One of the most popular attributes of latte art printer recently is the creation of cylindrical devices for printing items like water bottles. In my opinion that cylindrical tools are offered as being an selection for every printer with sufficient throat to support one. This brings no less than two questions into the light: One, how user-friendly will be the software for setting up a cylindrical job and, two, should i need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles could be successfully printed with a lot of UV inks, there is a different story with plastic bottles that could be squeezed. These require a flexible ink, so a few of the printer manufacturers now present an ink that stretches as much as 200 percent.
The flexible ink option reveals other applications, such as printing banners. Magnetic signs are another possibility and some manufacturers have built their printers so you can find no paramagnetic (steel) parts that would obstruct printing a magnetic material.
With all the large number of inks available, a serious decision you have to make is finding the right ink for the applications. Inks can’t easily be changed so once an ink is selected you will be pretty much tied to it for your duration. Ink changes are possible when you thoroughly clean the printer, but this is often time-consuming which is not suggested for job-to-job use.
Inks tend to be specific to the manufacturer, and tend to be paper heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run on). Some companies manufacture their very own print heads and rails, although others use assemblies using their company inkjet manufacturers, such as Ricoh and Epson. Based on the print head, the printer could be able to varying the dimensions of the ink dot from as little as a few 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 colors that smoothly change from one shade to another. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from within the printer as well as its software.
All UV printers come with some type of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to drive and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software program is developed by the producer for any specific printer and has various functions, including translating images out of your computer into raster images for that printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might struggle to talk and understand RIPs in any great detail, you will notice the outcomes within the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the capability to smoothly transition from a color to another one. When you are considering purchasing a printer, it’s crucial to look closely, compare results and request questions when you notice something which doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right at the demo, it won’t look right when investing in it home!
So where is definitely the profit UV printers? What types of products produce enough return so they are really worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or higher investment linked to these devices? It couldn’t often be the cabability to make one-up products as is the situation with sublimation. Clearly, UV is for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles may be personalized because they are printed, the true contribution of your UV printer is printing plenty of products with the same imprint-what we should will call production.
One of many great things about UV digital printing is the ability 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 a wide variety 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 people have no reason to print a lot of flash drives per week, but this is why you will find smaller machines. The secret is locating a printer that is simply the right balance between whatever you can afford and what you can justify with demand.
There are lots of special features on these printers. Some are super essential to quite a few users rather than to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to just one or two. Figuring out which features are essential for your needs and which can be not is not any easy task, and unless you can just buy blind and look for a printer with every feature available, this means an intelligent buyer will carry out some serious research before plunking down a pile of cash.
You can begin by reducing those printers which can be just way out of range price-wise and people who, for one reason or some other, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can certainly move on to study the printers which may have potential. It may be helpful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are thinking about purchasing by using a chart such as the one accompanying this article. This simply means going to several industry events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, obviously, slows the buying experience, but that is in reality a a valuable thing. Getting excited about investing in a printer and making a decision too rapidly is similar to new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Is some terminology you need to know before considering purchasing any UV printer. First, be aware that this post focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, uv printer usually has a fixed print head along with the flat table holding the substrate moves underneath the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the opportunity of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of a hybrid construction where both table as well as the print heads move in one fashion or other.
UV printers within this industry are technically UV LED printers. They prefer a range of LED lamps to build UV light that quickly cures the ink in contact with it. This really is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink could be laid down and cured, which increases the ink and creates a 3D influence on the substrate. This relief printing is how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using a few of these printers, as well as textured effects, including the dimples with a printed image of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the ability to print clear or white ink simultaneously as the CMYK colors, all in one pass, which may greatly enhance the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is an additional feature that offers increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and today most also use white and clear. A number of also provide the option for light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers possess a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically consisting of six or eight channels. For example, an eight-channel print head is usually put in place so there is certainly one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as 2 channels for white inks. When it comes to a printer using Lc and Lm, 2 of the eight channels would be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus can be a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed especially for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, it is a choice you will have to make, but most users can readily do without having the Lc and Lm, and just 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 difficulties with clogging paper heads pretty quickly. To compensate for this particular, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate simply the white or clear inks and some circulate (or agitate) each of the ink colors. Regardless, anything from the experienced is usually to print something daily along with your printer when possible. These printers are created to be applied often and long idle periods can result in some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, in line with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have got no personal exposure to this feature, but it sounds like an excellent one.
In the comparison chart, I have got included the size and weight for each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are heavy. Most will not pass through a single 36″ wide door plus some are incredibly heavy that wooden floors will need to be reinforced ahead of 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 essential to understand that these printers require considerably more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They can be highly technical and require an operator who is able to deal with their idiosyncrasies. Just attracting a UV printer and letting anyone and everybody operate it is a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Several of these printers have a year or so warranty but afterward, you will end up about the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink had been mentioned but it is deserving of another note. Some companies offer only one kind of ink so it is crucial that you are aware of the capabilities of that particular ink. Will it stretch? Can it adhere to glass (despite an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What sort of color pallet is available? Other businesses offer multiple inks that take care of every one of these issues but, as mentioned, you can’t just swap inks without notice to.
Typically, you need to select a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you need to decide exactly what kind of substrate you want to print on prior to deciding to lay out the money. True, it is possible to switch inks if you wish to, but this really is a costly and involved cleaning process so create the right decision at the beginning.
Printing speed is additionally worth note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly in the charts and comparing speed. Print speed could be measured in several ways, and a lot printer manufacturers publish the pace numbers in a way that makes them look the ideal (no problem with that). The issue 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 being a base or clear is added for an overcoat. Other elements also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another great reason to look fulfill the printer personally before making a decision.
The throat of the printer, or even the height from the item it might accommodate and still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the cost. The smaller the throat, the minus the printer is likely to cost so, once more, try to determine which you are likely to print. If all you could intend to print is flat acrylic as an illustration, you might get by having a 2″ thick throat capacity, although understand that would stop you from ever printing on anything cylindrical considering that the smallest for any printer for the is around 4″. However, purchasing a printer that will handle 15″ substrates for no reason will be a waste of income. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer within the chart is capable of handling approximately 220 lbs., but a majority of can handle only a few pounds. Naturally, forcing a printer to work with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the life in the t-shirt printer.
Most of the special features connected with UV flatbed printers are exactly like sound systems in cars-it basically relies on personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or some other, even the shade of the cabinet may be pure preference nevertheless they still play into the buying formula and therefore 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. I have got mentioned previously that these printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and they also definitely require ongoing maintenance. This simply means your ability to make contact with someone for help when things don’t go the way they should is imperative! This isn’t something that can be added to a chart. It has to be learned the hard way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t discover which companies or distributors give good service and the ones that don’t. People are usually very happy to “spill the beans” about any business that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask your profits representative for your telephone numbers of countless of 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 to your UV experience to be a pleasant one.
Age digital printing has arrived which is definitely upon us. Technology within this market continues to develop. It’s really incredible what you can do using this type of equipment. Should you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your business, maybe you should. It might mean one more step toward diversification. Even when you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, check it out. That knows? It might be a profitable part of your future.