Includes new MEMS technology.
The Virtu HD8, the latest printer from L&P, includes MEMS technology, a modular platform, and cold-curing lamps. The new 98-in. machine is a 6-color (CMYKcm) UV-curable printer that is compatible with rollfed and rigid media.
Unlike the majority of other wide-format inkjet printers that feature a fixed number of printheads per model, the HD8 model is configurable with two to nine printhead modules. Each module comprises six Dimatix M Class MEMS heads. With MEMS-based printheads, the silicon-based heads and nozzles can be much, much smaller; the internal structure of the heads is measured in nanometers, and they are manufactured using the same technology that is used to produce semiconductors.
"MEMS technology allows for a higher jet-density packing, with smaller drop volume, better jet straightness, at a lower cost per jet," says L&P’s Richard Codos. "Couple this with the fact that the nozzle plate is now silicon, allowing for a greater resistance to scratching, makes this a very desirable head technology. The only downside is that the technology is relatively new, and does not have as much use time and data as some of the older head technologies," he adds.
An entry-level HD8 printer is typically equipped with two to three modules (total of 12 to 18 heads). It can later be upgraded on-site by adding one module at a time until it is fully populated (five modules max). Also available is an HD8 Plus model, which is configurable with five to nine head modules. It also can be updated in one-module increments, and, when equipped with nine modules, carries 54 printheads. Adding modules increases capacity and expands performance and speed.
The heads utilize MEMS multi-drop digital technology, which produces high-resolution 8-pl drop size for fine-quality images. Based upon the selected resolution, the printer will "auto change" to print with a 16- or 24-pl drop volume for mid-range or production printing; there is a manual override to "force" a drop volume for a specific resolution.
When equipped with eight printhead modules, the top speed on the HD8 exceeds 1200 sq ft/hr in production mode at 508-dpi resolution (with 24-pl drops) and three passes, the mid-range mode offers speeds at 1200 sq ft/hr at 720-dpi resolution with 16-pl drops and three passes, and finest-quality print mode (at 1440-dpi resolution, 8-pl drops, and three passes) produces 600 sq ft/hr.
The Virtu HD8 also includes a two-step curing process for textiles. In the first step, the UV-cure inks are cured with its Virtu ColdUV curing system right after printing, like most UV printers. In addition, the HD8 includes a heat curing of textiles after the initial cure to fully cure the UV inks that, due to wicking, have not yet been adequately cured by UV alone.
The printer is compatible with BioHueV UV-curable inks, which offer 2-yr durability. BioHueV Flexible White ink is optional. The RIP is optional, the HD8 supports Caldera and Onyx RIPs.
Price for an entry-level HD8 with two printhead modules: approximately $249,900.
LEGGETT & PLATT DIGITAL