One from the great things about UV digital printing is the capacity to print detailed full-color images. Photo courtesy of Mimaki USA. The coffee printer is available from Roland DGA Corp. Marco Awards Group is distributing Direct Color Systems’ UV printers for printing with a wide variety of items.
One new $80,000 printer reports it could print 225,000 flash drives inside a 40-hour period. That’s a lots of flash drives and that’s where these printers shine. Obviously, many of us have no need to print countless flash drives in a week, but that is why you can find smaller machines. The key is locating a printer that is certainly just the right balance between what you could afford and what you can justify with demand.
There are tons of amazing features on these printers. Some are super crucial that you some users and never to others, while other available choices are incredibly important to only a few. Figuring out which features are imperative that you you and which are not isn’t easy task, and unless you are able to just buy blind in order to find a printer with every feature available, it implies a wise buyer is going to perform some serious research before plunking down a pile of money.
You can start by reducing those printers that are just way out of range price-wise and those that, for one reason and other, are unsuited to your applications. Then you can begin study the printers which have potential. It might be helpful to perform head-to-head comparisons of printers you might be considering purchasing by using a chart such as the one accompanying this article. This means traveling with a couple of trade events and/or arranging on-site demos. This, obviously, decelerates the buying experience, but that’s actually a advantage. Getting enthusiastic about buying a printer and picking a choice too quickly is compared to new car fever—it probably will bring on buyer’s regrets later.
Here is some terminology you have to know before thinking about the purchase associated with a UV printer. First, note that this article focuses specifically on UV flatbed printers. In the truest form, a flatbed printer usually has a fixed print head and also the flat table holding the substrate moves under paper head during printing. Supposedly, this design reduces the possibility with the substrate moving during printing. However, most desktop flatbed printers are of your hybrid construction where both the table and also the print heads relocate one fashion or another.
UV printers with this industry are technically UV LED printers. They use an array of LED lamps to get UV light that very quickly cures the ink encountered with it. This is highly advantageous because multiple layers of ink could be laid down and cured, which accumulates the ink and helps to create a 3D effect on the substrate. This relief printing is the place where ADA tactile letters and Grade II Braille are created using some of the printers, and also textured effects, like the dimples over a printed image of an basketball, and raised images. Some printers have the power to print clear or white ink in the same time because the CMYK colors, all in a single pass, which could greatly improve the printer’s speed. Bi-directional printing is an additional feature which gives increased printing speeds.
All UV printers use CMYK ink sets and after this most also use white and clear. A few offer the option of light cyan and light-weight magenta (Lc, Lm). Today’s phone case printer use a multiple – channel print head for dispensing ink, typically composed of six or eight channels. For instance, an eight-channel print head is often set up so there’s one channel each for CMYK plus two channels for clear as well as channels for white inks. In the truth of a printer using Lc and Lm, two with the eight channels can be configured to dispense this ink (e.g. white and/or clear ink channels).
Direct Print Metallics Plus is a coated metallic aluminum substrate designed designed for printing with UV/UV-LED inks. Photo thanks to Johnson Plastics.
Again, this is a choice you simply must make, but a majority of users can readily do minus the Lc and Lm, and merely rely about the CMYK to make a stunning image. White is, of course, the difficult color. Because white ink should be opaque, it really is typically very thick which presents difficulties with clogging paper heads fairly quickly. To compensate just for this, most printers include some type of circulation (agitation) system. This is crucial. Some printers circulate only the white and/or clear inks although some circulate (or agitate) every one of the ink colors. Regardless, a thing from the experienced would be to print something daily together with your printer whenever possible. These printers are created to be used often and long idle periods can bring about some painful lessons. Mimaki printers incorporate a feature called a “nozzle recovery system” to monitor nozzles and, according towards the manufacturer, automatically identify and recover clogged print heads. I have no knowledge with this feature, however it sounds like an excellent one.
In the comparison chart, I have included the size and weight of every printer. These machines are huge as printers go and they are heavy. Some is not going to pass through one particular 36″ wide door plus some are so heavy that wooden floors should be reinforced before installing the printer, so be aware of this.
Upon asking one UV printer distributor what advice he would give to newbies, he said that it’s important to understand that these printers require significantly more attention and maintenance than sublimation printers or laser engravers. They are highly technical and require an operator who are able to deal with their idiosyncrasies. Just bringing in a UV printer and letting anyone and everyone operate it is a disaster waiting that occurs. Likewise, consider preventive maintenance. Many of such printers have per year or two warranty but next, you will be about the hook for print heads and also other replacement parts which could be many.
GoVivid, a Rowmark division, offers the Breeze (left) along with the Wave UV digital printers.
Ink was already mentioned nevertheless it is worth another note. Some companies offer only wedding party ink so it can be important that you view the capabilities of that ink. Will it stretch? Will it adhere to glass (even with an adhesion promotor)? Is it fade resistant for exterior use? What kind of color pallet is accessible? Other companies offer multiple inks that cope with each of such issues but, mentioned previously, it is possible to’t just swap inks whenever you want to.
Typically, you should select a single multipurpose ink for each printer so you have to decide precisely what type of substrate you want to print on before you decide to lay down the cash. True, you can switch inks if you’ll want to, but this is really a costly and involved cleaning process so increase the risk for right decision inside the beginning.
Printing speed can be worthy of note. The numbers might mislead anyone looking strictly with the charts and comparing speed. Print speed may be measured in many ways, and many printer manufacturers publish the speed numbers in a very way that means they are look the most effective (nothing wrong achievable). The problem is, those numbers don’t compare “apples to apples” because the numbers might vary in color tremendously when comparing draft mode (720 x 720 dpi) with production mode (1440 x 1440 dpi or older). Speed also varies when white is added as being a base or devspky91 is added just as one overcoat. Other factors also play into this mix so “seeing is believing”—another justified reason to go satisfy the printer directly before making a choice.
The throat of the printer, or height of the item it could accommodate and still print on, goes quite a distance in determining the retail price. The smaller the throat, the less the printer is likely to cost so, once more, try to determine what you happen to be going to print. If all that you plan to print is flat acrylic as an illustration, you may get by using a 2″ thick throat capacity, although keep in mind that would prevent you from ever printing on anything cylindrical since the smallest of the printer for that is about 4″. On the other hand, paying to get a printer that are designed for 15″ substrates for no reason would be a waste of money. The same is true with substrate weight capacity. One printer included within the chart is capable of handling around 220 lbs., but many can handle just one or two pounds. Of course, forcing a printer to operate with substrates near or beyond its rated capacity is sure to shorten the life with the printer.
Many with the bells and whistles associated with dtg printer are similar to sound systems in cars—it basically is dependant on personal preference. Digital readouts, handheld remote control panels, one basic design and other, the color with the cabinet may be pure preference however they still play in to the buying formula and are, therefore, important.
One from the major applications for UV printing is ADA-compliant signage. Photo courtesy of Direct Color Systems.
Finally, as well as perhaps most important of most, is service and support. I have mentioned previously that these printers require some tender loving care. They may be somewhat finicky and so they definitely require ongoing maintenance. This means your capacity to contact someone for help when things don’t go where did they should is imperative! This isn’t something that may be placed on a chart. It has to be learned hard way. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to’t work out which companies or distributors give good service and those don’t. Customers are generally more than happy to “spill the beans” about any company that isn’t living around its promises. Just ask your sales representative to the phone numbers of several of their potential customers who are prepared to be references. Quick responses to calls of help, quick shipment of repair parts and supplies and, obviously, friendly, supportive service are invaluable to your UV experience to become pleasant one.
The age of digital printing has arrived and is definitely for us. Technology in 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, you could possibly should. It could mean one more step inside the direction of diversification. Even should you’re not willing to take the digital printing plunge, look it over. Who knows? It might be a profitable section of your future.