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Test drive a selection of various large format printers in person in the FLAAR facilities at the university Print E-mail

Before you spend lots of money on any wide format inkjet printer you absolutely need to do print samples with your own images and the kind of image provided by your clients.

Do not rely on the stock photos provided by the printer, ink, media, or RIP manufacturer or reseller. They may be using special images which they know in advance will look fabulous on their printer.

Equally well, if you send your sample images to the dealer, don't be surprised if they come back looking awful. That is because many dealers won't make a serious effort to tweak their machine for your kind of image. They may use fast speed print mode just to get the job done (this will result in low quality low dpi).

Besides, what you really need is your same image printed on several different printers.

BGSU lab

A clever option is to bring your images on a CD or ZIP disk to the FLAAR facility at BGSU. Here you can test your images yourself on an Iris 3047 giclee printer (Ixia version), Mimaki JV4 (with textile inks for silk, cotton, polyester, etc), either of two ColorSpan printers (DisplayMaker XII, Mach 12, HP DesignJet 5000 (essentially same quality as the new HP 5500 which is primarily faster). We also have an Epson 5500 and the HP 20ps. If you are curious to see your images on a color laser, we have 13 x 19 inch color output available on a QMS-Minolta 6110. Such a visit is treated as a consultation which implies a 1-day minimum consulting fee plus the ink and media used.

Would you like to see your photograph or your own painting reproduced as a giclee on an Ixia model of Iris 3047 giclee printer?

Would you like to use an Iris 3047 giclee printer yourself, for an entire day? How about printing your photograph on pure silk, at mural size with acid inks on silk in six colors on the Mimaki JV4.

Imagine the WOW factor when your friends, neighbors, and colleagues at work see you hang an Iris print or a mural of silk on your wall. Of your own design, or your own photograph or your own painting. Talk about eyes popping with envy.

You can ask for printing tests on the Epson 5500, Ixia Iris 3047G, HP DesignJet 5000, Mimaki JV4, ColorSpan DisplayMaker XII or Mach 12.

Includes discussion of color management at whatever level you wish (if you want to be fully trained in color management that is usually a several day course, however in a single day at least we can get your started). Realize that a full course in color management is generally $2000 to $3000.

Full program, 10 am to 4 pm: as many prints on as many printers and as many different media as you wish; intro to RIP (Raster Image Processor software), intro to color management concepts and ICC color profiles, all provided by the university staff who work in the joint facility with FLAAR. Includes 1 hour meeting with Dr Hellmuth to consult on whatever aspects of business or business plan that you wish within this time frame. Includes as many of Dr Hellmuth's reports on printers, inks, media or scanners as you wish to be provided. $2,000 for the first person, $1,200 for each additional person who come with you. Group rate for five or more people, flat $1,000 each (so your group saves $1,800).

You get to run the printers yourself, if you wish. You can also opt to watch the FLAAR staff do it for you.

If you wish to learn how to use the $97,000 Cruse overhead scanner reprographic digital scanner system, this training, practice, and once-in-a-lifetime experience is available at no additional cost. Cruse is the same scanner-camera used by major museums in Europe and by the Vatican archives. This system can digitize any painting, or any 3-D object up to 36 x 48 inches with up to 1 inch depth in surface topography. The object itself can be any thickness. You can bring your own items or paintings to scan.

Flatbed scanning not included in this particular training session but if the wide format scanner has been installed you can utilize this sheet-fed scanner as well.

Meals, transportation not included. Please realize you will need to cover the cost of inks and media including all test prints during color management and printing training, per square foot at base rate (non-commercial prices).

Entry-level program: 10 a.m. to 2 pm: as many prints on as many printers and as many different media as you wish; all provided by the in-house university staff who work in the joint facility with FLAAR. This is for dates when Dr Hellmuth is at another university or off consulting directly with another company elsewhere in the world. However you get up to 10 of Nicholas's reports in PDF format. You can select which ten you wish. $1,400 for the first person, $1,000 for any additional people who come with you. Group rate for five or more people, flat $1,000 each (so your group saves $1000).

Professional prepress, sign shop, quick-print, or repro-shop, total immersion program: 8 am to 5 pm, you get the entire series of FLAAR reports on wide format printers, RIPs, scanners, color management, and inkjet media (alone about $500 worth). $2,500 with lab manager and staff; $3,000 with lab manager and staff all day, and Dr Nicholas Hellmuth on-call to discuss marketing, product evaluations, and other aspects in which he is a popular consultant.

If you wish a two-day program we can, in some seasons, add a day on digital photography with the 35mm SLR digital cameras as well as the large format BetterLight digital system of FLAAR. Cost of the additional day, $1200 for first person, $800 for every additional person. $500 per person over five people.

Any program is available to a single individual; you do not have to come in a group.

Be sure to tell us what media you wish to test on each printer (within reason) so we can have as much on stock as possible.

Consulting fee plus rough estimate of inks and media used will be billed in advance and must be paid before arrival.

Cost is $100 per printer plus the ink and media used for however many prints you wish on as many printers as you wish us to try out. Packing and returning your prints by FedEx or UPS is $100 or depending on size of the print tube we need to acquire.

If you wish to watch the printing via web cam (which we have installed in our facility) and if during the print session you wish to speak directly with the lab staff and receive training via telephone, cost is $300 for the first hour, $200 per hour or fraction thereof afterwards.

If you wish any or all of the FLAAR reports, there is a 25% discount on all report bundles if you are in entry-level or sending your material long distance via CD or ZIP. If you are in the full-scale or pro immersion programs, you get as many FLAAR report series by Nicholas Hellmuth as you wish to request.

If you want your painting or other object scanned on the Cruse scanner, that charge is $200. You will need to have your own insurance.

To request an appointment, write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If you are a printer manufacturer, RIP company, or inkjet media provider, FLAAR also provides services for you too. Marketing surveys, beta testing, consulting, and other professional services available from Dr Hellmuth and his staff of 16.


Last updates: Feb. 21, 2003.
First posted Sept. 21, 2002.



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