Heidelberg has revealed Liechtenstein-based BVD Druck + Verlag AG as one of the first companies to install its Jetmaster Dimension printer. This printer supports customized printing of standard soccer balls and takes BVD’s business model further in the direction of end users. Customers can order personalized balls from its website – www.balleristo.com with a choice of four designs that can be printed with up to three lines of text or any image. The printing system uses lightfast UV-curing inks for this purpose. BVD is next planning to offer multicolor printing and other ball sizes/items.
The Jetmaster Dimension was shown off last year as part of Heidelberg’s take on 3D printing – that is printing to curved shapes, which forces the printhead to move in 3D around the object. Thus it’s a robot-based system that Heidelberg claims will make the process of customizing mass-produced goods faster, cheaper, and more flexible. The key to this is the level of demand for personalized products, given that there are plenty of processes such as screen printing for printing to unusual shapes.