Latex Related News

Colors produced on HP Latex R2000

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The colors being produced on the HP Latex R2000 were frankly gorgeous. This was on rigid media at PRINTING United 2019

The colors being produced on the HP Latex R2000 were frankly gorgeous. This was on rigid media at PRINTING United 2019 (the new name for SGIA 2019).

The colors I saw on HP Latex R2000-series printers in the HP booth and in the GRIMCO (distributor booth) were brighter, deeper, and more impressive than on earlier generations of ink on earlier generations of HP latex printers.

Not one single HP UV-curing printer was on exhibit any more; very impressive that HP has kept a focus now for over an entire decade (year 2008 launch of latex ink printers through today). No more pure-solvent printers; no more UV-curing printers. Instead, their new HP Stitch textile printers and a great newest generation of HP Latex printers that can now also handle thick and rigid materials.

It is rare that a company puts so much focus for so many years; very impressive. Our comments are based on seeing examples in the booth; until there is a project to be at a demo center with our FLAAR-REPORTS test files we are not able to do a full evaluation. Plus print shop owners and managers really like to see a FLAAR-REPORT that includes site-visit case studies (the FLAAR team at printing companies and print shops documenting the performance of the printers out in the real world).

There were 30 brands of UV-curing printers and dozens of brands of textile printers (and lots of T-shirt printers) at PRINTING United so our FLAAR-REPORTS team was rather busy with UV-curing printers and wide-format textile printers at the larger-than-expected expo in Dallas last week. We have been flown to many different countries in recent months to write reports on UV-curing printer and UV-curing ink tests, but definitely felt it appropriate to mention the notable colors on the HP Latex R2000 hybrid printer: handsome, deep, bright, diverse colors.

The ink chemists, printer engineers, and HP Latex development and production team have an inspiring decade of progress and achievements to stand on. Would be interesting to know how the world of décor, signage, and visual communication would evolve if our 18 years of experience with UV-curing printers were compared and contrasted with the new generation of HP Latex printers. And our comparable decades of experience with printing on textiles allow us to compare and contrast the HP Stitch series. I can still remember printing on silk with HP DesignJet printers almost two decades ago. Of course today’s textile inks and curing are totally different.

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HP Latex R2000 white ink on thick rigid-material PALIGHT foam PVC at Printing United 2019.

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Here is the nice HP Latex R2000 printer at Printing United 2019.

Since UV-curing printers are still the predominant ink chemistry and technology around the world, all our current research-funding projects are on UV (and on textile printers and T-shirt printers, inks and printable materials). These are the subjects where we help our estimated 700,000 readers a year learn about.

 

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The reds are definitely bright; the orange is pure orange. The yellows come in several shades selected by the artist. Blues are visible.
The other image has more color diversity.
Naturally the material makes a difference, as does the original art. But these colors on the HP Latex R2000 printer are definitely more enticing for me to notice (and thus to write about) than in past years on earlier ink formulations and curing methods.

 

The team at FLAAR-REPORTS has literally dedicated 20 years to UV-curing printers and to textile printers. We study these at expos around the world: at APPPEXPO last year in Shanghai there were about 100 brands and over 300 models of UV-curing printers in our FLAAR-REPORTS list (six of us were at this expo).

So what if there really was an ink better than UV-curing? What if there were colors as bright as solvent inks? And, since UV-curing inks today are dramatically significantly and impressively improved over those of past years, what will it take one brand to overcome 100 UV-curing brands?

We know, since in 1997 our reports on Encad printers helped propel them to international success. The rise in their popularity was literally obvious (I wrote my first reports on printers while a Visiting Research Professor at the Japanese National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka and then Encad provided a printer for us to test). But then in 2000 we noticed other printers that had features and capabilities not available in Encad printers. So our FLAAR reviews, evaluations, and our unique style on this other brand overwhelmed PR releases and introduced the world to alternatives to Encad NovaJet printers (which ruled the world of inkjet in the late 1990’s).

We are different than a PR agency; we are different than a trade magazine: we prefer to learn ourselves, from the factory, from the demo room, and from visiting print shops. We were recently flown to India to inspect several different print shops using UV-LED curing inks on décor, industrial, and specialty materials. That’s because as a university professor in past decades, this is how to helped the students: doing fieldwork (in other words, getting out of the university library, out into the real world).
2020 starts a new decade, and we evolve: in the 1990’s we started with water-based ink printers for photo, GIS and CAD printers; then moved into fine art photo and giclee printers. A Japanese company had funded our photography project for 18 months so we had top equipment for doing photography. Thus our photos documented the quality of Encad printers in late 1990’s and revealed the even better quality of DesignJet printers when that project started circa 2001 (a four year project that changed brand preferences).

Then we also began to get into UV-curing printers by year 2000 and in 2008 jumped into UV full time. The team of specialists within FLAAR REPORTS also are flown and brought to factories of flatbed cutters, inks of many different kinds, diverse media: just last week we had dinner with the owner of a remarkable new ink and new materials. Over one million miles on Delta airline alliance and will be Million-Miler on United Airlines alliance probably within another year from being flown to printer factories, ink factories, factories that produce printable materials, cutters, etc. This is how we work to accomplish research because print shop owners and distributors appreciate our tips on what is worth switching over to; what is worth looking at; and rather obviously, which brands, which models, which technology do we recommend (we will be setting up a T-shirt printer company in-house to provide information for that market, for example). This way we can help people with FLAAR REPORTS step-by-step (what to get; what to avoid; what is changing (inks, treatment, materials, etc).

2020 starts a new decade, and we evolve: in the 1990’s we started with water-based ink printers for photo, GIS and CAD printers; then moved into fine art photo and giclee printers. A Japanese company had funded our photography project for 18 months so we had top equipment for doing photography. Thus our photos documented the quality of Encad printers in late 1990’s and revealed the even better quality of DesignJet printers when that project started circa 2001 (a four year project that changed brand preferences).

Then we also began to get into UV-curing printers by year 2000 and in 2008 jumped into UV full time. The team of specialists within FLAAR REPORTS also are flown and brought to factories of flatbed cutters, inks of many different kinds, diverse media: just last week we had dinner with the owner of a remarkable new ink and new materials. This is how we work to accomplish research because print shop owners and distributors appreciate our tips on what is worth switching over to; what is worth looking at; and rather obviously, which brands, which models, which technology do we recommend.

 

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These test prints are from HP; these are not FLAAR samples (on all other printers we use our own test prints). But in the meantime, you can see the sturdy table to handle thick rigid material. The printer itself has a combo transport belt to move either roll-to-roll or rigid material.

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Diverse blues; deep handsome orange, awesome red, jungle macaw green.
We study scarlet macaws in Guatemala because they are an endangered species. And macaws are shown in the 8th century sculptures of Copan Maya ruins, Honduras. So we have lots of photos of actual scarlet macaw birds that some day perhaps we could test-print if a project becomes available. In the meantime, two brands of UV-curing printers printed our flora and fauna test prints at PRINTING United 2019 (Konica Minolta and JHF) and a shipment of our test prints from Mimaki EU is en route for us to write about.

 

 

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