Epson Betting Big on Inkjet, to Invest $100 Million

Minoru+Usui

Epson President Minoru Usui

The Wall Street Journal reports that Seiko Epson of Japan is betting big on inkjet printing – to the tune of a planned $100 million investment.

While of course much of the news today is about 3D printing, according to Epson President Minoru Usui, current 3D printers lack precision and efficiency, and are limited in the range of materials they can use (most 3D printers currently plastic filament, although some models are able to use metals).

“Existing 3-D models are mostly for making plastic toys and things like that,” said Usui said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

As we reported previously, Epson won’t introduce a 3D printer until it’s developed a model for industrial use, which could take about another five years.

Today Epson is focusing on inkjet, as well as wearable technology such as smart glasses and wristbands. According to The Wall Street Journal, it will invest $100 million in print heads for use in business inkjet printers, as well as in inkjet printers for printing on labels and textiles.

As for President Usui, he is keen on expanding applications for Epson’s inkjet-printing technology: “The important thing is the core technology, not the device. If we could make refrigerators with inkjet technology, we probably would.”

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