Sign & Digital Graphics

March '18

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • March 2018 • 39 ensure a high-quality imaging. Roland's Texart dye-sub printers come bundled with the latest version of ErgoSoft Roland Edition software." The Finishing When working with fabrics or soft materials, there is a finishing process that should not be overlooked. "Automation in cutting is an important consideration," Lamb says. "The fabric printers that we currently represent, produce fabric at speeds of 1,000 to 1,600 square feet per hour. Hand cutting or heat knifing while trying to keep up with those speeds is impossible without dedicating a sig- nificant labor pool to that single job. In general, knit fabrics are cut beautifully with a driven rotary tool while woven are typically heat sealed with a laser. As a Zünd partner, our platform offers both solutions while adding the benefits of stress-free fabric feeding to the cut- ting area which eliminates mistakes in cutting due to potential stretch and mis- registration." Hunter agrees that shop owners should probably consider the purchase of a cutter to add to their dye-sublimation operation. "Some companies start off small, using rotary blades or heat blades to manually cut their fabrics," she explains. "Heat blades are used primarily with woven fabrics for sealing the edges to prevent frays. Knit fabrics do not fray, so rotary blades work well on those types of materials. Other materials used for dye-sublimation applications include polyester fabrics, polyester-coated fab- rics and polyester-coated rigid substrates. As the business grows, the print service provider should consider investing in a quality flatbed cutter." Once the cutting is completed, the job is finished by sewing the edges. "Almost all of our customers have invested in a synchronized sewing machine from Impulsa," says Lamb. "It uses a conveyor to transport the fabric to the sewing head at the same speed as the needle is stitching. In addition to this feature, is synchronized feeding of the silicon edging, webbing or Velcro, allow- ing for better seam quality and faster production." Direct vs. Transfer Even within the niche dye-sublima- tion printing process there are options to attain the final outcome. The fin- ished dye-sublimation product you see at a tradeshow, on a point-of-purchase display, or elsewhere has either been printed directly or transferred using the appropriate media. Two types of software will be needed for dye-sublimation applications—a design software and a RIP software. Looking to prevent this? Cut & sealed with laser module See it LIVE at ISA, SGIA, or call anytime for a demonstration! NEW T: 414-433-0700 •Simultaneously cuts & seals edges •Designed for cutting polyester fabrics •CO2 100 W laser performance •Laser Class 1 for easy, safe handling •No more frayed edges NEW Laser Module LM 100W

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