Probably the most popular features of coffee printer recently has become the roll-out of cylindrical devices for printing things like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical devices are offered as an selection for every printer with sufficient throat to accommodate one. This brings a minimum of two questions in to the light: One, how user-friendly is the software for starting a cylindrical job and, two, should i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles can be successfully printed with many UV inks, you will find a different story with plastic containers that could be squeezed. These need a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches around 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up other applications, for example printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so you will find no paramagnetic (steel) parts that might interfere with printing a magnetic material.
With all the multitude of inks available, a serious decision you should make is picking the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t be changed so once an ink is selected you happen to be pretty much stuck with it to the duration. Ink changes are possible in the event you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and is not recommended for job-to-job use.
Inks are often specific to the manufacturer, and tend to be the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run on). Some companies manufacture their very own print heads and rails, although others use assemblies from other inkjet manufacturers, including Ricoh and Epson. Dependant upon the print head, the printer might be able to varying the actual size of the ink dot from as low as a few picoliters to as much as 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better able to manipulate ink density, which results in sharper images and colors that smoothly differ from one shade to a different one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer along with its software.
All UV printers have some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to get and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software program is produced by the company for any specific printer and possesses various functions, including translating images out of your computer into raster images for your printer and enhancing color consistency. However, you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in virtually any great detail, you can observe the outcome within the printed image, like vivid reds, bright white and the ability to smoothly transition from a color to another. When you are thinking purchasing a printer, it’s extremely important to look closely, compare results and inquire questions if you notice an issue that doesn’t look right. When it doesn’t look right on the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
So how may be the funds in UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to ensure they well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or maybe more investment linked to these devices? It couldn’t often be the opportunity to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles could possibly be personalized as they are printed, the actual contribution from the UV printer is printing lots of products with similar 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 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 wide variety of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it might print 225,000 flash drives within a 40-hour period. That’s plenty of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most people have no reason to print a lot of flash drives in one week, but this is why you will find smaller machines. The key is choosing a printer that is simply the right balance between what you can afford and what you can justify with demand.
You will find loads of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super essential to many folks instead of to others, while other choices are absolutely vital to just a few. Figuring out which features are very important for your needs and which can be not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and locate a printer with every feature on the market, it implies a sensible buyer will perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
You can begin by eliminating those printers that happen to be just solution of range price-wise and people who, for just one reason or other, are unsuited to your applications. Then you could move on to study the printers which may have potential. It may be useful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing using a chart like the one accompanying this post. What this means is visiting a couple of trade events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, slows the buying experience, but that is truly a great thing. Getting pumped up about purchasing a printer and making a choice too quickly is comparable to new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you have to know before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, note that this article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, uv printer usually carries a fixed print head and also the flat table holding the substrate moves underneath the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the chance of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where the table along with the print heads move in one fashion or other.
UV printers within this industry are technically UV LED printers. They normally use a range of LED lamps to produce UV light that right away cures the ink in contact with it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink might be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are set up using many of these printers, in addition to textured effects, such as the dimples over a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink as well as being the CMYK colors, all in just one pass, which may 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 now most also have white and clear. A few offer a choice of light cyan and lightweight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers have a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically comprising six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is often set up so there is certainly one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as 2 channels for white inks. When it comes to a printer using Lc and Lm, a couple of the eight channels would be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is really a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, this can be a choice you will have to make, but most users can readily do with no Lc and Lm, and just depend on the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, needless to say, the difficult color. Because white ink must be opaque, it really is typically very thick which presents issues with clogging paper heads rapidly. To make up for this, most printers include some kind of circulation (agitation) system. This is important. Some printers circulate simply the white or clear inks and some circulate (or agitate) all the ink colors. Regardless, a word from your experienced is always to print something daily along with your printer when possible. These printers are designed to be employed often and long idle periods can bring about some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature known as a “nozzle recovery system” to keep track of nozzles and, according to the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no personal experience with this feature, but it looks like a great one.
From the comparison chart, I have included the weight and size of each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are heavy. A few will not pass through just one 36″ wide door plus some are incredibly heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced prior to installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he gives to newbies, he explained that you should realize that these printers require significantly 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 everybody operate it really is a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Several of these printers use a couple of years warranty but following that, you will certainly be on the hook for print heads along with other replacement parts which may be many.
Ink has already been mentioned however it is deserving of another note. Some companies offer only one sort of ink so it is essential that you understand the capabilities of the ink. Could it stretch? Does it adhere to glass (despite an adhesion promotor)? Would it be fade resistant for exterior use? Which kind of color pallet is available? Other businesses offer multiple inks that handle each one of these issues but, as i have said, you can’t just swap inks anytime to.
Typically, you need to pick a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you have to decide exactly which kind of substrate you wish to print on prior to lay out the bucks. True, you can switch inks if you want to, but this really is a costly and involved cleaning process so create the right decision at first.
Printing speed can also be worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly at the charts and comparing speed. Print speed could be measured in several ways, and the majority of printer manufacturers publish the rate numbers in a manner that ensures they are look the best (nothing wrong with this). The thing is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” considering that 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 being a base or clear is added as an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one other good reason to visit fulfill the printer in person before making a decision.
The throat of the printer, or maybe the height in the item it may accommodate and still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the retail price. The lesser the throat, the minus the printer is likely to cost so, again, try to determine what you might print. If the only thing you want to print is flat acrylic for instance, you might get by 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 around 4″. On the other hand, paying for a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for no reason might be a waste of income. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer included in the chart is capable of doing handling around 220 lbs., but a majority of are prepared for only a few pounds. Obviously, forcing a printer to work with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the life span of the t-shirt printer.
Many 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 other, including the shade of the cabinet may be pure preference but they still play in to the buying formula and therefore are, therefore, important.
One of the main applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and possibly most significant of most, is service and support. We have mentioned above that these printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This simply means your skill to make contact with someone for help when things don’t go the way they should is imperative! This isn’t something which can be positioned on a chart. It has to be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t discover which companies or distributors give good service and which of them don’t. Customers are usually delighted to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask your sales representative to the phone numbers of various in their customers who are able 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 to your UV experience to be a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing is here and is definitely upon us. Technology in this particular market is constantly develop. It’s really incredible what you can do with this equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your business, perhaps you should. It may mean yet another step in the direction of diversification. Even if you’re not ready to accept digital printing plunge, check it out. That knows? It could be a profitable a part of your future.