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A blog dedicated to custom commercial signage, vehicle wraps and graphics, and business signs of all kinds!

Two Sign Printing Options for 12-Point SignWorks

Posted on February 19, 2015 | Posted by Kris Williamson

If you happened to read our 12-Point SignWorks Year in Review for 2014, we told you about our new toys (a.k.a. new equipment) that we added to our sign printing arsenal at the end of last year. Now that we've been using our new equipment for a couple of months, we'd like to share with you a little more information about our sign printing options.

With the addition of a new printer, we more than doubled our sign printing capabilities. I say more than doubled because the new printer, an HP Latex 360 64" Wide Format High Production Printer, brings new printing capabilities to our already pretty extensive printing process. Before we get into the things our new printer can do, let me share with you a little information about our other printer. (I didn't want to call it 'older'...maybe 'more seasoned' is better!)

Our Roland printer in action, printing a wrap for a piano. 12-Point SignWorksHere is a photo of our trusted Roland VersaCAMM VP-540i Color Printer/Cutter in action! We printed a custom piano wrap for a female music artist who rose to stardom here in Nashville.

Prior to seeing the arrival of our newest batch of equipment, we used our trusty Roland VersaCAMM VP-540i 54" Color Printer/Cutter for all of our printing needs. This eco-solvent print system offers the following features:

  • This printer uses four colors of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
  • When we print a project, we can choose to add registration marks onto the graphics we are printing.
  • The printer also has a cutting/plotting function built into it, which uses the registration marks as guidelines. Once a graphic is printed with the marks, we can return the material to the machine for contour cutting of custom shapes. 
  • The Roland prints on a wide variety of media that is a maximum of 54" wide (including fabrics, papers, synthetics, films and self-adhesive vinyls); however, it does require the media to have special coatings.
  • The curing temperature is around 40⁰C (around 100⁰F). 
  • Once printed, the ink requires around 24-hours to cure before the media can be laminated. The cure time allows for outgassing. Laminating too quickly could cause bubbles to form between the material and the laminate, which ruins the entire project. 

Although the Roland allows us to print a wide range of projects, the new printer has greatly expanded our capabilities.

Our newest printer - the HP Latex 360 64" Wide Format Printer for 12-Point SignWorks in Franklin, TN.This photo shows our HP Latex 360 Printer in a rare moment - at rest!

Here are some features (with some comparisons to the Roland noted) of our HP Latex 360 64" Wide Format High Production Printer:

  • As the name says, the HP printer gives us ten additional inches of printing, accepting media widths of up to 64 inches.
  • This is a latex or water-based ink system that uses six colors of ink (black, cyan, light cyan, light magenta, magenta and yellow). The additional ink cartridges allow for better, more expansive color ranges - especially for flesh tones.

Ink cartridges for the HP L360 Latex Printer at 12-Point SignWorks in Franklin, TN. With the addition of light magenta (LM) and light cyan (LC), we have a greater range of colors that can be printed. The 'OP' space is for the HP Latex Optimizer cartridge, which does a lot of fancy stuff! In very general terms, it helps the print and curing zone dryers in the printer work more efficiently and operate and lower temperatures than previous HP printers. 

  • The printer is capable of printing registration marks; however, it does not have a cutting option like the Roland. For cutting/plotting, we use our new Graphtec FC8600 Series 64" High Performance Cutting Plotter.
  • The HP prints on a wide variety of media (including fabrics, papers, synthetics, films and self-adhesive vinyls); however, it does have limitations on materials due to its high curing temperature.
  • The curing temperature for the HP is a toasty 200⁰F, which does limit the materials which can be used in this printer. 
  • One advantage of the HP is that graphics are almost immediately dry once they are printed. This definitely is an advantage in comparison to the Roland that requires 24-hours to cure. Since the cure time is relatively nil, we can begin laminating right away. For a project, this can reduce production time by almost one entire day - WOW! 

We appreciate the advantages of having two printers in our shop. With the addition of our new HP L360, our printers are producing more and more amazing projects for us on a daily basis. Both pieces of equipment are located in a room just off of our lobby. We placed them there to give all of our customers, friends and guests the ability to see our printers in action. Stop by for a little peek at what we have coming hot off the press!

From vehicle wraps to banners, wall murals and more, we use our printers to create many fabulous projects for our customers. We are proud to have new capabilities here at 12-Point SignWorks and enjoy trying new projects when we have the chance. Do you have something new and exciting (or maybe some crazy idea!) you would like for your office, organization or maybe even your home? Contact us today for a free consultation!

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