Considering that the introduction of the wide-format printing market within the late 1980s/earlier 1990s, nearly all the output devices in the marketplace have been rollfed devices, publishing on flexible substrates like papers or canvas that unfurled to the device, rather like an online press. The finished visual was then often mounted onto a firm material for display, set up, or other end use.
Because the development of the wide-format publishing marketplace within the late 1980s/early 1990s, the vast majority of the productivity gadgets in the marketplace have already been rollfed devices, publishing on versatile substrates like papers or canvas that unfurled in to the device, quite like an internet press. The finished graphic was then often mounted onto a firm material for display, set up, or some other end use.
It’s not difficult to see the drawbacks of the kind of workflow. Print-then-mount provides yet another stage (taking more hours and decreasing productivity) and uses much more materials (the published substrate in addition to the installation material and sticky), incurs more consumables expenses, raises waste, and decreases efficiency. So the solution seems apparent: cut out the middleman and print out entirely on the firm materials alone. Get into flatbeds.
Flatbed broad-structure computer printers appear like a whole new technology, however are really more than a decade aged along with their development has been fast but stealthy. A seminal entrance inside the UV Flatbed Printer was the Inca Eagle 44, and early limitations of wide-format flatbeds had been the typical trinity of speed, high quality, and cost. The fourth member of the trinity was flexibility. Similar to most things technical, these limitations were rapidly conquered. “Today, the caliber of [those initial designs] could be subpar,” states Jeffrey Nelson, business development supervisor, higher productivity inkjet gear, Fujifilm’s Graphic Techniques Department. “Ten years back, the top speed was four mattresses an hour or so. Now, it is 90 mattresses one hour.” Fujifilm provides the Acuity and Inca Beginning series of true UV flatbed printers.
The enhancements to flatbed computer printers were mostly a combination of printhead design and development as well as the development of ink technologies, as well as efficient ways of moving the substrate beyond the printheads-or, conversely, shifting the printheads within the fixed substrate. Other difficulties have involved the physical scale of the computer printers; big flatbed presses dwarf rollfed wide-format printers and have a substantial footprint. “Manufacturing, delivery, and installation happen to be substantial difficulties,” states Oriol Gasch, group supervisor, Large Structure Sign & Display, Americas, for HP. “Such as how to move one to the second floor of your commercial space.” The analogy would be to offset presses, particularly web presses, which regularly must be set up initially, then the developing constructed about them. The Bigfoot-esque footprint of flatbeds is one concern for just about any store looking to acquire a single-and it is not just the dimensions of the machine. There must also be space to move big rigid designs about. HP’s flatbed products are the entry-degree Hewlett packard Scitex FB500 and FB700 series and also the higher-end Hewlett packard Scitex FB7600.
So the fantastic application for flatbed wide-format computer printers continues to be the cabability to print right on a multitude of components while not having to print out-then-mount or print out over a transfer page, common for publishing on three dimensional areas that can’t be provided via a traditional printing device. “Golf balls, mittens, poker potato chips,” says Nelson, are among the items his customers have printed on. “Someone went along to Home Depot and acquired a door to print on.”
“What’s growing is specialized applications utilizing diverse and unique substrates,” states HP’s Gasch, “such as porcelain, metal, glass, as well as other thick, weighty materials.”
This substrate flexibility have directed flatbeds to be implemented by display screen printers, as well as packaging printers and converters. “What keeps growing is publishing on corrugated board for product packaging, either primary or supplementary product packaging for impulse purchases,” says Gasch. “A distinctive item is red wine boxes.” It is all very intoxicating.
UV or otherwise not Ultra violet, That Is the Question
It was developments in ink technologies that helped the flatbed printing device marketplace develop, and ink must be versatile sufficient to print out on a wide variety of substrates without a store being forced to stock myriad inks and swap them out among work, which will increase expense and decrease productivity. Some inks require primers or pretreatments to become placed on the top to help enhance ink adhesion, while some make use of a fixer additional after printing. A lot of the publishing we are familiar with works with a liquid ink that dries out by a mix of water loss and penetration into the substrate, but many of these specialty substrates have surfaces that don’t permit ink penetration, therefore the requirement to provide the ink some thing to “grab on to.” UV inks are particularly great for these areas, since they dry by exposure to uv light, therefore they don’t have to vanish/penetrate just how more conventional ink do.
A lot of possible literature on flatbeds suggests that “flatbed printer” is symbolic of “UV printer” and, although there are solvent ink-dependent flatbeds, nearly all models available on the market are UV gadgets. You can find myriad advantages to UV printing-no noxious fumes, the ability to print over a wider range of materials, quicker drying times, the ability to include spiffy effects, etc.-but switching to a Ultra violet workflow is not really a choice to become made lightly. (See an upcoming function for any more in depth take a look at UV publishing.)
Each of the new programs that flatbeds permit are wonderful, there is however nevertheless a substantial volume of work best handled by rollfeds. So for true versatility, a store can utilize a single gadget to create both rollfed and flatbed programs due to so-called combination or hybrid printers. These devices can assist a store tackle a broader variety of work than can be pirsyb having a solitary form of printer, but be forewarned that the blend printer isn’t always as versatile as, and may lag the development speed of, a real flatbed. Specs sometimes reference the rollfed speed in the gadget, as the velocity of the “flatbed mode” may be significantly more slowly. Always look for footnotes-and also get demos.