One of the most popular attributes of coffee printer recently continues to be the development of cylindrical devices for printing things like water bottles. I believe that cylindrical devices are offered for an option for every printer with sufficient throat to support one. This brings no less than two questions in to the light: One, how user-friendly may be the software for setting up a cylindrical job and, two, do you need another specialized ink? Although metal water bottles may be successfully printed generally UV inks, there is a different story with plastic bottles that could be squeezed. These require a flexible ink, so a number of the printer manufacturers now present an ink that stretches up to 200 percent.
The flexible ink option opens up 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 might affect printing a magnetic material.
Using the multitude of inks available, a major decision you must make is picking the best ink for your applications. Inks can’t definitely be changed so once an ink is selected you might be basically stuck with it for that duration. Ink changes are possible in the event you thoroughly clean the printer, but this could be time-consuming and it is not advised for job-to-job use.
Inks are usually specific towards the manufacturer, and tend to be the print heads and rails (the bars the heads and UV light run using). Some companies manufacture their very own print heads and rails, even though many others use assemblies from other inkjet manufacturers, such as Ricoh and Epson. Based on the print head, the printer might be competent at varying the size of the ink dot from as low as a few picoliters to around 20 picoliters. By varying the dot size, the printers are better able to manipulate ink density, which leads to sharper images and colours that smoothly differ from one shade to a different. Variable-dot printing is controlled by firmware from the inside the printer as well as its software.
All UV printers have some kind of RIP (Raster Image Processor) software to operate a vehicle and control these firmware options. Usually, the RIP software program is designed by the maker for a specific printer and has various functions, like translating images from the computer into raster images for that printer and enhancing color consistency. Even though you might not be able to talk and understand RIPs in virtually any great detail, you can observe the outcomes in the printed image, such as vivid reds, bright white and the capability to smoothly transition from a single color to another. When you are thinking purchasing a printer, it’s crucial to check closely, compare results and request questions once you see something which doesn’t look right. If it doesn’t look right in the demo, it won’t look right when you get it home!
So how will be the profit UV printers? What types of products produce enough return to make them well worth the $20,000 to $80,000 or even more investment connected to these products? It couldn’t come to be the capability to make one-up products as is the case with sublimation. Clearly, UV is for the bulk production shop. Although one thousand water bottles might be personalized because they are printed, the genuine contribution from the UV printer is printing lots of products with the exact same imprint-whatever we will call production.
One of several primary advantages of UV digital printing is the opportunity to print detailed full-color images. Photo courtesy of 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 numerous types of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it might print 225,000 flash drives in the 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 per week, but that is why there are smaller machines. The secret is getting a printer that is simply the right balance between what you can afford and what you could justify with demand.
There are tons of features on these printers. Some are super essential to many folks and never to others, while additional options are absolutely vital to just one or two. Figuring out which features are important for you and that happen to be not is not any easy task, and unless you can easily buy blind and find a printer with every feature available, it indicates a wise buyer is going to perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can start by reducing those printers which can be just solution of range price-wise and those that, first reason or another, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can certainly move on to study the printers which may have potential. It could be beneficial to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are thinking about purchasing employing a chart such as the one accompanying this article. What this means is visiting a couple of industry events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, of course, decelerates the buying experience, but that is really a great thing. Getting excited about investing in a printer and making a decision too rapidly is a lot like new car fever-it can probably bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Is some terminology you need to understand before considering the purchase of any UV printer. First, be aware that this informative article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. Inside the truest form, small uv printer usually has a fixed print head and the flat table holding the substrate moves within the print head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the opportunity of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where the table as well as the print heads relocate one fashion or other.
UV printers within this industry are technically UV LED printers. They utilize a range of LED lamps to produce UV light that very quickly cures the ink subjected to it. This can be highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink can be laid down and cured, which grows the ink and fosters a 3D impact on the substrate. This relief printing is the way ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are made using a number of these printers, and also textured effects, for example the dimples on the printed picture of a basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink as well since the CMYK colors, all within a pass, which can greatly boost the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing can be another feature that gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most also have white and clear. A couple of provide a choice of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s UV printers possess a multiple-
channel print head for dispensing ink, typically comprising six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is often set up so there may be one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as two channels for white inks. In the case of 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 is a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed specifically for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo courtesy of Johnson Plastics.
Again, this really is a choice you will have to make, but most users can easily do with no Lc and Lm, and merely rely on the CMYK to generate a stunning image. White is, obviously, the difficult color. Because white ink needs to be opaque, it is actually typically very thick which presents complications with clogging paper heads pretty quickly. To make up just for this, most printers include some form of circulation (agitation) system. This is very important. Some printers circulate merely the white and clear inks while others circulate (or agitate) every one of the ink colors. Regardless, anything in the experienced is usually to print something daily together with your printer if possible. These printers are created to be utilized often and long idle periods can bring about some painful lessons. Mimaki printers feature a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to keep track of nozzles and, in line with the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. We have no personal experience with this feature, nevertheless it seems like a fantastic one.
In the comparison chart, We have included the size and weight for each printer. This equipment is huge as printers go and they are heavy. A few will not move through one particular 36″ wide door and several are really 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 would give to newbies, he was quoted saying that it is essential to recognize that these printers require significantly 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 everyone operate it is actually a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Most of these printers have got a year or two warranty but afterward, you will end up on the hook for print heads as well as other replacement parts which is often many.
Ink has already been mentioned but it is deserving of another note. Some companies offer only one sort of ink so it is important that you realize the capabilities of the ink. Could it stretch? Does it stay with glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is available? Others offer multiple inks that take care of each of these issues but, as i have said, you can’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you have to choose a single multipurpose ink for every single printer so you have to decide exactly which kind of substrate you need to print on prior to deciding to lie down the cash. True, you may switch inks if you wish to, but it is a costly and involved cleaning process so make your right decision at first.
Printing speed is also 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 most printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a manner that makes them look the very best (nothing wrong with this). The catch is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” because 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 being an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”-another great reason to visit satisfy the printer directly before making a choice.
The throat of your printer, or the height of the item it could accommodate but still print on, goes a considerable ways in determining the purchase price. Smaller the throat, the minus the printer is likely to cost so, again, try to determine what you are going to print. If all you want to print is flat acrylic as an example, you may get by by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although understand that would keep you from ever printing on anything cylindrical ever since the smallest of any printer for that is approximately 4″. Alternatively, spending money on a printer that could handle 15″ substrates for absolutely no reason might be a waste of capital. The same holds true with substrate weight capacity. One printer within the chart can perform handling around 220 lbs., but most are prepared for only some pounds. Needless to say, forcing a printer to use substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will definitely shorten the lifespan of your textile printer.
A lot of the special features linked to UV flatbed printers are just like sound systems in cars-it basically boils down to personal preference. Digital readouts, 05dexqpky control panels, one basic design or any other, 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, is service and support. We have mentioned previously that these printers require some tender loving care. They are often somewhat finicky plus they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your ability to get hold of someone for help when things don’t go the direction they should is imperative! This isn’t something that could be positioned on a chart. It needs to be learned the tough way. But that doesn’t mean you can’t discover which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Consumers are usually delighted to “spill the beans” about any business that isn’t living up to its promises. Just ask the sales representative to the cell phone numbers of numerous of their customers who are willing to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, obviously, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for your personal UV experience to become a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing has arrived and it is definitely upon us. Technology in this particular market continues to develop. It’s really incredible what to do with this particular equipment. In the event you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for your personal business, maybe you should. It might mean an additional step toward diversification. Even if you’re not ready to accept the digital printing plunge, take a look. You never know? It might be a profitable part of your future.