Large Format Printing & Grand Format Printing Edmonton
Large format printing or wide format printing are the terms used for digitally printing widths between 17″ and 100″. Printing over the 100″ mark is called super-wide or grand format printing. Large-format printers are used to print posters, P.O.P.’s, retail and trade show displays, banners and general signage and – in most cases – may be more economical than other short-run methods such as screen-printing. Wide-format printers generally use a roll of print material rather than individual sheets and may incorporate hot-air dryers to prevent prints from sticking to themselves as they are produced.
Inks for Large and Grand Format Printing
There are several ink technologies in use today:
- AQUEOUS: thermal or Piezo inkjet printers use aqueous or water-based inks. Aqueous ink generally comes in two types: Dye and UV (alternatively known as pigment). Dye ink is a high colour, low UV-resistant variety that offers the widest colour gamut. UV ink is generally duller in colour but withstands fading from UV rays. Finished prints using dye inks must be laminated to protect them if they will be used outdoors while prints using UV inks can be used un-laminated outdoors for a limited time. Various materials are available, including papers, canvases, banners and metabolized plastics. Aqueous technology requires that all materials be properly coated to accept and hold the ink.
- SOLVENT: this term is used to describe any ink that is not water-based. Piezo inkjet printer inks use petroleum or a petroleum by-product such as acetone as its carrier liquid. “Eco-solvent” inks usually contain glycol esters or glycol ether esters and are slower drying. The resulting prints are waterproof and may be used to print directly on uncoated vinyl and other media as well as ridged substrates such as Foam Board and PVC.
- LATEX: provide outdoor durability and versatility across all common media types used in sign and display applications together with high quality, odorless prints, low maintenance, and the reduced environmental impact of water-based inks. HP Latex Inks provide outdoor durability and versatility across all common media types used in sign and display applications together with high quality, odorless prints, low maintenance, and the reduced environmental impact of inks.
- DYE SUBLIMATION: inks are diffused into the special print media to produce continuous-tone prints of photographic quality. This technology is used primarily for printing on fabrics.
- UV: Piezo inkjet printer inks are UV-curable (dry when cured with UV light). The resulting prints are waterproof, embossed and vibrant. Any media material can be used in this technology, but polymer-made media are best. Ceramics, glass, metals and woods are also used with this technology.
At Arttec, we use all of the above technologies. Our roll-to-roll printers range from 60” to 196” wide. Our flatbed printers are capable of printing directly to substrates as thin as regular paper and up to 3” in thickness. In addition to six-colour printing, our flatbed printers are also capable of printing white and clear varnish.
Some of the substrates we can print on directly include: paper, cardboard, Foamcore, Gatorboard, Styrene, Intecel, Sintra, Crezon, Dibond, Lexan, acrylic, glass, and many more.
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