By Olivia Cahoon
Part 2 of 2
Grand format printers give print shops the ability to offer superwide graphics with customizable features like extra white printheads, depth perception hardware, and UV curing lamps. Digital Output considers anything over 95 inches in width to be grand format. Part two of this series highlights new and popular grand format printers.
Grand Format Printers
Agfa Graphics offers the Jet Mira LED with a maximum width of 105.8 inches at 2,486 square feet per hour (sf/h) in draft mode. Its curing technology is a moving gantry flatbed with print and prepare functions, six colors, and UV inks. It features 3D Lens Technology printing to create 3D effects for point of purchase displays, packaging, decorative prints, and trade show graphics. The printer uses a combination of printed lenses composed of UV-curable varnish and image manipulations.
CET Color markets the K2-1000H grand format printer, also known as the Niagara. The Niagara is a 125-inch hybrid UV printer with Kyocera printhead technology that features 2,656 nozzles per head. It is available with single or double row printheads and reaches speeds up to 1,000 sf/h. The Niagara’s LED curing is not liquid cooled and does not include water lines to cool the LED. Its full width, belt-driven vacuum area holds media in place while it moves through the printing gantry.
DGI recently introduced the FT-3204X, a 124-inch hybrid textile printer for various kinds of media such as home textile, soft signage, and dye-sublimation (dye-sub) paper. An optional dual roll printing system maximizes productivity as two 64-inch media can be printed simultaneously. The FT-3204X is powered by eight Panasonic printheads. The MSRP of the printer is under $100,000.
Durst Image Technology US LLC markets the Rhotex 500 and Rho 1312. The Rhotex 500 has a print width of 197 inches and the Rho 1312 a print width of 98 inches. The Rhotex 500 prints extra wide soft signage and true large format products for trade fairs, arenas, event venues, and public spaces. It prints at 3,300 sf/h and is compatible with a range of coated and uncoated polyester fabrics and blends. The Rho 1312 prints 6,600 sf/h and includes Gradual Flow Printing technology. Gradual Flow Printing mode includes a wider transport belt and minimal media advancement to allow the image to be built gradually for smoother tones and a high gloss finish.
EFI features the VUTEk LX3 Pro LED hybrid roll and flatbed printer with eight-colors and a print width of 126 inches or multi-roll capability of two 60-inch simultaneous rolls. EFI also offers the VUTEk HS125 Pro, with UltraFX Technology, a propriety inline print technology that reduces unwanted visual artifacts without extra time. The HS125 Pro prints up to 126.5 inches in width and two inches thick.
Fujifilm North America Corporation recently launched the Acuity LED 3200R superwide printer. With a speed of 1,184 sf/h, the Acuity focuses on high productivity and roll printing up to 126 inches wide or dual roll printing of two 60-inch rolls. It includes LED curing technology, a high-capacity ink system, and a Masking Advanced Pass system to reduce banding by dispersing ink drops between passes.
HP, Inc.’s HP Latex 1500 prints up to 126 inches in width at 800 sf/h. It prints double-sided backlit applications with HP Latex Inks. The printer features an optical media advance sensor, onboard spectrophotometer, high-efficiency curing, automatic maintenance, and a printer status beacon for at-a-glance monitoring on busy production floors. The HP Latex 1500 is GREENGUARD GOLD certified.
Mimaki USA, Inc. offers the UJV55-320 UV LED printer with a print width of 127.9 inches or two simultaneous 60-inch rolls. It is capable of speeds up to 1,184 sf/h. The printer uses Mimaki LUS-120 inks including white for scratch resistance and 170 percent flexibility. Mimaki also features the TS500P-3200 dye-sub transfer printer that prints up to 129.9 inches. It prints 1,937 sf/h and includes a high-gap printhead. Both grand format printers include variable dot printing and Mimaki Advanced Pass Systems.
Mutoh America Inc. features the ValueJet 2638X with a print width of 104 inches that prints up to 1,168 sf/h. The printer includes a heavy-duty feed, RIP, media cradle, automatic sheet function, and installation. The ValueJet has up to seven color capabilities with staggered dual printheads. Mutoh offers one liter ink bags for high-production printing, generally used for grand format printers. ICMYK Eco-Ultra ink is used for indoor and outdoor applications. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $49,995.
Screen Americas’ Truepress Jet2500UV board and roll inkjet printer has a print width of 98.4 inches with a maximum output resolution of 1,500 dpi. It incorporates drop-on-demand and eight-level grayscale printheads. The printer alternates between flexible and rigid substrates within minutes. It prints onto substrates up to 1.96 inches thick. Its UV inks don’t crack when bent or stretched. To produce dimensional details, the Truepress Jet2500UV overprints extra layers wherever placed. The printer prints up to 21 image layers including opaque white ink. Multiple ink layers are used to create backlit displays and window graphics viewed from both sides of transparent material. Its simulated embossing is designed to add visual interest to logos, brand names, and interior wall coverings.
Stratojet USA markets the Shark EFB-2512 flatbed UV printer that handles up to 100 inches of rigid media at 630 sf/h. The Shark EFB-2512 prints onto glass, PVC board, and corrugated plastic with a maximum print resolution of 1,200 dpi. Stratojet offers customer support with technicians capable of accessing the printer, evaluating files, and solving printer-related issues remotely. Pricing starts at $59,500.
swissQprint offers the Nyala 2 with a print width of 126 inches. It prints up to 2,217 sf/h and includes nine color channels capable of individual configuration. The press prints varnish, primer, white, orange, green, and violent to increase color gamut. The printer features a modular design to allow a board option for printing oversized boards up to 157 inches. Pricing starts at $360,000 depending on customized configuration.
Vanguard Digital Printing Systems features the VK300D flatbed UV printer with a print width of 123 inches at 1,000 sf/h. The VK300D is intended for sign shops, commercial printing business, manufacturing, and architectural firms. The printer includes pneumatic pin registration for material loading and six vacuum zones to fit media. It is configurable with up to ten Kyocera printheads that include 2,656 nozzles. Pricing starts at $159,995.
Super Wide Graphics
Grand format printers allow print shops to offer superwide graphics at fast speeds and competitive prices. Print service providers should consider a grand format printer that grows with their business. A variety of grand format printers are currently available.
May2017, Digital Output