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UV Printer – Two Applications to Take Into Consideration Whenever Getting a UV Printer.

It seems that individuals in the personalization business will always be looking for the “next BIG thing” in your industry. Years back, lasers were the “next BIG thing,” then inkjet sublimation crafted a huge effect on the business. So what’s next? What magical innovation will come along that, again, will revolutionize the personalization industry? Can it be UV printers? Facts are, it merely may be, and here’s why.

Many years ago, computerized rotary engraving machines revolutionized the business, then lasers did the same thing, and then some major technological advancements in sublimation emerged cementing this method as one of the “next BIG things.” In the process, a few other likely candidates cropped up, but they never quite made it to the “next BIG” level. I recall getting pretty enthusiastic about the AcryliPrint process of inexpensively printing full-color images on acrylic. It is actually still a great process but it never quite caught on for in-house production. Then there was the system that printed inkjet images on glass. Again, a pretty nice product however it never really took off. Finally, there was the Enduring Images system of printing on ceramic using latte art printer. I am still holding out for this one to remove, but to date, just one or two passionate souls are sticking with me.

UV printing, however, seems to be taking up a lifetime of its very own. For several years now, it offers all but dominated the industry events with some really big names going for a marked fascination with showing their printers, while they knew they were out from the budget range for 95 percent of individuals walking the surface. I see these printers exhibited at big shows and small: Sign shows, personalization shows, awards shows and print shows are hosting several manufacturers of UV printers which are displaying what seems to be progressively more models.

Steve Gluskin, director of advertising for Rowmark’s GoVivid printers, says, “The message we are hearing from trophy and award dealers is their potential customers are trying to find a new challenge. The capability to add color is a perfect fit to enhance whatever they are currently offering. Even the cabability to offer ‘multi-media’ or multiple processes when making an award is very gaining interest. By way of example, a laser engraved as well as a UV-LED printed award adds dimension and color, and, just as importantly, profit margin to the dealer. With the help of UV-LED printing, the dealer will differentiate themselves from their competition.”

So what is a UV printer? Well, let’s start with the UV part, as with ultraviolet light. UV light is undoubtedly an invisible (for the eye) form of light present in many light sources, for example the sun. UV light has some useful characteristics, in particular the capability to cure many photosensitive materials. With regards to UV printing, a UV light source is commonly used to stop (harden and solidify) the inks laid down by the printer.

UV inkjet printing differs from conventional solvent inkjet printing. Rather than having solvents in the ink that evaporate in to the air and absorb in the substrate, UV inks are exposed to UV lights that are that are part of the printer which quickly cure the ink to make it from a liquid to a solid. This technology has several positive aspects, including eliminating environmental and workplace health concerns, the opportunity to print on a multitude of substrates, high print speeds and a wide array of printing applications which range from outdoor signage to golf balls.

So just why should we be so pumped up about this developing technology? The reality is, a year or so ago, very few people in your industry were very excited about this in any way. With prices within the $20,000-$80,000 range, there weren’t many individuals who could think about a UV printer being an option to begin with. But as time has passed, the costs have dropped and a lot more competition has arrived to the market, making both a far wider assortment of printers and print possibilities and also price points-even to the stage that $20,000 are able to buy a great deal of printer.

Today, the situation isn’t so much price just as much as it is actually confusion and misinformation as to what a UV printer can and cannot do, and the way much market there is to back up one.

As an illustration, I occasionally print a plaque using my a4 uv printer. The charge is nearly negligible along with the markup may be substantial, so how many plaques are suitable for this technology? Remember, sublimation can also be used to make full-color plaques. The same holds true using a hundred other products including everything from metal plates to plastic toys. In a nutshell, just like most personalization processes, you can find items that are best completed with a UV printer and things which are best completed with other methods. UV printing isn’t a substitute for other processes, but a substitute for do most jobs and the only way to perform a few.

I had work recently that involved printing full-color company logos on clear acrylic. I do not know how I may have done this with almost every other process. UV printing was perfect because I was able to print an excellent white image to make an opaque mask around the substrate then print the full-color logo along with it. That’s the type of job UV printers work great at.

Many manufacturers offer an attachment for printing cylindrical items including water bottles. The RotaPrint attachment can be obtained from Roland DGA Corp.

Printing on clear or dark backgrounds is definitely a challenge for most processes and with some, for example sublimation, it’s just about impossible. UV printing is additionally more forgiving than other methods in relation to the particular substrates that it works together. Sublimation, by way of example, nearly always demands a special polyester-coated substrate to be effective in any way. UV printing, however, can be used to print on a wide variety of substrates of all the colors, textures, shapes and sizes. But, exactly like other processes, it doesn’t focus on everything. The truth is, there are many substrates that UV inks will 05dexqpky abide by without first applying a bonding or adhesion agent. Some printers can actually spray an adhesion agent about the substrate with the printer nozzles while with other printers, you have to hand put it to use. In either case, there is not any guarantee the ink will bond until it is actually tested.

Adhesion then, i think, becomes the largest problem in the UV world since every printer manufacturer offers their particular inks and adhesion additives, and each and every differs. What this means is it is actually ultimately vital that you test both inks and the printer to ensure they will likely focus on the substrates you want to print before you make any kind of buying decision or promises to customers.

Together with having to learn about adhesion with garment printer, it is additionally essential that a possible buyer discover the various properties in the inks. Some companies offer multiple inks that need considering but most try to provide a “one size fits all” recipe that might or might not be right for you. At once, I presumed that the ink cured with UV light would then be UV safe and thus I printed a task for exterior use. Unfortunately, I was wrong as well as the signs faded into nothingness within months. Lesson learned? Well, some printer manufacturers claim their inks are UV safe and although I would personally most certainly not doubt their word, it could cause me to cautious-once burned and that.

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