The garment-inkjet floodgates are wide open, leaving many screen printers who want to boost revenues with complementary digital technology drowning in options. This article will help you wade through the crowded pool of printers.
Ricoma’s TexPro uses Epson Advanced MicroPiezo AMC printhead technology and supports imaging resolutions up to 2880 dpi. Ricoma says the TexPro can print a 10 x 12-in. (254 x 205-mm) design in approximately one minute. The print-er offers a maximum print area of 17 x 25 in. (432 x 635 mm) and uses water-based pigmented inks (CMYKLcLmLkLLk + Photo Black or Matte Black) formulated to withstand repeated washing on white and light colored ap-parel made of 100% cotton and 50/50 blends. It features manual platen-height adjustment up to 4.8 in. (122 mm), single and double print modes, automatic head alignment and cleaning, and USB (1.1/2.0) and CompactFlash interfaces.
The SWI-A2 from Sanwave Int’l can be used to print on apparel or rigid media. It supports eight-color bi-directional printing (CMYK + 4 x White or 2 x CMYK) with water-based inks for garments or an eco-solvent formulation for rigid substrates. The printer images at resolutions up to 2880 dpi (optimized, via Resolution Performance Management technology) in an area as large as 17 x 31 in. (432 x 787 mm) and on media as thick as 5 in. (127 mm) by adjusting bed height. A removable platen jig enables the printer to decorate rigid materials. The SWI-A2 uses Iprint RIP software, compatible with Windows 98/2000/Me/XP/XP 64-bit and Mac OS X 10.2.4 or later. It also features an automatic cleaning cycle to prevent printhead clogging.
Sawgrass’s DirectAdvantage now offers users the choice of operating as a 2 x CMYK or CMYK + 4 x White system. Those who select the white option will be visited by a Sawgrass representative who will complete the conversion on site and provide training. The printer supports a maximum print area of 15 x 18 in. (381 x 457 mm), prints at resolutions up to 720 dpi onto 100% cotton and blends, and features automatic platen-height adjustment. DirectAdvantage incorporates Sawgrass’s NaturaLink direct-to-cotton ink, an aqueous dye and pigment ink technology formulated to create a chemical cross-link with cotton molecules for enhanced brightness and durability. The printer’s Power Driver software allows for printing from CorelDRAW, Adobe Photoshop, and other graphics applications. It’s compatible with Windows 2000 and XP. Also available is DirectAdvantage RIP, which is free with the purchase of white ink. It’s designed to extend color management and control of color vibrancy and saturation.
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