One of the most popular attributes of coffee printer recently has become the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing items like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical products are offered being an selection for every printer with enough throat to fit one. This brings a minimum of two questions in the light: One, how user-friendly will be the software for setting up a cylindrical job and, two, will i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles could be successfully printed with most UV inks, you will find a different story with plastic bottles which can be squeezed. These need a flexible ink, so a few of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches as much as 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up other applications, such as printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and a few manufacturers have built their printers so you can find no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would hinder printing a magnetic material.
Together with the large number of inks available, a serious decision you must make is picking the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t easily be changed so once an ink is selected you will be just about stuck with it to the duration. Ink changes are possible in the event you thoroughly clean the printer, but this can be time-consuming and is also not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks are usually specific on the manufacturer, and tend to be paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light are powered by). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, while many others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, for example Ricoh and Epson. Dependant upon the print head, the printer might be capable of varying the size of the ink dot from as little as a few picoliters to just as much as 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better capable to manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colors that smoothly vary from one shade to a different. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer and its particular software.
All UV printers include some kind of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is designed by the manufacturer to get a specific printer and possesses various functions, such as translating images out of your computer into raster images for your printer and enhancing color consistency. However, you might be unable to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you can see the outcome in the printed image, including vivid reds, bright white and the opportunity to smoothly transition in one color to another one. When you are considering investing in a printer, it’s very important to look closely, compare results and get questions if you notice an issue that doesn’t look right. Whether it doesn’t look right on the demo, it won’t look right when you are getting it home!
So where may be the funds in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to ensure they are definitely worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or more investment connected to these products? It couldn’t come to be the capability to make one-up products as is the situation with sublimation. Clearly, UV is for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles could possibly be personalized since they are printed, the real contribution in the UV printer is printing plenty of products with the exact same imprint-what we will call production.
One of many advantages of UV digital printing is the opportunity to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to 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 items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it could print 225,000 flash drives inside a 40-hour period. That’s a lot of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most of us have no reason to print countless flash drives per week, but that is why you will find smaller machines. The bottom line is getting a printer that is the right balance between what you are able afford and whatever you can justify with demand.
You will find lots of features on these printers. Some are super important to quite a few users rather than to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to only some. Identifying which features are essential for you and which are not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and discover a printer with every feature on the market, this means an intelligent buyer is going to do a little serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
You can begin through the elimination of those printers that happen to be just way out of range price-wise and people who, for just one reason or other, are unsuited for your personal applications. Then you can definitely proceed to study the printers who have potential. It may be important to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are looking for purchasing by using a chart like the one accompanying this post. This implies traveling to a number of industry events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, decelerates the buying experience, but that is truly a positive thing. Getting interested in purchasing a printer and making a choice too rapidly is a lot like new car fever-it will probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you need to know before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, be aware that this informative article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a4 uv printer usually features a fixed print head along with 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 table along with the print heads move in one fashion or other.
UV printers in this particular industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize a wide range of LED lamps to produce UV light that quickly cures the ink exposed to it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink could be laid down and cured, which builds the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are produced using a number of these printers, along with textured effects, for example the dimples on a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink as well as being the CMYK colors, all in just one pass, which could greatly boost the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is another feature that provides 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-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers possess a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically comprising six or eight channels. For example, an eight-channel print head is usually put in place so there may be one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear and 2 channels for white inks. With regards to a printer using Lc and Lm, a pair of the eight channels could 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, this can be a choice you need to make, but most users can readily do minus the Lc and Lm, and only depend on the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, needless to say, the difficult color. Because white ink must be opaque, it is typically very thick which presents issues with clogging the print heads rapidly. To make up just for this, most printers include some kind of circulation (agitation) system. This is very important. Some printers circulate merely the white and clear inks while others circulate (or agitate) all of the ink colors. Regardless, anything through the experienced is usually to print something daily along with your printer if possible. These printers are designed to be used often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature referred to as a “nozzle recovery system” to observe nozzles and, according to the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. We have no personal exposure to this feature, but it looks like a fantastic one.
Inside the comparison chart, I have included the dimensions of each and every printer. These machines are huge as printers go and they are generally heavy. A few will not go through one particular 36″ wide door and several are incredibly heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced prior to installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he would give to newbies, he stated that it is important to recognize that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. These are highly technical and require an operator that can cope with their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it really is a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Most of these printers possess a couple of years warranty but following that, you will be about the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts which can be many.
Ink had been mentioned yet it is deserving of another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is crucial that you are aware of the capabilities of that particular ink. Will it stretch? Can it stick to glass (despite having an adhesion promotor)? Could it be fade resistant for exterior use? What sort of color pallet is accessible? Other companies offer multiple inks that deal with each of these issues but, as i have said, you can’t just swap inks anytime to.
Typically, you have to select a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you must decide exactly what sort of substrate you need to print on before you decide to lay down the bucks. True, you are able to switch inks if you want to, but it is a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision initially.
Printing speed is also worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed can be measured in many ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the rate numbers in a way that makes them look the ideal (no problem using that). The catch is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” ever since 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 being an overcoat. Other elements also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one other good reason to visit satisfy the printer personally before making a choice.
The throat of any printer, or even the height in the item it might accommodate and yet print on, goes a long way in determining the retail price. The smaller the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, yet again, try to determine what you are going to print. If all that you want to print is flat acrylic for instance, you can find by having a 2″ thick throat capacity, although take into account that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical because the smallest for any printer for that is around 4″. On the flip side, spending money on a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for no reason would have been a waste of capital. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of handling approximately 220 lbs., but many can handle just one or two pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to work with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the life of your textile printer.
Most of the bells and whistles related to 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 other, even hue of the cabinet may be pure preference nonetheless they still play to the buying formula and therefore are, therefore, important.
One of the main applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, as well as perhaps most significant of, is service and support. I actually have already mentioned these printers require some tender loving care. They are often somewhat finicky plus they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capability get in touch with someone for help when things don’t go the direction they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be positioned 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. People are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living up to its promises. Just ask your profits representative for your phone numbers of countless of their 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 personal UV experience to be a pleasant one.
Age digital printing is here and it is definitely upon us. Technology in this market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what you can do with this equipment. When you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your business, maybe you should. It could mean another step in the direction of diversification. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to accept digital printing plunge, look it over. Who knows? It can be a profitable component of your future.