Surveying your UV machine options.
A 4-color UV flatbed printer (CMYK), the ionV can accommodate materials as wide as 64 in. The new machine provides one printhead per color (the ionX features two printheads per color) and offers a top resolution of 720 dpi; the ionV's throughput ranges from a top speed of 181 sq ft/hr (360 x 360 dpi, 2-pass Performance speed) to 9.5 sq ft/hr (720 x 720 dpi, 8-pass, Ultra-High Quality speed).
Accommodating substrates up to 1-in. (25mm) thick on its vacuum table, the printer has a sensor to automatically detect media thickness. To eliminate alignment errors, the substrate stays stationary during printing while the gantry moves the printheads across the media. The ionV has double-sided printing capability but, unlike the ionX, it does not include a roll-to-roll printing system. The CMYK cationic inks, available in 1-liter pouches, provide good adhesion on materials traditionally problematic for inkjet printers such as glass and textiles. The ionV is compatible with RIPs from Onyx, SAi, Wasatch, ErgoSoft, and CADlink.
EFI Vutek DS Series, GS3200, GS5000r: The Vutek DS Series flatbed UV printer from EFI (efi.com) has been designed with a fixed array of printheads, a bed that moves back and forth, and a UV-curing system that “has been newly designed from the ground up." The system can print in 4- or 8-color mode; initial inksets include CMYK, as well as light cyan, light magenta, light yellow, and light black. The machine can hit a high-end speed of 6000 sq ft/hr (at 600 dpi) while producing a top resolution of 1200 dpi.
The DS flatbed is compatible with a wide range of rigid and cut-sheet materials, and can print on paper, film, rigid board, and a variety of specialty substrates. Its maximum media size is 63 x 96 in., and it can accommodate media up to 2-in. thick. It also boasts a user-controllable zoned vacuum table and it supports simultaneous printing of multiple various-sized substrates. An advanced material-handling system, allowing for automatic loading and unloading of substrates is optional.