BLOG: A Mimaki flatbed printer for every business

Mimaki’s range of large format flatbed printers has remained a popular solution for a broad array customers for over fifteen years; the company’s long held reputation in the sector goes right back to its first UK showing of a large format model at IPEX back in 2006. As one of the earliest adopters of LED UV curing technology, the Japanese innovator offers an unprecedented choice in ink types, bed sizes and potential applications, and with the range encompassing options from the A3 format UJF-3042FX right up to the 10’ x 5’ JFX500 model (pictured above), we’re able to supply solutions for practically any application.

And it’s not just printing to flat objects that the Mimaki flatbeds excel at. Innovative market-firsts such as the Kebab option for a number of the UJF models have enabled Mimaki customers to print around the circumference of cylindrical items for many years, and by utilising LED UV curing across the entire range, we also help customers to operate more creatively and efficiently.

Speed, creativity and new applications
Mimaki’s latest 8’ x 4’ flatbed offering is the JFX200-2513EX, with the new model delivering creative and production gains over its highly successful stablemate, the JFX200-2513. That product set new standards for direct to substrate printers, combining creativity, productivity and competitive pricing in a best-selling package. The latest ‘EX’ version brings significant speed gains when printing with white ink – ideal for full colour prints to clear or coloured materials, helping printers deliver higher volumes and increase their production efficiency.

In addition to performance enhancements, a significant new creative feature is its ability to produce 2.5D tactile prints. In a similar way to how Mimaki’s 3D printers build up multiple layers of ink, the latest versions of Mimaki’s RasterLink RIP software assist the creation of multi-dimensional prints, employing a greyscale height map to render textures, detail and even Braille within the print. As effective for artistic work as it is for tactile graphics, packaging proofs and wayfinding signage for visually impaired users, the process is simplified within the Mimaki software. We have had a great response from creative professionals to the technology, but equally, signmakers and commercial printers have seen a value in it for producing important textural detail in a wide variety of print applications.

Featuring a 2.5m x 1.3m vacuum bed and the ability to print to substrates as thick as 50mm, the new JFX200-2513EX offers print companies the option of a range of LED UV cured inksets, varying in flexibility to suit their application. An additional jettable primer is also available, to promote adhesion when printing onto materials such as glass and certain metals. This choice of inks has been another reason for the popularity of the new JFX200-EX – the range available includes hard inks that are well suited to printing onto fully rigid substrates as well as inksets that exhibit varying degrees of flexibility, making them well suited to applications where stretching, creasing and folding are required.

A look to the future
Mimaki’s focus on innovation continues apace, and in the flatbed arena, development around IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity, factory automation and robotics position its flatbed printer range at its core. We’ve already seen products like the ultra-high quality Mimaki 7151plus operating with robotic media loading and unloading, and that’s only the beginning. Running alongside the advancement of its core graphics products, Mimaki is very much looking to the future with complementary R&D to really help businesses benefit from its technology – there are exciting times ahead.

So whether it’s printing short runs of USB sticks, decorative metal plaques and acrylic photo blocks, packaging proofs onto production substrates or even around the outside of a drinks can, weatherproof site boards, inspiring point of sale or practical and decorative kitchen splashbacks, there’s a Mimaki flatbed printer for every business.