Solvent ink printers

The advent of capable solvent ink printers in the $40,000 dollar range has created lots of interest. As a result, FLAAR is getting quite a lot of inquiries for help figuring out what printer to buy that prints on media and holds up outside without lamination. In fact, although this report is titled 93solvent ink,94 we cover all printing technologies which hold up outdoors: * The newest trend in print for outdoor durability is actually UV curable inks. * This report also covers oil-based wide format inkjet printers. But what are the pros and cons of oil-based inks and UV curable inks?

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    24

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    September 2003

Solvent Ink Printers from Korea

What are the differences between solvent Ink printers from Korea and solvent ink printers from China or Taiwan? And how do Korean printers differ from those of Japan (Mimaki, Mutoh, and Roland?)

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    8

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    July 2004

Frequently asked question on solvent ink printers

Armed with these FAQs you have a better chance of not getting screwed by false and misleading ads, hype, and all the utter nonsense and occasional outright lies you are faced with. FLAAR is the only consumer advocate available for wide format printers

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    10

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    May 2003

List of solvent ink printers

Includes all the solvent ink printers from Korea, China, Taiwan, and Europe, in addition to Vutek, Mimaki, Mutoh, Arizona, etc. Annotated. Includes warnings about those solvent ink printers about which people complain the most. So if you are even thinking of buying a solvent ink printer, it is surely worth investing $124 (discountable to $100) to obtain all these FLAAR Fast Facts.

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    10

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    June 2003

Fleet graphics, bus wrap, and related needs

Grand format printers, billboard printers and other appropriate printers (these printers cost about $30,000 up to $450,000). Plus, how you can use a normal $15,000 inkjet printer also to do outdoor jobs, albeit with lamination (2 year outdoor warranty).

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    8

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    Febrary 2003

Printing wallpaper with inkjet printers

Digital printing of wallpaper is still in its infancy but has huge potential. Most Epson piezo-electric printhead systems are too slow to print the yardage required for wallpaper. This means Roland, Mutoh (and those Kodak, Agfa, and other re-branded Mutoh printers), Mimaki, Stork, and of course all Epson printers. You can92t use dye based inks because they fade even indoors.

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    5

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    Febrary 2003

Evaluation of solvent ink printer DGI Rex 62

Exactly what you would expect from Nicholas Hellmuth. He tracked down a DGI Rex in its natural habitat, took a team from the university to inspect it, interrogated the shop owner and printer operator, and came back with probably the world92s first totally independent report of what the Rex is actually like in operation in a sign shop. If you are trying to decide between a Mutoh Toucan, Mutoh Falcon Outdoor (Rockhopper in Europe), RasterGraphics (Oce) Arizona Digital Screen Press, Roland SolJet, Roland SolventJet, Lyson Tiara Opal, Tiara Saphhire, Mimaki JV3, Infiniti, DGI VistaJet, DGI Rex, these reports are a good investment.If you initially were looking at a Nur, Vutek, or Scitex-Vision, and are now trying to make a decision about the lower priced Arizona, Mutoh, Mimaki, or Rex, then also these reports are ideal for background information. FLAAR offers independent reports which you will not find in any trade magazine. If you seek either a grand format or 5494 through 9094 solvent ink printer, and are tempted by the low priced printers from Mainland China, Taiwan, or Korea, you had better read Nicholas92s reviews from seeing these printers at ISA 9203 and Graphics of the Americas 9203.

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    11

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    June 2003

Evaluation of Raster Graphic Arizona 90 and 180

Nicholas spent much of the summer going out to sign shops in order to prepare case studies of each brand of solvent ink printer. He inspected the printer, the output, interviewed the sign shop owner and printer operator, and then prepared this report so you know what to expect about this now Oce brand of solvent ink printer.

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    12

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    June 2003

Arizona Solvent Ink printer

When we find that a particular sign shop has a printer that we need more information on, we will write and ask if they would send some of their actual experiences so that we could make this class of information available on the Internet. FLAAR thanks Tim Donovan for providing the following information on the Arizona, a popular printer from a company now owned by Oce. The questions are being asked by Gaston, another end-user, and a person still searching for a printer which would be appropriate to their needs. The answers are by Tim.

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    6

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    September 2001

Mutoh Toucan: Solvent ink printer evaluations

This sign shop has two Mutoh Toucans, but they bought the second one before they found out the quirks of the first one. A very informative look directly at actual use of a Mutoh Toucan solvent ink printer.

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    11

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    July 2003

Evaluation od two DGI Rex Solvent Ink printers

Actually we learned there were 46 DGI Rex solvent ink printers within a one hour drive of our university. So we found a second company with this brand, indeed they had two of them, side by side. So Hellmuth and his lab manager from the university went to visit this print shop. This same sign shop also had a ColorSpan and a Roland, so was an informative visit to compare all these (we have other publications in other FLAAR Series on those printers).

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    13

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    July 2003

Oil-based ink wide format printers for outdoor use without lamination

An update of an earlier chapter within the solvent ink report. Now that DGI is also offering an oil-based printer, now that the Seiko is better quality, and now that it appears that XES ColorgrafX X2 has reappeared, it is time to have a separate discussion on this subject.

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    17

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    June 2004

Dye sublimation

Large format Dye Sublimation printers can accept dye sublimination inks for subsequent heat transfer onto t-shirts, textiles , curtains, table cloths, hats, coffee mugs, ceramic tiles, even metal (aluminum with prepared surface). Please note: we review only, and exclusively 24" and above. Do not ask us about letter size desktop printers; we do not answer questions about desktop models.

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    14

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    September 2003

Wide format printers for Sings, posters and banners

Which Wide Format Printers are Best for Signs, Posters, Banners: POP and other signs. A comparative review of Graphtec, Encad, HP, Roland, ColorSpan, Epson, Mutoh, Mimaki, and others. If you are a screen printer, vinyl cutting sign shop, or anyone who wants to print signs, posters, banners, tradeshow graphics, this report is useful to you. Nicholas has checked out sign shops from Mexico City to Mumbai and recently in Malta. Hellmuth interviews the sign shop owners and learns about which printers, inks, vinyl, and other materials are good for POP and all kinds of signs.

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    32

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    August 2003

Thermal transfer printers

93Thermal transfer94 is one manner of distinguishing this inked ribbon form of dye sublimation from dye sub via heat transfer from printed paper. However, you can also do subsequent dye sub heat transfer from a thermal transfer inked ribbon system. Thermal transfer printers, use wax and resin ribbons to print continuous tone. You cannot get continuous tone with an inkjet printer; only from thermal transfer or laser light imagers. So if you or your clients need true continuo's tone, you better read this report We note with dismay the attempts by two piezo printer manufacturers to claim their output is continuous tone. Sorry folks, that is misleading. Only a thermal transfer or laser light (Lamda, LightJet) give realistic continuous tone. Again, if you wish to learn the facts, you will enjoy the pithy review style of Nicholas. He is not easily bamboozled by advertising jargon

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    8

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    Febrary 2003

Digital photography and scanning for sign shops

If you are moving from being a screen printer or vinyl cutter into inkjet printers, it may help to have some tips on scanners, digital cameras, and digital imaging. This report discusses: Which Scanner is best to handle your negatives and transparencies?, and How to Digitize objects that are too large for a flatbed scanner? (scanner vs digital camera).

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    20

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    Febrary 2003

Colorspan DisplayMaker XII

This report is the start of an entire new series, "Site-Visit Case Studies." A team of FLAAR staff go to visit actual sign shops who are using printers in real-life situations. We check things out, ask pointed questions, and write down what you can expect this printer to accomplish. We list point blank, what the printer is good at, and what it is incapable of doing. So this is an unparalleled opportunity to save yourself time by learning from all the work of FLAAR to provide public education through the university, where FLAAR is headquartered.

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    17

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    June 2003

Evaluation of Epson 9600

Most sign shops are trying to figure out whether to buy a Mutoh, Roland, Mimaki, Hewlett-Packard, Encad, or ColorSpan. Few sign shops would seriously consider an Epson due to ink costs and slow speed. Yet we found a sign shop that had two Epson printers alongside their solvent ink billboard printer. Were they content with the Epson 9600 and 7600? Or did they wish to jump to a more traditional sign printer? We were very surprised to learn what this print shop had found out about the Epson. This report is an eye-opener and definitely worth reading, especially if you are an in-house department, work group, graphics design, university, or museum. Obviously sign shops and in-plant print shops will find the unexpected documentation useful as well, for the simple reason that the Epson is the lowest cost printer of its size in the world. We know it does great on photographs. But can it really print signs? And the biggest question, is the return on investment acceptable. Professor Hellmuth accomplished here what he is infamous for: going straight to a real-life situation, and obtaining independent, pithy facts, tips, and help for individuals and companies who are trying to figure out which printer to buy.

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    18

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    June 2003

Questions to ask before you buy a laminator

This is one of the FLAAR Reports which serves to assist the owner or operator to save their hard earned money by becoming a savvy buyer. An educated buyer makes it tough for anyone to fool you. Digital Photography and Scanning for Sign Shop Operators: Scanning Images for using on a Large Format Printer. If you are moving from being a screen printer or vinyl cutter into inkjet printers, it may help to have some tips on scanners, digital cameras, and digital imaging. This report discusses which Scanner is best to handle your negatives and transparencies? How to Digitize objects that are too large for a flatbed scanner? (scanner vs digital camera). Fuller info on digital cameras is in the Photo Series and even more in the FLAAR course on digital photography by Professor Hellmuth.

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    7

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    June 2003

Agfa GrandSherpa a version of Mutoh Falcom II

This evaluation covers Onyx PosterShop RIP for proofing and signs as well as a thorough discussion of what its like to have a piezo printhead system in a sign shop. The printheads in the Mutoh Falcon II are more or less the same as in an Epson 10000. This review is based on detailed comments by the owner-operator of a successful prepress and sign printing company. However where as 93success stories94 blissfully omit the downsides and disappointments, this FLAAR report tells the entire truth of what you can expect in your own facility.

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    19

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    July 2003

Evaluation of a ColorSpan Displaymaker XII

PEnd

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    Pend

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    Pend

Evaluation of the ColorSpan DisplayMaker 72s True-Solvent Ink Printer

Sign shops face a tough decision: buy a $14,000 eco-solvent or a $54,000 true solvent printer. If a printer causes clients to reject the work after the signs dissolve or fall off the vinyl or chip off from abrasion, your $14K or $30,000 printer becomes a liability. In this case a $54,000 printer would have been a better investment.No one printer is perfect, but you can protect yourself with knowledge. While we can92t save you from making the wrong decision, and we absolutely can92t guarantee that one ink over another will insure your survival, our facts will help you to become a more knowledgeable sign shop owner or operator.

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    23

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    July 2004

Graph Expo 2003

Comments on wide format inkjet printers, UV-curable flatbed printers, solvent ink printers, laminators, RIPs for wide format printers, media, digital photography, books on digital imaging, and other related topics. Based on 3 days visit to Graph Expo by two FLAAR editors (Hellmuth and Magermans).

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    21

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    October 2003

Wide Format Inkjet Printers, Solvent Ink Printers, Eco and lite Solvent Ink Printers, UV-Curable Flatbed Printers, Inkjet Paper

Nicholas Hellmuth and Anne Behrnes both attended all four days of SGIA , from Oct 15th through Oct 18th, in Atlanta. In addition to inspecting printers, inks, media, RIPs, and accessories in the booths, Dr Hellmuth visited the Scitex Vision demo center outside Atlanta. Even if you attended SGIA yourself, you receive a perspective from a FLAAR report which would be a challenge to duplicate on your own. This is in part because Nicholas Hellmuth brings a wealth of background to this report. A further asset is that he learns lots of facts from behind-the-scenes discussions. Dr Hellmuth received in-depth briefings in dozens of booths. Then in the evening it was possible to gather even more information during the private parties and viewings in hospitality suites or demo rooms. Thus when you acquire a FLAAR report on a trade show you too receive an overview on wide format inkjet printers above and beyond what a normal visitor to SGIA would have had available.

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    35

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    October 2003

Flatbed Inkjet Printers using Aqueous Ink

You do not absolutely have to use solvent ink or UV-curable ink. There are several printers that accept thick and rigid material that use dye or pigmented ink.

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    10

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    July 2004

Solvent Printers from China, Taiwan or Korea

Sign shops face a tough decision: buy a $14,000 eco-solvent or a $54,000 true solvent printer. If a printer causes clients to reject the work after the signs dissolve or fall off the vinyl or chip off from abrasion, your $14K or $30,000 printer becomes a liability. In this case a $54,000 printer would have been a better investment.No one printer is perfect, but you can protect yourself with knowledge. While we can92t save you from making the wrong decision, and we absolutely can92t guarantee that one ink over another will insure your survival, our facts will help you to become a more knowledgeable sign shop owner or operator.

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    19

Update:

    July 2004