HP Scitex FB500 combo flatbed UV-curing printer is better for thick, flat, heavy materials than earlier HP Designjet H35500, HP H45500 hybrid flatbed printer. Print

The HP Scitex FB500 uses a moving transport belt. This is a significant advance over the previous HP Designjet H35100, HP Designjet H45100, or H45500 hybrid. These used grit-rollers under pinch rollers, and thereby were not capable of handling large rigid boards, or heavy rigid boards, or rigid material that was slippery (glass, stone, some metals).

It would not be recommended to buy any used HP Designjet H45100 or H45500 UV-cured printer. I know one HP distributor who took his unsold models and literally dumped them in a land fill (he did not want to be responsible for unsatisfied clients). The HP Scitex FB500 and HP Scitex FB700 are better (but today in 2014 are rather aging technology).

The HP Scitex FB500 combo flatbed printer was exhibited at APPPEXPO Shanghai 2010.

Thus kudos to HP for recognizing that the era of hybrid UV printers is over. Indeed I noticed at the huge Dongguan Chinese sign expo in March 2010 that over 60% of the Chinese UV printers were now dedicated flatbeds, about 15% combo flatbeds, and only one or two attempts to make a hybrid flatbed functional.

The HP Scitex FB500 combo flatbed printer is very new in 2010, and obviously we need to see it in-person up close before we can evaluate it. Now, in 2014, the technology is a tad out of date.

The HP Scitex FB500 printer uses a moving transport belt. APPPEXPO Shanghai trade show 2010.

Does this mean that a hybrid flatbed has no hope whatsoever?

Neolt is the only company outside China still concentrating on hybrid flatbeds. The advantage of a hybrid flatbed UV printer is that they are about $20,000 less than a combo. We are considering doing an in-depth evaluation of their hybrid to see how it compares in the world of 2010 which is so much different than the world of 2004 when the ColorSpan 72uvR and ColorSpan 72uvX printer was the #1 best seller in the entire world.

Also realize that most manufactures use confused nomenclature. FLAAR has defined a hybrid printer to be with grit-rollers and pinch rollers. But Raster Printers decided (sadly) to use the designation hybrid for combo transport belt.  This is unfortunate because the word hybrid is a negative connotation. The efi Rastek combo systems (such as Rastec H650) have transport system (despite the misnomer as hybrid) and hence their transport belts give the Rastec printers advantages over most grit roller system.

FLAAR uses consistent nomenclature to cover all 45 brands and now over 200+ models since year 2000: combo means a printer with moving transport belt. HP used the correct nomenclature for their former printer, naming their ColorSpan as the “H” which is correct.  It is not necessary to call a combo as a “C” but just realize, this is not by any means a dedicated flatbed. A dedicated flatbed would be the GRAPO Gemini, GRAPO Manta, SkyAir Ship FlatMaster, and all the others such as Oce Arizona.

Advertising claims for the HP Scitex
We have a separate page on the wider model, the HP Scitex FB700. The two printers (HP Scitex FB500 and HP Scitex FB700) are essentially identical except for width. In the separate page we comment on some claims made in the advertising brochures as recently as 2014, claims which are not realistic (they are a tad exaggerated).


Updated January 14, 2014.
Spelling proofed and updated August 9, 2010.
First posted May 18, 2010