Just about the most popular attributes of latte printer recently is the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing stuff like water bottles. I think that cylindrical tools are offered for an selection for every printer with plenty of throat to accommodate one. This brings a minimum of two questions in to the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for generating a cylindrical job and, two, should i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles can 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 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, for example printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and several manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that could hinder printing a magnetic material.
With all the multitude of inks available, a significant decision you must make is picking the best ink to your applications. Inks can’t be changed so once an ink is selected you happen to be virtually tied to it for that duration. Ink changes are possible when you thoroughly clean the printer, but this may be time-consuming and is also not suggested for job-to-job use.
Inks are generally specific for the manufacturer, and tend to be paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light operate on). Some companies manufacture their particular print heads and rails, even though many others use assemblies using their company inkjet manufacturers, for example 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 up to 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 within the printer and its particular software.
All UV printers have some sort of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to operate and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software program is designed by the maker for the specific printer and it has various functions, for example translating images from the computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you can see the outcomes in the printed image, for example vivid reds, bright white and the ability to smoothly transition from a color to a different. When you are thinking purchasing a printer, it’s extremely important to appear closely, compare results and get questions when you notice a thing that doesn’t look right. When it doesn’t look right with the demo, it won’t look right when you are getting it home!
So where is definitely the money in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to make them really worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even 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 made for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles could be personalized since they are printed, the genuine contribution of your UV printer is printing lots of products using 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 can be obtained 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 might print 225,000 flash drives in the 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 in one week, but for this reason there are actually smaller machines. The key is locating a printer that is just the right balance between what you could afford and what you are able justify with demand.
You will find lots of features on these printers. Some are super essential to some users and never to others, while other choices are absolutely vital to only a few. Finding out which features are essential for your needs and that happen to be not is no easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and look for a printer with every feature on the market, it means a smart buyer will almost certainly do a little serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
Start by reducing those printers which are just solution of range price-wise and those that, for just one reason or some other, are unsuited for the 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 thinking about purchasing using a chart like the one accompanying this post. This means going to a number of industry events and arranging on-site demos. This, obviously, decelerates the buying experience, but that is really a good thing. Getting interested in getting a printer and making a choice too rapidly is a lot like new car fever-it is going to probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Is some terminology you need to understand before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, note that this article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Inside the truest form, small uv printer usually features a fixed print head and also the flat table holding the substrate moves beneath 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 the table along with the print heads move around in one fashion or another.
UV printers within this industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize a wide range of LED lamps to create UV light that quickly cures the ink in contact with it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink could be laid down and cured, which builds up the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is when ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are made using some of these printers, in addition to textured effects, for example the dimples with a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capability to print clear or white ink as well because the CMYK colors, all in just one pass, which could greatly enhance 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 also employ white and clear. Several also offer 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 composed of six or eight channels. For example, an eight-channel print head is normally set up so there is 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 pair of the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed especially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is a choice you will have to make, but many users can easily do without the Lc and Lm, and only count on the CMYK to generate a stunning image. White is, naturally, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it really is typically very thick which presents problems with clogging the print heads pretty quickly. To make up just for this, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This is important. Some printers circulate just the white and clear inks while others circulate (or agitate) all of the ink colors. Regardless, a word from the experienced is always to print something daily with the printer when possible. These printers are designed to be employed often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, according to the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have got no personal knowledge about this feature, but it looks like an incredible one.
From the comparison chart, I actually have included the size and weight of every printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and are generally heavy. Some will not move through one particular 36″ wide door and a few are so heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced just before installing the printer, so know about this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he was quoted saying that it is important to realize that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. These are highly technical and require an operator who are able to deal with their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate this is a disaster waiting to take place. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. A number of these printers have got a year or so warranty but afterward, you may be in the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts that 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 important that you realize the capabilities of this ink. Can it stretch? Will it stay with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Will it be fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is available? Other companies offer multiple inks that cope with every one of these issues but, as stated, you can’t just swap inks anytime to.
Typically, you need to decide on a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you need to decide exactly what kind of substrate you wish to print on prior to lay out the bucks. True, you are able to switch inks if you want to, but this can be a costly and involved cleaning process so create the right decision at first.
Printing speed is also deserving of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly with the charts and comparing speed. Print speed may be measured in many ways, and most printer manufacturers publish the rate numbers in a manner that makes them look the best (nothing wrong with this). The issue is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” ever 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 being an overcoat. Additional factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another great reason to visit fulfill the printer in person before making a decision.
The throat of the printer, or the height of your item it might accommodate yet still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the cost. Small the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, again, try to determine what you might print. If all you want to print is flat acrylic for example, you might get by by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although understand that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest for any printer for this is around 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 cash. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of doing handling approximately 220 lbs., but most are equipped for just one or two pounds. Obviously, forcing a printer to do business with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will certainly shorten the life in the t-shirt printer.
Most of the bells and whistles 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 some other, the color of the cabinet might be pure preference nonetheless they still play in the buying formula and are, therefore, important.
One of the main applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and maybe most critical of, is service and support. We have already mentioned that these printers require some tender loving care. They could be somewhat finicky and they also definitely require ongoing maintenance. This implies your skill get in touch with someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something that can be placed on a chart. It must be learned the difficult way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Clients are usually delighted to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living around its promises. Just ask your sales representative for that phone numbers of various with their customers who are willing 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 pleasant one.
Age of digital printing is here now and is definitely upon us. Technology in this market consistently develop. It’s really incredible what you can do using this type of equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your personal business, maybe you should. It may mean yet another step toward diversification. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, check it out. That knows? It could be a profitable element of your future.