World’s largest 3D printer at Media Expo

Massivit 3D large format printer

The Arrow Digital team at Media Expo New Delhi 2019.
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.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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