MultiCam Digital Express Print

During 2009 was when I began to see the Digital Express in MultiCam booths. My previous experience with MultiCam is limited to visiting a print shop in Dallas, ironically not far from the world headquarters of MultiCam. This print shop had bought their unit several years ago, so it was a traditional CNC router subsequently jerry-rigged with an initial attempt to create a semblance of a digital cutter. Not surprisingly, it was not an ideal solution (retrofitting an old technology in an attempt to duplicate a newer more sophisticated technology rarely works in the real world).

Since then MultiCam has come out with their Digital Express. I have seen this at trade shows around the world, though it was absent at SignAfrica 2010. The Digital Express attempts to bring their older CNC routers into the digital world for sign printing companies who use primarily wide-format inkjet printers.

I visited the MultiCam factory just about the time that the Digital Express was being developed, but no one showed me anything specific and they did not allow me to take any photographs.

In distinction, I was two days hosted by Zund in their factory in Switzerland and was allowed to take photographs. Plus we were provided training. With Kongsberg I was hosted to visit their Lake Geneva demo room and have been trained on their cutters there and on EskoArtwork software in the UK. So understandably I have more information on Zund and Kongsberg cutters.

When I visit printshops for site-visit case studies (primarily of flatbed UV-cured printers), they tend to have a Zund or Kongsberg cutter. I don't see many Gerber M-series, Mimaki or MultiCam, nor even Aristo or AXYZ CNC routers. Yes, of course I realize that thousands of print shops have these other brands, but statistically I tend to see Zund or Kongsberg cutters around the world.

The reason is because CNC routers belong to one kind of workflow. Zund and Kongsberg are more related to the world of wide-format inkjet printers. So if you are making signs from woodworking, or plastics or stone, you will tend to have a traditional CNC router. But if you have a wide-format inkjet printer with UV-cured inkjet flatbed, you will tend to have a Kongsberg or Zund.

Here is Nicholas Hellmuth with Shawn Kirsch at the MultiCam booth. SGIA Las Vegas, 2010.

Vision registration system

i- Cut is the industry standard. But since i -Cut is owned by EskoArtwork Kongsberg, it is understandable that competing brands of flatbed cutters will prefer to develop their own vision registration system: in this case MultiVision for MultiCam is a digital camera, software system that can visually recognize media registration marks and automatically compensate for skew, distortion and image drift.

Specifications for the MultiCam Digital Express cutter

  • 60” X 120” and 2m X 3m vacuum tables standard
  • 2” (50mm) cut capacity with all tools
  • Teknic digital AC servo drives for high-speed/high-acceleration cutting
  • 5.5 HP (4 kw), variable speed, 45,000 RPM spindle
  • HSK-25 (ER-16 collet) tool holders ( up to 3/8” shank tool capacity)
  • All heads driven by independent Z axis servo for fast changeover between machining operations
  • Push button release, manual quick changing of tools. Cartridge selections includes: Oscillating knife cartridge, Rotary (pizza wheel) cartridge, Creasing wheel cartridge, Drag knife cartridge, Kiss-cut knife cartridge
MultiCam Digital Express cutting systems router
The MultiCam Digital Express was exhibited at SGIA Las Vegas, 2010.

MultiCam also makes CNC laser cutters

MultiCam makes cutters of many different technologies, including CNC laser cutters.
Laser cutters are a traditional machine in larger sign shops. This kind of machine cuts name plates, control panels, and displays, FLAAR Reports is concentrated primarily on digital cutting that is related to wide-format inkjet printing. We study primarily new technologies since machines such as laser cutters have been around for decades so are already well know.

MultiCam CNC Cutting solutions
MultiCam booth at SGIA Las Vegas, 2010.

The MultiCam Digital Express can cut the following materials

Acrylic, ABS plastic, c arbon composite, cardboard, ceramic, closed cell foam, foam, Delrin, fiberglass, Kevlar, Lexan, mild steel, Mylar, rubber, silicon, titanium, vinyl, wood.

MultiCam samples. SGIA Las Vegas, 2010.

 

Introduction to flated cutters

Glossary of flatbed cutters

Kongsberg

Zund

Aristo

AXYZ

 

Glossary of CNC cutters and routers

EskoArtwork Kongsberg XL flatbed cutter

Flatbed Cutters

 

 

 

First posted October 27, after SGIA, 2010.