Page 38 - Print21 July-Aug 2018 Magazine
P. 38

UV printing
Jake Nelson
The print-on-it of things
Be it paper, labels, boxes, posters, films or any number of other jobs, most print has at least one thing in common – it’s flat. All that is changing, however: with the growth of flatbed digital UV, printers are no longer constrained to two dimensions. Jake Nelson looks into the vast range of applications the technology has to offer.
Top: “We have a very user-friendly machine and software.”
Greg Stone, Roland DG.
Above: “It brings in extra clients.” Jason Hay, Mimaki Australia.
Right: The 6090 LED benchtop UV printer, supplied by Digital Media Australia.
Printing in the third dimension doesn’t require a 3D printer. Benchtop
UV devices, supplied by companies like Roland DG,
Mimaki and Digital Media Australia (DMA), can go beyond flat surfaces and produce quality dimensional print on a wide variety of items. This capability is one other digital print technologies can’t match, according to Greg Stone, product and marketing manager at Roland. “What makes these machines unique is the fact that they can handle 3D objects and, with the use of things like jigs, can also handle obscure-shaped objects, so you’re not limited to traditional flat substrates.
“Being UV-LED technology, the range of surfaces and materials you can print on is far larger than latex or eco-solvent, which opens up a broader range of materials such as metals, plastics, wood, glass, leather, and so on,” he says.
According to Simon Trytell, director of DMA, the secret is
in the ink. “UV ink is very much unlike any other ink – it sits on the surface of what you’re printing on,” he says. “Where water-
based or eco-solvent inks need a binding agent to bind them to the substrate, and you have to print on relevant compatible substrates; with UV you can go to Bunnings and print on whatever you like.”
Branding the world
One big market for which benchtop UV is well-suited is promotional goods: branded pens, mugs, USB sticks, phone cases, drink bottles, golf balls, and anything else a client might want to slap a logo on. According to Trytell, companies are clamouring for opportunities to add their branding to everyday products, and flatbed
UV delivers. “UV ink is very good for promotional items because it will bond to any surface,” he says. “My
“You don’t need to be a RIP professional or a designer to start working with this type of machine.”
– Greg Stone, Roland DG
customers come to me wanting these promotional printers because their customers want the items, and so they have to outsource the work.”
Through DMA, Trytell supplies the 6090 LED flatbed printer, which he believes is ideal for promotional work. “The manufacturer has several international clients with six machines side by side just producing phone cases, day in and day out, while others are

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