Around the world, there are large posters, colorful truck canvasses and a host of other information conveying media. A large format digital printer is needed to print appealing images on these media. By now it is possible to print on media with a width of seven meters using the ink-jet process.
Nearly 500 years ago, Johannes Gutenberg became the father of printing with the book printing press. Today's digital printers are based on the same principle. DIN 16 500 states that information is replicated by applying printing ink to a medium, which occurs by employing a printed image matrix.
Today, the large format printer is one of the most important tools that the advertising industry can no longer do without. For instance, it creates volume printing options for posters, which are essential to many campaigns.
The operating principle of an inkjet printer is easily explained. There are three different technologies: The continuous inkjet principle, the drop on demand process and UV direct print. The continuous inkjet principle electro-statically charges the ink in the printhead, which is then deflected by current differences on an electrode. Not required ink droplets are reclaimed. The second process, drop on demand, only creates the drops on the jet that are actually needed. This method has two sub-categories, the bubble-jet and the piezo principle. Bubble jet printers create tiny ink droplets using a heating element, which heats up the water in the ink. This results in an explosive expansion of a tiny vapor bubble, which presses an ink drop from the jet using the generated pressure. Piezo printers are based on the piezo principle. Ceramic elements deform when subjected to electrical current and press ink through a fine jet. This creates ink droplets whose volume can be controlled using an electrical impulse. The last process is UV printing, which is distinctly different from the other operating principles. Unlike the other principles, this method is not based on water or solvents. The ink does not penetrate the printed substrate material, but is instead deposited and hardened using UV light. This process can be used to print on nearly any surface, for instance glass or ceramics. Another area of differentiation is the method of feeding the printed material. Differences are made between roller print systems and flatbed printers. The roller print system feeds the material by means of rollers; the flat bed printer secures the printed medium on a large surface, which moves during the printing process in place of the printer unit.