One in the great things about UV digital printing is the capability to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to Mimaki USA. The latte coffee printer can be obtained from Roland DGA Corp. Marco Awards Group is distributing Direct Color Systems’ UV printers for printing on the wide number of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it could print 225,000 flash drives in a very 40-hour period. That’s a lots of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, just about everyone has no must print a lot of flash drives inside a week, but that is why you will find smaller machines. The key is locating a printer that’s just the right balance between what you are able afford and what you might justify with demand.
There are tons of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super imperative that you some users and never to others, while additional options are vital to just a few. Figuring out which features are vital that you you and which are not isn’t any easy task, and unless you’ll be able to just buy blind and locate a printer with every feature out there, it indicates a wise buyer is going to accomplish some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can start by reducing those printers that are just exit of range price-wise and those that, for just one reason or some other, are unsuited on your applications. Then you can proceed to study the printers which may have potential. It could be helpful to accomplish head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing employing a chart like the one accompanying this information. This means traveling to your couple of trade shows and/or arranging on-site demos. This, needless to say, slows down the buying experience, that is actually a good thing. Getting enthusiastic about buying a printer and picking a choice too quickly is similar to new car fever—it will most likely bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you need to know before considering the purchase associated with a UV printer. First, note that this short article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a flatbed printer commonly has a fixed print head and the flat table holding the substrate moves under printed head during printing. Supposedly, this design cuts down on possibility of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where both table as well as the print heads relocate one fashion or some other.
UV printers on this industry are technically UV LED printers. They use numerous LED lamps to create UV light that quickly cures the ink subjected to it. This is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink may be laid down and cured, which builds the ink and creates a 3D effect about the substrate. This relief printing is when ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are made using some of the printers, in addition to textured effects, for example the dimples on the printed image of an basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink on the same time as the CMYK colors, all in a single pass, that may greatly increase the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is another feature that offers increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and from now on most also use white and clear. A few also offer the option of light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s uv flatbed printer have a very multiple – channel print head for dispensing ink, typically composed of 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 and two channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, two from the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is often a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specifically for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo from Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is really a choice you need to make, but most users can easily do devoid of the Lc and Lm, and simply rely around the CMYK to create a stunning image. White is, obviously, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents problems with clogging printed heads promptly. To compensate because of this, most printers include some sort of circulation (agitation) system. This is essential. Some printers circulate exactly the white and/or clear inks and some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, anything from the experienced would be to print something daily along with your printer if at all possible. These printers are designed to be used often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers will include a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to observe nozzles and, according on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no desire with this feature, but it sounds like an excellent one.
In the comparison chart, I have included the size and weight of each printer. These machines are huge as printers go and they’re heavy. Some is not going to pass through just one 36″ wide door and some are so heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced just before installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he’d give to newbies, he said that it can be important to understand that these printers require far more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They are highly technical and require an operator who is able to deal with their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it can be a disaster waiting to take place. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Many of such printers have 12 months or two warranty but next, you will be around the hook for print heads along with other replacement parts which can be many.
GoVivid, a Rowmark division, offers the Breeze (left) as well as the Wave UV digital printers.
Ink is mentioned but it is worth another note. Some companies offer only wedding party ink so it really is important that you view the capabilities of these ink. Will it stretch? Will it stick to glass (even with an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet can be obtained? Other companies offer multiple inks that cope with each of these issues but, mentionened above previously, you are able to’t just swap inks whenever you would like to.
Typically, you should select just one multipurpose ink per printer so you’ll want to decide exactly what type of substrate you wish to print on before you decide to lay down the bucks. True, you’ll be able to switch inks if you need to, but this is a costly and involved cleaning process so result in the right decision inside the beginning.
Printing speed is also worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed could be measured in several ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the velocity numbers in a very way that makes them look the very best (nothing wrong your). The problem is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” because the numbers might have huge variations 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 devspky91 is added as a possible overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”—another justification to go meet the printer personally before making a choice.
The throat of the printer, or the height from the item it could accommodate and still print on, goes further in determining the cost. The smaller the throat, the less the printer may well cost so, once again, attempt to determine what you’re going to print. If all you could plan to print is flat acrylic as an example, you may get by with a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that might prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical because the smallest from a printer for that’s about 4″. On the other hand, paying to get a printer that can handle 15″ substrates for no reason can be a waste of money. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer included inside the chart is competent at handling approximately 220 lbs., but many can handle only some pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to be effective with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will shorten the life from the printer.
Many of the bells and whistles connected with textile printer can be like sound systems in cars—it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, remote device panels, one basic design or some other, even color with the cabinet could be pure preference however they still play in the buying formula and therefore are, therefore, important.
One in the major applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo from Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and maybe most important of, is service and support. I have mentioned previously that these printers require some tender loving care. They can be somewhat finicky and so they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capacity to contact someone for help when things don’t go the way they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be placed with a chart. It has to be learned the tough way. But that doesn’t mean it is possible to’t discover which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Customers are often more than happy to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask the sales representative for that phone numbers of countless of their potential customers who are happy to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, of course, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for your UV experience becoming a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing will be here and is definitely for us. Technology in this market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what you can do using this type of equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for the business, you may should. It could mean yet another step inside direction of diversification. Even in the event you’re not willing to take the digital printing plunge, look it over. Who knows? It may be a profitable section of your future.