LexJet - 10/27/2006
LexJet Launches Revolutionary Direct-to-Fabric Printer
Oct. 27, 2006 - Sarasota, Florida. Responding to customer demands for a fabric-printing solution that eliminates
the costs and inefficiencies of multi-step dye-sublimation transfer technologies, LexJet introduces the industry's
only viable one-step, direct-to-textile printer, the 72"-wide TexPress DSS-1800 II. The printer and companion
TexPress Light Fast Inks will be sold and supported in the U.S. exclusively by LexJet.
The TexPress DSS-1800 II prints directly to untreated polyester fabric utilizing a special water-based pigmented
ink. It can also print on treated polyester, if desired, and produces vibrant, water- and light-fast prints that are
outdoor durable for up to two years.
"The killer feature of this printer is that it is literally a one-step process. There's no need for a transfer process
of any sort, and it cuts the fabric during the printing process with built-in heat cutters," explains Dean Lambert,
LexJet's vice president. "It's not the horizontal cuts that are so difficult and time-consuming; it's the continuous
vertical cut as the material runs through the printer that can be problematic. The TexPress solves this problem
with high-precision sensors that guide the heated elements as they cut, adjusting to the natural movement of
the fabric as it spools through the printer."
Currently, the inks are formulated to print only on polyester fabric, and the polyester needs to be heat-shrunk
before printing. Most available polyester fabrics are pre-shrunk, but the pre-shrinking can also be done on the
TexPress prior to printing with the optional heating elements that double as cutters.
"Our first installation sites report saving 30-40 hours of production time per week, thanks to the heat cutters
and the elimination of the dye-sub transfer step. The consumable costs are also significantly lower. There's no
need for transfer paper, plus the printer uses about half the ink typically used in dye-sub printing," says Camillia
Mankovich, LexJet's marketing director.
The printer has six printheads (CMYKMC), and three resolution modes: 360 x 360 dpi Two Pass (344 square
feet per hour), 360 x 720 dpi Four Pass (172 square feet per hour), and 720 x 720 dpi Eight Pass (86 square
feet per hour).
The TexPress starts at $79,900, which includes a one-year warranty.