Probably the most popular features of latte printer recently is the roll-out of cylindrical devices for printing items like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical items are offered as being an selection for every printer with sufficient throat to support one. This brings no less than two questions in the light: One, how user-friendly may 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 most UV inks, there exists a different story with plastic containers that may be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now provide an ink that stretches up to 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up other applications, like printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and several manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would hinder printing a magnetic material.
Using the large number of inks available, a major decision you have to make is finding the right ink for the applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you will be basically tied to it for the duration. Ink changes are possible if you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and is not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks tend to be specific on the manufacturer, and are therefore the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light operate on). Some companies manufacture their very own print heads and rails, although others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, for example Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer could be able to varying the actual size of the ink dot from as low as several picoliters to just as much as 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better capable to manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colours that smoothly change from one shade to another. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer and its software.
All UV printers feature some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to operate and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is designed by the manufacturer for a specific printer and has various functions, such as translating images from your computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. While you might be unable to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you can see the outcome within the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the opportunity to smoothly transition from a single color to another. When you are thinking purchasing a printer, it’s essential to search closely, compare results and request questions when you see something that doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right in the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
So how will be the profit UV printers? What kinds of products produce enough return to make them definitely worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment attached to these devices? It couldn’t often be the ability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is designed for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles may be personalized since they are printed, the actual contribution of your UV printer is printing lots of products with the same imprint-what we will call production.
One of the advantages of UV digital printing is the cabability to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to 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 might print 225,000 flash drives inside a 40-hour period. That’s a lot of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most of us have no need to print a lot of flash drives per week, but for this reason you can find smaller machines. The trick is locating a printer that is only the right balance between whatever you can afford and what you can justify with demand.
There are tons of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super important to quite a few users instead of to others, while other available choices are absolutely vital to only a few. Identifying which features are crucial for you and that happen to be not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and discover a printer with every feature around, it implies a smart buyer will probably do some serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
Start by eliminating those printers that happen to be just solution of range price-wise and people who, for starters reason or some other, are unsuited for the applications. Then you could start working on study the printers who have potential. It could be helpful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are looking for purchasing by using a chart much like the one accompanying this short article. This means planing a trip to a couple of trade shows or arranging on-site demos. This, of course, slows the buying experience, but that is actually a a valuable thing. Getting pumped up about purchasing a printer and making a choice too rapidly is comparable to new car fever-it is going to probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you have to know before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, keep in mind that this short article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, small uv printer usually features a fixed print head along with 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 any hybrid construction where the two table along with the print heads relocate one fashion or other.
UV printers in this industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize a multitude of LED lamps to create UV light that right away cures the ink exposed to it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink may be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and produces a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using a few of these printers, in addition to textured effects, including the dimples on the printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the ability to print clear or white ink simultaneously because the CMYK colors, all in a single pass, that may greatly improve 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 likewise use white and clear. Several also provide 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 composed of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is normally create so there is certainly one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear and 2 channels for white inks. In the matter of a printer using Lc and Lm, two of the eight channels could 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 specifically for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is a choice you will have to make, but the majority users can easily do without having the Lc and Lm, and just depend on the CMYK to generate 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 problems with clogging the print heads fairly quickly. To make up for this, most printers include some sort of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate just the white and clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) every one of the ink colors. Regardless, anything from the experienced is always to print something daily with the printer if you can. These printers are made to be used often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers include a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to observe nozzles and, in line with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. We have no personal knowledge about this feature, but it may sound like an incredible one.
Inside 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. Many will not go through a single 36″ wide door and several are incredibly heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced just before installing the printer, so know about this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he gives to newbies, he was quoted saying that it is essential to realize that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. These are highly technical and require an operator that can take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everybody operate this is a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. A number of these printers use a couple of years warranty but after that, you will end up around the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts that may be many.
Ink was already mentioned yet it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one sort of ink so it is essential that you realize the capabilities of this ink. Can it stretch? Can it stay with glass (even with an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet can be obtained? Others offer multiple inks that deal with every one of these issues but, as mentioned, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you have to select a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you must decide exactly which kind of substrate you wish to print on prior to deciding to lie down the cash. True, you may switch inks if you have to, but this is a costly and involved cleaning process so make the right decision at the beginning.
Printing speed is also worth note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly in the charts and comparing speed. Print speed may be measured in lots of ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in a fashion that causes them to be look the ideal (no problem with this). The thing 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 as being a base or clear is added for an overcoat. Other variables also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one additional reason to go fulfill the printer in person before making a choice.
The throat of the printer, or perhaps the height of the item it can accommodate yet still print on, goes a long way in determining the cost. The smaller the throat, the less the printer will probably cost so, once more, try to find out what you might print. If all you decide to print is flat acrylic as an example, you might get by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although remember that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest of the printer for your is around 4″. However, spending money on a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all would be a waste of capital. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of doing handling as much as 220 lbs., but a majority of are equipped for just a few pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to use substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is certain to shorten the life span from the textile printer.
Lots of the bells and whistles related 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, even the colour of the cabinet can be pure preference however they still play in the buying formula and therefore are, therefore, important.
One of the major applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, as well as perhaps most important of all the, is service and support. I have got mentioned above these particular printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your ability to get hold of someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something which can be added to a chart. It needs to be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and those don’t. Customers are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living around its promises. Just ask your sales representative for your phone numbers of several with their customers who are likely 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.
The age of digital printing will be here and it is definitely upon us. Technology in this market is constantly develop. It’s really incredible what you can do with this particular equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for the business, maybe you should. It could mean another step in the direction of diversification. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, look it over. Who knows? It could be a profitable component of your future.