Probably the most popular features of latte printer recently has been the development of cylindrical devices for printing items like water bottles. In my opinion that cylindrical products are offered being an choice for every printer with enough throat to fit one. This brings no less than two questions into the light: One, how user-friendly is the software for establishing a cylindrical job and, two, will i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, there exists a different story with plastic bottles that can be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so some of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches as much as 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens other applications, including printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so you can find no paramagnetic (steel) parts that might affect printing a magnetic material.
Together with the great number of inks available, an important decision you have to make is determing the best ink for the applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you might be just about bound to it for the duration. Ink changes are possible should you thoroughly clean the printer, but this may be time-consuming and is not recommended 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 on). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, although others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, for example Ricoh and Epson. Based on the print head, the printer can be able to varying the dimensions of the ink dot from less than a few picoliters to up to 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better in a position to 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 the inside the printer as well as its software.
All UV printers have some sort of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to operate and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP application is created by the producer for the specific printer and it has various functions, like translating images out of your computer into raster images for the printer and enhancing color consistency. However, you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in virtually any great detail, you will notice the outcome from the printed image, for example vivid reds, bright white and the capability to smoothly transition in one color to another. When you are considering investing in a printer, it’s very important to check closely, compare results and request questions once you see something which doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right on the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
Where is the funds in UV printers? What kinds of products produce enough return so they are worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or more investment attached to these units? It couldn’t often be the ability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is perfect for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles could be personalized as they are printed, the true contribution of your UV printer is printing lots of products with similar imprint-what we will call production.
Among the benefits associated with UV digital printing is the opportunity to print detailed full-color images. Photo courtesy of 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 a wide variety of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it could print 225,000 flash drives within a 40-hour period. That’s plenty 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 for this reason you will find smaller machines. The secret is choosing a printer that is simply the right balance between whatever you can afford and what you could justify with demand.
You will find loads of features on these printers. Some are super vital that you many folks rather than to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to just one or two. Determining which features are important to you and which can be not is not any easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and look for a printer with every feature on the market, it implies an intelligent buyer is going to carry out some serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
Start by reducing those printers which are just way out of range price-wise and those that, for starters reason or some other, are unsuited for your applications. Then you can definitely proceed to study the printers which have potential. It could be important to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing utilizing a chart like the one accompanying this article. This means going to a couple of trade events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, needless to say, decelerates the buying experience, but that is actually a great thing. Getting enthusiastic about buying a printer and making a choice too rapidly is comparable to new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Is some terminology you need to understand before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, note that this short article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a4 uv printer usually has 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 chance of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where both table and also the print heads move in one fashion or some other.
UV printers in this particular industry are technically UV LED printers. They normally use an array of LED lamps to build UV light that right away cures the ink subjected to it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink could be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and fosters a 3D influence on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are produced using a few of these printers, as well as textured effects, for example the dimples on a printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers are able to print clear or white ink at the same time because the CMYK colors, all in just one pass, which could greatly boost the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is another feature which gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most also have white and clear. Several provide the option of light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers have a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically composed of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is usually create so there may be one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear and 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 really a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed particularly for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this can be a choice you need to make, but a majority of users can readily do without having the Lc and Lm, and only depend on the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, needless to say, the difficult color. Because white ink has to be opaque, it is typically very thick which presents issues with clogging the print heads pretty quickly. To make up for this, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This is very important. Some printers circulate merely the white and/or clear inks while others circulate (or agitate) all the ink colors. Regardless, anything through the experienced would be to print something daily along with your printer if you can. These printers are supposed to be employed often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers add a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, based on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have got no personal experience with this feature, but it seems like an excellent one.
Inside the comparison chart, I have got included the weight and size of each and every printer. These machines are huge as printers go and they are heavy. A few will not pass through a single 36″ wide door and a few are really heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so keep in mind this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he would give to newbies, he explained that it is important to know 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 handle their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is actually a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Many of these printers have got a couple of years warranty but following that, you will be on the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink has been mentioned however it is worth another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is essential that you understand the capabilities of that particular ink. Can it stretch? Can it adhere to glass (despite having an adhesion promotor)? Would it be fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is accessible? Others offer multiple inks that cope with all these issues but, as i have said, you can’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you have to decide on a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you must decide exactly what kind of substrate you want to print on before you lay down the money. True, you can switch inks if you wish to, but this really is a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision at the beginning.
Printing speed is likewise worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed might be measured in many ways, and the majority of printer manufacturers publish the rate numbers in ways that makes them look the best (nothing wrong using that). The catch 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 as being a base or clear is added for an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another great reason to look match the printer in person before making a choice.
The throat of your printer, or even the height of the item it can accommodate and yet print on, goes a long way in determining the price. Small the throat, the minus the printer will probably cost so, once more, try to find out what you are likely to print. If all that you intend to print is flat acrylic for example, you can find by having a 2″ thick throat capacity, although take into account that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical because the smallest of any printer for your is around 4″. On the flip side, investing in a printer that can handle 15″ substrates for absolutely no reason might be a waste of money. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of doing handling up to 220 lbs., but a majority of are prepared for only a few pounds. Needless to say, forcing a printer to work with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the lifespan in the garment printer.
Many of the features linked to UV flatbed printers are just like sound systems in cars-it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or some other, the colour of the cabinet can be pure preference but 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 thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and perhaps most important of, is service and support. I have got already mentioned that these printers require some tender loving care. They can be somewhat finicky and so they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your skill to contact someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something which can be placed on a chart. It must be learned the difficult way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out which companies or distributors give good service and the ones that don’t. Consumers are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask your sales representative for that contact numbers of numerous in 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 be a pleasant one.
Age of digital printing will be here and is also definitely upon us. Technology within 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 your personal business, perhaps you should. It could mean one more step toward diversification. Even if you’re not ready to accept digital printing plunge, check it out. Who is familiar with? It could be a profitable component of your future.