Mimaki launches DtF printer

Direct-to-film TxF150-75 for textile applications

The new Mimaki TxF150 inkjet printer aimed at textile applications Photo Mimaki
The new Mimaki TxF150 inkjet printer aimed at textile applications Photo Mimaki

Mimaki, which was one of the pioneers in printing to textiles, has introduced its first direct-to-film printer, the TxF150-75, for textile applications.

There have been quite a few DtF printers introduced in the last couple of years, and this approach offers an alternative to printing direct-to-garment or via dye sublimation. The method involves first printing the design to a transfer film, and then sprinkling a hot melt powder onto the film.

This is then heated and dried to create a transferable ink layer on the film. Finally, the film and garment are placed in a heat press to force the ink onto the fabric. It has the advantage of working with a wide range of fabrics but the ink does sit on the surface instead of penetrating into the fabric, which affects the handling of the material. It’s typically used for items such as t-shirts but really comes into its own with less obvious objects such as umbrellas.

The TxF150-75 is based on Mimaki’s existing 150 series wide format printers. It has a maximum printing width of 80cm, with five colors – CMYK plus white – with a circulation system for the white ink. The printer uses a piezo printhead with resolution up to 1440 dpi, which suggests its using an Epson head. It’s fitted with Mimaki’s proven nozzle check unit and nozzle recovery system.

Alongside the printer, there’s a new water-based PHT50 heat transfer pigment ink. This is supplied in 600ml aluminium packs for the colors and 500ml for the white ink, both with built-in degassing. This ink should gain its Oeko-Tex Eco passport certification in March.

Mark Sollman, senior product manager for Mimaki Europe, commented, “Apparel decoration is a hugely popular and dynamic sector, one which we are already operating in with our other textile technologies. However, we could see the impact DTF technology has had on the industry in recent years, with its significant advantages over existing technologies. Namely, DTF avoids the time intensive process of plate creation in screen printing and the required weeding in traditional vinyl heat transfer. The technology can also create vibrant designs with its full color printing capabilities. We’re excited to bring a solution to the market that is designed for those already active in the decorated apparel sector and those looking to enter it, which excels in usability, reliability and quality.”

Mimaki’s offering consists of the printer with its ink, plus a server with the RasterLink 7 RIP software. Customers, or more likely their dealers, will still have to source the hot melt powder, the oven drying machine and the heat transfer press. The TxF150-75 should be available from April this year. You can find further details from mimaki.com.

Republished by permission from www.nessancleary.co.uk


2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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