The garment-inkjet floodgates are wide open, leaving many screen printers who want to boost revenues with complementary digital technology drowning in options. This article will help you wade through the crowded pool of printers.
The Arakis Orbital is a custom-built carousel inkjet system that uses interchangeable, off-the-shelf printing platens. At its core is the Arakis Universal Printengine (AUP), which uses four valve-jet heads for white underbasing without pretreatment, plus four or eight dedicated Spectra heads for CMYK or spot colors (optional 2 x CMYK is available). Orbital supports up to four platens, each offering a maximum print area of 24 x 30 in. (610 x 762 mm). It can image onto garments at 300 and 600 dpi, and according to Arakis, the printer can complete a 16 x 20-in. (406 x 508-mm) print at 600 dpi in two minutes. A-Tex high-viscosity inks, and a white ink formulated for printing without pretreatment, are available from Arakis. Arakis also offers the AK-78 and AK-SP1/AK-SP2 inkjet printers, all of which use interchangeable, off-the-shelf printing platens. The AK-78 supports a 24 x 30-in. maximum print area. It can image at resolutions of 360, 720, and 1440 dpi. The system uses AUP technology and prints A-Tex standard inks. The AK-SP1/AK-SP2 printers support up to four platens with maximum print areas of 24 x 30 in. They image at 300 or 600 dpi, use Spectra printheads and A-Tex high-viscosity inks, and feature AUP technology. All Arakis printers offer the Arakis Easy Flush system for maintenance.
According to Azon, the Tex Pro direct-to-garment inkjet printer offers faultless printing, even on seams, collars, pockets, and clefts. The system uses bi-directional printing to decorate 20-70 light shirts/hr and 12-15 shirts/hr when using white inks on dark garments. It supports imaging resolutions of 720, 1440, and 2880 dpi and uses water-based pigmented inks (CMYK + 4 x White) to print onto cotton, polyester, silk, and other materials. An available pretreatment enhances ink adhesion. Tex Pro supports a maximum print area of 15.75 x 23.4 in. (400 x 594 mm) and garment thickness of 1.9 in. (50 mm). Tex Pro has USB and parallel computer connections, and its driver is compatible with Windows 95/98/9000, NT 4.0, and Mac OS (USB).
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