New GCC StellarJET K72UV Combo printer Print

GCC, the Taiwan-based manufacturer has recently launched its fourth wide-format UV printer; the StellarJET K72UV.

This new model is one of the few combo (with transport belt) printers that are in the entry-level price range—Most combo printers are either in the mid-range or in the high-end price scope.

The GCC StellarJET K72UV Combo printer
GCC StellarJET K72UV Combo printer at Shanghai trade show 2009. This model is combo (with transport belt).

GCC StellarJET K72UV Combo printer reviews
The GCC StellarJET K72UV Combo printer is considered an upgraded version of the StellarJET 183UVK.

GCC has had considerable experience with transport belt mechanisms from its previous models the StellarJET 250UV and StellarJET K100UV. Although the K72UV is a combo printer, it is considered an upgraded version of the StellarJET 183UVK, which is not a combo printer, but a hybrid mechanism (moves media with pinch rollers).

Evaluations of the GCC StellarJET K72UV Combo printer
A hybrid printer works fine with roll-fed materials, here the GCC K72UV printing samples at Shanghai 2009.

In the following table you see some of the features that have been improved.

 

StellarJET 183UVK

StellarJET K72UV

Media thickness

2.54cm (1”)

5cm (2”)

Media measurement

manual

automatic

UV lamp shutters

manual

automatic

UV-curable printing is widening its range of applications, moving from just signage to niche markets like architectural and interior decoration materials, etc.

A hybrid printer works fine with roll-fed materials, and acceptably with some large boards. But a hybrid printer is not the best solution for small pieces of media like ceramic tiles or small pieces of glass. Being aware of the need to handle this type of decorative applications, GCC designed the StellarJET K72UV with a conveyor belt, a mechanism that works considerably better with these kinds of materials.

Review and evaluations of the GCC Stellar Jet 72UV, product comparison
Samples printed by the GCC K72UV combo printer.

Of course, as of 2009 there are dozen other companies offering wide-format UV printers with a combo moving mechanism, but certainly not many of these companies have a combo printer in the entry-level price range. The estimated price at FESPA Amsterdam '09 is €66,000.00 (around $91,440) for the basic model while other combo printers are around $120,000. Plus, offering CMYK, lc, lm, W and varnish at this price range is remarkable. Another company launched an entry-level combo printer this year (2009) but they are trying to hide where the printer is manufactured (we learned it is assembled in China ), and it only offers CMYK and optional White.

This new model from GCC uses Konica Minolta 512MH printheads which can produce up to 720dpi in the CMYK configuration and up to 1440dpi in the CMYK, lc, lm configuration. Besides, these Konica Minolta heads offer 14 picoliter drop size and four levels of grayscale which allows the StellarJET K72UV to render beautiful output. The following list shows the printers that also use this head:

  • Gerber ion
  • GRAPO Octopus
  • GRAPO Manta
  • SUN Neo UV-LED Evolution
  • Flora F1 250UV
  • SkyJet UV Flat-Bed

We have done evaluations in most of these printers and have found that the output is excellent.

The printer is new; GCC will start shipping it by mid July 2009. We will expand our comments when we have access to evaluate the printer in a real environment. For the moment we hope to make a second evaluation at APPPEXPO trade show in Shanghai, where FLAAR will be present.

 

 

First posted June 19, 2008.