Since the advent of the wide-format printing market within the late 1980s/earlier 1990s, the majority of the output devices in the marketplace have been rollfed devices, printing on flexible substrates like paper or fabric that unfurled into the device, quite like a web press. The finished graphic was then often mounted onto a rigid material for display, installation, or some other end use.
Because the advent of the broad-structure printing market in the late 1980s/earlier 1990s, the majority of the output devices on the market have already been rollfed gadgets, publishing on flexible substrates like papers or canvas that unfurled into the device, rather like a web press. The completed visual was then often installed on to a firm materials for display, set up, or any other end use.
It is not difficult to view the drawbacks of this kind of work-flow. Print-then-mount adds an extra stage (getting additional time and decreasing productivity) and uses much more components (the published substrate plus the installation material and adhesive), incurs much more consumables costs, increases squander, and decreases efficiency. So the solution appears apparent: cut out the middleman and print out right on the rigid material alone. Get into flatbeds.
Flatbed wide-format printers seem like a whole new technology, however they are actually more than a decade old and their evolution continues to be fast but stealthy. A seminal entrance inside the DTF Printer was the Inca Eagle 44, and earlier limitations of wide-structure flatbeds were the standard trinity of speed, high quality, and price. Your fourth member of this trinity was flexibility. Similar to most things technological, those restrictions had been rapidly conquered. “Today, the quality of [those initial models] would be subpar,” states Jeffrey Nelson, company development manager, high productivity inkjet equipment, Fujifilm’s Graphic Techniques Division. “Ten in the past, the top speed was four beds an hour or so. Now, it is 90 beds an hour or so.” Fujifilm supplies the Acuity and Inca Onset series of true UV flatbed printers.
The enhancements to flatbed printers were mostly a combination of printhead design and development and the evolution of ink technologies, as well as efficient methods for moving the substrate beyond the printheads-or, conversely, shifting the printheads on the stationary substrate. Other challenges have included the actual physical scale of the computer printers; big flatbed presses dwarf rollfed broad-format computer printers and also a significant footprint. “Manufacturing, shipping, and set up have been significant difficulties,” says Oriol Gasch, group manager, Large Structure Sign & Display, Americas, for Hewlett packard. “Such as the best way to move anyone to the second floor of an industrial space.” The example is to counteract presses, particularly web presses, which often had to be set up initially, then this building constructed around them. The Bigfoot-esque footprint of flatbeds is one concern for just about any shop looking to get one-and it is not just how big the machine. There also needs to be space to go large rigid prints about. HP’s flatbed offerings are the entrance-degree Hewlett packard Scitex FB500 and FB700 collection and the higher-finish Hewlett packard Scitex FB7600.
And so the fantastic app for flatbed broad-format computer printers has been the ability to print directly on a multitude of materials while not having to print-then-mount or print on a move page, common for publishing on three dimensional areas that can’t be provided via a traditional printer. “Golf balls, mittens, poker potato chips,” states Nelson, are some of the objects his clients have printed on. “Someone went to Home Depot and found a door to print on.”
“What’s growing is specialized programs utilizing diverse and distinctive substrates,” states HP’s Gasch, “such as porcelain, metallic, glass, and other thick, heavy components.”
This substrate versatility have directed flatbeds to get adopted by screen computer printers, as well as packaging printers and converters. “What keeps growing is publishing on corrugated board for packaging, either main or secondary product packaging for impulse purchases,” says Gasch. “A unique item is red wine boxes.” It is all very intoxicating.
Ultra violet or otherwise not UV, Which is the Question
It was developments in ink technologies that assisted the flatbed printer marketplace grow, and inks need to be versatile sufficient to print on a wide variety of substrates without having a shop needing to stock myriad inks and exchange them out among work, which may improve cost and decrease productivity. Some inks require primers or pretreatments to become placed on the surface to help improve ink adhesion, while others use a fixer additional after publishing. A lot of the publishing we’re used to works with a fluid printer ink that dries by a combination of evaporation and penetration to the substrate, but most of these specialized substrates have areas that don’t permit printer ink penetration, therefore the need to offer the ink some thing to “grab onto.” UV ink are especially ideal for these surfaces, because they dried out by contact with ultraviolet light, so that they do not have to evaporate/permeate the way in which more conventional ink do.
A lot of the accessible literature on flatbeds shows that “flatbed printer” is symbolic of “UV printer” and, although there are solvent printer ink-based flatbeds, nearly all models available on the market are Ultra violet gadgets. There are myriad benefits of UV publishing-no noxious gases, the opportunity to print out on a wider range of components, quicker drying out times, the ability to add spiffy special effects, and so on.-but changing to your UV workflow will not be a determination to become made lightly. (See an upcoming function for any more descriptive examine Ultra violet printing.)
All the new applications that flatbeds permit are wonderful, but there is still a substantial volume of work very best dealt with by rollfeds. So for true versatility, a shop can make use of a single gadget to produce both rollfed and flatbed programs because of so-called blend or hybrid computer printers. These products can help a store tackle a wider variety of work than can be pirsyb having a solitary kind of printing device, but be forewarned that a combination printer isn’t constantly as versatile as, and may lag the development speed of, a genuine flatbed. Specifications occasionally reference the rollfed speed of the gadget, while the velocity of the “flatbed mode” may be significantly more slowly. Always look for footnotes-and constantly get demos.