|Gerber Solara 2 hybrid UV-curable flatbed printer|
The Gerber Solara 2 benefits from sign shop owners already being familiar with the Gerber Edge FX, Gerber vinyl cutters, etc. Thus Gerber, somewhat like Roland, is at home in family-owned sign shops that are so frequent in strip malls across the US.
It is nice to see Gerber independently developing their own printers. We also feel that UV-curable ink is possibly less detrimental to your health than solvent ink printers. Even eco-solvent ink is still not something you would want in your own office all day long (if you value your health in future years).
With HP buying the popular ColorSpan 5440uv series, this is tough competition for Gerber Solara 2
ColorSpan is in its second generation 5440uv series, after selling over 900 of its popular ColorSpan 72UVR and then 72UVX. ColorSpan anticipates selling even more of the 5440uv, 5445, 5465 and 5460uv models.
FLAAR offers several different reports on ColorSpan since we know many people that have these UV printers. Plus it has been possible to visit the factory demo room and world headquarters of MacDermid ColorSpan four times so far (over the past eight years).
We prefer to offer the same level of coverage also for competing UV printers such as Gerber, so as soon as it is possible to visit a print shop with a Gerber we will do this. It would also be helpful to get to know the factory to document that these are not made-in-China. Last year a rumor was widely circulated that the Solara 2UV was made in China because Gerber had exhibited Chinese made Teckwin solvent printers at about five trade shows in a row. But evidently the Solara UV2 is made in Connecticut. However it would be helpful to document this through an independent resource such as FLAAR.
Gerber has one advantage over both ColorSpan and HP in that Gerber is now offering more routers and cutters; Gerber bought another company that makes cutters (Data Technology Inc.), so is now seeking to compete with Zund cutters with Gerber M series flatbed cutters (Gerber M-3000 and Gerber M-1200).
But now that HP owns ColorSpan, the ColorSpan 5440uv series will gradually become even tougher competition for the Gerber Solara UV2 hybrid flatbed UV-curable printer. However Gerber’s introduction of their new Solara ion dedicated flatbed UV-cured printer came just in time: only a few weeks after HP announced they had bought ColorSpan, Gerber comes out with a printer more innovative than any competing project (only question is whether something so innovative actually works as promised).
Currently we have a FLAAR Report on each of these printers, on the Gerber Solara UV2 and a separate report on the ColorSpan 5440uv series, as well as on all the entry-level budget-price Chinese printers, such as Infiniti, Flora, and Raster Printers.
Realize that all low-cost UV-cured ink flatbed printers tend to have no 1-year warranty up front. You have to pay extra. Accessories are extra too, and printhead replacement you have to pay for yourself. So the true price is not the list price, but list price + everything else. To help you understand all this, we have a new publication, sort of " how to figure out the actual price of a budget UV-curable inkjet flatbed printer."
FLAAR Reports cover all levels of UV printers
If you seek a mid-range introductory UV-flatbed printer, we cover the Oce UV printers, the NEOLT UV printer, white UV ink in the Mimaki UV printers, the GRAPO Octopus UV flatbed, and the Vutek PressVU UV printers on this large format site.
For the high end we mention the Leggett & Platt Virtu, Durst Rho, NUR Tempo, and Inca-Sericol flatbed UV-curable inkjet printers on our sister site, wide-format-printers.org. But you can obtain longer reports on every brand and model of all UV-curable ink printers from www.wide-format-printers.NET.
All FLAAR information on UV-cured flatbed inkjet printers is now in PDF format. We can pack much more information and many more color photos into a PDF format than is possible on the website. So please check out our over 60 publications on www.wide-format-printers.NET.
Wide Format Printers