December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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16 • THE DIGITAL DIRECT REPORT • 2016 W hen UV-LED desktop direct-to-substrate printers were intro- duced more than six years ago, they were considered by some in the industry as an exciting new product for a limited, niche market. Since then, that perception has changed dramatically. New applications for UV-LED technology appear almost every day in the awards, engraving, sign, custom gift, and technical industries. The high-end model printers introduced this year are much faster and can handle larger, thicker, and heavier items than ever before. At the same time, prices on smaller entry-level models continue to go down. THE GROWTH OF UV- LED DESKTOP PRINTING B Y B I L L L E E K Wine box and sign decorated with a UV-LED printer. (Image courtesy GoVivid) DCS Braille and 3D pub- lic sign. (Im- age courtesy Direct Color Systems)

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