Because the development of the wide-format printing market within the late 1980s/early 1990s, nearly all the output devices available on the market have been rollfed gadgets, publishing on flexible substrates like paper or canvas that unfurled in to the gadget, quite like a web press. The finished graphic was then frequently installed on to a firm material for display, installation, or some other end use.
Considering that the development of the broad-format printing marketplace in the late 1980s/early 1990s, the vast majority of the output devices in the marketplace happen to be rollfed devices, printing on versatile substrates like paper or canvas that unfurled into the device, rather like a web press. The finished graphic was then often mounted onto a rigid material for display, set up, or some other end use.
It is not difficult to find out the disadvantages of the kind of work-flow. Print-then-install adds an additional step (getting more time and reducing efficiency) and utilizes much more components (the published substrate in addition to the mounting materials and adhesive), incurs much more consumables expenses, increases squander, and decreases productivity. Therefore the solution appears apparent: reduce the middleman and print entirely on the rigid material itself. Get into flatbeds.
Flatbed wide-format printers appear like a new technologies, however they are really more than a decade aged along with their development continues to be swift but stealthy. A seminal entry within the Transfer Printer was the Inca Eagle 44, and early limitations of broad-format flatbeds had been the typical trinity of velocity, high quality, and expense. Your fourth member of this trinity was versatility. Similar to the majority of things technological, these restrictions were rapidly conquered. “Today, the standard of [these preliminary models] will be subpar,” says Jeffrey Nelson, business development supervisor, higher productivity inkjet equipment, Fujifilm’s Visual Techniques Division. “Ten years ago, the top speed was 4 beds an hour or so. Now, it is 90 mattresses an hour or so.” Fujifilm supplies the Acuity and Inca Beginning number of true UV flatbed printers.
The enhancements to flatbed printers had been largely a combination of printhead design and development as well as the evolution of printer ink technologies, as well as effective methods for shifting the substrate beyond the printheads-or, conversely, moving the printheads within the fixed substrate. Other difficulties have included the actual physical scale of the printers; big flatbed presses dwarf rollfed wide-format printers and also a substantial footprint. “Manufacturing, delivery, and installation happen to be significant difficulties,” says Oriol Gasch, category manager, Big Structure Sign & Display, Americas, for Hewlett packard. “Such as how you can move someone to the second flooring of your industrial space.” The analogy would be to counteract presses, particularly web presses, which often must be set up first, then the developing constructed about them. The Bigfoot-esque footprint of flatbeds is just one consideration for virtually any store looking to get one-and it’s not just the dimensions of the equipment. There must also be room to go big firm prints about. HP’s flatbed offerings range from the entry-level Hewlett packard Scitex FB500 and FB700 series and the higher-end HP Scitex FB7600.
And so the fantastic application for flatbed broad-structure computer printers continues to be the ability to print right on a multitude of components while not having to print out-then-mount or print on a transfer sheet, typical for publishing on 3D surfaces that cannot be fed by way of a traditional printer. “Golf balls, mittens, poker chips,” says Nelson, are among the items his customers have printed on. “Someone visited Home Depot and acquired a door to print on.”
“What’s expanding is specialized programs using diverse and unique substrates,” states HP’s Gasch, “such as porcelain, metal, glass, and other thick, weighty materials.”
This substrate flexibility have directed flatbeds to become adopted by display screen computer printers, as well as product packaging printers and converters. “What is growing is publishing on corrugated board for product packaging, either main or supplementary product packaging for impulse purchases,” states Gasch. “A unique item is red wine containers.” It is all really intoxicating.
UV or Not Ultra violet, This is the Question
It was developments in ink technology that assisted the flatbed printing device market develop, and ink must be flexible sufficient to print on a multitude of substrates without having a shop being forced to carry myriad inks and exchange them out between jobs, which may improve expense and decrease productivity. Some inks require primers or pretreatments to get placed on the surface to aid enhance printer ink adhesion, while some make use of a fixer additional right after printing. A lot of the printing we’re used to utilizes a liquid printer ink that dries by a mix of water loss and penetration into the substrate, but a number of these specialty substrates have areas that don’t allow ink penetration, hence the requirement to give the ink something to “grab on to.” UV ink are especially great for these surfaces, as they dried out by contact with uv light, therefore they do not must evaporate/penetrate the way in which classical ink do.
A lot of the available literature on flatbeds indicates that “flatbed printer” is symbolic of “UV printer” and, although there are solvent ink-based flatbeds, the majority of models on the market are UV devices. You will find myriad advantages to UV printing-no noxious fumes, the opportunity to print out on the broader range of materials, faster drying out times, the cabability to add spiffy special effects, and so on.-but switching to your UV workflow is not really a determination to become made casually. (See a future function to get a more detailed look at UV printing.)
All of the new programs that flatbeds permit are wonderful, however, there is still a large volume of work very best handled by rollfeds. So for real flexibility, a shop can utilize a single gadget to produce each rollfed and flatbed programs because of so-called blend or crossbreed computer printers. These units can help a shop tackle a wider number of work than can be pirsyb having a solitary form of printer, but be forewarned which a combination printing device isn’t always as flexible as, and may lag the production speed of, a true flatbed. Specifications sometimes refer to the rollfed speed of the device, while the velocity from the “flatbed mode” may be significantly slower. Always look for footnotes-and always get demos.