Signs of the Times - June 2013 - (Page 14)

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Darek Johnson is ST’s Senior Technology Editor/Analyst. Email him at By Darek Johnson Desktop Printers for Signmakers Multiple-use desktop printers can add to your profit column. Building a printer with cheap plastic is like stuffing a burrito with boiled carrots – both will quickly disappoint the buyer. I don’t recommend often and desktop printers. The low-cost, ones I’ve seen break consume too much ink. You might see buying a cheap desktop printer like buying a fastidious show dog – the delicate kind that looks great, but eats pricey food and hides from house cats. Oppositely, professionally-engineered, productiontype, desktop printers have stamina, resilience and the ability to produce profitable products. Further, they’re generally larger – some are tabletop, not desktop sized – and better constructed than their box-store cousins. Additionally, they’re designed by engineers who develop tough, durable components that provide value, income and long-life machines for signmaking buyers. A desktop printer capable of producing high-quality prints can add to shops’ profits by allowing its designers to produce gorgeous, sales-presentation illustrations, but some production-grade, desktop printers reach beyond this scope by producing saleable products. You could see these as a separate profitmaker for your shop. Notably, both Roland DGA, Mimaki and several others have recently designed, manufactured and introduced product-producing, profit-making desktop printers for signmakers. I’ve outlined these below. I’ve also added information on DCS and Condé desktops. Roland DGA Roland DGA Corp. (Irvine, CA), says its 20-in.-wide, VersaStudio BN-20 desktop system is a profit-producing, integrated, printing and cutting package. You can use it as both a signmaker and T-shirt press, because it features your choice of Roland’s award-winning, mild-solvent inks – Eco-Sol MAX ink in CMYK, CMYK+Mt (metallic silver) or CMYK+W (white) – and various media. It also streamlines production by automatically contourcutting printed graphics. The VersaStudio uses the same print technology as Roland’s VersaCAMM VS series. Its gold-plated, piezoinkjet printheads create up to 1,440-dpi (using variable14 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JUNE 2013 / droplet technology with seven droplet sizes) images, which coordinate with the firm’s Intelligent Pass Control™ technology, to produce photographic-quality images. It also features Roland’s automated, ink-circulation system. The software package comprises Roland’s VersaWorks® RIP, R-Works Design and a Windows driver; it’s compatible with Windows® 7, Vista and XP operating systems and supports such software as CorelDRAW® and Adobe® Illustrator®. For T-shirt imaging, Roland recommends its HeatSoft® transfer material (ESM-HTM2) and polyester transfer mask (PGM-PTM). Both are specifically designed to work with Eco-Sol MAX ink for print/cut inkjet transfers to cotton or cotton blend garments. Mimaki USA Mimaki USA Inc. (Suwanee, GA) offers its new, UJF-6042 (A-2 size) tabletop-model, LED, UV-curing printer that supplements the company’s UJF-3042FX and UJF-3042HG (A-3 size) line of tabletop printers. Notice the term “tabletop” because these industrial-grade printers, which are set with LED UV-curing lamps, are larger than the average desktop printer. The 1,800 x 1,800-dpi JF-6042 accepts media up to 24 x 16 in. and 5.9 in. thick. The 1,440 x 1,200-dpi UJF-3042 accepts 16.5 x 12-in. media up to 5.9 in. thick. Both use variabledot printheads to apply LED UV-cure ink that, Mimaki says, is applicable for various media, including coated paper, cast-coated paper, leather, acrylic, wood, metal and glass. All UJF models feature Mimaki technology that regularly circulates the white ink; an automatic, inkjetprimer function that applies primer on selected areas; a reverse-print function that automatically allows overand under-print functions; and a nozzle-recovery system that temporarily covers any clogged nozzles with normal nozzles. Three ink choices allow hard, soft or weatherresistant applications.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - June 2013

Signs of the Times - June 2013
ST Update
Tech Update
Profiling Media for Purpose
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review
Technology Review
Sign Museum News
New Products
Enter ST’s 7th Annual Vehicle Graphics Contest!
The Reality of Your Surroundings
The Great ’scapes
Digital Printers at ISA
It’s a Jungle in Here
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - June 2013