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New Dimensions in Digital Printing

(March 2014) posted on Mon Mar 03, 2014

An emerging class of digital, direct-to-substrate inkjet printers is allowing screen shops to expand into ad-specialty products, promotional items, and more.

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

The five-color (CMYK+W) Express-Jet/ASI-2024 has a standard imaging area of 20 x 24 in. Features include an ink degassing and filtration system, multiple print-mode settings, automatic print-head cleaning station, and a recirculation system for the white ink to prevent clogging. Options for the Windows-compatible unit include dual UV-LED lamps, specialized and custom-designed parts fixtures for a variety of applications, foot pedal, and more. Installation and service are handled by Lawson personnel and parts are stocked in the US. The unit has a footprint of 66 x 80 in. and weighs in at approximately 900 lb.


LogoJet's EX4 is an eco-solvent, direct-to-substrate inkjet printer that supports a maximum imaging area of 8 x 12 in. The system features automatic platform-height adjustment to accommodate three-dimensional products up to 3.25 in. high with compatible media including metal, glass, plastic, wood, stone, canvas, vinyl, cardboard, and more.

Compatible with both PCs and Macs, the EX4 reportedly accepts files created by any third-party solution, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and CorelDRAW. The company says its six-color (CMYKcm) bulk ink-delivery system reduces maintenance and refills, and claims that ink consumption per 100-ml container of ink is up to 24,000 sq in. The system includes an IR curing lamp designed to promote ink adhesion and print durability; a heated print bed is optional. LogoJet reports that print time, which varies according to substrate and print area, is between 3-10 min.

The EX4 supports a variety of parts fixtures and can accommodate products weighing up to 10 lb. Included with the machine are more than a dozen standard accessories, including a mat for flat objects and a three-in-one parts fixture for golf balls, poker chips, and ping-pong balls (as well as software designed for those applications). Also available from LogoJet is the Pro H4, a larger machine with a maximum print area of 13 x 24 in., an eight-color inkset that adds two levels of gray, and the ability to print items up to 5 in. high.

Mimaki USA

Mimaki’s line of UJF-6042 UV LED printers are designed to print a wide variety of substrates used in the promotional-products industry including plastics, glass, leather, and metals. The printers feature variable-dot technology with a minimum drop size of 4 pl and the ability to print three drop sizes at once, allowing for smooth gradations and color transitions at a maximum resolution of 1800 x 1800 dpi.


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