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First version of the Raster Printers Daytona T600uv experiments with LED curing Print E-mail

The Raster Printers Daytona T600uv was one of many new UV printers by various manufacturers shown at ISA trade show, 2007. The Daytona T600 prototype used Spectra M class heads, which are MEMS technology printheads.

The original version used one set of LED UV lamps. Other than the Inca Spyder 150 and the Luscher JetPrint , this was one of the few UV-curable flatbed printers in the world to use LED lights at this date. So far, in that year (2007), not many other companies have been successful.

But then we spoke with another company that had both LED lights and a special UV-curable ink whose chemistry was tuned specifically for these LED lights. FLAAR inspected their headquarters in Novosibirsk, Russia. There was a two-day program on UV printers here with lectures by FLAAR both days. By late 2007 this company had a second-generation printer NEO UV-LED Evolution . Their current LED version was exhibited at DRUPA 2008.

But after several months of trials, Raster Printers decided to drop the experiment of using an LED light, and returned to using two conventional mercury arc UV lamps. Mercury arc UV curing lamps facilitates a better cure and faster printing speed. This leaves the Inca Spyder 15, the Russian Sun Neo LED UV as the only two printers using LED lamps in 2007 that actually can accomplish curing. The Luscher JetPrint has not been successful, but for other reasons than using LED curing lamps (despite being Swiss technology and a printer that costs over half a million dollars). The Mimaki UJC-60uv hybrid was exhibited at DRUPA 2008 and Shanghai 2008 with LED lamps, but they were not yet curing the ink (the ink was still tacky to the touch).

Although LED lamps for UV printers offer less heat and thus are beneficial for printing on thin materials, it will take more advances in UV-curing ink chemistry before LED lights are used more often. But by the time of SGIA '08 and ISA ‘09 you can expect several more UV printers using LED lamps. So clearly this is a UV lamp technology to learn about. Indeed at DRUPA 2008, Mimaki, KonicaMinolta, and Sun LLC were all displaying wide-format UV hybrid printers with LED curing lamps.

Now we are going into 2011, and so far I am not convinced that LED curing is fully adequate. So for me it is a positive fact that EFI Rastek T660 does not use LED curing. However I recognize that LED curing is becoming more common, but the fact that Mimaki had to add a second lamp system to their LED-curing flatbed is all the more proof that the FLAAR Reports evaluation of LED curing has been correct. Since FLAAR does not sell printers we can be a resource to help provide the truth about pros and cons of printers.

efi Rastek T ink on carriage viscom italy 2010
EFI Rastek T at Viscom Italy 2010

EFI Rastek T660 printer reviews and evaluations
In late November 2009, FLAAR visited RGB Digital Wide Color, a sign shop in Korea that recently acquired an EFI Rastek T660 UV flatbed printer (shown in picture) and a VUTEk QS3200.This small flatbed was being used to print street address signage. At FESPA '09 this model was producing beautiful colors.

 

EFI Rastek T660 (updated Daytona T600UV) flatbed printer

The Raster Printers Daytona T600uv is a dedicated flatbed, 4x5’ in size, and not made in China; it is entirely made in the USA. I visited the original factory (ISI in Alabama, where all the prototypes were designed and the prototypes were manufactured) during summer 2008 so the new FLAAR Report is already finished. The printer is available direct or from Global Imaging (Global Imaging Inc. is also the primary distributor for Zund G3 cutters in the US. If you wish the Global Imaging contact info, just write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you compare other entry-level printers, you will find the others lack white ink and lack variable-droplet precision printheads. The T 660 UV has white ink and can print 4 pt type easily. The quality of the output of this printer beats most other entry-level printers (and even is better that some flatbed printers with Toshiba Tec printheads and costing $140,000).

At SGIA ’08 and ISA ‘09 the Raster Printers was again in the EFI booth under the new brand name EFI Rastek (as it was at DRUPA 2008).

EFI Rastek T660 is the new name for the Raster Graphics Daytona T600

EFI bought Raster Printers during 2008 and so some of the brand and model names have changed. EFI Rastek T660 is new designation for what started as the Raster Printers Daytona T600uv dedicated flatbed wide format inkjet printer.

But all the printhead models are being changed, since MEMS printheads do not hold up

Through not fault of Rastek, Inktec, L&P or any other printer manufacturer who started with the impressive Spectra M-Class printheads, all these printers now have switched to a new head. This switch required about 4 to 6 months of additional work on new electronics, ink feeding system, etc. This is why the Rastek T660 was in late 2009.

If you need a flatbed printer larger than the EFI Rastek T660 you can now opt for the T1000

The EFI Rastek T1000 dedicated flatbed printer is now available, in case you need a larger format than the T600.

The EFI Rastek T660 printer
The EFI Rastek T660 printer was exhibited at ISA trade show 2009.

EFI Rastek T660, Rastek T1000, Raster Printers Daytona T600uv dedicated flatbed wide format inkjet printer
Samples printed by the EFI Rastek T660 printer, ISA 2009.

Raster Printers Daytona T600uv (EFI Rastek T660) dedicated flatbed wide format inkjet printer for flat, thick, and rigid material such as Foam-cor, Gatorboard, Alubond, etc.
EFI Rastek T660 applications, ISA trade show 2009.

Raster Printers Daytona T600uv dedicated flatbed wide format inkjet printer reviews
Raster Printers Daytona T600uv

Daytona T600 UV evaluations
Nicholas Hellmuth inspecting some samples printed by Raster Printer Daytona T600uv at DRUPA 2008.

Raster Printers dedicated flatbed:Daytona T600uv
The Raster Printers dedicated flatbed: Daytona T600uv at DRUPA 2008.

Daytona T600uv dedicated flatbed wide format inkjet printer
Photo taken during inspection of the Raster Printers T600UV at the ISI factory, summer 2008.

 

Most recently updated December, 2010.

First posted March 9, 2007. Updated April 11, 2007, April 16, 2007, July 20, 2007. Updated June 18, 2008, after DRUPA. Updated Aug 2008, Oct 14, 2008, January 12, 2009.

 
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