One of the most popular attributes of coffee printer recently has become the creation of cylindrical devices for printing stuff like water bottles. In my opinion that cylindrical products are offered for an option for every printer with sufficient throat to accommodate one. This brings at the very least two questions in the light: One, how user-friendly is the software for setting up a cylindrical job and, two, do I need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed with many UV inks, you will discover a different story with plastic bottles that may be squeezed. These demand a flexible ink, so several of the printer manufacturers now present an ink that stretches up to 200 percent.
The flexible ink option reveals other applications, including printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and several manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that will obstruct printing a magnetic material.
With the plethora of inks available, a significant decision you should make is finding the right ink for your personal applications. Inks can’t easily be changed so once an ink is selected you might be basically tied to it for your duration. Ink changes are possible when you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and is also not recommended for job-to-job use.
Inks are often specific on the manufacturer, and so are the print 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 from other inkjet manufacturers, including Ricoh and Epson. Depending on the print head, the printer may be capable of varying the actual size of the ink dot from as little as several picoliters to up to 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 another one. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer and its particular software.
All UV printers feature some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to get and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is created by the company to get a specific printer and it has various functions, like translating images out of your computer into raster images to the printer and enhancing color consistency. However, you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in every great detail, you can observe the outcome in the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the ability to smoothly transition in one color to another. When you are considering getting a printer, it’s crucial to look closely, compare results and ask questions when you see an issue that doesn’t look right. If this doesn’t look right in the demo, it won’t look right when you are getting it home!
Where will be the profit UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to make them definitely worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment mounted on these devices? It couldn’t come to be the opportunity to make one-up products as is the situation with sublimation. Clearly, UV is designed for the bulk production shop. Although 1,000 water bottles could possibly be personalized since they are printed, the true contribution of your UV printer is printing a lot of products with the exact same imprint-what we will call production.
One of several advantages of UV digital printing is the capability to print detailed full-color images. Photo thanks to Mimaki USA. The VersaUV LEF-20 flatbed printer can be obtained 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, many of us have no reason to print so many flash drives in one week, but that is why there are smaller machines. The key is getting a printer that is the right balance between what you could afford and what you could justify with demand.
There are tons of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super important to some users and not to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to just a few. Figuring out which features are very important for your needs and which are not is no easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and find a printer with every feature available, it indicates a smart buyer is going to carry out some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You could start by eliminating those printers which can be just solution of range price-wise and those that, first reason or another, are unsuited for your personal applications. Then you could proceed to study the printers that have potential. It could be beneficial to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing by using a chart much like the one accompanying this article. This means planing a trip to several trade shows and/or arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, slows down the buying experience, but that is really a great thing. Getting interested in investing in a printer and making a decision too quickly is a lot like new car fever-it would probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Is some terminology you should know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, keep in mind that this informative article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. From the truest form, uv printer usually includes a fixed print head and also the flat table holding the substrate moves under the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the opportunity of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of the hybrid construction where the two table along with the print heads move in one fashion or some other.
UV printers in this industry are technically UV LED printers. They normally use a multitude of LED lamps to produce UV light that very quickly cures the ink in contact with it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink may be laid down and cured, which builds up the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is when ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are made using a number of these printers, as well as textured effects, like the dimples on the printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the ability to print clear or white ink simultaneously as being the CMYK colors, all in a single pass, which can greatly boost 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 also use white and clear. A number of provide the choice of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers have a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically composed of six or eight channels. As an example, an eight-channel print head is generally set up so there is 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 of the eight channels will be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is actually a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specifically for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this really is a choice you need to make, but most users can readily do without the Lc and Lm, and just rely on the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, needless to say, the difficult color. Because white ink must be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents problems with clogging the print heads pretty quickly. To compensate for this, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate just the white and/or clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) all 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 created to be used often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers incorporate a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, in accordance with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have got no personal experience with this feature, nevertheless it may sound like an excellent one.
In the comparison chart, I have included the size and weight of every printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are heavy. Most will not go through an individual 36″ wide door and some are incredibly heavy that wooden floors will have to be reinforced prior to installing the printer, so be familiar with this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he will give to newbies, he said that it is very important know that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They may be highly technical and require an operator who can take care of their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everybody operate it is a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Several of these printers possess a year or so warranty but afterward, you may be on the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts that may be many.
Ink had been mentioned however it is worthy of another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is important that you are aware of the capabilities of this ink. Will it stretch? Does it adhere to glass (despite having an adhesion promotor)? Could it be fade resistant for exterior use? Which kind of color pallet can be obtained? Other businesses offer multiple inks that deal with all these issues but, as stated, you can’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you have to pick a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you must decide exactly which kind of substrate you need to print on prior to deciding to lay down the cash. True, you may switch inks if you need to, but this is a costly and involved cleaning process so create the right decision at first.
Printing speed can also be deserving of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed could be measured in many ways, and the majority of printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in ways that makes them look the most effective (no problem using that). The problem 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. Additional factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another good reason to go fulfill the printer personally before making a choice.
The throat of the printer, or even the height of your item it can accommodate but still print on, goes a long way in determining the cost. The smaller the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, again, try to determine which you are going to print. If the only thing you decide to print is flat acrylic as an illustration, you can receive by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although remember that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical considering that the smallest of any printer for your is all about 4″. On the other hand, spending money on a printer that will handle 15″ substrates for no reason would have been a waste of income. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer contained in the chart is capable of handling approximately 220 lbs., but many are designed for only some pounds. Needless to say, forcing a printer to use substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the lifestyle in the garment printer.
Lots of the special features related to UV flatbed printers are similar to sound systems in cars-it basically boils down to personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or any other, even the color of the cabinet could be pure preference nonetheless they still play into 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 significant of, is service and support. I have got already mentioned that these printers require some tender loving care. They can be somewhat finicky and they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This simply means what you can do to make contact with someone for help when things don’t go how they should is imperative! This isn’t something which can be positioned on a chart. It must be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and which of them don’t. Consumers are usually more than pleased to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living as much as its promises. Just ask the sales representative for the telephone numbers of countless in their customers who are able 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 to become pleasant one.
Age of digital printing is here now and is also definitely upon us. Technology with this market will continue to develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this type of equipment. Should you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing to your business, perhaps you should. It might mean one more step toward diversification. Regardless of whether you’re not ready to accept the digital printing plunge, give it a look. Who knows? It could be a profitable a part of your future.