One from the great things about UV digital printing is the capability to print detailed full-color images. Photo from Mimaki USA. The latte coffee printer can be obtained from Roland DGA Corp. Marco Awards Group is distributing Direct Color Systems’ UV printers for printing with a wide selection of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it may print 225,000 flash drives inside a 40-hour period. That’s a great deal of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, most of us have no need to print countless flash drives in a very week, but that’s why you can find smaller machines. The key is obtaining a printer that’s just the right balance between what you are able afford and what you are able justify with demand.
There are tons of great features on these printers. Some are super imperative that you some users instead of to others, while other available choices are vital to just a few. Figuring out which features are crucial that you you and which are not is not any easy task, and unless you are able to just buy blind and locate a printer with every feature out there, it means a wise buyer is going to complete some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can start by reducing those printers which can be just way to avoid it of range price-wise and those that, for just one reason or another, are unsuited on your applications. Then you can move on to study the printers that have potential. It can be helpful to do head-to-head comparisons of printers you are considering purchasing employing a chart much like the one accompanying this information. This means traveling to your couple of trade events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, needless to say, decelerates the buying experience, but that’s actually a a valuable thing. Getting pumped up about buying a printer and making a decision too quickly is compared to new car fever—it will most likely bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you have to know before considering the purchase associated with a UV printer. First, note that this information focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a flatbed printer normally has a fixed print head as well as the flat table holding the substrate moves under paper head during printing. Supposedly, this design cuts down on the possibility of the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of an hybrid construction where the two table and also the print heads transfer one fashion and other.
UV printers on this industry are technically UV LED printers. They use a multitude of LED lamps to generate UV light that automatically cures the ink subjected to it. This is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink might be laid down and cured, which accumulates the ink and helps to create a 3D effect about the substrate. This relief printing is how ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are set up using some of these printers, along with textured effects, including the dimples on the printed image of your basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the capacity to print clear or white ink with the same time because CMYK colors, all in a single pass, that may greatly enhance the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is an additional feature that provides increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets now most also have white and clear. A few also offer the option of light cyan and light magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s phone case printer possess a multiple – channel print head for dispensing ink, typically including things like six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is usually set up so there exists one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as channels for white inks. In the case of a printer using Lc and Lm, two from the eight channels could be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is often a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed particularly for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo due to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this can be a choice you need to make, but many users can simply do with no Lc and Lm, and just rely for the CMYK to create a stunning image. White is, naturally, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it can be typically very thick which presents issues with clogging printed heads promptly. To compensate just for this, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This is extremely important. Some printers circulate exactly the white and/or clear inks while some circulate (or agitate) all of the ink colors. Regardless, a word from the experienced is to print something daily along with your printer whenever possible. These printers are made to be used often and long idle periods can lead to some painful lessons. Mimaki printers include a feature known as a “nozzle recovery system” to observe nozzles and, according on the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no personal experience with this feature, but it sounds like a fantastic one.
In the comparison chart, I have included the scale and weight of each one printer. These machines are huge as printers go and they are generally heavy. Some is not going to pass through one particular 36″ wide door and several are so heavy that wooden floors should be reinforced before installing the printer, so know about this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice however give to newbies, he explained that it really is important to realize that these printers require somewhat more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They are highly technical and require an operator that can deal with their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is often a disaster waiting to occur. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Many of these printers have a year or two warranty but and then, you will be for the hook for print heads and other replacement parts which may be many.
GoVivid, a Rowmark division, offers the Breeze (left) as well as the Wave UV digital printers.
Ink was already mentioned nonetheless it is merit another note. Some companies offer only one kind of ink so it’s important that you comprehend the capabilities of this ink. Will it stretch? Will it stick to glass (in spite of an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet can be obtained? Other companies offer multiple inks that deal with each of the issues but, as mentioned, you’ll be able to’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you need to select just one multipurpose ink for each and every printer so you have to decide exactly what type of substrate you wish to print on before you decide to lay down the money. True, you’ll be able to switch inks if you should, but this is really a costly and involved cleaning process so make right decision inside beginning.
Printing speed is additionally worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly with the charts and comparing speed. Print speed could be measured in many ways, and quite a few printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a very way that makes them look the most effective (nothing wrong with this). The problem is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” because the numbers might have huge variations when comparing draft mode (720 x 720 dpi) with production mode (1440 x 1440 dpi or maybe more). Speed also varies when white is added like a base or devspky91 is added as an overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”—another justification to go meet the printer in person before making the decision.
The throat of your printer, or height in the item it might accommodate yet still print on, goes a long way in determining the price. The smaller the throat, the less the printer will probably cost so, yet again, make an effort to determine what you’re going to print. If whatever you plan to print is flat acrylic as an example, you can find by which has a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that could prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest of any printer for which is about 4″. On the other hand, paying for any printer that are equipped for 15″ substrates for no reason would be a waste of income. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer included in the chart is effective at handling up to 220 lbs., but most can handle just a few pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to operate with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity will certainly shorten the life in the printer.
Many of the bells and whistles associated with t-shirt printer are similar to sound systems in cars—it basically depends upon personal preference. Digital readouts, handy remote control panels, one basic design and other, even color of the cabinet could be pure preference nevertheless they still play to the buying formula and are, therefore, important.
One of the major applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo from Direct Color Systems.
Finally, as well as perhaps most important coming from all, is service and support. I have already mentioned that these printers require some tender loving care. They can be somewhat finicky and so they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capability to contact someone for help when things don’t go the direction they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be placed with a chart. It has to be learned the tough way. But that doesn’t mean you are able to’t figure out which companies or distributors give good service and which ones don’t. Customers usually are more than happy to “spill the beans” about any organization that isn’t living approximately its promises. Just ask the sales representative for that phone numbers of varied of their clients who are willing to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, needless to say, friendly, supportive service are invaluable for the UV experience to be a pleasant one.
The age of digital printing has arrived and is definitely for us. Technology on this market is constantly on the develop. It’s really incredible what you can do using this equipment. If you haven’t considered digital inkjet printing for the business, perhaps you should. It could mean an additional step within the direction of diversification. Even if you’re not ready to take the digital printing plunge, give it a look. Who knows? It may be a profitable section of your future.