Just about the most popular features of coffee printer recently has become the development of cylindrical devices for printing things like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical products are offered as an option for every printer with sufficient throat to support one. This brings a minimum of two questions into the light: One, how user-friendly is the software for generating a cylindrical job and, two, will i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed with most UV inks, you will find a different story with plastic containers that can be squeezed. These require a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now offer an ink that stretches approximately 200 percent.
The flexible ink option reveals other applications, like printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and a few manufacturers have built their printers so you will find no paramagnetic (steel) parts that could hinder printing a magnetic material.
With the plethora of inks available, a serious decision you should make is choosing the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you might be pretty much stuck with it to the duration. Ink changes are possible should you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming which is not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks are generally specific towards the manufacturer, and tend to be paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light operate on). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, while many others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, for example Ricoh and Epson. Dependant upon the print head, the printer can be capable of varying the size of the ink dot from less than a number of picoliters to just as much as 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better in a position to manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colors that smoothly differ from one shade to another one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer and its particular software.
All UV printers feature some sort of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP application is created by the maker to get a specific printer and possesses various functions, for example translating images through your computer into raster images for your printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might be unable to talk and understand RIPs in almost any great detail, you can observe the final results in the printed image, like vivid reds, bright white and the cabability to smoothly transition in one color to another one. When you are thinking buying a printer, it’s very important to appear closely, compare results and request questions once you see something which doesn’t look right. If this doesn’t look right in the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
Where may be the money in UV printers? What kinds of products produce enough return to ensure they are really worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or maybe more investment attached to these units? It couldn’t come to be the cabability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles could possibly be personalized because they are printed, the true contribution from the UV printer is printing lots of products with similar imprint-what we will call production.
One of the benefits associated with UV digital printing is the opportunity to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to 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 might print 225,000 flash drives in a 40-hour period. That’s lots of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most people have no requirement to print so many flash drives in a week, but this is why you can find smaller machines. The bottom line is choosing a printer that is the right balance between what you can afford and what you could justify with demand.
You will find lots of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super essential to some users and not to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to only a few. Finding out which features are important to you personally and which can be not is no easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and find a printer with every feature around, it means a wise buyer will probably perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
Start by eliminating those printers which can be just solution of range price-wise and people who, for one reason or some other, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can definitely start working on study the printers which may have potential. It can be important to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing using a chart like the one accompanying this article. What this means is going to a few trade shows or arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, decelerates the buying experience, but that is truly a a valuable thing. Getting pumped up about investing in a printer and making a choice too quickly is similar to new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you need to know before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, keep in mind that this post focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. From the truest form, uv printer usually includes a fixed print head as well as the flat table holding the substrate moves within the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the potential of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of the hybrid construction where the two table and also the print heads move around in one fashion or other.
UV printers in this particular industry are technically UV LED printers. They use a multitude of LED lamps to generate UV light that almost instantly cures the ink exposed to it. This is certainly highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink might be laid down and cured, which builds the ink and helps to create a 3D influence on the substrate. This relief printing is how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using many 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 capability to print clear or white ink concurrently as the CMYK colors, all within a pass, which can greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is an additional feature that offers increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and now most also employ white and clear. A few offer a choice of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers use a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically consisting of six or eight channels. As an illustration, 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. In the matter of a printer using Lc and Lm, a couple of the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is actually a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is a choice you need to make, but a majority of users can easily do without the Lc and Lm, and merely rely on the CMYK to generate a stunning image. White is, of course, the difficult color. Because white ink has to be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents issues with clogging the print heads pretty quickly. To make up for this particular, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate merely the white or clear inks while others circulate (or agitate) every one of the ink colors. Regardless, a word in the experienced is always to print something daily along with your printer when possible. These printers are designed to be used 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, based on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I actually have no personal exposure to this feature, but it looks like an excellent one.
Within the comparison chart, We have included the size and weight of every printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are heavy. Most will not pass through an individual 36″ wide door plus some are really 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 explained that it is important to realize that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They can be highly technical and require an operator that can take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it really is a disaster waiting to take place. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Most of these printers use a year or two warranty but after that, you will certainly be around the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts which can be many.
Ink had been mentioned yet it is deserving of another note. Some companies offer only one sort of ink so it is important that you realize the capabilities of that particular ink. Does it stretch? Could it stay with glass (despite having an adhesion promotor)? Could it be fade resistant for exterior use? Which kind of color pallet can be obtained? Other manufacturers offer multiple inks that handle each of these issues but, as stated, you can’t just swap inks anytime to.
Typically, you have to decide on a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you should decide exactly what type of substrate you need to print on prior to deciding to lie down the bucks. True, you can switch inks if you have to, but it is a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision at the beginning.
Printing speed is also deserving of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly with the charts and comparing speed. Print speed could be measured in lots of ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in ways that causes them to be look the most effective (no problem 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 like 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 go match the printer face-to-face before making a choice.
The throat of any printer, or maybe the height from the item it could accommodate but still print on, goes a long way in determining the cost. The lesser the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, once more, try to find out what you will print. If all you could decide to print is flat acrylic for example, you can receive by having a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical ever since the smallest for any printer for your is around 4″. On the flip side, purchasing a printer that will handle 15″ substrates for absolutely no reason would have been a waste of money. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of handling up to 220 lbs., but most are equipped for just a few pounds. Obviously, forcing a printer to work alongside substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will definitely shorten the life span in the t-shirt printer.
Most of the special features connected with UV flatbed printers are like sound systems in cars-it basically comes down to personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or some other, including the colour of the cabinet can be pure preference nevertheless they still play into the buying formula and they are, therefore, important.
One of the leading applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo thanks to Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and maybe most critical of most, is service and support. We have already mentioned that these particular printers require some tender loving care. They could be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This implies 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 can be put 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 which ones don’t. Customers are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living as much as its promises. Just ask your sales representative for that cell phone numbers of numerous of the 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 to your UV experience as a pleasant one.
Age of digital printing has arrived and is also definitely upon us. Technology in this market is constantly develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this type of equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, perhaps you should. It could mean an additional step toward diversification. Even when you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, look it over. You never know? It may be a profitable part of your future.