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(May 2013) posted on Fri May 03, 2013

The venerable rollfed printer remains a critical output tool.

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Rock-and-roll music came about in large part because the right technology was in place to allow it to happen. The electric guitar had been developed, along with the amplifier and the microphone, coupled with the advent of the 45-rpm record. Without these technologies in place, rock-and-roll (aka “rock-n-roll”) might never have happened.

Similarly, producing wide-format graphics on-demand via inkjet or other means would not have been able to occur had the requisite printhead and printer technology not been in place. And the wide-format rollfed printer is still rockin’ it when it comes to print service providers. Yes, flatbeds tend to receive a bit more attention these days (and we’ll address those in our next issue, by the way), but the venerable rollfed remains a go-to tool in any shop’s output arsenal.

And, although the rollfed printer has been around for quite a while now, it continues to add to its feature set to remain output-relevant to even the most challenging projects. Yes, aqueous and solvent-ink printers are still available, but so are eco-solvent, UV, and latex inks. Also, inksets beyond CMYKcm are now commonplace, and approximately a quarter of rollfed models are now available in widths of 100 inches or more.

On the pages that follow, we highlight a sampling of rollfed printer models from nearly 20 printer OEMs. All information is current as of us putting this list together, prior to ISA Expo 2013. Most of the specs and details are culled from our own original reports on these printer models when they made their debut; some information is pulled from the printer OEM’s website. Our annual rollfed printer charts will appear in our 2013 Printer Sourcebook; scheduled for release later this year, the digital edition will contain detailed specs on nearly 150 wide-format rollfed printers.