Direct-print, 74-inch machine can handle variety of fabrics.
The latest textile printer from d-Gen is the direct-print Heracle. This 74-in. printer employs a reusable belt-feeding system to print directly onto a variety of fabrics such as spandex and chiffon. Its Wrinkle Removal Expander cylinder keeps fabric-especially elastic fabric such as spandex-feeding evenly and flat. This allows users to produce one-off samples as well as medium-production runs for high-end fashion and decorator products such as scarves, neckties, bags, sportswear, stage costumes, and bedding, plus typical signage applications, including flags, banners, and displays.
The Heracle's dual-carriage technology allows for a faster print speed since it has a double array of printheads. The printer offers resolutions up to 720 and variable-dot imaging using three sizes of ink drops produced with its eight Epson 8-pl heads. The Heracle supports reactive dye, acid dye, disperse dye, and pigment inks, and users can image with a choice of 8 colors (or CMYKx2). Complete with an auto-refill system, inks are housed in bulk 1-l tanks.
The machine's maximum speeds in production mode (450-dpi, 4-pass) reach 613 sq ft/hr in (4-color) and 282 sq ft/hr (8-color). The company reports that the machine's daily productivity for a 16-hour day tops out at 9688 sq ft.
The Heracle handles all types of fabrics from sheers to carpet; printhead height can be adjusted according to fabric width, up to a maximum of 7 cm to accommodate carpet. The printer is equipped with a cold/heating dryer with an adjustable temperature, depending on the textile. (As with all dye-sub inks, after printing, these have to be heat or steam set, depending on the ink/fabric combinations; this process is handled offline.) The machine also includes a belt-washing unit (with a brush cleaner) to eliminate ink stains and clots.
D-Gen's Digital Studio digital-printing process-management software stores previous printing information such as profiles, RIP settings, and old orders (for quick reorders). This software also offers Screen (rotary) Printing Simulation so users can produce DTP samples (strike-offs) in identical colors and designs.
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