Awards & Engraving

January '17

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Page 53 of 100

2016 • THE DIGITAL DIRECT REPORT • 19 sides of clear glass and acrylics. Inks can even be built up to create 3D textures and braille for signs and awards. The inks dry almost instantaneously on the substrate surface. Dot gain and color saturation are optimized, because there is no time for ink dots to spread. Also, there is no ink absorption into the actual substrate as the inks firmly bond to the substrate sur- face. Inks for LED curing have been improved to deal better with the concentrated, narrow spectral light emissions of UV-LED systems. Due to the instant drying time, multiple layers of white, clear, and CMYK may be applied simultaneously in a single printing pass. This allows fine details and incredibly small fonts to be print- ed. Additionally, the clear ink can be "flooded" over the selected areas of the substrate to increase durability or provide a higher- gloss finish. The level of gloss is dependent on the number of clear layers applied. BENEFITS OF UV-LED PRINTERS Finished products are scratch-resistant and exhibit good light- fastness indoors. If necessary, laminates can be applied to extend outdoor life. Fast production times are possible as well. Fully-decorated items can be packed immediately, right out of the printer. No additional production steps are required. Reduced production cost and the wide variety of product designs quickly justify the initial capital expenditure of a UV-LED printer. All UV-LED printers, from entry level to high capacity/high speed, provide these same inherent advantages. Print speed, ac- curacy, resolution, and printed product size/weight all must be carefully evaluated to determine what level of printer to lease or purchase. What's more, most users find new applications for their printers after just a few weeks of operation. UV-LED direct-to-substrate technology is easy to fall in love

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