Awards & Engraving

October '18

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A&E OCTOBER 2018 • 29 • Adhesion: What type of materials can you print to? Does the ink stick to metals, acrylics, glass, and other mate- rials? Is an adhesion promoter needed? • Flat versus Texture Printing: How is the texture built? How much longer does it take? • Optional Attachments: Cylindrical and bottle printing is now pos- sible with many models. Plus, many printers now have a vacuum table option for thinner materials. • Flexible Ink Option: What can be printed? Did you know shirts are now possible with UV? • Printing Braille with a UV printer is patented technology, so we won't get into it in detail here. But just like shirts, it is possible with a UV printer and has become a popular application. UV printers are some of the most ver- satile pieces of printing equipment avail- able. Some owners use a single printer to decorate a single product while others have numerous machines decorating various types of products at a single moment. THE MID-FORMAT MARKET TAKES SHAPE It's a little cliché to say that most man- ufacturers have bigger, faster, and better options now available. However, it's a true statement when compared to what you may have seen a year or two ago. Some of the earlier small-format models produced options with printable areas of 10 by 14 inches and 11 by 16 inches. Now those same smaller footprint models have newer releases with expanded bed sizes to 12 by 24 inches or 30 by 13 inches. Plus, the what we refer to as the mid-format UV-LED printer market has really taken off and boasts options with 24- by 48-inch and 30- by 45-inch print areas. PRODUCTION READY You might be reading this and thinking to yourself that you've heard this before, and bigger doesn't always mean better. That is incorrect in this example. These newer, larger models build on a history of suc- cess with the smaller printers and not only provide higher production capability, but better quality and speeds. The older, smaller models were amazing machines as they allowed owners to deco- rate a wider range of products with color. However, combine those smaller print areas with slower print speeds and the early small-format UV-LED flatbeds could have Printing Braille (a patented technology) is quickly becoming a popular application for UV printers. IMAGE COURTESY DIRECT COLOR SYSTEMS Larger print areas, new lamps, and advanced software have pushed UV printers closer to meeting the production speeds seen by other decoration methods like pad or screen printing. IMAGE COURTESY LOGOJET There is no shortage of options available when it comes to UV-LED technology. It has advanced considerably over the past 12 to 24 months. IMAGE COURTESY ROLAND DGA

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