One of the more popular attributes of latte printer recently is the creation of cylindrical devices for printing stuff like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical items are offered as being an selection for every printer with plenty of throat to allow for one. This brings no less than two questions into the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for starting a cylindrical job and, two, do I need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed with many UV inks, there exists a different story with plastic containers that can be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so a number of the printer manufacturers now present an ink that stretches around 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up other applications, including printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would hinder printing a magnetic material.
With all the plethora of inks available, a major decision you have to make is choosing the best ink for the applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you happen to be pretty much tied to it for your duration. Ink changes are possible if you thoroughly clean the printer, but this is often time-consuming and is not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks tend to be specific for the manufacturer, and are therefore the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run using). Some companies manufacture their own print heads and rails, although many others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, such as Ricoh and Epson. Based on the print head, the printer might be competent at varying how big the ink dot from as little as a number of 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 change from one shade to another one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer and its particular software.
All UV printers include some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to get and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP application is created by the manufacturer to get a specific printer and has various functions, for example translating images from the computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. Although you may not be able to talk and understand RIPs in any great detail, you will notice the outcomes in the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the cabability to smoothly transition from a color to another one. When you are thinking investing in a printer, it’s extremely important to check closely, compare results and ask questions if you notice an issue that doesn’t look right. If this doesn’t look right on the demo, it won’t look right when you are getting it home!
So how is the money in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return so they are well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or more investment mounted on these units? It couldn’t often be the cabability 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 actual contribution of the UV printer is printing a lot of products with similar imprint-whatever we will call production.
Among the great things about UV digital printing is the ability 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 a multitude of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it might print 225,000 flash drives in the 40-hour period. That’s a lot of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, many of us have no requirement to print numerous flash drives per week, but for this reason there are actually smaller machines. The key is choosing a printer that is the right balance between what you are able afford and what 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 not to others, while other available choices are absolutely vital to just a few. Figuring out which features are essential for your needs and that happen to be not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and look for a printer with every feature around, it means a smart buyer will almost certainly do some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can begin by reducing those printers that happen to be just way out of range price-wise and those that, first reason or any other, are unsuited for your applications. Then you can certainly start working on study the printers which have potential. It may be important to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing using a chart much like the one accompanying this informative article. What this means is traveling to a couple of trade shows and arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, slows down the buying experience, but that is in reality a positive thing. Getting excited about buying a printer and making a decision too quickly is similar to new car fever-it is going to probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you have to know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, be aware that this post focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a4 uv printer usually carries a fixed print head along with the flat table holding the substrate moves within the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the possibility of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of the hybrid construction where the two table and the print heads relocate one fashion or some other.
UV printers in this industry are technically UV LED printers. They prefer a wide range of LED lamps to generate UV light that almost instantly cures the ink in contact with it. This is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and helps to create a 3D effect on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using a few of these printers, in addition to textured effects, for example the dimples over a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers are able to print clear or white ink simultaneously since the CMYK colors, all within a pass, which can greatly boost the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing can be another feature that provides increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and now most also have white and clear. Several also provide a choice of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers have a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically consisting of six or eight channels. As an illustration, an eight-channel print head is usually create so there may be 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, 2 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 specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, it is a choice you need to make, but most users can simply do without the Lc and Lm, and merely rely on the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, obviously, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it is actually typically very thick which presents issues with clogging paper heads fairly quickly. To compensate just for this, most printers include some sort of circulation (agitation) system. This is important. Some printers circulate simply the white and clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, anything in the experienced is always to print something daily together with your printer when possible. These printers are created to be used often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers incorporate a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, based on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no personal experience with this feature, but it seems like an excellent one.
Within the comparison chart, I have included the size and weight of each and every printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are generally heavy. Some will not go through just one 36″ wide door and a few are really heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced before installing the printer, so be familiar with this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he gives to newbies, he explained that it is very important realize that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They may be highly technical and require an operator that can deal with their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Most of these printers possess a year or two warranty but afterward, you may be in the hook for print heads and other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink was already mentioned yet 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. Does it stretch? Could it stay with glass (even with an adhesion promotor)? Will it be fade resistant for exterior use? Which kind of color pallet is available? Other manufacturers offer multiple inks that handle each one of these issues but, as stated, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you must choose a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you have to decide exactly which kind of substrate you would like to print on prior to deciding to lay down the cash. True, you are able to switch inks if you want 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 often, and many printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a way that ensures they are look the most effective (nothing wrong using that). 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 like a base or clear is added as being an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one additional reason to look fulfill the printer in person before making a decision.
The throat of a printer, or even the height from the item it could accommodate but still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the price. The lesser the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, once again, try to find out what you might print. If all that you want to print is flat acrylic for instance, you can receive by having a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical ever since the smallest associated with a printer for the is approximately 4″. Alternatively, investing in a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all would be a waste of income. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of handling up to 220 lbs., but the majority are equipped for just a few pounds. Naturally, forcing a printer to do business with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is certain to shorten the lifespan in the garment printer.
Most of the special features linked to UV flatbed printers are like sound systems in cars-it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or some other, including the color of the cabinet may be pure preference however 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, and perhaps most essential of all, is service and support. I have already mentioned these particular printers require some tender loving care. They could be somewhat finicky plus they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capability to contact someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something which can be positioned on a chart. It needs to be learned the difficult way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and those don’t. Customers 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 for that phone numbers of several in 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 your personal UV experience as a pleasant one.
Age digital printing has arrived and it is definitely upon us. Technology in this particular market is constantly develop. It’s really incredible what you can do using this equipment. In the event you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, maybe you should. It might mean one more step in the direction of diversification. Even if you’re not ready to accept digital printing plunge, take a look. You never know? It could be a profitable element of your future.