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Choosing a Wide-Format Flatbed Printer

(September 2004) posted on Fri Sep 24, 2004

Specs on more than 30 flatbed options.

click an image below to view slideshow

"? Ink types: Most flatbeds utilize UV-curable inks, but a few use
solvent-based inks and one (Scitex Vision CORjet) uses aqueous
pigment-based inks. Of note are the Eastech Octra and Scutum
flatbeds, which claim to be able to switch from UV-curable to solvent
inks. Also of interest are the four flatbeds that print white
ink: Durst Rho 160W Plus, Mimaki UJF-605C, Zund UVJet 250-
Combi, and Shenzen Flora FUV 2200/2214.

"? Maximum true/apparent resolution: What is the maximum true
and apparent (how the image is perceived by the eye) resolution in
dots per inch (dpi)? Resolutions vary from 200 to 2400 dpi.

"? Maximum speed: What is the maximum speed (in sq ft/hr) at
a specific resolution? The speed extremes are 55 sq ft/hr at 309
dpi from the Oce 60UV and the 1800 sq ft/hr at 590 x 600 dpi of
the Inca Columbia Turbo.

"? Print modes supported: We asked manufacturers to provide
us with resolution, colors, and speed (square feet per hour) for
two print modes: Production and High Quality. Some manufacturers
provided the resolution and speed, but did not indicate a
mode, or vice versa. Some manufacturers used other labels; we
strived to make these consistent throughout the charts.

"? RIP: What kind of raster image processor comes standard
with the printer, if any? What optional RIPs are available?

"? Year Intro: What year was this printer model first introduced?

"? Price: The selling price in US dollars. Flatbeds range in price
from Oce's 60UV at $39,995 and ColorSpan's DisplayMaker 72SR
at $59,995 to the Inca Columbia at $700,000 and Scitex Vision's
CORjet at $790,000.

"? Warranty: How long is the printer warranty?

"? Notes: Additional information not covered in the chart cells.
Some of these are cross-referenced with information in the cell,
while some notes stand alone.

As you go through the charts, keep in mind that we asked
that manufacturers provide us with specs only on currently
available printers or printers that would soon be on the market.
Some printer manufacturers were unable to reply to our
requests for information. We tracked down enough specs from
some to include their printers (as indicated with an asterisk). In
other cases, however, we were unable to secure enough
machine specs to make the information useful, so these printers
were not included.

Flatbed Chart