One of the more popular highlights of latte art printer recently continues to be the development of cylindrical devices for printing things like water bottles. I really believe that cylindrical tools are offered as an option for every printer with plenty of throat to fit one. This brings no less than two questions in to the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for generating a cylindrical job and, two, do I need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles could be successfully printed with most UV inks, you will discover a different story with plastic containers which can be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so a number of the printer manufacturers now provide an ink that stretches up to 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up other applications, including printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility plus some manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that might obstruct printing a magnetic material.
Together with the plethora of inks available, a major decision you need to make is determing the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t easily be changed so once an ink is selected you are pretty much bound to it to the duration. Ink changes are possible if you thoroughly clean the printer, but this can be time-consuming which is not recommended for job-to-job use.
Inks are generally specific to the manufacturer, and so are the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run using). Some companies manufacture their particular print heads and rails, although many others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, such as Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer could be effective 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 able to manipulate ink density, which results in sharper images and colors that smoothly vary from one shade to another. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer along with its software.
All UV printers include some sort of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to get and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is produced by the producer for a specific printer and possesses various functions, for example translating images from your computer into raster images for the printer and enhancing color consistency. Although you may struggle to talk and understand RIPs in every great detail, you can observe the results from the printed image, including vivid reds, bright white and the cabability to smoothly transition from a single color to another. When you are considering investing in a printer, it’s very important to appear closely, compare results and request questions once you see a thing that doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right at the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
Where will be the funds in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return so they are worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or maybe more investment connected to these devices? It couldn’t come to be the opportunity to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is perfect for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles could be personalized because they are printed, the genuine contribution of your UV printer is printing lots of products with the exact same imprint-everything we will call production.
One of the great things about UV digital printing is the ability to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to 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 numerous items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it can print 225,000 flash drives in a 40-hour period. That’s plenty of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, many of us have no reason to print numerous flash drives in a week, but that is why there are actually smaller machines. The secret is locating a printer that is simply the right balance between what you could afford and what you are able justify with demand.
You will find loads of special features on these printers. Some are super crucial that you many folks instead of to others, while other choices are absolutely vital to only some. Finding out which features are very important for you and which can be not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and locate a printer with every feature out there, it implies a wise buyer will do a little serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
Start through the elimination of those printers that are just solution of range price-wise and people who, for one reason or another, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can certainly start working on study the printers that have potential. It might be useful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing employing a chart such as the one accompanying this short article. What this means is traveling to a number of industry events or arranging on-site demos. This, needless to say, decelerates the buying experience, but that is actually a a valuable thing. Getting enthusiastic about buying a printer and making a decision too quickly is much like new car fever-it will probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
This is some terminology you should know before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, be aware that this short article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Within the truest form, small uv printer usually has a fixed print head and also the flat table holding the substrate moves within the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the potential of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of any hybrid construction where both table as well as the print heads relocate one fashion or other.
UV printers with this industry are technically UV LED printers. They prefer a wide range of LED lamps to build UV light that quickly cures the ink subjected to it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and produces a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are produced using a number of these printers, along with textured effects, for example the dimples over a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the ability to print clear or white ink at the same time as the CMYK colors, all in one pass, which could greatly increase 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 likewise use white and clear. A couple of offer the choice of light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers use a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically composed of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is usually create so there is certainly one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear and 2 channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, a pair of the eight channels can be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is actually a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed particularly for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, it is a choice you will need to make, but most users can certainly do with no Lc and Lm, and simply depend upon the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, of course, the difficult color. Because white ink must be opaque, it is actually typically very thick which presents problems with clogging the print heads fairly quickly. To compensate for this particular, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This is important. Some printers circulate simply the white and/or clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, anything from your experienced is always to print something daily along with your printer if possible. These printers are created to be utilized often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to check nozzles and, in line with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I actually have no personal knowledge about this feature, however it looks like a great one.
Within the comparison chart, I have got included the dimensions for each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and are generally heavy. Some will not go through a single 36″ wide door and several are extremely heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he would give to newbies, he said that you should know that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They are highly technical and require an operator who can take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is actually a disaster waiting to take place. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Most of these printers have a year or two warranty but following that, you will end up in the hook for print heads and other replacement parts which may be many.
Ink had been mentioned yet it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one sort of ink so it is essential that you realize the capabilities of this ink. Does it stretch? Does it stay with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Would it be fade resistant for exterior use? What sort of color pallet is accessible? Others offer multiple inks that handle all these issues but, as said before, you can’t just swap inks anytime to.
Typically, you need to select a single multipurpose ink for every printer so you need to decide exactly what kind of substrate you need to print on before you decide to lay down your money. True, you may switch inks if you need to, but this can be a costly and involved cleaning process so create the right decision in the beginning.
Printing speed is additionally worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed can be measured in several ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in a way that means they are look the ideal (no problem with this). The thing 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 being a base or clear is added for an overcoat. Other elements also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one other good reason to visit fulfill the printer personally before making a choice.
The throat of your printer, or even the height of your item it could accommodate but still print on, goes a long way in determining the price. Small the throat, the minus the printer is likely to cost so, yet again, try to find out what you might print. If all you want to print is flat acrylic for instance, you can receive by having a 2″ thick throat capacity, although understand that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest of any printer for this is approximately 4″. On the other hand, spending money on a printer that can handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all would have been a waste of income. This is also true with substrate weight capacity. One printer within the chart can perform handling as much as 220 lbs., but most are designed for just a few pounds. Obviously, forcing a printer to work alongside substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the life span of the garment printer.
Many of the features associated with UV flatbed printers are similar to sound systems in cars-it basically is dependant on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or another, even the color of the cabinet may be pure preference but they still play in to the buying formula and are, therefore, important.
One of the main applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and maybe most critical of most, is service and support. I have mentioned previously these printers require some tender loving care. They could be somewhat finicky plus they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This implies your skill to contact someone for help when things don’t go the way they should is imperative! This isn’t something that can be positioned on a chart. It has to be learned the tough way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t discover which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Customers are usually very happy to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living as much as its promises. Just ask the sales representative for the cell phone numbers of numerous of the customers who are likely to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, naturally, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for your UV experience to become a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing is here and is definitely upon us. Technology within this market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this type of equipment. When you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your business, maybe you should. It could possibly mean one more step in the direction of diversification. Even when you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, give it a look. Who is familiar with? It can be a profitable element of your future.