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A Guide to Garment Inkjet Printers

(February 2010) posted on Mon Jan 25, 2010

The garment-inkjet landscape is changing. Use this source list to keep up with the latest systems on the market.


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By Ben P. Rosenfield

Arakis
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.



Azon Printer
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 both 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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