One of the more popular features of coffee printer recently is the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing things like water bottles. I think that cylindrical items are offered for an choice for every printer with sufficient throat to allow for one. This brings at the very least two questions to the light: One, how user-friendly will be the software for starting a cylindrical job and, two, do I need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles can be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, you will find a different story with plastic containers which can be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so a few of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches approximately 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens other applications, such as printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that might affect printing a magnetic material.
Together with the great number of inks available, a significant decision you need to make is finding the right ink to your applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you are pretty much stuck with it to the duration. Ink changes are possible when you thoroughly clean the printer, but this may be time-consuming and is also not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks tend to be specific for the manufacturer, and so are paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run on). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, while many others use assemblies using their company inkjet manufacturers, such as Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer can be capable of varying the size of the ink dot from well under a couple of picoliters to around 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better capable of manipulate ink density, which results in sharper images and colours that smoothly differ from one shade to a different. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer along with its software.
All UV printers have some form 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, such as translating images from the computer into raster images for that printer and enhancing color consistency. However, you might be unable to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you can see the results within the printed image, for example vivid reds, bright white and the ability to smoothly transition from a single color to a different one. When you are thinking getting a printer, it’s essential to check closely, compare results and request questions once you see something which doesn’t look right. When it doesn’t look right at the demo, it won’t look right when investing in it home!
So how may be the cash in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return so they are definitely worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment attached to these devices? It couldn’t come to be the cabability to make one-up products as is the situation with sublimation. Clearly, UV is perfect for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles could possibly be personalized because they are printed, the actual contribution of your UV printer is printing a lot of products with similar imprint-whatever we will call production.
One of many great things about UV digital printing is the opportunity 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 could print 225,000 flash drives inside a 40-hour period. That’s a great deal of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, many of us have no need to print countless flash drives in a week, but this is why you can find smaller machines. The trick is finding a printer that is the right balance between whatever you can afford and whatever you can justify with demand.
You will find lots of special features on these printers. Some are super important to quite a few users and never to others, while other available choices are absolutely vital to only a few. Determining which features are important to you personally and which are not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and discover a printer with every feature around, it indicates a smart buyer will almost certainly do a little serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
You can start by eliminating those printers that are just way out of range price-wise and people who, first reason or another, are unsuited for your applications. Then you could move on to study the printers which may have potential. It can be important to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing employing a chart just like the one accompanying this informative article. This simply means traveling to a number of trade shows and/or arranging on-site demos. This, needless to say, slows the buying experience, but that is in reality a positive thing. Getting pumped up about buying a printer and making a decision too rapidly is a lot like new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
This is some terminology you have to know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, keep in mind that this post focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Inside the truest form, a4 uv printer usually carries a fixed print head and the flat table holding the substrate moves within the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the chance of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of a hybrid construction where the table along with the print heads move around in one fashion or any other.
UV printers in this particular industry are technically UV LED printers. They normally use a range of LED lamps to produce UV light that quickly cures the ink open to it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink may be laid down and cured, which builds the ink and fosters a 3D effect on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using a number of these printers, as well as textured effects, including the dimples over a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the ability to print clear or white ink simultaneously as the CMYK colors, all within a pass, which can greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is an additional feature which gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most also employ white and clear. Several also offer the option for light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers use a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically composed of six or eight channels. As an illustration, an eight-channel print head is generally set up so there is one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as two channels for white inks. With regards to a printer using Lc and Lm, two of the eight channels would be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, this really is a choice you need to make, but the majority users can readily do without having the Lc and Lm, and just depend upon the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, obviously, the difficult color. Because white ink has to be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents difficulties with clogging the print heads rapidly. To make up just for this, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate only the white or clear inks and some circulate (or agitate) all the ink colors. Regardless, anything through the experienced is always to print something daily with the printer if you can. These printers are supposed to be used often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers include a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to observe nozzles and, according to the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have got no personal experience with this feature, but it looks like a great one.
Within the comparison chart, I have included the size and weight of each printer. These machines are huge as printers go plus they are heavy. Most will not pass through just one 36″ wide door and some are so heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so be familiar with this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he explained that it is important to realize that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They are highly technical and require an operator who are able to take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Many of these printers possess a couple of years warranty but next, you may be about the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink has been mentioned but it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one sort of ink so it is crucial that you recognize the capabilities of that particular ink. Could it stretch? Can it stick with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is available? Other businesses offer multiple inks that cope with each of these issues but, as said before, you can’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you must select a single multipurpose ink for every printer so you should decide exactly what type of substrate you need to print on prior to lay out the money. True, it is possible to switch inks if you have to, but this really is a costly and involved cleaning process so have the right decision in the beginning.
Printing speed is also deserving of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed may be measured in lots of ways, and most printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a way that makes them look the 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 being a base or clear is added as being an overcoat. Other elements also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one other good reason to go match the printer face-to-face before making a choice.
The throat of your printer, or perhaps the height of the item it may accommodate but still print on, goes a long way in determining the price. The lesser the throat, the less the printer will probably cost so, once again, try to find out what you might print. If all that you want to print is flat acrylic as an illustration, you may get by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest for any printer for your is approximately 4″. However, purchasing 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 within the chart is capable of doing handling as much as 220 lbs., but the majority are equipped for just a few pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to do business with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will definitely shorten the lifestyle in the t-shirt printer.
Most of the bells and whistles 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 any other, including the colour of the cabinet can be pure preference nonetheless they still play in the buying formula and therefore 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 essential of most, is service and support. I have mentioned previously these printers require some tender loving care. They could be somewhat finicky and so they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This simply means what you can do to get hold of someone for help when things don’t go the way they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be put on a chart. It should be learned the hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Consumers are usually more than happy to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask your profits representative for that phone numbers of various with their customers who are likely to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, needless to say, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for your UV experience to become a pleasant one.
Age of digital printing will be here and is also definitely upon us. Technology in this market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what to do with this particular equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for the business, perhaps you should. It could possibly mean an additional step toward diversification. Even when you’re not ready to accept digital printing plunge, check it out. You never know? It can be a profitable element of your future.