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Choice Stationery Supplies Blog - for all the chat on printer inks and cartridges

When it comes to inkjets and toners Choice Stationery Supplies has lots to say - don't get ripped off!

  • The History of the Pen

    Offices could be run without them, schools wouldn’t function and to be honest we don’t know how civilisation would cope. The humble pen, you’re probably holding one right now and not even thinking about it.

    However, the most common and possibly the most important piece of stationery has a long story before it gets into your hand. The biro that we all know and love came from much more humble beginnings before it arrived between our thumb and index finger.

    Over 5000 years in the making, we now have the ball point pen we use every day. So, let’s take a look at the history of this simple device that’s continuingly evolved throughout the centuries.

    rsz_history-of-the-pen

  • Printed 4D Dress Unveiled in USA

    We all print in 2D on paper and have all seen 3D printers work at this stage, however how many of us could envisage a 4D printed dress.

    The dress created for the MOMA could be the answer to ever woman’s style issues and customises itself to the shape of any body size or shape. Costing around $1900 and with 2,279 printed panels and almost 3,500 hinges it would be hard to say it’s not a notable piece of attire.

    Created by a company called Nervous System, the 4D dress can go from a compressed object to its suited shape in only a matter of seconds. The slow part is that it takes around 48 hours to print.

    The company which is based in the USA also have created a smart phone app that allows people to alter the dresses shape when they’re wearing it. This app allows the owner to change the style, pattern and flexibility of the dress – so you will never be able to say you’ve nothing to wear again.

    The dress which is printed using a process called Selective Laser Sintering fuses nylon powder together leaving unmelted powder between spaces. According to Jessica Rosenkrantz, co-founder and creative director, “'This extra powder falls away after printing which is what allows us to print complex interlocking mechanisms that work right out of the printer.

    'Body scanning and new design and fabrication techniques are opening up more possibilities in this direction.

    The company is planning more dresses in the near future.

  • Cloud Printing - It's Easy

    For a lot of us the idea of printing from the cloud is a one that really can seem a little strange. The idea of printing our own information on a device that’s a long way away from us and sending that info via the web is a quite startling one.

    However, the reality is that cloud printing is the future and whether you’re printing out documents from a phone, a nearby device or a computer on the other side of the world, the benefits are quite obvious.

    Using the cloud and printing together removes the need for complex network configurations, the requirement for an attached USB lead between devices and remove all of the hassle from printing.

    Fortunately, it’s quite easy for anyone who wishes to go and set up their printer on the Cloud once it’s compatible with a device. There are all sorts of ways to determine this and most new printers will be compatible.

    One fantastic guide that we recently came across in the Telegraph shows people in a simple but very effective manner how to add their device to the Cloud for printing – it’s certainly one that we’d suggest people take a look at.

    From initial connection to printing, this Telegraph based web page is one of the most easily accessible ways for people hoping to utilise the Cloud to do so. So, take a look and see of yourself – we think it’s a great guide.

  • 3D Makeup Printer for Women

    Grace Choi, founder of Mink a 3D printing company that wants to teach the world how to 3D print cosmetics and start printing them at home.

    Cho showcased the device via a video, showing step after step on how to 3D print lipsticks, eye shadow and nail polish. The device allows a person to snap a photo and then two minutes later print out a beauty item that’s the same colour as one of the colours in the photo.

    There’s no coding or fuss with the device and the 3D printer will empower women according to Grace Choi.

    Choi has shown Business Insider how to hack any printer to turn it into a 3D printer and you can see that below. Choi recommends the HP 6100 especially for the task, and believes it’s the best printer for the job.

    So, if you want to see how to hack a printer and create a 3D printer for your makeup needs then take a look at this amazing and excellent printing blog.

    Yes, it might seem bizarre, however if you’ve got little to do this weekend then why not go ahead and take the initiative. It could change your beauty regime.

  • Small Business Printing Pain Points

    The idea of a paper free office is an alluring one as we all well know. Printer costs are high and even with the likes of Epson trying to cut them with refillable cartridges, there’s still a big cost to business from printing.

    Tablet use, the arrival of the PDF and a number of other changes still mean that printing is costly though and this comprehensive infographic showcases this very well. So, take a look and see for yourself.

    1.3.12_QuickBooks_PrintingPainPoints_Final-590x1741

  • Royal Mail to Offer 3D Printing

    Royal mail will begin to offer 3D printed projects from a delivery office to showcase its move into the 21st century.

    A trial, utilising the iMark 3D printer will take place at New Cavendish Street in London, offering designs and ready to print objects. Customers can order online or collect items at this delivery office if an when they wish. Depending on how busy the printer is, Royal Mail may even roll out plans across the country for the 3D printers.

    The reality is that 3D printing may not become a household effort in the next half decade, but people may use it commercially and Royal Mail is looking to capitalize on this.

    In “3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalised objects,” said Mike Newnham, chief customer officer for Royal Mail. “It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing.”

    The whole idea of the effort is to introduce people to the concept and show the level of demand for 3D printed items such as business card holders, phone cases and other similar trinkets.

  • Canon MX535 Review

    Multifunction printers are great in concept, however the biggest issue is cramming in enough but not too many extras into the device. We all want a photocopier, scanner and printer, however a Swiss Army knife worth of features is often taking it too far,

    The Canon MX535 is border line in this case but it manages to stay the right side of the line, ensuring trusted and tried features and design win out above all else and at a great price. The output tray with 100 sheets may be a little awkward, however the device as a whole is great and does all the basics very well.

    With a 30 sheet ADF it’s a strong and powerful device with great scan times and can complete a 600dpi scan in under 29 seconds. The lid itself is robust and the device is one of the best in its range in terms of build for the sub-£100 price.

    Printing quality is good and the touch screen and graphic interfaces are decent, while connectivity is handled will with a whole host of options, from app to Ethernet and all the rest.

    With a draft mode of 10 pages in under a minute and a standard rate of 8ppm, it’s well able to keep up with its fastest competitors. While colour printing is around 2.8ppm, draft colour is almost 4ppm and clarity is great and colours sharp and clear. Costs are 2.7p and 4.8p each, which is middle of the range and match most devices in this printer’s area.

    The Canon MX535 is a great device and one that we’d happily recommend to people looking for a printer in this range.

  • HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One Review

    The HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One is a slightly different looking machine thanks to the number of bumps and rises throughout. However, though an unconventional looking printer there’s plenty for the money in this device and a lot of connectivity options.

    The device comes with a 125 sheet paper input tray, which sits over a 20 sheet tray – ideal for those that need to use a few different forms of media. There is also a 25 page document feeder which is hidden nearly underneath a flap.

    Connectivity comes via USB, Wi-Fi, apps and also the Ethernet. HP also includes ePrint, which allows print from a mobile device and support for a number of memory cards. Printing here can be controlled by an excellent interface touch screen. It’s well laid out and allows a whole host of options for editing photos. It’s a bright screen that’s easy to use and offers plenty of positives.

    Speed wise the device is also fast and 17ppm is possible if you go for draft mode, with 12 for good quality prints. Graphics output is good and photos look great. Running costs come in at 2.4p and 4.8p for mono and colour prints respectively.

    Scans are fast and 100dpi shots can be completed in seconds. The 600dpi option takes around 34 seconds for a scan, though images are sharp and of high quality.

    The only real issue is the noise, which is the strangest we’ve heard from any printer ever. Otherwise the HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One is an excellent device.

  • Introducing WaterColorBot the Watercolour Printer

    Ever thought of printing water colours, well thanks to watercolour you can do just that. The WaterColorBot is a collaboration between Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories and Super Awesome Sylvia and lets you print in a water colour with a simple printer.

    The device is an expansion on the plotted pen printer, this is a device that utilises bars along tow exes to keep a pen steady and then dips the pen down at certain points onto the paper to create an image. The difference is that the WaterColorBot uses a water reservoir and water color to do so and creates water colour prints instead.

    The results of the efforts are quite attractive and though not amaong the greatest ever seen, they do have their place on fridges and in scrap books. The device can even be set up to follow your drawing on screen in real time, which allows people the opportunity to draw on the device as they go. Of course, this means any mistakes that are made end up being produced in real time.

    The device was launched on Kickstarter in August 2013 and raised $90,000 – which was almost twice its target. The retail version goes on sale for $295 and is a very cool idea.

  • Business Inkjets a Growing Market

    The world of inkjets is changing and a new wave of business machines seems to be on the march, with better print speeds, lower costs and better value making them very popular. This has made them a far more attractive prospect for businesses and has seen the business inkjet market increase by 9% since last year.

    In fact, growth has been notable and the market as a whole is meant to grow by 76% between 2012 and 2017, which also makes for a number of other opportunities in the field and related areas.

    Brother is one such business hoping to make more of the big ambitions that have been placed in front of it and has released two new devices the J4000 and J5000 printers. Both devices are able to print A3 direct from the tray and fit well into office spaces.

    Both offer fast speeds, quality prints and a whole host more. They also have larger paper trays and improved connectivity, which is also something that is very much in demand at the moment. Both have NFC and can scan direct from mobile devices and have access to a whole raft of cloud services.

    Over three million of these types of business inkjet printers were sold last year and businesses are looking for great value devices that help support agile workforces and this is why companies like Brother are trying to utilise the opportunity.

    What do you think, would you buy a printer of this kind for your home office or small business?

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