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What's the best ink

Discussion in 'Roland' started by greasygroove, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. greasygroove

    greasygroove New Member

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    Aug 29, 2005
    In the case of wide format vinyl printers such as Roland, graphtek, Mutoh, and Gerber what's everyones opinion on inks?

    I've heard good thinks about pigment inks, so why would you use anything else?

    What do you guys think about ink? What do you recommend?

    Thanks, I'm a newby so your help is super appreciated :smile:
     
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  2. gtjet

    gtjet Active Member

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    Jun 3, 2005
    There are advantages / dissavantages to all the inks, in general it is my understanding that pigment inks are more durable but have a narrower color gamut than dye inks but now there are durable dye inks that provide a wider gamut of color and better durability. Color gamut vs. durability is the main reason why you would go one way or the other here.

    In our case we chose an eco solvent ink as the VOC'S (volatile organic compounds) are less smelly, we still utilize ventilation but nothing like we would have to do with a true solvent ink like is used with a Mimaki. True solvent inks (MEK, methyl, ethyl, ketones) actually etch the vinyl and are more durable than eco-solvent inks but the voc's high & are very smelly and you have to have a dedicated ventilation system or the health risk to you is high and it will make you sick. If we had more money and a more decidedly permenant location we would have chose a true solvent ink printer but that is not the case.

    The type of jobs you are printing, the type of facility you have and the money you have to invest in your setup will largely determine the type of ink you'll want to choose. We do a lot of Mom & Pop small bus. so eco-sol works for us, if we did large corporate work or outdoor photo work or vehicle graphic mainly then those factors would change our mind.

    PS don't think that the eco means these inks are totally safe and beign, they are not, but they are "friendlier" to work with than true solvent inks. If you had the location and money, flat bed UV cure would be attractive for a setup too, the prices are dropping fast on this technology.

    Hope I accurately answered your question, I am not an expert, and really only have limited knowledge on the topic.
     
  3. the snowman

    the snowman New Member

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    Oct 10, 2005
    Hi GreasyGroove.
    I run the large format digital side in our print company.
    We use 2 machines. For indoor exhibition and shop backgrounds, we use a HP Designjet 5000 with dye inks. The outputs are outstanding. For outdoor stuff, we use Eco-Sol inks on a Roland Versacamm. We would expect 5 years of lifespan with these if we laminate the prints. Every body harps on about outdoor lifespan with solvent inks, but it is important to remember that fashions and lifestyles dictate a digital prints longevity just as much as the ink stability! I have produced many outputs for a famous golf company that have been replaced within 2 years because the clubs have been re-designed. When was the last time you saw an advert outside a bus stop with a cowboy on a horse promoting Marlborough cigarettes? I think Eco-Sol is a good system at the moment.
     
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