Solvent-system flatbed converts to roll-to-roll printer
Mutoh America's new solvent-system Toucan Hybrid printer is a flatbed device that converts easily for printing roll-to-roll on flexible materials. In the flatbed mode, the Toucan Hybrid can hold graphics up to 64 in. wide and 118 in. wide. It can image to rigid materials up to 3.5-in. thick; an onboard laser-guidance system ensures that printheads are precisely positioned at the optimal distance from the printing surface.
Print speed in flatbed mode varies on the type of substrate used, but Mutoh's Guy Cipresso estimates that most shops can attain typical production print speeds of 400 sq ft/hr at 720 dpi. In the roll-to-roll configuration, the Toucan Hybrid can output graphics at speeds of up to 800 sq ft/hr at 720 dpi.
Bulk ink reservoirs allow users to refill ink on-the-fly while a motorized take-up system allows for unattended printing. Also included are a 21-GB hard drive disk, Mutoh's Thunderbird PostScript print server, and ISIS Print-Manager software.
Graphics printed on the Toucan Hybrid have an estimated outdoor durability of three years without lamination and up to five years with lamination. The machine lists for $149,995 and is expected to begin shipping in January 2004. (Mutoh America: www.mutoh.com)