Probably the most popular attributes of coffee printer recently is the introduction of cylindrical devices for printing such things as water bottles. In my opinion that cylindrical devices are offered as an option for every printer with plenty of throat to allow for one. This brings at the very least two questions into the light: One, how user-friendly is the software for establishing a cylindrical job and, two, should i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles might be successfully printed with many UV inks, there is a different story with plastic containers that may be squeezed. These require a flexible ink, so a number of the printer manufacturers now provide an ink that stretches around 200 percent.
The flexible ink option reveals other applications, for example printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and several manufacturers have built their printers so there are actually no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would interfere with printing a magnetic material.
Using the plethora of inks available, a major decision you should make is finding the right ink for your personal applications. Inks can’t be changed so once an ink is selected you happen to be just about saddled with it for the duration. Ink changes are possible should you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and is also not suggested for job-to-job use.
Inks tend to be specific to the manufacturer, and so are paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run using). Some companies manufacture their own personal print heads and rails, although others use assemblies off their inkjet manufacturers, like Ricoh and Epson. According to the print head, the printer might be able to varying how big the ink dot from less than a few picoliters to up to 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better capable of manipulate ink density, which results in sharper images and colours that smoothly change from one shade to a different. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from inside the printer and its particular software.
All UV printers feature some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software is developed by the producer to get a specific printer and possesses various functions, like translating images through your computer into raster images for the printer and enhancing color consistency. Although you may be unable to talk and understand RIPs in any great detail, you can see the results within the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the opportunity to smoothly transition from a single color to a different one. When you are thinking purchasing a printer, it’s essential to look closely, compare results and ask questions if you notice something which doesn’t look right. If this doesn’t look right with the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
Where is definitely the cash in UV printers? What sorts of products produce enough return so they are worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment mounted on these units? It couldn’t possibly be the capability to make one-up products as is the situation with sublimation. Clearly, UV is made for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles could possibly be personalized since they are printed, the true contribution of the UV printer is printing lots of products using the same imprint-everything we will call production.
One of many 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 available from Roland DGA Corp. Marco Awards Group is distributing Direct Color Systems’ UV printers for printing on numerous items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it may print 225,000 flash drives in the 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 so many flash drives per week, but that is why you can find smaller machines. The trick is getting a printer that is just the right balance between what you could afford and what you are able justify with demand.
There are lots of bells and whistles on these printers. Some are super important to many folks and not to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to just one or two. Figuring out which features are important for your needs 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 on the market, it implies a wise buyer will probably do a little serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can begin by eliminating those printers that happen to be just way out of range price-wise and those that, for starters reason or another, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can definitely proceed to study the printers that have potential. It might be beneficial to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are thinking about purchasing employing a chart just like the one accompanying this article. This implies planing a trip to a couple of trade events and arranging on-site demos. This, naturally, slows down the buying experience, but that is actually a great thing. Getting excited about buying a printer and making a decision too rapidly is similar to new car fever-it is going to probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
This is some terminology you need to understand before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, note that this post focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Inside the truest form, small uv printer usually includes a fixed print head as well as the flat table holding the substrate moves under the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the chance of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of the hybrid construction where the table along with the print heads move in one fashion or any other.
UV printers in this industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize an array of LED lamps to create UV light that almost instantly cures the ink exposed to it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which builds up the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is just how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using some of these printers, in addition to textured effects, including the dimples on a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink at the same time as being the CMYK colors, all within a pass, that may greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing can be another feature that provides increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and now most also have white and clear. A couple of offer the option for light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers possess a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically consisting of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is generally set up so there exists one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as 2 channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, a couple of the eight channels can 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 specially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is a choice you will need to make, but most users can simply do without the Lc and Lm, and only rely on the CMYK to produce a stunning image. White is, of course, the difficult color. Because white ink needs to be opaque, it is actually typically very thick which presents complications with clogging paper heads fairly quickly. To make up for this particular, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This really is important. Some printers circulate merely the white and clear inks while some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, a word in the experienced is usually to print something daily along with your printer if at all possible. These printers are designed to be employed often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers incorporate a feature termed as a “nozzle recovery system” to keep track of nozzles and, based on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no personal exposure to this feature, however it seems like an incredible one.
Within the comparison chart, We have included the weight and size of each printer. These machines are huge as printers go and they are generally heavy. Most will not move through a single 36″ wide door and a few are extremely heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced ahead of installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he would give to newbies, he was quoted saying that it is important to recognize that these printers require considerably 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 bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everybody operate it really is a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Several of these printers possess a year or so warranty but following that, you will be on the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink was already mentioned yet it is worth another note. Some companies offer only one type of ink so it is essential that you are aware of the capabilities of that particular ink. Will it stretch? Does it stick with glass (even with an adhesion promotor)? Would it be fade resistant for exterior use? What sort of color pallet can be obtained? Others offer multiple inks that take care of every one of these issues but, as stated, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you must select a single multipurpose ink for every printer so you should decide exactly what kind of substrate you need to print on before you decide to lay down your money. True, it is possible to switch inks if you have to, but this can be a costly and involved cleaning process so make the right decision at the beginning.
Printing speed can also be worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly on the charts and comparing speed. Print speed can be measured in many ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a way that causes them to be look the ideal (no problem with that). The thing 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 like a base or clear is added being an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-one additional reason to look fulfill the printer directly before making a choice.
The throat of your printer, or the height from the item it could accommodate and still print on, goes very far in determining the purchase price. Small the throat, the less the printer will likely cost so, once more, try to determine what you might print. If all you intend to print is flat acrylic for instance, you can receive by with a 2″ thick throat capacity, although take into account that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical ever since the smallest of any printer for that is around 4″. Alternatively, spending money on a printer that may handle 15″ substrates for no reason at all would have been a waste of income. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer in the chart can do handling approximately 220 lbs., but many are designed for just a few pounds. Naturally, forcing a printer to do business with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will certainly shorten the lifespan of the textile printer.
Lots of the special features associated with UV flatbed printers are like sound systems in cars-it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or another, even colour of the cabinet may be pure preference but they still play to the buying formula and therefore are, therefore, important.
One of the main applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, and possibly most essential of all the, is service and support. I actually have already mentioned these particular printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and so they definitely require ongoing maintenance. What this means is your skill get in touch with someone for help when things don’t go the direction they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be placed on a chart. It has to be learned the difficult 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 delighted to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living up to its promises. Just ask your profits representative for your telephone numbers of countless of the customers who are likely to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, naturally, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for the UV experience to be a pleasant one.
Age digital printing will be here which is definitely upon us. Technology with this market continues to develop. It’s really incredible what to do using this equipment. When you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your business, perhaps you should. It might mean another step toward diversification. Even though you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, check it out. That knows? It might be a profitable a part of your future.