One of the more popular features of coffee printer recently is the development of cylindrical devices for printing such things as water bottles. I think that cylindrical items are offered being an option for every printer with plenty of throat to accommodate one. This brings a minimum of two questions in the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for starting a cylindrical job and, two, do you need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles can be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, there is a different story with plastic bottles that could be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches as much as 200 percent.
The flexible ink option reveals other applications, like printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so you can find no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would affect printing a magnetic material.
Using the large number of inks available, an important decision you must make is choosing the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t be easily changed so once an ink is selected you might be basically stuck with it for that duration. Ink changes are possible should you thoroughly clean the printer, but this can be time-consuming and is also not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks are often specific for the manufacturer, and so are paper 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, such as Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer could be competent at varying the actual size of the ink dot from as little as a number of picoliters to around 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better in a position to manipulate ink density, which results in sharper images and colors that smoothly change from one shade to another. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer as well as its software.
All UV printers have some form of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to operate a vehicle and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is designed by the company to get a specific printer and possesses various functions, including translating images from your computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. While you might not be able to talk and understand RIPs in virtually any great detail, you can observe the outcome in the printed image, including 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 extremely important to look closely, compare results and inquire questions when you notice something which doesn’t look right. Whether it doesn’t look right at the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
Where is the profit UV printers? What sorts of products produce enough return so they are definitely worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment connected to these units? It couldn’t come to be the opportunity 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 could possibly be personalized since they are printed, the actual contribution in the UV printer is printing plenty of products with the same imprint-what we should will call production.
One of several benefits associated with UV digital printing is the cabability to print detailed full-color images. Photo courtesy of Mimaki USA. The VersaUV LEF-20 flatbed printer can be obtained 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 may print 225,000 flash drives inside a 40-hour period. That’s plenty of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, many of us have no requirement to print a lot of flash drives in one week, but this is why you will find smaller machines. The secret is finding a printer that is the right balance between whatever you can afford and whatever you can justify with demand.
There are tons of special features on these printers. Some are super crucial that you quite a few users and never to others, while other available choices are absolutely vital to only a few. Determining which features are crucial for you and which can be not is not any easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and discover a printer with every feature around, it indicates an intelligent buyer will do a little serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
Start by reducing those printers which are just way out of range price-wise and people who, for starters reason or some other, are unsuited for your personal applications. Then you can certainly proceed to study the printers who have potential. It could be helpful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are looking for purchasing using a chart much like the one accompanying this article. What this means is visiting a couple of industry events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, of course, slows the buying experience, but that is really a good thing. Getting pumped up about purchasing a printer and making a decision too rapidly is similar to new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
The following is some terminology you need to know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, note that this informative article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Within the truest form, a4 uv printer usually carries a fixed print head as well as the flat table holding the substrate moves beneath the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the chance of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where the two table and the print heads move in one fashion or other.
UV printers within this industry are technically UV LED printers. They normally use an array of LED lamps to create UV light that almost instantly cures the ink exposed to it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which builds the ink and produces a 3D influence on the substrate. This relief printing is when ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are set up using some of these printers, and also textured effects, like the dimples over a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the ability to print clear or white ink concurrently as the CMYK colors, all in one pass, which may greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing can be another feature that provides increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most likewise use white and clear. A couple of also provide the choice of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers have got a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically made up of six or eight channels. For example, an eight-channel print head is often set up so there may be one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear and two channels for white inks. With regards to a printer using Lc and Lm, a couple of the eight channels could be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, it is a choice you need to make, but the majority users can certainly do without the Lc and Lm, and only depend upon the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, obviously, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it is typically very thick which presents difficulties with clogging paper heads rapidly. To compensate with this, most printers include some kind of circulation (agitation) system. This really is important. Some printers circulate only the white or clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) all the ink colors. Regardless, a word from the experienced is usually to print something daily along with your printer if you can. These printers are created 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 monitor nozzles and, in line with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no personal knowledge about this feature, nevertheless it sounds like an excellent one.
In the comparison chart, I have got included the weight and size for each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are heavy. Some will not pass through just one 36″ wide door and several are so heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so be familiar with this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he said that it is essential to understand that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. These are highly technical and require an operator who is able to 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. Most of these printers have a year or two warranty but next, you may be around the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts that may be many.
Ink has already been mentioned but it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is important that you realize the capabilities of that ink. Can it stretch? Can it stick to glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Would it be fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is available? Other companies offer multiple inks that take care of every one of these issues but, as mentioned, you can’t just swap inks anytime to.
Typically, you have to pick a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you need to decide exactly what kind of substrate you would like to print on before you decide to lie down your money. True, it is possible to switch inks if you have to, but this really 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 could be measured in many ways, and the majority of printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in a way that means they are look the most effective (nothing wrong with the). The catch 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 like a base or clear is added as being an overcoat. Other elements also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another good reason to look satisfy the printer in person before making a decision.
The throat of your printer, or perhaps the height from the item it may accommodate but still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the price. Small the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, once again, try to determine which you might print. If all you could intend to print is flat acrylic for instance, you can find by with a 2″ thick throat capacity, although remember that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical ever since the smallest for any printer for that is around 4″. However, spending money on a printer that could handle 15″ substrates for no reason would have been a waste of money. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer in the chart can perform handling around 220 lbs., but most are designed for just a few pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to work alongside substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will definitely shorten the life from the textile printer.
Many of the bells and whistles related to UV flatbed printers are similar to sound systems in cars-it basically comes down to personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or other, the shade of the cabinet may be pure preference nonetheless they still play into the buying formula and are, therefore, important.
One of the leading applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and possibly most essential of most, is service and support. I actually have mentioned above these printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they also definitely require ongoing maintenance. What this means is what you can do to contact 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 needs to be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out which companies or distributors give good service and which of them don’t. People are usually more than happy to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living up to its promises. Just ask the sales representative to the cell phone numbers of several with 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 your UV experience to be a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing has arrived and is definitely upon us. Technology in this particular market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what to do with this equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your business, maybe you should. It could mean another step in the direction of diversification. Even though you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, check it out. That knows? It may be a profitable part of your future.