Just about the most popular features of coffee printer recently has been the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing such things as water bottles. I really believe that cylindrical products are offered for an selection for every printer with enough throat to accommodate one. This brings no less than two questions in the light: One, how user-friendly will be the software for generating a cylindrical job and, two, do I need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles might be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, you will find a different story with plastic containers which can be squeezed. These require a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now present an ink that stretches up to 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 there are no paramagnetic (steel) parts that might interfere with printing a magnetic material.
Together with the great number of inks available, a significant decision you must make is determing the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t easily be changed so once an ink is selected you will be pretty much tied to it to the duration. Ink changes are possible when you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and is also not suggested for job-to-job use.
Inks are generally specific to the manufacturer, and tend to be the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run using). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, even though many others use assemblies using their company inkjet manufacturers, including Ricoh and Epson. Based on the print head, the printer could be effective at varying the actual size of the ink dot from as low as several picoliters to 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 change from one shade to a different. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer along with its software.
All UV printers come with some sort of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software package is designed by the maker for a specific printer and it has various functions, including translating images from your computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in every great detail, you can see the outcomes within the printed image, like vivid reds, bright white and the capability to smoothly transition from one color to a different. When you are thinking getting a printer, it’s essential to look closely, compare results and get questions when you see something which doesn’t look right. If this doesn’t look right on the demo, it won’t look right when investing in it home!
So how is definitely the profit UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to ensure they well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or maybe more investment connected to these products? It couldn’t come to be the ability to make one-up products as is the situation with sublimation. Clearly, UV is made for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles may be personalized as they are printed, the true contribution of the UV printer is printing lots of products with the same imprint-what we should will call production.
One of many great things about UV digital printing is the capability 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 types 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, most of us have no need to print so many flash drives in a week, but for this reason there are actually smaller machines. The bottom line is getting a printer that is simply the right balance between what you could afford and what you can justify with demand.
You will find lots of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super vital that you some users instead of to others, while other available choices are absolutely vital to only a few. Identifying which features are very important for you and which are not is no easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and find a printer with every feature available, it means a wise buyer will probably perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can start by eliminating those printers which can be just way out of range price-wise and people who, for starters reason or other, are unsuited for your applications. Then you can proceed to study the printers that have potential. It may be beneficial to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are interested in purchasing utilizing a chart such as the one accompanying this post. This implies traveling to a few industry events or arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, decreases the buying experience, but that is truly a great thing. Getting enthusiastic about investing in a printer and making a decision too rapidly is much like new car fever-it will probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
This is some terminology you need to understand before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, keep in mind that this post focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Within the truest form, a4 uv printer usually carries a fixed print head and also 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 a hybrid construction where both table and the print heads relocate one fashion or some other.
UV printers with this industry are technically UV LED printers. They use a wide range of LED lamps to create UV light that right away cures the ink subjected to it. This is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which grows the ink and produces a 3D influence on the substrate. This relief printing is just how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are made using some of these printers, along with textured effects, like the dimples on a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capability to print clear or white ink as well as the CMYK colors, all in one pass, which may greatly increase the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is another feature which gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and now most also employ white and clear. A few also provide the option of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers use a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically consisting of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is generally setup so there is one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as 2 channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, 2 of the eight channels would be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white or 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, it is a choice you will have to make, but a majority of users can simply do without the Lc and Lm, and only depend upon the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, naturally, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents complications with clogging the print heads pretty quickly. To compensate for this particular, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This really is important. Some printers circulate merely the white and clear inks while others circulate (or agitate) every one of the ink colors. Regardless, a word in the experienced is to print something daily along with your printer if you can. These printers are designed to be applied often and long idle periods can bring about some painful lessons. Mimaki printers add a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to keep track of nozzles and, based on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I actually have no personal exposure to this feature, but it seems like a fantastic one.
In the comparison chart, We have included the weight and size for each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are generally heavy. Some will not pass through an individual 36″ wide door and several are really heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced prior to installing the printer, so know about this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he gives to newbies, he was quoted saying that you should 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 who can take care of 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. Several of these printers possess a couple of years warranty but following that, you will be in the hook for print heads along with other replacement parts which may be many.
Ink was already mentioned however it is worth another note. Some companies offer only one kind of ink so it is essential that you recognize the capabilities of the ink. Can it stretch? Can it stay with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is accessible? Others offer multiple inks that take care of each of these issues but, as i have said, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you must choose a single multipurpose ink for every printer so you have to decide exactly what kind of substrate you wish to print on before you lie down your money. True, it is possible to switch inks if you have to, but this can be a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision initially.
Printing speed is likewise deserving of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly with the charts and comparing speed. Print speed may be measured in several ways, and most printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in ways that makes them look the best (nothing wrong with the). The thing 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 a base or clear is added as being an overcoat. Other variables also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another good reason to go satisfy the printer in person before making a choice.
The throat of the printer, or even the height in the item it might accommodate and still print on, goes a long way in determining the retail price. The lesser the throat, the less the printer will probably cost so, once more, try to determine which you are going to print. If all that you want to print is flat acrylic as an illustration, you can find by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical because the smallest associated with a printer for that is all about 4″. Alternatively, paying for a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for absolutely no reason will be a waste of income. This is also true with substrate weight capacity. One printer within the chart can perform handling as much as 220 lbs., but a majority of can handle just a few pounds. Needless to say, forcing a printer to do business with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will certainly shorten the lifespan of your textile printer.
Many of the special features related to UV flatbed printers are similar to sound systems in cars-it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or another, even hue of the cabinet might be pure preference nevertheless they still play to the buying formula and they are, therefore, important.
One of the major applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and possibly most essential of all, is service and support. I have got already mentioned that these particular printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your ability to contact someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be added to a chart. It should be learned the difficult way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out which companies or distributors give good service and those don’t. Clients are usually more than happy to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living up to its promises. Just ask your sales representative for the phone numbers of countless in their customers who are able 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 be a pleasant one.
Age digital printing has arrived and is definitely upon us. Technology within this market is constantly develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this type of equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your personal business, maybe you should. It could mean yet another step in the direction of diversification. Even if you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, look it over. Who is familiar with? It could be a profitable part of your future.