Sign & Digital Graphics

December '19

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58 • December 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S SPECIALTY IMAGING DIGITAL GRAPHICS "3D prints can be designed to interlock, so scalability of the prints is capable at any build size, so many print service providers are starting to use the printers to create structural signage and items that can be used for decorative purposes in home décor," he explains. "And here are many opportu- nities to blend two- and three-dimensional printing into a single workflow. Our 3 D printer, when combined with the UJF-7151 plus UV printer, can take advantage of our ther- moforming inks to create unique items—such as decorated parts production, signage or even fun applications such as Halloween masks." Tinkering around is still the popular learning tool for first-timers, but Maxwell says the popularity of the technol- ogy means there are plenty of people to turn to for advice and production tricks. "There is a lot of community support and sharing in this arena. Everyone is still discovering the capabilities, so finding documentation or print-ready files is easy. Once they have a better understanding of what it is they want to do, they can start investing in more educational events such as conven- tions and seminars." Although more affordable printers are still mostly designed for smaller single objects, shops also have the option of partnering with companies who've invested in large-format 3 D printing equipment, allowing clients to magically create full-sized items, displays and more. Mimaki's desktop-sized 3DFF-222 3D printer provides a versatile and more affordable tool to create single items or thermoformed molds, and can also be combined with a UV printer to output distinctive col- ored items such as masks or home decor. Tennessee's Custom Craftsman Signs is integrating 3D printing technol- ogy to create prototype items for clients—with all the look of the real wood and metal hand-built in their traditional signage. Photo courtesy of Custom Craftsman Signs.

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