Start Here October '22

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Page 50 of 103 45 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 altogether, leaving owners out in the cold. So, let's cover some major buying points you want to know before making the big purchase. INK ADHESION Because UV prints directly to the sub- strate — and can thus print to almost any- thing — you cannot assume the ink will stick and be durable. Test the substrate before moving forward with a standard crosshatch adhesion test. Use the brand of printer that you are considering for this test. Some brands have more than one type of ink. For example, Mimaki has eight different types of ink suited for different products. Some are flexible and can bend, while some are ridged for bet- ter adhesion. Ask the company you are working with to help you with testing. If they don't have running equipment or are unwilling, this may be a red flag. CONSUMABLE COSTS FOR UV PRINTING Print heads: Some brands have con- sumable print heads, while others have life cycle print heads. When cared for well, they can last up to 10 years. You'll usually find this in the top brands. ose models may sound pricey, but when you consider UV-LED printed tiles. (Image courtesy Direct Color Systems) " Be careful with dealerships that sell many different brands and types of equipment — they cannot be experts at everything." In UV-LED printing, a thin layer of ink is spread over the printable surface and instantly cured or hardened using ultra-violet or LED lamps, which makes the overall process versatile and quick. (Image courtesy Roland DGA)

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