Why UV Gel Ink Is the Best Technique for Large Format Printing
Large format printing jobs need to have a level of craftsmanship many other printing jobs don’t require. Banners, posters, trade show displays, window graphics and other wide format printing projects are often meant to be displayed and have more permanence than other documents a business regularly prints.
The quality of the product begins with one of the most elemental components: the ink. UV gel ink is revolutionizing large format printing by providing outstanding image quality, efficiency, cost savings and safety measures.
The efficiency of UV printing has appealed to professionals for several years. When printer ink hits the substrate — or base material — UV lights closely follow, curing the ink. Now, UV gel ink is making a preferred method even better.
Canon introduced its UV gel ink in 2016, and the Canon/Oce Colorado is one of the best large format printers on the market using UV gel ink. The ink is in a gelled, solid state when at room temperature. When heated, it turns liquid enough to be jetted by inkjet printheads and transferred onto the substrate. Commercial printers consider UV gel ink the Cadillac of printing methods. Here’s why.
The image quality provided by UV gel is second to none. When the ink hits the media on which it’s printed, it reverts to a gel. This means that there is no overlap between ink droplets, but the droplets are able to seize onto the substrate. Colors don’t bleed into each other or across the material, so the image maintains vibrant color with crystal-clear quality.
The technology also works when printing on a variety of media, allowing image quality upgrades on wallpaper, wall and floor graphics, light coverings, window film, canvases, fabric and vinyl banners and posters and many other materials.
Because the curing process is so quick, machines are able to print at extremely high speeds, which is important for production printers who know that time is money in the commercial printing industry. The LED-UV curing system is able to move independently from the printing carriage. This ensures that curing is uniform and doesn’t slow down the printing process.
Printers also use up to 40 percent less ink when outfitted with UV gel ink because less ink soaks into the material, according to Canon.
Not only can companies save on ink costs with this new technology, but they also could save on energy costs. The low temperatures used in the curing process make the machine more energy efficient. Additionally, the ink allows printers to use the most cost-effective materials because the gel adheres well to a vast majority of substrates. The gel ink also doesn’t contain water, and the lack of heat used in the curing process means that there is no swelling or damage to the printing media.
Because it contains no water and exists in a gelled state, UV gel ink cannot splash or spill like regular ink. This feature means the ink doesn’t pose as much of a risk to employees. The gel ink is also low-odor, making it safe for constant use in a closed workspace.
The Colorado series of Canon/Oce printers has some of the best models on the market that use UV gel ink. To learn more about how UV gel ink and the Colorado printer can revolutionize your production printing process, message us at InfomaxOffice.com.