One of the most popular attributes of latte printer recently is the creation of cylindrical devices for printing stuff like water bottles. I really believe that cylindrical tools are offered for an option for every printer with plenty of throat to support one. This brings at least two questions in to the light: One, how user-friendly will be the software for establishing a cylindrical job and, two, do you need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles might be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, you will discover a different story with plastic bottles that can be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now present an ink that stretches as much as 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens other applications, like printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so there are no paramagnetic (steel) parts that will hinder printing a magnetic material.
With the plethora of inks available, a significant decision you must make is choosing the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t be changed so once an ink is selected you are basically saddled with it for that duration. Ink changes are possible in the event you thoroughly clean the printer, but this may be time-consuming and is 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 operate on). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, although others use assemblies from other inkjet manufacturers, including Ricoh and Epson. Depending on the print head, the printer can be effective at varying the dimensions of the ink dot from as little as a few picoliters to up to 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better able to manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colors that smoothly differ from one shade to another. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer as well as 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 developed by the company for a specific printer and possesses various functions, like translating images from your computer into raster images for your printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might be unable to talk and understand RIPs in any great detail, you will see the final results from the printed image, including vivid reds, bright white and the opportunity to smoothly transition from a color to a different one. When you are considering purchasing a printer, it’s essential to check closely, compare results and request questions when you notice a thing that doesn’t look right. Whether it doesn’t look right at the demo, it won’t look right once you get it home!
So where will be the cash in UV printers? What sorts of products produce enough return so they are well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or more investment connected to these products? It couldn’t possibly be the capability 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 may be personalized as they are printed, the genuine contribution from the UV printer is printing a lot of products with the exact same imprint-what we should will call production.
One of the primary advantages of UV digital printing is the capability to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to 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 could print 225,000 flash drives in a 40-hour period. That’s a great deal of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most people have no need to print numerous flash drives in one week, but that is why there are actually smaller machines. The trick is finding a printer that is simply the right balance between what you are able afford and what you could justify with demand.
There are tons of special features on these printers. Some are super crucial that you some users and never to others, while other options are absolutely vital to just one or two. Identifying which features are crucial for you and which are not is not any easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and find a printer with every feature around, this means an intelligent buyer will carry out some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can begin by reducing those printers that are just solution of range price-wise and those that, for one reason or some other, are unsuited for the applications. Then you can certainly move on to study the printers who have potential. It could be helpful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are thinking about purchasing employing a chart just like the one accompanying this post. This implies going to a few trade shows and arranging on-site demos. This, obviously, slows down the buying experience, but that is actually a good thing. Getting pumped up about buying a printer and making a choice too quickly is similar to new car fever-it would probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
The following is some terminology you need to understand before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, remember that this informative article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Within the truest form, a4 uv printer usually includes 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 possibility of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where the two table and also the print heads move around in one fashion or any other.
UV printers within this industry are technically UV LED printers. They use an array of LED lamps to produce UV light that very quickly cures the ink exposed to it. This is certainly highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink may be laid down and cured, which builds up the ink and creates a 3D effect on the substrate. This relief printing is just how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are produced using a few of these printers, as well as textured effects, including the dimples with a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink at the same time as being the CMYK colors, all in just one pass, which may greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is yet another feature which gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and today most also use white and clear. Several 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 made up of six or eight channels. As an example, an eight-channel print head is generally put in place so there exists one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as two channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, 2 of the eight channels can 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 thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, it is a choice you will need to make, but a majority of users can readily do with no Lc and Lm, and merely count on the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, naturally, the difficult color. Because white ink needs to be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents issues with clogging the print heads rapidly. To make up just for this, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This is important. Some printers circulate merely the white and/or clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, anything through the experienced is usually to print something daily with your printer if at all possible. These printers are created to be used often and long idle periods can bring about some painful lessons. Mimaki printers include a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to observe nozzles and, in line with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I actually have no personal knowledge of this feature, nevertheless it seems like a fantastic one.
Within the comparison chart, We have included the dimensions of each and every printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are generally heavy. Many will not go through an individual 36″ wide door and several are so heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so keep in mind this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he stated that it is very important recognize that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They are highly technical and require an operator who is able to cope with their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everybody operate it is actually a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. A number of these printers possess a couple of years warranty but next, you will be on the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts that may be many.
Ink had been mentioned however it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is vital that you understand the capabilities of that ink. Will it stretch? Does it stick with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Could it be fade resistant for exterior use? What type of color pallet is accessible? Other companies offer multiple inks that handle every one of these issues but, as said before, you can’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you must decide on a single multipurpose ink for every single printer so you need to decide exactly what kind of substrate you would like to print on prior to lie down the bucks. True, you may switch inks if you want to, but this can be a costly and involved cleaning process so have the right decision at the beginning.
Printing speed is additionally worth note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed might be measured often, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in a fashion that means they are look the best (nothing wrong with 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 being a base or clear is added for an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one additional reason to travel satisfy the printer directly before making a decision.
The throat of a printer, or even the height in the item it can accommodate but still print on, goes a long way in determining the retail price. Smaller the throat, the minus the printer is probably going to cost so, once again, try to determine which you will print. If all you could intend to print is flat acrylic for instance, you may get by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical ever since the smallest associated with a printer for your is about 4″. On the flip side, investing in a printer that can handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all would have been a waste of capital. This is also true with substrate weight capacity. One printer included in the chart is capable of doing handling up to 220 lbs., but many are equipped for only a few pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to work alongside substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the lifespan in the textile printer.
Lots of the bells and whistles related to 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, even shade of the cabinet may be pure preference however they still play in to the buying formula and they are, therefore, important.
One of the leading applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and maybe most critical of most, is service and support. We have mentioned above these printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This implies your skill to contact someone for help when things don’t go the direction they should is imperative! This isn’t something that can be positioned on a chart. It should be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and which of them don’t. Clients are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any business that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask your profits representative to the phone numbers of countless of 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 personal UV experience to become pleasant one.
Age of digital printing has arrived and it is definitely upon us. Technology in this market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what you can do with this particular equipment. In the event you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, perhaps you should. It may mean yet another step in the direction of diversification. Even if you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, take a look. You never know? It can be a profitable element of your future.