Arakis from Hyphen Asia Pacific and the Busjet-701Super from Brain Union Systems.
Two newly introduced printers"?the Arakis from Hyphen Asia Pacific in Australia, and the Busjet-701Super from Korea-based Brain Union Systems"?offer printing directly onto stretched artist canvas, among other media, a feature of particular interest to print providers targeting fine artists and to fine artists themselves
Hyphen Asia Pacific offers three versions of its Arakis: the 16-in. Arakis 400 is based on the Epson Stylus Pro 4800, the 24-in. Arakis 600 is based on the Canon imagePROGRAF W6400, and the 44-in. Arakis 1100 is based on the Canon imagePROGRAF W8400. All of these models have been re-engineered from their base models to accommodate a flatbed transport system, accepting media up to 2-in. thick. However, Hyphen reports that on the Arakis 400, "We use the standard Epson driver and kept it functioning the same way so that its users require no extra training. We wanted it to behave just like a 4800 so that we could obtain the same high-quality results on new materials."
One of the substrates that these printers will image onto is stretched canvas. To control any sag effect with the canvas, the printers are supplied with a molded platen. "It's a simple device, which we place the stretched canvas over," Hyphen Aisa Pacific reports. "The platen and the canvas are then placed onto our transport system. The device holds it steady under the print head and keeps the canvas tight."
In addition to stretched canvas, the Arakis printers can print onto a variety of inkjet receptive surfaces such as plastics, art board, foam board, and canvas board. The company is looking into offering a wide variety of coated media such as metals and cork board to make coasters.
The 400 can handle media up to 16 x 20 in., the 600 handles 24 x 48 in., and the 1100 handles 44 x 96-in. media. All printers can accommodate more length by adding roller tables to the front and back to support the media. Printing speeds range from 3 min for an 8 x 11-in. print at 1440 dpi for the 400 to 90 sec for a 24 x 36-in. print at 1200 dpi for the 600, and 10 min to print a 44 x 30-in. print at 2400 x 1200 dpi. All printers require a setup time between prints, although Hyphen reports it can provide jigs or carriers to help decrease setup time.
Hyphen recommends Epson UltraChrome K3 inks for the Epson-based printer and Canon inks for the Canon-based printers.
US prices: Arakis 400, $12,500; Arakis 600, $17,000; Arakis 1100, $35,000. Distributed in the US by Bay Digital (www.baydigital.com).
The Busjet-701Super from Korea-based Brain Union System (BUS) is a 23.4 x 47.2-in. printer. Based on the Epson Stylus Pro 7600, it uses the Epson printheads and main board to control printing. BUS changed the inks"?substituting its proprietary 7-color (CMYKcmk) eco-solvent inkset"?changed the ink-feeding system, and modified it to be a flatbed.
The Busjet can print onto tile, glass, metal, acrylic, leather, textile and stretched canvas. BUS reports that since there is a 2 to 3-mm gap between the printhead and the material, the sag that might appear in a stretched-canvas job will not be a problem.
The printer features maximum resolutions up to 2880 x 1440 dpi, can accommodate media up to 3.9-in thick and as heavy as 44 lb, and it prints an A1 (23.4 x 33-in.) media in 80 min at 720 x 360 dpi.
Price: $25,000 US.
HYPHEN ASIA PACIFIC PTY
BRAIN UNION SYSTEM