Grapo Manta KMW-5/720UV Print

This Grapo Manta White, as is commonly called, is an upgraded version of the basic Grapo Manta introduced several years ago. Grapo has rapidly gained experience in the manufacture of UV-Curable inkjet printers and, with this Manta KMW, there are now 3 main models: the Octopus II, the Manta and the Shark, the first two with upgraded versions available.

The Manta KMW is a dedicated flatbed that uses KonicaMinolta printheads in two models:

Four KM 512 14 picoliter printhead for the CMYK inks and,

One KM 512 42 picoliter printhead for the White ink.

The advantage of a printer that features white ink is the ability to handle transparent materials.

White ink is also used for dark (or colored) substrates. One of the main benefits of a UV-curable printer over a solvent or water-based printer is that UV ink solidifies instantly over the substrate, which means it can print on a wide variety of rigid substrates. The problem with this wide range of substrate options is that some of them are inherently dark, or if not dark, at least not white, which could cause the final print to render inaccurate colors because of the background color of materials. In such cases, a first layer of white ink can be printed on to neutralize the color of the media and then have more exact colors in the final output.

This is the Grapo Manta KMW-5/720UV, also is called Grapo Manta White, is a dedicated flatbed printer. FESPA Amsterdam trade show, 2009.


The Grapo Manta KMW-5/720UV monitor. Previously, the RIP used in the Manta flatbeds was from Grapo itself, but apparently now you can choose among the major RIP brands. FESPA Amsterdam trade show, 2009.

White is taken by UV technology

White ink is mainly available for UV printers, although Roland and Mimaki have developed white ink formulations for their eco-solvent printers. With so many inks appearing in the market, it will be interesting to know when white ink will be available for Sepiax or Latex ink.

Advantages of the Grapo Manta KMW-5

By 2010, there are several UV printers offering white ink. The advantage of the Manta KMW over other models is the price, especially because most UV printers that handle white are over the US$200,000 (some are even over the US$300,000!), whereas the Manta White is around the US$150,000.

While most other printers offering white are combo (that move media with a continuous belt), the advantage is that the Manta KMW-5 is a dedicated flatbed. Printing systems that move media while printing, have a higher risk to present registration issues, but with a dedicated flatbed, the substrate is stationary: a better registration can be achieved.

What can you Print with the Manta KMW-5?

  • Being a UV-cured dedicated flatbed, this printer handles most inkjet signage materials such as:
  • dibond
  • styrene
  • coroplast
  • PETG
  • Sintra
  • ABS
  • corrugated
  • polyethylene
  • Lexan

Among the applications listed in the official website are:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Carton
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Ceramic tile
  • Ceramics
  • Housing accessories
  • Carpets

Grapo has an impressive display of print samples in its headquarters in Czech Republic


Konica Minolta heads are traditionally used on mid-range printers, which means they are not as expensive as the Spectra heads. This is a reliable brand and most printers using this heads offer very good quality.


First Issued May 21, 2010.