Sign & Digital Graphics

August '16

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • August 2016 • 35 Hunter also suggests doing some research to make sure you aren't aim- ing a little too low for your long-term professional needs, especially if a few initial T-shirt orders turn into a lucra- tive business. "The fact is, many of the less-expen- sive printers actually end up costing more in the long run due to issues with ink waste, longer downtime for clean- ing and maintenance, and simply low- quality output," she says. "Don't forget to consider equipment durability. It may make more sense to buy a more robust model, knowing that your purchase will last many years as your business and pro- duction capacity grows." And while you can easily purchase nearly professional-level printers at big box stores to do rudimentary transfer printing, to do any volume in apparel, or have the ability to turn out complex- shaped fabric products, direct printing is a whole different ball game. A good pro- fessional fabric printer needs a few core capabilities, says Tommy Martin, product manager with Mimaki USA's textile and apparel business development and mar- keting department. "Entry-level basics should include a printer that uses inks that are clearly made for that specific model and its printheads, and built-in systems that reduce banding—ask about special noz- zle banding control," he says. "Advanced technologies may include things like a special nozzle mapping system to con- trol quality when nozzles have dropped out, an external heater, a media take-up system, profile-making software, or even something as simple as a printer stand." High-quality and easy-to-use R I P software, allowing you to use your exist- ing digital graphics files for printing output, is also critical to your printing success—Hunter suggests checking the RIP's ability to interface with your exist- ing design software, as some printers' RIP tools are OEM-branded, and many will do a better job than the others when it comes to fine details, gradients, transpar- encies, overall output and, most impor- tantly, ink consumption. ↘ ↘ 855.863.1638 SEE OUR PRINTER IN ACTION AT AUG. 18-20 BALTIMORE, MD BOOTH #907 m P OW E R ™ i - S E R I E S DIGITAL APPAREL PRINTER • Industrial strength print heads • Fastest direct to garment single-platen printer in its class • Made in USA | globally sourced components Anajet_SignDigital_12084_half_062716.indd 1 6/27/2016 3:58:56 PM

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