Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '18

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18 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 "If you are going for high design and really high-quality prints, you are not as concerned about the speed but are absolutely con- cerned about the color and accuracy of the print, high resolution and all that," Crocker says. If they are going for high production, they will want to get a faster printer. Small printers are great for someone who wants to take them to an event and print out a handful of shirts there. AnaJet and Ricoh developed a CMYK direct-to-garment printer that is less than $5,000, says Crocker. It doesn't do white ink, so a business is limited to printing on light garments. It is also entry- level, so it is slower than other machines. "But for someone literally just starting out, who don't have a T-shirt portion of their business and want to try it out, this is going to be a good option for that, a low-cost investment," Crocker says. The machine is the size of a desktop printer but a little bit taller. It is based off a sublima- tion printer that Ricoh makes. It includes a curing unit, instead of having a sepa- rate heat press, so a print shop would not need as much space to fit it into its current location. It will be available in the spring. Direct Color Systems' UV printers can print both synthetic and cotton garments without a harsh chemical pretreatment. They also can be used to print on more rigid substrates like water bottles or signage, Perrelli adds. Print shops need to ask themselves whether they need that type of versatility in their business or if they are strictly looking for a direct-to-garment printer that will print on dark garments. "There are options out there for varying levels of applications and price points. Seeing demos, reviewing samples and seeing what else the technology is capable of are all things prospective buyers should review," he says. There are options out there for varying levels of applications and price points. Images courtesy of Direct Color Systems. The Kornit Digital Breeze tabletop entry level direct-to-garment printer. DIRECT-TO-GARMENT

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