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Need Help Suggestions Opinion UV LED Printing ADA signs

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Robert Wilcox, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Robert Wilcox

    Robert Wilcox New Member

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    Feb 22, 2021
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    Hello all and thank you for letting me be a part of this community.
    I work for a sign company and we want to start making ada compliant Braille signs.
    I’m leaning toward the UV LED printing process over other processes like photopolymer, sandblasting and thermoforming.
    -What is your opinion on the UV printing process for ada signs?
    -I’m aware of Direct Color Systems and logojet, but what other brands are there? What are your opinions on DCS, logojet and other brands?
    Thank you for your time.
    Rob
     
  2. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Merchant Member

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    Welcome aboard...not far from ya. DCS Is the only printer I have physically seen in person ...at the AC Sign Show....that can do the ADA depth on the small plaques and such to be compliant. They seem to be solid machines but slow to print.
     
  3. Forty One

    Forty One New Member

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    Avoid the 1200 X 900 bed from DCS.
    We had one of the first ones they shipped to Australia. And it was plagued with problems.
    Had to give it back.

    For the money, I could have bought a second hand Arizona that delivers non stop.
     
  4. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    I'm also doing my homework right now for doing ADA signs. I would like to be able to produce tactile and braille. Our business is mainly architectural products, so doing ADA would be a great addition.
     
  5. Robert Wilcox

    Robert Wilcox New Member

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    What have you found? Direct Color Systems seems to be a safe bet but they have some AWFUL reviews. Then there seems to be a ton of other companies that sell them.
     
  6. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Here is an image of braille/tactile off our Vanguard.

    These are .031 thick with the proper doming diameter... But they aren't off a DCS and can lead to inspection issues in some states.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. StratoJet

    StratoJet Merchant Member

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    You can look at a StratoJet, we have a lot of people printing both. In fact you can lay up to 16 layers of ink in one pass; Braille is usually between 58-64 layers. You can layer with White, Clear, CMYK, a combination and all other ink colors.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    Well, we just started our investigation last week. So we are not very far. We have looked at DCS, but with the reviews, we are looking for something else. We are currently looking into Mimaki, Mutoh, Roland with their small footprint flatbed to see if this would work.

    Very interesting. But we are looking for a machine with a smaller footprint.

    Very interesting too.
     
  9. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    if your doing low quantities UV printing may be ok but woudl be awfully slow to build it up enough to conform to ADA guidelines. We laser cut and use the raster braille dots on all of ours. A lot cleaner look.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    Good to know. Can you give me more details on the equipment to do this? Can you also do tactile?
     
  11. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I agree, we do quite a bit of interior ADA signs with our laser and raster braille setup, I've seen the small UV printers doing braille/tactile and it is a very slow process, if you had an order for 500 signs to produce with a small Roland UV printer you would drive yourself nuts!

    However the ability to print a design into the background of the acrylic and have the tactile be any colour you want has been intriguing to me a few times for sure!
     
  12. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    You would need an engraving machine to drill the holes for the Raster Braille beads, the Raster tools from Accent Signage and a laser engraver to cut the words and images out. A lot more equipment but we can manufacture signs a lot faster than printing. As far as engravers we use a Xenetech for 1 off signs and we also have a Vision where the Raster pen sits in the machine and can punch holes then have the machine insert the beads.
     
  13. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    We are lucky and have 7 UV printers in house. We print on the back side of acrylic and then do the raised letters/braille after. We are able to print 4x8 sheets and route them out quickly.
     
  14. StratoJet

    StratoJet Merchant Member

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    We do have a 4x4’ version of our flat bed
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

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    How do you make tactile?
     
  16. Robert Wilcox

    Robert Wilcox New Member

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    Feb 22, 2021
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    7 printers! WOW! Good for you! I’m starting much smaller, for budget reasons. I’m really leaning towards uv print instead of other methods. I have a couple questions:
    Most of the signs well make will be for state funded projects we bid on.
    Do you quote state funded jobs where architects are involved and specs? Have you had architects refuse your uv signs?
    We have to give a 5 year warranty on the signs we install, have you had problems with the longevity of the Braille/copy? Do you think a 5 year warranty is achievable?
    What brand of machinery do you use? Have you encountered Direct Color Systems?
    Thank you for all the help.
     
  17. StratoJet

    StratoJet Merchant Member

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    Have you had architects refuse your uv signs?
    Not for ADA/Braille specs; there’s the usual ‘printing’ stuff :)
    We have to give a 5 year warranty on the signs we install, have you had problems with the longevity of the Braille/copy? Do you think a 5 year warranty is achievable?
    Indoor is no problem with most inks, but the oils from touching can cause issues for some. Also, with the constant Covid cleaning, some issues might arise over time. Just to get the contract, you could offer a ‘warranty’ to offer to replace a sign for a discount. This would put your customer at ease and in most cases never needing replacement.
    What brand of machinery do you use?
    We manufacture our StratoJet printers and this info is collected feedback from years of data (our research, feedback, customers...)
     
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