This article demystifies the process of producing lenticular designs and describes how modern imaging technology simplifies the associated workflow.
By Jeff Miller
This registration file is sent through the RIP and is imaged directly to the printer’s bed. The production team then uses the series of registration lines from that file to register the lenticular lens right on the bed. Precise registration is completed using visual alignment and inspection. If there are multiple pieces in the job, the operator can simply move to the next lens, register the next lens to the registration lines, draw down the substrate with the vacuum table, and hit print. You can repeat this step as many times as needed to complete the job.
Inkjet printers that excel at lenticular production are flatbeds with large vacuum tables that keep the lenticular substrate drawn down securely to the table. This allows extremely precise registration. In addition to the vacuum table, these new printers jet very small ink droplets, producing near photo-quality results.
The new lineup of flatbed printers on the market allows for CMYK and white ink, which means lenticular-display production for frontlit and backlit applications involves just the application of ink. The current crop of qualified flatbed UV inkjet printers for lenticular displays includes EFI’s Rastek T660 and Rastek T1000, Fujifilms’s Acuity line, Océ’s Arizona line, and Mimaki’s JF line.
Lenticular 3D products are more expensive to produce due to the cost associated with the lenticular substrate, but they have much greater visual impact, and so command a higher price point. To sell lenticular products successfully, you will need to make the value proposition clear to your particular market segment. High-quality samples, a clear sales pitch that emphasizes the sizzle that can only be found in 3D, and a willingness to educate your clients on the design and production process will help ensure your success.
Remember, a lenticular 3D display is a high-quality and high-impact product, but it is not typically ordered in high volume. A large print campaign, such as a run of movie posters, will often be supplemented with 3D pieces, but it is rarely exclusively 3D. However, shorter runs for environmental or architectural design products—for use in hotel lobbies or museum installations, for instance—can benefit from the strong appeal of lenticular printing.
Jeff Miller is sales director, Americas, for HumanEyes Technologies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RESOURCES FOR LENTICULAR GRAPHICS
Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.