slowdown. “Our products are high end; the smallest machine starts from Rs. 50 lakhs. Not many people are investing because they don’t have printing jobs. You will notice that the major prime locations in Delhi and Mumbai are empty; there are no major outdoor campaigns. We sold a few machines in Bangalore but the same can’t be said for the market in Northern India.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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