New 44-in Epson Dye-Sub Printer Includes Epson Edge Software

Epson’s new SureColor® F6370 44-in. dye-sublimation printer quickly and efficiently produces high-quality images on dye-sublimation transfer papers that can be used with a heat transfer press to make promotional products, soft signage, cut-and-sew fabrics, and more.

Like all of Epson’s dye-sublimation printers, the SureColor F6370 is a turnkey solution that includes Epson printhead technology, Epson dye-sublimation inks, Epson DS transfer media, Epson ICC profiles, and Epson service and support.

Epson SureColor F6370
The 44-in. Epson SureColor F6370 dye sublimation printer

The SureColor F6370 also comes with Epson’s new Epson Edge® layout and print-management workflow software with an Adobe® PostScript® 3™ engine.

Other features include a built-in cutter for roll-to-sheet convenience and an optional take-up reel system for unattended printing.

The SureColor F6370 replaces the 44-in. SureColor F6200 in Epson’s line-up of SureColor F-Series printers. Other models include the 64-in. SureColor F9370 and 60-in. SureColor F7200.

“The award-winning SureColor F-Series product line is the number-one selling large format dye-sublimation printer,” said Tim Check, senior product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. “We are thrilled to continue expanding the series and providing new features customers have requested.”

Epson Edge Print Software

The new Epson Edge Print layout and printer management software features an Adobe Postscript 3 engine and includes job nesting and textile-printing tools such as step-and-repeat patterns, custom spot color matching, and support for project color libraries,. Users can import new media settings when available, edit media settings and manage projects remotely.

The Epson Edge dashboard, a remote-printing management software, gives operators detailed views on current printer activity, ink supply levels, and error messages. The software can also remotely perform cleaning cycles and various maintenance cycles and update printer firmware.

Dashboard users can check the status of up to 10 printers, including all SureColor F-Series, SureColor F-Series Direct-to-Garment, and SureColor S-Series wide-format printers.

Epson printers are also compatible with leading RIP workflow software.

Epson Printhead and Accessories

The Epson PrecisionCore® TFP® printhead supports fast print speeds (up to 680 sq. ft./hr.), precision dot control for print quality and sharpness, and resolutions up to 1440 x 720 dpi.

The PrecisionCore print chip is ideal for dye-sublimation ink chemistry and was co-developed with Epson UltraChrome DS inks for extreme reliability.

The new roll media adapters lock into place to prevent unwanted roll movement and the built-in cutter makes it easy to trim sheets of printed paper for use in the counter-top heat transfer presses used with promotional products and smaller photo gifts.

The optional take-up reel streamlines the process of using a rotary calendar heat press to transfer images from rolls of printed paper to rolls of polyester textiles for soft signage or cut-and-sew fashions.

The user-accessible maintenance panel provides easy access to the printhead, wiper and wiper cleaner, and features simple instructions to complete routine maintenance checks.

Inks

The SureColor F6370 printer uses four colors (CMYK) of Epson UltraChrome® DS inks, including a High Density Black.* The inks produce vibrant color saturation and contrast and are sold in 1.1 liter, easy-to-change pouches. This pouch capacity provides about 10-percent more ink than the ink supplies for previous models.

The UltraChrome DS inks are Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex. This textile industry safety standard ensures that chemicals and colorants used in the textile production are safe for clothing worn by adults, children, and babies.

Images printed in reverse on rolls of transfer paper can be cut into sheets or rewound on a take-up real depending on what type of heat press will be used to transfer the print to the polyester fabric.

Transfer Papers

Epson offers four high-performance transfer papers optimal printing with Epson UltraChrome DS inks on the SureColor F series printers:

Multi-purpose paper can be used to transfer images to a variety of products, including mouse pads, T-shirts, and ceramics.

Photo paper is optimized to transfer images to hard surfaces with minimal grain.

Textile-adhesive paper is recommended for producing fabrics and apparel.

Production is a lightweight paper for roll-to-roll sublimation transfer printing.

All four papers have a unique chemical coating that allows for heavy ink loads with low cockling, superior clarity, and sharpness.

Support and Availability

The Epson SureColor F6370 Standard Edition is available now through authorized Epson Professional Imaging resellers for $8,495 MSRP. The optional take up reel will be available in Fall 2019.

The SureColor F6370 offers a standard Epson Preferred Limited Warranty, a one-year program that includes toll-free advanced telephone access Monday through Friday and usually next business-day on-site service in the unlikely event of any hardware failure.

For additional information about Epson’s complete line of wide-format printing solutions, visit www.proimaging.epson.com.

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Roland DGA Unveils Multi-function Dye-Sublimation Printer

Roland DGA Corporation describes their newest wide-format dye-sub printer as an intelligent multi-function dye-sublimation printer. That’s because the Texart RT-640M uses specially formulated Texart SBL3 sublimation inks that enable you to print directly onto coated polyester fabrics or on different types of sublimation transfer papers.

The direct-to-textile print option on the Texart RT-640M simplifies the production of dye-sublimation fabrics for soft signage and trade show graphics. The ability to print to different types of transfer paper lets you create a range of products, including sublimated hard goods and rigid signs to apparel and decor fabrics.

Roland multifunction dye sublimation printer
The Roland Texart 640M multifunction dye sublimation printer enables you to print directly on coated polyester fabrics or transfer media for photo panels and other rigid substrates

Roland’s Texart SBL3 inks are available in 4-color (CMYK), 8-color (CMYKLcLmOrVi), and 8-color fluorescent (CMYKOrViFyFp) configurations.

Features

The RT-640M includes several advanced features:

  • The media take-up incorporates adjustable front rollers for no-skew printing, as well as magnet weights for improved tensioning and performance.
  • State-of-the-art 8-channel printheads deliver unmatched color and image results on a wide range of materials. The heads also optimize ink coverage for lower operating costs.
  • The Roland Bulk Ink Switch System features 1000 cc pouches and automatically switches to a back-up pouch for non-stop printing in a 4-color configuration.
  • An ink collection channel within the platen facilitates direct printing onto mesh, flag, voile and other thin textiles.

The Texart RT-640M comes with ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 software. This software offers unique tools for textile dye-sublimation and allows users to RIP up to eight jobs simultaneously.

ErgoSoft Roland Edition 2 boasts an Aurelon PDF engine with 64-bit native support, plus unlimited hot folders and job cost estimation. Other features include a new smart fill function, rectangular image nesting, variable data, and a huge range of color profiles, and more.

“The RT-640M is an unbeatable investment for anyone looking to get into the dye-sublimation market,” said Lily Hunter, Roland DGA Product Manager, Textiles and Consumable Supplies. “This value-packed inkjet offers the most flexibility you can get in an entry-level sublimation printer. Its multi-function capabilities allow users to easily and cost-effectively produce everything from flags, soft signage and backlit signage to ChromaLuxe photo panels, apparel, and décor.”

To learn more about Roland’s new Texart RT-640M multi-function dye-sublimation printer, visit https://www.rolanddga.com/RT-640M.

For more information on the complete Roland DGA product lineup, visit https://www.rolanddga.com.

HP Unveils Stitch Line of Dye-Sublimation Printers for Textile Printing

At spring trade shows in Las Vegas and Munich, HP introduced their new HP Stitch line of wide-format and grand-format inkjet dye-sublimation printers.

The new HP Stitch S series of digital textile printers includes the 64-inch HP Stitch S300, the 64-inch HP Stitch S400, and the 126-inch HP Stitch S1000. The printers are built for easy maintenance and fast, precise color-matching, made possible by a built-in color-measuring device called a spectrophotometer.

About Dye-Sublimation

Inkjet dye-sublimation has become a wildly popular process for printing fabrics for trade-show banners, backlit signs, stage backdrops, sportswear, and fashions. Because the ink colors are fused into the molecules of different types of polyester textiles, the printed fabrics retain their soft feel, vivid colors, and draping characteristics. (In other words, the fabrics don’t “feel” printed.)

Unlike existing wide-format dye-sublimation printers that use piezo printheads, the HP Stitch printers uses thermal printheads heat to eject tiny droplets of ink onto a transfer paper. The printed transfer paper is then fed through a heat press, which uses carefully controlled amounts of heat and pressure to transfer the colors from printed paper to a wide range of dye-sub-compatible polyester fabrics from companies such as Fisher Textiles, Berger Textiles, and Top Value Fabrics.

Even though HP isn’t the first company to introduce wide-format and grand-format dye-sublimation printers, the market for digitally printed textiles is growing quickly.

“Décor and fashion application trends, on demand production and personalization are boosting digital print growth,” says Santi Morera, Head of Graphics Solutions Business at HP. “The digitally printed textiles market is experiencing double-digit annual growth, forecast to reach $5.5 billion by 2023, according to Smithers Pira. We look forward to more digital print transformations being realized with the arrival of the new HP Stitch S series.”

The HP Stitch S300 Printer was designed for newcomers to dye-sublimation printing who will be using it to create short runs of fabrics for soft signage, interior decor, or prototypes of fashion or sportswear designs.

The S300 uses one set of 775-mil cartridges of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black HP Dye-Sublimation Ink cartridges.

HP Stitch S300 wide-format dye-sublimation printer

Unlike dye-sublimation printers that use piezo inkjet printheads, you don’t have to call a service technician to replace a faulty printhead on HP Stitch printers. Because a printer operator can easily replace the thermal inkjet printheads as needed, users will experience less downtime and lower service costs.

“Our experience with HP Stitch S300 has been much easier and faster than other dye sub printers we’ve previously used,” says Teunis Roos of the Color Concepts independent profiling and testing lab for the digital wide-format printing industry. “Most printers require manual action in terms of head maintenance and alignment, but the HP Stitch S300 is more proactive and automated when it comes to performance.”

The HP Stitch S500 Printer for high production sites enables predictable dye sublimation color and less media waste. The symmetrical 2xCMYK printhead configuration and Optical Media Advance Sensor allow you to achieve saturated colors even in the fastest print mode. Inks are available in either 775-mil cartridges or 3-liter cartridges for lower ink costs and unattended print jobs.

The HP Stitch S500 also can hold larger rolls and is equipped for a Tension-Sensing Winder that reduces the risk of errors during overnight operations. The Stitch S500 includes HP Services and cloud-management tools.

HP Stitch S500 wide-format sublimation printer

With HP SmartColor tools, you can distribute print jobs across a fleet of printers and get consistent color from printer to printer. 

The front-loading printer is designed to save floor space and the HP Smart Nozzle Compensation system Help avoid reprints and media waste with 1200 native dpi printheads and HP Smart Nozzle Compensation system, saving up to 50 percent floor space with frontal media loading and a spindle-less system.

The HP Stitch S1000 Superwide Printer is designed for shops that require high levels of productivity when printing textiles for sportswear, fast fashion, backlit and frontlit signage, curtains, and upholstered chairs and sofas.

Designed for simplified operation, high uptime, and unattended printing, the 126-inch printer enables high-production shops to handle short deadlines and seasonal peaks. The HP Stitch S1000 can achieve production speeds up to 2,370 sq. ft./hr.

HP Stitch S1000 superwide dye sublimation printer

The printer delivers continuous high-quality prints on both transfer paper and fabric. Fully automatic maintenance ensures optimal image quality without user intervention. The HP Drop & Dry print zone dryer helps ensure sharp prints even when printing high-density jobs direct to fabric.

The printer holds 10-liter ink supplies and rolls up to 600 lbs. so jobs can run overnight when necessary.

The HP Stitch S1000 includes a built-in spectrophotometer and HP SmartColor tools that make it possible to achieve consistent colors even when jobs are printed on a fleet of HP Stitch printers.

New HP Dye Sublimation Paper

HP has also launched a set of new dye sublimation papers for the new HP Stitch S Printer series. These papers are designed and tested as a system with HP dye sublimation inks and the HP Stitch S Printer series to achieve excellent image quality and color consistency.

The HP Stitch S300 and S500 printers and HP dye-sublimation paper were showcased at the 2019 ISA Sign Expo in April. The HP Stitch S1000 Printer made its debut at the FESPA Global Print Show on May 13.  

Why Digital Textile Printing Is Growing

HP sees plenty of room for growth in the printed textiles market. For one thing, in a world of 7.8 billion citizens, everyone is surrounded with textiles from birth. Of course, only a small fraction of the portion of textiles are printed. Only 10% of the $308 billion worth of printed textiles are printed digitally. But this percentage is accelerating because the growth of e-commerce and digital marketing are transforming how fashions, apparel, and home goods are sold.

Design studios can use the HP Stitch S300 to print prototypes of fashion and sportswear designs.

Not long ago, only big brands and retailers could afford to create and sell apparel. Before digital printing and e-commerce, it took about 100 days for mass-produced garments to go from the design stage to the selling floor of the brick-and-mortar retailers. Designers and buyers had no way of knowing how many copies of a specific design consumers would buy. So unsold excess merchandise was either sold at clearance prices or destroyed.  And the manufacturer of the goods didn’t receive payment until the products were sold.

With digital printing and e-commerce technologies, garments don’t have to be printed, sewn, and delivered until the customers has actually ordered and paid for the garment. Consumers can  shop a marketplace of designs to have printed on whatever type of garment or accessory they choose. So with these new types of business models give consumers more choices, manufacturers a better cash flow, and the ability to reduce waste.

HP envisions the textile business of the future to be on-demand, personalized, intelligent, and circular. Print-on-demand garments can include new types of inks that change the functionality of the apparel. They believe “Textile printing should be accessible to everyone, sustainable, smart, and limitless.”

HP officials said they chose to enter the textile printing market because 60% of the square meters of fabric consumed in the $3.6 billion digital textile printing market is polyester.

Roland Texart SBL3 Inks Certified for Outdoor Durable ChromaLuxe Photo Panels

Here is some news for print-service providers that want to use dye-sublimation inkjet printing to make outdoor-durable ChromaLuxe aluminum photo panels.

Roland Texart™ SBL3 dye-sublimation inks have earned ChromaLuxe® certification for outdoor durability. This certification means you can expect optimum quality and durability when transfer graphics are printed with Texart SBL3 inks and sublimated to ChromaLuxe EXT (Extended Life) UV-resistant aluminum photo panels.

Dye-sublimated art panels on outdoor patio wall
Photo: Roland DGA

 

Chromaluxe is backing up the certification with an outdoor-life warranty of two years for photography-based prints and three years of signs.

“The ChromaLuxe certification and warranties provide assurance to Texart series users that their graphics sublimated to ChromaLuxe EXT panels will stand up to powerful UV rays and the elements,” said Lily Hunter, Roland DGA Product Manager, Textiles and Consumables. “They get the best of both worlds – colorful, vibrant graphics and the very best outdoor durability possible.”

This ChromaLuxe certification applies to all standard Texart SBL3 inks. The inks are available in 4-color CMYK configurations or 8-color configurations that add Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Orange, and Violet inks to the CMYK inks.

Designed to bring out the best in Roland’s advanced Texart RT-640 and XT-640 dye-sublimation printers, SBL3 inks are ideal for creating vibrant sublimated signage, apparel, accessories and hard goods. In addition to producing rich, durable graphics, these water-based, fast-drying inks contain a high concentration of dyes. This allows for reduced ink usage while retaining maximum vibrancy.

About ChromaLuxe

ChomaLuxe is a global manufacturer of premium print media for applications that require superb image quality and durability. In addition to sublimatable aluminum panels, they offer sublimation-ready tempered hardboard, tabletops, wood/MDF panels, and flooring panels.

All coatings and substrates are made in the USA with manufacturing and fabrication done in Louisville, KY. With additional locations in Belgium and Australia, ChromaLuxe provides products to more than 80 countries.

ChromaLuxe is an extension of Universal Woods, the world’s leading manufacturer of hard surface sublimatable products and mezzanine decking. It is also a sister brand to Unisub, which provides the highest quality custom sublimatable products. To learn more about ChromaLuxe, visit  https://www.chromaluxe.com.

Epson Introduces Next-Generation SureColor Dye-Sublimation Inkjet Printer

Epson America has introduced its latest SureColor dye sublimation inkjet printer for polyester textiles and apparel. The new 64-inch Epson SureColor® F9370 delivers industrial-level production with speeds of up to 1,169 square feet/hour. It is designed to support high-speed, economical medium- to large-volume dye-sublimation transfer printing for applications such as fabric production, customized promotional products, soft signage, cut-and-sew sports apparel, and home decor applications.

Epson SureColor F9370 dye sublimation inkjet printer
Epson SureColor F9370

“The dye-sublimation industry is rapidly expanding into new verticals and Epson is dedicated to being at the forefront of our client’s production needs,” said Tim Check, product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America. “When developing the SureColor F9370, our engineers aimed to increase performance, efficiency, and reliability. Their efforts resulted in a production print speed increase of up to 75 percent, making it one of the fastest printers on the market in this category.”

The SureColor F9370 received a 2017 SGIA Product of the Year Award in the Roll-to-Roll Daye Sublimation on Textile category was will be displayed at the 2017 SGIA Expo October 10-12 in New Orleans.

Features for Performance and Reliability

The roll-to-roll printer features dual Epson PrecisionCore® TFP® printheads and Epson’s UtraChrome® DS dye-sublimation ink with High-Density Black ink for exceptional color saturation and high-contrast.

A new integrated fabric wiping system cleans the printheads to ensure reliable output quality and continuous production.

The highly accurate roll-to-roll media support system features advanced auto paper-tension control to ensure the consistent movement of the paper through the printer, regardless of the weight of the paper or the shape or diameter of the core of the paper roll. The new media-feed system supports heavier media rolls and transfer paper as thin as 40 gsm.

The high-capacity ink tanks hold up to 3 liters of ink per color to ensure longer print runs without operator intervention.

The high accuracy take-up reel supports efficient transfer to the calendar heat press that will be used to transfer the dye-sublimation inks on the transfer papers onto the textiles.

Turnkey System

The Epson SureColor F9370 is sold as a turnkey solution, with Wasatch SoftRIP TX and ICC profiles for use with Epson DS transfer papers.

Wasatch SoftRIP TX is a complete layout and print management program with features specifically for textile production. It includes powerful color-management technology as features such as step-and-repeat layout, a color atlas and color neighorhood spot-color matching, and color database CxF support.

Epson Dye-Sublimation Transfer Papers have a unique coating technology that allows for heavy ink loads with low cockling and superior clarity and sharpness. The papers are available three types:

  • Multipurpose is optimized for transferring designs onto multiple substrates, including mouse pads, T-shirts, ceramics, etc.
  • Textile-Adhesive is designed for high-end fabric and apparel production
  • Production is a lightweight paper for roll-to-roll printing

With the Epson Control Dashboard, you can remotely run cleanings, check ink levels, update firmware, and download new media profiles for your computer.

The Epson SureColor F9370 replaces the SureColor F9200 to join Epson’s complete line of SureColor F-Series printers, including the entry-level 44-inch SureColor F6200 and the 64-inch SureColor 7200 for short- to medium-volume dye-sublimation transfer printing.

The Epson SureColor F9370 is now available through Epson Professional Imaging resellers. For more information, visit www.proimaging.epson.com

 

 

Wilhelm Imaging Research Tests Durability of Metal Photo Prints

Printing firms and photo labs that use dye-sublimation printing to produce “metal photo prints” for professional photographers and home decor should be aware that all pre-coated metal panels may not be equally durable.

According to Henry Wilhelm, Director of Research at Wilhelm Imaging Research (WIR), “Very complex interactions take place between sublimation inks and the ink-receptive polymer coatings of dye sublimation prints.” He said some interactions occur during the short, high-heat image transfer step involved in making metal photo prints. Other interactions occur very gradually over time, during the long-term display and storage of the prints.

“What a metal photo print looks like when it emerges from the heat press tells you nothing at all about how long it will last,” said Wilhelm. He notes that “Sublimation on metal photo panels is a new and rapidly advancing technology, and all aluminum panels — frequently referred to in the marketplace as ‘metal prints’ — are by no means the same. If your lab is using untested products, both you and your customers are flying blind.”

WIR is widely recognized as the world’s leading independent print permanence testing laboratory.

ChromaLuxe Panels Pass Tests with Flying Colors

One of the first companies to promote sublimation printing on high-quality metal photo panels was ChomaLuxe. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company supplies high-quality blank metal, wood, and other rigid substrates for applications that require superb image quality and durability.

Comprehensive, multi-factor print permanence tests at Wilhelm Imaging Research have confirmed the durability of ChromaLuxe sublimatable aluminum photo panels.

ChromaLuxe aluminum sublimation photo panels achieved a WIR Display Permanence Rating of 65 years when printed with Epson UltraChrome DS inks. The WIR Display Permanence Rating is 64 years when printed with Sawgrass Sublijet-HD Pro Photo XF inks.

Although the 4-color Epson and 8-color Sawgrass inks have different dye formulations, and distinctly different individual ink fade patterns, both brands of inks proved to be well matched to the latest ChromaLuxe sublimation coating formulations.

 

caw-chromaluxe
ChromaLuxe photo panels (“metal prints”) are available in sizes up to 4 x 8 feet. The photo panels can be used for all types of photography.

What makes the WIR Display Permanence Ratings for ChromaLuxe panels most impressive is the fact that the prints can be safely displayed without being laminated, displayed behind glass or acrylic, or face-mounted to acrylic sheets.

ChromaLuxe prints have unprecedented resistance to surface abrasion, high humidity, atmospheric ozone, and contact with water.

Wilhelm Imaging Research found that unframed, displayed prints made with the latest generation of ChromaLuxe aluminum photo panels are far more stable and longer lasting than Kodak Endura or other current silver-halide papers, including silver-halide prints framed under UV-absorbing acrylic or glass or when face-mounted to UV-absorbing acrylic.

About Dye Sublimation

Dye-sublimation printing is an attractive process for creating durable photographs because it uses heat to infuse the inks directly into a specialized coating on the surface of metal panels, tabletops, or wood.

ChromaLuxe has committed substantial R&D resources to constantly improve the image quality, permanence, Dmax, and printing consistency of sublimatable photo panels.

“Genuine ChromaLuxe prints now offer photographers an unmatched combination of display permanence, physical surface durability, and color brilliance,” said Kristina Lowe, director of marketing for ChromaLuxe.

You can see ChromaLuxe photo and art panels at the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo, October 27-29, 2016 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo is the largest photography and imaging show in North America. It is attended by over 21,000 professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, videographers, students and educators from around the world.