The principle difference between the F6400 and the older F6300 models appears to be the printhead, with the newer models using what looks like a version of Epson’s I3200 heads. This is a 600dpi head that prints a 1.33 inch print swathe. It’s made up of four PrecisionCore chips, each with two rows of 400 nozzles. For the F6400, Epson is using four colours, with two rows each but the F6400H has six colours, with just one row of nozzles each, leaving two rows redundant. Strangely, Epson’s PR team captioned the above photo as either a six color or eight color version, suggesting that Epson might have thought about releasing an eight-color version that would use those redundant nozzle rows. These printers also make use of a missing nozzle detection system.
Thanks to this wider head, the F6400 is said to be 20% faster than the outgoing F6300, producing 19.9 sqm/hr in four passes at 600 x 600dpi for its Standard mode. There’s a High Quality mode with six passes at 13.6 sqm/hr with 600 x 1200 dpi resolution. In contrast the six colour F6400H can print 17.6sqm/hr in the Standard mode using 4.7 passes for 600 x 600dpi. But its High Quality mode is 600 x 600 dpi resolution, using 6.3 passes at 13 sqm/hr.
The new printers use Epson’s UltraChrome DS dye sublimation ink with CMYK for the F6400 and a choice of several new six color inksets for the F6400H, which takes CMYK plus either Fluorescent Pink and Fluorescent Yellow, Light Cyan and Light Magenta or Orange and Violet. Epson already offers six color inksets for its 1.6 meter wide dye sub printers though this is the first 1.1 meter wide printer with this range of colors. It’s a sensible option that lets users choose which colors they want to emphasize, depending on the particular markets they are addressing.
Both printers feature larger 1.6 liter ink packs that are easier to install – just shake and insert them. The printers also feature a new larger 4.3-inch touch screen and Epson claims that it has simplified the maintenance routines to reduce downtime. It’s worth noting that the six-color model also includes a bundled take-up reel.
Interestingly, Epson also seems to have developed its own Epson Edge Print Pro RIP, which is based on the Adobe PDF Print Engine. This runs under Windows and includes step and repeat for textile use. There are also options for analysing the costs and profitability of each job.
Tom Owers, product manager at Epson UK, commented, ”These new printers are perfect examples of our commitment to listening to market needs and delivering timely and effective solutions.”
You can find further details on Epson’s textile printers from epson.co.uk though there’s more information on these printers at the Japanese site epson.co.jp, which fortunately has English translation.