One of the most popular options that come with latte art printer recently has become the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing things like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical tools are offered as an choice for every printer with sufficient throat to fit one. This brings at the very least two questions in the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for starting a cylindrical job and, two, should i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles could be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, you will discover a different story with plastic bottles that could be squeezed. These require a flexible ink, so some of the printer manufacturers now provide an ink that stretches around 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up other applications, like printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that could affect printing a magnetic material.
Together with the large number of inks available, a significant decision you need to make is determing the best ink for the applications. Inks can’t easily be changed so once an ink is selected you will be just about saddled with it to the duration. Ink changes are possible in the event you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and it is not recommended for job-to-job use.
Inks are often specific to the manufacturer, and are therefore paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light operate on). Some companies manufacture their particular print heads and rails, although others use assemblies using their company inkjet manufacturers, such as Ricoh and Epson. Dependant upon the print head, the printer can be competent at varying how big the ink dot from as low as a few picoliters to just as much as 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better in a position to manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colours that smoothly vary from one shade to another one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer along with its software.
All UV printers have some kind of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to operate a vehicle and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP application is designed by the maker for a specific printer and contains various functions, such as translating images from the computer into raster images for that printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you will notice the outcomes inside the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the ability to smoothly transition from one color to a different one. When you are thinking investing in a printer, it’s extremely important to look closely, compare results and get questions when you see a thing that doesn’t look right. Whether it doesn’t look right in the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
Where is definitely the money in UV printers? What kinds of products produce enough return to ensure they well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment mounted on these units? It couldn’t come to be the ability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is made for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles may be personalized since they are printed, the genuine contribution in the UV printer is printing lots of products with the same imprint-what we should will call production.
One of several benefits associated with 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 numerous types of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it might print 225,000 flash drives in a 40-hour period. That’s a lot of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most people have no requirement to print numerous flash drives per week, but this is why there are smaller machines. The secret is locating a printer that is the right balance between what you are able afford and what you are able justify with demand.
There are lots of special features on these printers. Some are super important to some users and not to others, while other options are absolutely vital to only a few. Identifying which features are essential to you and that are not is no easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and find a printer with every feature available, it means an intelligent buyer is going to perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can start by reducing those printers which are just way out of range price-wise and people who, for starters reason or any other, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can move on to study the printers which have potential. It can be beneficial to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are looking for purchasing using a chart much like the one accompanying this post. What this means is planing a trip to a couple of trade events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, obviously, decreases the buying experience, but that is really a positive thing. Getting pumped up about buying a printer and making a choice too rapidly is much like new car fever-it would probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
This is some terminology you have to know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, be aware that this article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a4 uv printer usually features a fixed print head as well as the flat table holding the substrate moves underneath the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the chance 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 relocate one fashion or other.
UV printers in this industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize a wide range of LED lamps to generate UV light that almost instantly cures the ink exposed to it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink may be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are produced using some of these printers, along with textured effects, like the dimples on a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink concurrently because the CMYK colors, all in just one pass, which can greatly boost the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing can be another feature that offers increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and now most likewise use white and clear. A few also provide the option for light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers have a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically comprising six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is generally create so there exists one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear and two channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, a couple of the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus can be 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 a majority of users can certainly do with no Lc and Lm, and only depend on the CMYK to generate a stunning image. White is, needless to say, the difficult color. Because white ink needs to be opaque, it is typically very thick which presents difficulties with clogging paper heads fairly quickly. To make up just for this, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This is very important. Some printers circulate merely the white and/or clear inks while some circulate (or agitate) all of the ink colors. Regardless, anything from your experienced would be to print something daily with your printer if you can. These printers are supposed to be employed often and long idle periods can bring about some painful lessons. Mimaki printers incorporate 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 have no personal experience with this feature, but it really seems like a fantastic one.
Inside the comparison chart, We have included the weight and size of each printer. These machines are huge as printers go plus they are heavy. Some will not pass through an individual 36″ wide door and some are incredibly heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced before installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he gives to newbies, he was quoted saying that it is essential to know that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They may be highly technical and require an operator who is able to take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is actually a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. A number of these printers have a couple of years warranty but next, you may be about the hook for print heads and other replacement parts which may be many.
Ink has already been mentioned however it is worth another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is essential that you are aware of the capabilities of that ink. Can it stretch? Will it adhere to glass (despite an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What sort of color pallet is offered? Other companies offer multiple inks that cope with each one of these issues but, as said before, you can’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you should select a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you have to decide exactly which kind of substrate you want to print on prior to lay down your money. True, you may switch inks if you need to, but this is a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision at first.
Printing speed is also worth note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly at the charts and comparing speed. Print speed can be measured in many ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in ways that makes them look the very best (nothing wrong with that). The issue is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” considering that 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 a base or clear is added for an overcoat. Other elements also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another great reason to go fulfill the printer directly before making a decision.
The throat of any printer, or maybe the height of the item it may accommodate and still print on, goes a long way in determining the cost. The lesser the throat, the less the printer will probably cost so, again, try to determine which you are likely to print. If the only thing you want to print is flat acrylic for example, you can receive by 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 the is all about 4″. On the other hand, investing in a printer that could handle 15″ substrates for no reason will be a waste of income. This is also true with substrate weight capacity. One printer in the chart can do handling as much as 220 lbs., but many are equipped for only some pounds. Naturally, forcing a printer to work alongside substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the life span from the textile printer.
Most of the special features associated with UV flatbed printers are exactly like 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 can be pure preference nonetheless 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 thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, as well as perhaps most important of all, is service and support. We have mentioned above these printers require some tender loving care. They can be somewhat finicky plus they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This simply means what you can do to contact someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be positioned on a chart. It must be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and those don’t. Consumers are usually more than happy to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask the sales representative to the telephone numbers of numerous with their customers who are prepared to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, of course, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for your personal UV experience to become a pleasant one.
Age of digital printing will be here and is also definitely upon us. Technology in this market consistently develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, perhaps you should. It could mean one more step toward diversification. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to accept the digital printing plunge, give it a look. Who is familiar with? It might be a profitable a part of your future.