Wide printers can do so much for your business including saving you some of that printing budget. From printing your employee of the month’s photos to banner and poster printing, you’ll be glad you got it. Other things a wide printer can do for you include printing realistic images for your product launch that will surely get the customers talking or that new design for your next fashion show event.
Using this guide, we will walk you through all you need to know to make an informed decision on the best wide printer for you:
Right of the bat, I’d like to mention that in most cases, wide printers are designed to fit a specific purpose. Hence, it is vital to do your research to ensure that you are picking the perfect addition to your business.
1. Poster Printing: Canon’s image PROGRAF TX-4000
A workhorse printer, for example, can print most marketing materials and apply up to 6 different inks to a 54-inch roll of media. A good example of this is the Canon’s image PROGRAF TX-4000, which prints out up to 44 inch wide and sales at $6500. This printer packs a resolution of 2400 x 1200 dots/inch, thanks to its 15000 nozzles 5 pigment ink spray system. You can also print on vinyl and polypropylene using the TX-4000.
2. Latex-based vs. Solvent based Printers: Poster Printing
The TX-4000 is perfect for indoors. However, using it to print on materials like polypropylene won’t give you the best results for outdoors. This is where purchasing a specialized printer proves necessary. Rather than using indoor inks, some printers use solvent based formulations which practically melt the print-surface, letting the ink seep in or latex-based formulation which simply put, creates a bond with the print material. You should expect more resilient print outs to rain, wind and even sunlight.
Take the HP Latex R2000+. This beast can print up to 98.4 inches wide with its five-liter cartridge which can save you money in the long run. It has nine latex-based inks which make for great print detail especially for poster printing. From polyester to paper you can print on anything you want. You can get it for about 200,000 give or take, and although a bit pricey; you can use it to create billboards and many other outdoor posters. Compared with the 54inch wide, Roland VersaUV LEC-540 (at $55,000), which uses solvent-based inks, the HP Latex R2000+ seems expensive however one of the downsides of using a solvent-based ink is it requires ultraviolet light for the print-out to cure which can definitely slow things down.
3. Poster Printing: How photorealistic is your printer?
When it comes to photorealistic printouts, the number of inks a printer can handle determines just how photorealistic the printout will be. The construction of the $3,200 Epson SureColor P8000 is structured to spray as many as nine inks on a wide media of 44-inches. The printer, therefore, handles black, yellow, vivid and light magenta, cyan and light cyan, green, violet and orange. The ink sells in cartridges of 150-, 350- and 700-ml to make it flexible and budget friendly.
It is worth noting that the dpi resolution of the P8000’s 2880 x 1440 is excellent at producing prints that appear straight up accurate with smooth gradients and gorgeous colors. No wonder the P8000 is a printer often used by museums for digital prints meant for exhibitions. This is because of the perfect color and media variety they produce.
4. Printing on Fabrics
It is seldom easy to find custom fabric, and now the scarcity has skyrocketed the prices to thousands of dollars just for setup fees. However, with this printer, you can simply print onto the fabric directly or consider a process of two-step dye sublimation. It is impressive that these similar printers; Mimaki’s TS300P-1800 and TX 300P-1800 and do both.
The two-step dye sublimation process is best done by the TS300P, while the TX300P does direct printing onto the fabric. Regardless of the model you choose, they both work excellently on customized sports uniforms, drapery, fashion, and instant flags. The TS300P sells for $32,000 and TX300P for $36,000.
Despite sharing a common print engine, these two printers are different in a couple of ways. For example; the max print width of the TS300P’s is 76.4 inches while the TX300P maxes out at 74 inches. Another difference between the two is the dpi graphics; in this case the TX300P prints at 1,440 dpi, unlike the TS300P that caps at 1,080 dpi.
Big companies with lots of wide printing jobs can afford to pick any or all of these printers for their specific purpose. However, if you are just starting out, your best bet would be to pick the printer that will cover most of your printing tasks and outsource the rare printing jobs. This approach will ensure that you are saving money compared to outsourcing daily wide-printing tasks.