One of the most popular highlights of coffee printer recently has been the roll-out of cylindrical devices for printing such things as water bottles. In my opinion that cylindrical products are offered as being an option for every printer with sufficient throat to support one. This brings a minimum of two questions to the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for setting up a cylindrical job and, two, do I need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, there exists a different story with plastic containers which can be squeezed. These call for a flexible ink, so a few of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches around 200 percent.
The flexible ink option reveals other applications, such as printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and a few manufacturers have built their printers so there are no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would affect printing a magnetic material.
With the great number of inks available, a serious decision you need to make is determing the best ink to your applications. Inks can’t be changed so once an ink is selected you happen to be just about bound to it to the duration. Ink changes are possible in the event you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming which is not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks are often specific towards the manufacturer, and so are the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light are powered by). Some companies manufacture their particular print heads and rails, although others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, including Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer may be competent at varying the dimensions of the ink dot from less than a number of picoliters to as much as 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better capable of manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colours that smoothly differ from one shade to another one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer and its software.
All UV printers come with some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is designed by the producer for the specific printer and possesses various functions, like translating images from the computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. While you might not be able to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you will see the outcomes in the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the cabability to smoothly transition from a single color to another one. When you are thinking investing in a printer, it’s essential to appear closely, compare results and get questions once you see something that doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right at the demo, it won’t look right once you get it home!
Where is definitely the funds in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to ensure they well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment linked to these products? It couldn’t come to be the capability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is designed for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles might be personalized because they are printed, the real contribution in the UV printer is printing lots of products using the same imprint-what we will call production.
One of several primary advantages of UV digital printing is the capability to print detailed full-color images. Photo courtesy of Mimaki USA. The VersaUV LEF-20 flatbed printer is available from Roland DGA Corp. Marco Awards Group is distributing Direct Color Systems’ UV printers for printing on a multitude of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it could print 225,000 flash drives in a 40-hour period. That’s lots of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most people have no reason to print countless flash drives in one week, but that is why you can find smaller machines. The trick is choosing a printer that is simply the right balance between what you are able afford and what you could justify with demand.
There are tons of features on these printers. Some are super important to quite a few users and not to others, while other available choices are absolutely vital to only some. Identifying which features are very important to you personally and that happen to be not is no easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and look for a printer with every feature around, this means a smart buyer will almost certainly carry out some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can begin by eliminating those printers which can be just way out of range price-wise and those that, for one reason or other, are unsuited for your personal applications. Then you could proceed to study the printers that have potential. It might be helpful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing utilizing a chart like the one accompanying this post. This means planing a trip to a couple of industry events and arranging on-site demos. This, needless to say, slows down the buying experience, but that is in reality a positive thing. Getting enthusiastic about buying a printer and making a decision too quickly is much like new car fever-it is going to probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you have to know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, remember that this informative article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Inside the truest form, uv printer usually has a fixed print head as well as the flat table holding the substrate moves within the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the possibility of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of the hybrid construction where both the table as well as the print heads move around in one fashion or another.
UV printers in this industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize an array of LED lamps to generate UV light that very quickly cures the ink exposed to it. This is certainly highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink could be laid down and cured, which grows the ink and helps to create a 3D result on the substrate. This relief printing is how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are produced using a number of these printers, as well as textured effects, like the dimples on a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capability to print clear or white ink concurrently since the CMYK colors, all in one pass, which may greatly enhance the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is yet another feature which gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most also employ white and clear. A couple of also offer the choice of light cyan and lightweight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers use a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically made up of six or eight channels. As an example, an eight-channel print head is usually put in place so there is certainly one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as 2 channels for white inks. In the matter of a printer using Lc and Lm, two of the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus can be a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed especially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is a choice you will have to make, but most users can easily do without the Lc and Lm, and only count on the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, naturally, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it is actually typically very thick which presents problems with clogging the print heads fairly quickly. To make up for this, most printers include some kind of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate simply the white and/or clear inks while some circulate (or agitate) every one of the ink colors. Regardless, anything in the experienced is usually to print something daily along with your printer when possible. These printers are made to be utilized often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers incorporate a feature referred to as a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, in accordance with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I actually have no personal experience with this feature, however it sounds like an incredible one.
Within the comparison chart, I have included the weight and size for each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go plus they are heavy. Many will not move through a single 36″ wide door and a few are really heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so know about this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he was quoted saying that you should realize that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. These are highly technical and require an operator who is able to take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is actually a disaster waiting to take place. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Several of these printers have a year or two warranty but after that, you will certainly be in the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink was already mentioned yet it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one kind of ink so it is essential that you realize the capabilities of that ink. Will it stretch? Can it stick with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Would it be fade resistant for exterior use? Which kind of color pallet can be obtained? Other businesses offer multiple inks that deal with each of these issues but, as mentioned, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you need to pick a single multipurpose ink for every single printer so you must decide exactly which kind of substrate you wish to print on before you set down your money. True, it is possible to switch inks if you have to, but this can be a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision at first.
Printing speed is additionally deserving of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly at the charts and comparing speed. Print speed might be measured in several ways, and many printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a fashion that makes them look the best (nothing wrong using that). The issue is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” because the numbers might vary wildly when you compare draft mode (720 x 720 dpi) with production mode (1440 x 1440 dpi or higher). Speed also varies when white is added as being a base or clear is added as an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one additional reason to go meet the printer personally before making a choice.
The throat of a printer, or maybe the height of your item it might accommodate but still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the retail price. Smaller the throat, the less the printer will probably cost so, once more, try to determine what you might print. If all you could intend to print is flat acrylic for example, you might get by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although take into account that would keep you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest of any printer for your is approximately 4″. However, investing in a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all might be a waste of capital. This is also true with substrate weight capacity. One printer in the chart can perform handling up to 220 lbs., but the majority are prepared for only some pounds. Needless to say, forcing a printer to do business with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will definitely shorten the lifespan of the t-shirt printer.
Lots of the features linked to UV flatbed printers are like sound systems in cars-it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or another, including the shade of the cabinet can be pure preference nevertheless they still play in the buying formula and therefore are, therefore, important.
One of the major applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and perhaps most critical of all the, is service and support. I have got mentioned previously these particular printers require some tender loving care. They could be somewhat finicky plus they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capability to get hold of someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something that can be positioned on a chart. It needs to be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t discover which companies or distributors give good service and those don’t. Consumers are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask your profits representative for that phone numbers of various of the customers who are willing to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, naturally, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for the UV experience to be a pleasant one.
Age of digital printing is here now and it is definitely upon us. Technology in this particular market is constantly develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this equipment. In the event you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, maybe you should. It could mean yet another step toward diversification. Even though you’re not ready to accept digital printing plunge, look it over. You never know? It can be a profitable a part of your future.