Probably the most popular attributes of latte printer recently has been the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing such things as water bottles. In my opinion that cylindrical devices are offered as an choice for every printer with enough throat to allow for one. This brings no less than two questions to the light: One, how user-friendly is the software for starting a cylindrical job and, two, will i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed generally UV inks, you will find a different story with plastic containers that could be squeezed. These need a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now provide an ink that stretches as much as 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens other applications, like 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 all the large number of inks available, a serious decision you should make is finding the right ink for the applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you happen to be just about bound to it for the duration. Ink changes are possible should you thoroughly clean the printer, but this is often time-consuming and is also 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 are powered by). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, even though many others use assemblies using their company inkjet manufacturers, like Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer might be competent at varying the dimensions of the ink dot from less than several picoliters to up to 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better capable to manipulate ink density, which results in sharper images and colours that smoothly vary from one shade to another one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer and its software.
All UV printers come with some kind of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is designed by the producer to get a specific printer and possesses various functions, such as translating images out of your computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. Although you may be unable to talk and understand RIPs in virtually any great detail, you will notice the results in the printed image, like vivid reds, bright white and the opportunity to smoothly transition from a single color to another one. When you are thinking buying a printer, it’s essential to check closely, compare results and get questions if you notice an issue that doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right on the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
So where will be the cash in UV printers? What kinds of products produce enough return to make them definitely worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or higher investment attached to these devices? It couldn’t often be the ability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is designed for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles may be personalized since they are printed, the true contribution of the UV printer is printing lots of products using the same imprint-everything we will call production.
One of several great things about UV digital printing is the opportunity to print detailed full-color images. Photo courtesy of Mimaki USA. The VersaUV LEF-20 flatbed printer is accessible from Roland DGA Corp. Marco Awards Group is distributing Direct Color Systems’ UV printers for printing on numerous types of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it may print 225,000 flash drives within a 40-hour period. That’s lots of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, many of us have no requirement to print countless flash drives per week, but that is why there are actually smaller machines. The trick is locating a printer that is just the right balance between whatever you can afford and what you could justify with demand.
There are tons of special features on these printers. Some are super important to many folks and never to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to only a few. Identifying which features are crucial for your needs and which can be not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and find a printer with every feature out there, it indicates an intelligent buyer will perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
Start by eliminating those printers that happen to be just solution of range price-wise and those that, first reason or any other, are unsuited for your personal applications. Then you can definitely move on to study the printers that have potential. It can be useful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are thinking about purchasing using a chart like the one accompanying this article. This means planing a trip to a couple of industry events or arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, slows the buying experience, but that is really a a valuable thing. Getting pumped up about buying a printer and making a decision too rapidly is a lot like new car fever-it will probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
This is some terminology you should know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, keep in mind that this article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, uv printer usually carries a fixed print head and the flat table holding the substrate moves beneath the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the possibility of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of a hybrid construction where the two table as well as the print heads move in one fashion or other.
UV printers in this particular industry are technically UV LED printers. They use a multitude of LED lamps to build UV light that almost instantly cures the ink exposed to it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and helps to create a 3D influence on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are set up using a few of these printers, and also textured effects, such as the dimples on the printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capability to print clear or white ink simultaneously as the CMYK colors, all within a pass, which can greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is an additional feature that provides increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most also employ white and clear. A number of also provide a choice of light cyan and lightweight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers use a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically consisting of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is often set up so there may be one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as two channels for white inks. When it comes to a printer using Lc and Lm, a couple of the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is really a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this can be a choice you will need to make, but the majority users can easily do with no Lc and Lm, and just rely on the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, obviously, the difficult color. Because white ink has to be opaque, it is typically very thick which presents complications with clogging the print heads pretty quickly. To compensate with this, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This really is important. Some printers circulate just the white and/or clear inks and some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, a word through the experienced is usually to print something daily along with your printer if you can. These printers are supposed to be employed often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature known 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, but it looks like a great one.
Inside the comparison chart, We have included the size and weight of every printer. These machines are huge as printers go and are generally heavy. A few will not move through a single 36″ wide door and a few are extremely heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced before installing the printer, so keep in mind this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he was quoted saying that it is very important understand that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They can be highly technical and require an operator who can handle their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it really is a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Several of these printers have a couple of years warranty but next, you will be on the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts which may be many.
Ink had been mentioned however it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is crucial that you realize the capabilities of that particular ink. Could it stretch? Does it stick to glass (despite an adhesion promotor)? Could it be fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet can be obtained? Others offer multiple inks that deal with each of these issues but, as i have said, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you should select a single multipurpose ink for every printer so you have to decide exactly what type of substrate you would like to print on before you lay out the money. True, you can switch inks if you wish to, but it is a costly and involved cleaning process so have the right decision in the beginning.
Printing speed is likewise worth note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly in the charts and comparing speed. Print speed can be measured in several ways, and most printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in ways that means they are look the very best (nothing wrong with that). The catch is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” since the numbers might vary wildly when comparing 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 being an overcoat. Other variables also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one other good reason to go satisfy the printer directly before making a decision.
The throat of the printer, or perhaps the height in the item it could accommodate yet still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the price. Smaller the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, again, try to determine which you are likely to print. If all you intend to print is flat acrylic as an example, you can find by by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although take into account that would keep you from ever printing on anything cylindrical considering that the smallest for any printer for this is about 4″. However, purchasing a printer that could handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all would be a waste of income. This is also true with substrate weight capacity. One printer within the chart is capable of handling as much as 220 lbs., but most are prepared for only some pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to use substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is certain to shorten the life in the t-shirt printer.
Most of the special features connected with UV flatbed printers are exactly like sound systems in cars-it basically is dependant on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or any other, including the hue of the cabinet may be pure preference however they still play to the buying formula and so are, therefore, important.
One of the leading applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, as well as perhaps most significant of all, is service and support. I have got mentioned above these particular printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capability to make contact with someone for help when things don’t go the direction they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be put on a chart. It should be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Consumers are usually very happy to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living up to its promises. Just ask your sales representative for that phone numbers of various in their customers who are able to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, obviously, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for the UV experience to become a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing has arrived and it is definitely upon us. Technology with this market consistently develop. It’s really incredible what you can do using this equipment. When you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, maybe you should. It might mean yet another step toward diversification. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, take a look. Who is familiar with? It may be a profitable part of your future.