Sat, Jun

Angel Awards 2010: A dazzling dozen

Each year the editorial team of image reports acknowledges product innovation with its angel awards. The selection is based on products introduced to the UK during the course of the year and considered most likely to have an impact in the wide-format sector. Find who were the winners from 2010...



Introduced this spring, CS5 wowed the creative community with the amount of elements packed into this offering, which comes in many guises to suit various markets and depths of pocket. Image Reports’ technical editor Sophie Matthews-Paul put the Creative Suite 5 Design Premium package through its paces (with the assumption that the range of features it encompasses would be most apt for the wide-format sector) and found it well worth the investment. www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite


This UV-curable flatbed printer, launched at the recent SGIA show in the US, has been designed and constructed using a modular format so that, as users' demands increase, the machine’s colour and speed capabilities can be extended, giving rise to Agfa’s claim that it is “future-proof”. The entrylevel version incorporates 16 Ricoh Gen 4 greyscale printheads for CMYK output at a native resolution of 600dpi (though it’s able to deliver 1200dpi). The machine has a maximum print area of 3 x 2m prints up to 113m2/hr


For those of you involved in industrial scale textile print this is a machine for you as it has been developed for 24/7 production. The machine, which can print two 1.6m rolls (with different print queues) simultaneously, uses long-life piezo printheads to print up to 70m2/hr at 600dpi in six colours using waterbased dispersed dye inks. Other features include a self-cleaning jet system and controllable hot air drying. www.durst-online.co.uk


If you are looking for an entry level UV flatbed machine you should cast your eye over the Rastek T1000 which provides print quality up to 1200dpi along with the ability to print in white at the same speed as CMYK. The printer has a three-zone, 132 x 249cm vacuum table and can handle materials up 5cm thick, including difficult-to-handle substrates that require strong hold-down. It has a top speed of 43m2/hr. www.efi.com/products/wideformat/rastek/T1000


In June EskoArtwork announced this expanded collection of pre-production/workflow software tools targeted specifically at users of large-format digital printers and/or digital finishing systems. Part of Suite 10, i-Cut comprises: i-cut Preflight, which handles preflighting of incoming PDF data; i-cut Layout for interactively nesting jobs; and i-cut Vision Pro, a control system for die-less cutting. Since the launch of i- Cut Suite Esko and HP Scitex have announced a partnership whereby both will market an integrated workflow solution for the sign and display market.


At Fespa 2010 HP answered calls for a 3.2m wide latex printer with the LX800, which also encompasses a raft of refinements over its smaller predecessors. For instance, there’s an ink trough and refined roller system for additional tension when working with fine materials without liners, opening textile print possibilities. The printer comes in roll-to-free fall, roll-to-collector and dual roll versions. It produces up to 1200dpi at production speeds of up to 88m2/hr for outdoor work like billboards (45m2/hr for closer viewed work).


The Atom 24 and 44 are the first printers to form part of what is to become a bigger range of ‘green’ Elements printers from IGS UK. The range, which also includes inks and media, was introduced at Fespa and has more latterly garnered attention because IGS has introduced Elements Finance – an integrated finance package for those looking to buy into the environmentally-friendly offering. The 24in and 44in Elements Atom machines are built on Epson’s Stylus Pro printers but modified to use Elements H2O proprietary outdoor durable heat-cured water-based resin inks.


Kodak’s new Professional UV-curable Display Film and Paper are designed for the production of photo-grade quality output when used with UV-curable printers. Both are available in a selection of widths, and the overall finish is a photographic look, with the film being ideal for combination daylight/backlit applications and the paper offering optimal ink adhesion for colour-rich results. This media is similar to Kodak’s Endura silver-halide (AgX) material but optimised for use with UV-curable printers to produce consistent, strong colours.


If you want to offer textured looking wide-format print, using Permafun is a great way of doing it. These clear structured films can be laminated onto graphics to give an appearance of wood grain, brushed metal, leather or glitter. The films have a five-year warranty for indoor and outdoor use – and they’re not affected by cleaning agents.


Visitors to Sign and Digital UK this year got the first glimpse of this 1.8m wide direct-to-textile printer developed for those wanting to supply the apparel, furnishings and soft signage markets. Production speeds of up to 25m2/hr are achievable on the unit, which can handle a range of fabrics as an adhesive belt carrier system stabilises those with a tendency to stretch or contract during printing. Usable inks are reactive dye (for cotton and silk), acid dye (for silk, nylon and wool) and dye sublimation (for polyester).


The sub-£18,000 entry price point together with its white and metallic ink capabilities make the VS-640 stand out. The 64in-wide VersaCamm printer comes in three configurations: eight-colour CMYK plus silver and white; six-colour CMYK plus LcLm; and four-colour dual CMYK. Using Roland’s Eco-Sol metallic inks, the printer can produce a range of metallic and pearlescent colours and, combined with process colours, can produce a range of special effects.


Capable of cutting materials up to 64in wide, this is Roland’s largest vinyl cutter and one which it says will set new performance standards on a range of media including polyurethane, sand blast, Mylar etc. The Camm-1 Pro GX-640 uses a new generation of servo motor technology and integrated design and output software to handle standalone and print-then-cut



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