Mimaki News

CottonBee fabrics fly across Europe as Mimaki makes ultra-short-runs possible for fledgling business

Mimaki innovation keeps CottonBee returning as capacity and capability requirements increase

When espoused entrepreneurs Michał and Ania Laskowski set upon a new venture to create a textile business serving the Polish craft community, they had little experience in the business of textiles and printing but possessed vital expertise in ecommerce and an astute vision.

CottonBee founder, Ania, inspired the business when she observed there were no good resources for buying contemporary fabrics in Poland for her sewing hobby; overseas websites were the only option and ordering processes proved difficult. From this spark of an idea, Ania and today’s CEO Michał founded CottonBee in 2014. The vision was to sell ultra-short-run textiles – averaging just one metre in length – direct to consumers.

Five years on and CottonBee has transformed from a side hustle for these entrepreneurs to an established business that goes from strength to strength. Still engaged in small volume printing, the business today has 15 employees and has shipped over 28,000 orders to hobbyists and small businesses throughout Europe. From the outset it was obvious digital production was a must for the business as short run-lengths were essential. Recognising that their own knowledge of print was limited, Ania and Michał worked with local vendors to find a technology that would be simple to operate, whilst providing the vibrant fabric prints and fast turnarounds needed – at the right price.

“Mimaki was the first and only choice for us. We were a start-up business with a limited budget and didn’t need a huge amount of capacity to start with. However, we had strict criteria with regards to the print quality, turnaround times and we needed equipment that was easy to operate,” Michał explains. “The Mimaki Tx400 series was the only option at that time which delivered on all our requirements. Our only other alternative was a rebuild and we didn’t want the risk. We also felt Mimaki was a trustworthy brand and working with a company like that would mean continual investment in the technology and excellent customer service.”

CottonBee worked closely with local Polish distributor Teba, who proved to be an excellent partner. “We recognised Teba’s expertise in engineering, printing and textiles very quickly and it was exactly the partner we needed at that time to take us through product selection, installation and work with us through a steep learning curve.”

Teba, a Mimaki Authorised Partner, supported CottonBee with the installation of the first Mimaki Tx400 printer in Poland. A highly productive direct-to-textile printer, it offered exceptional speed and superior print quality on an entry-level system. In addition, it was an eco-friendly alternative to other processes. Using only cotton fabrics and pigment inks, CottonBee kept post-processing to a minimum to achieve fast turnarounds.

A little later Mimaki launched its TP400 pigment inks and according to Michał “Everything improved, but especially dry and wet colour fastness and the vividness of colour. The quality compared very nicely even against large-scale industrial printers.” It was a welcome development for CottonBee’s remarkably tough customer-base, as Michał put it: “Consumers want a good price, good quality, good turnaround times: they’re super demanding. In fact, our single metre customers have the most exacting requirements!”

Having established the CottonBee business, Michał and Ania ramped up their approach after 18 months, expanding their target market to include small-scale businesses as well as consumers. Excelling in its niche, CottonBee continued to focus on small runs, attracting many small-scale ‘hobbyist’ businesses.

The timing was fortuitous when Mimaki later launched its Tx300P-1800 series and CottonBee was looking for more capacity as it once again looked to scale-up the business, this time venturing into new territories. “CottonBee just became too big for Poland alone!” enthuses Michał. “It was clear that to keep the business thriving we needed to expand and the next step was to launch the website across Europe. To that end, we were looking to increase our printing capacity when Mimaki launched the Tx300P series and so, of course, we were delighted to continue our partnership with Mimaki and Teba.”

CottonBee invested in the Mimaki Tx300P-1800 direct-to-textile printer and the Tx300P-1800B with a sticky belt for printing on thin and stretchable fabrics. Effortlessly combining quality and high speed, the Tx300P-1800 series reflects Mimaki’s undisputed expertise in the digital textile sector.

“Mimaki was one of the first to introduce the sticky belt for smaller printers. It requires a more skilled operator as each fabric requires a special approach, but we quickly incorporated that expertise into our team and it allowed us to increase our range of cotton fabrics, which our customers loved,” says Ania.The two printers significantly increased capacity for CottonBee and by using two printers from the same series, with the same printheads, customers could make repeat orders and get exactly the same result, whichever printer the job was allocated to.

“Today we continue to use the Mimaki Tx300P-1800 printers and our overseas sales now make up the biggest proportion of our business, so all of our Mimaki investments have been a resounding success, and we continue to grow. Customers still want even faster turnaround times, so that’s our current goal. We offer shipment of five days from ordering, but we’re working towards two days. This is what fills our days; what started as a side occupation for us, is a business that just continues to flourish,” enthuses Michał.

Teba owner Jacek Teodorczyk adds, “With our 25 years in the industry, we delight in seeing businesses like CottonBee start on a small scale and thrive. It’s been an absolute joy to accompany them on the journey, and long may it continue!”

Mimaki showcases business-enhancing 3D solution at Formnext 2019


Mimaki Europe today announces that it will demonstrate its colour expertise in 3D printing at Formnext (19 – 22 November, Frankfurt, Germany). Visitors looking for photorealistic prototypes or models can see a broad range of applications produced by Mimaki’s 3DUJ-553 full-colour 3D printer, capable of faithfully replicating more than 10 million colours, in Hall 12.1, Stand B99.

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer, which will be demonstrated live at Formnext, allows bureaux, designers and product developers to create vivid, true-to-life parts due to its accurate detail and extensive colour capabilities. Mimaki draws upon the colour expertise it has perfected through its heritage in 2D printing to produce consistent and repeatable results, ensuring that users’ on-screen designs will be flawlessly replicated in real-life. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin so full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be achieved. With options to print in 19, 22, 32 or 42µm layers, the 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super-fine details and smooth surfaces; and thanks to a water-soluble support material that easily dissolves after printing, details are preserved during post-processing. The printer is suitable for an impressive range of applications, including car prototypes, architectural models and luxury packaging, all of which will be exemplified on Mimaki’s stand.

“The accuracy and brilliance of the vast range of colours produced by Mimaki 3D printers paves the way for some very exciting application possibilities,” comments Jordi Drieman, 3D application specialist at Mimaki. “This product is ideal for creating models and prototypes to serve a number of industries; from brands requiring true-to-life product prototypes or luxury packaging samples, to planners producing architectural models, or schools needing educational models, to entertainment businesses producing lifelike figurines, this is the perfect tool.”

In a deliberate move to increase customers’ profitability, Formnext will also see Mimaki announce a new pricing model for the build and support materials compatible with the 3DUJ-553 3D printer. Since launching its 3D print technology, Mimaki has succeeded in improving efficiencies across consumables production and supply chain management, facilitating its most recent pricing model. Mimaki delivers the highest quality 3D-printed models, and, as the company produces its own build material, these are now more accessible than ever to designers and manufacturers. Visitors to the stand will be able to discuss pricing with members of the Mimaki sales team, who will be on-hand answer any questions.

Formnext visitors will also have the opportunity to hear from Dutch 3D printing company, Marketiger, one of the many companies reaping the benefits of Mimaki technology. Marketiger uses the 3DUJ-553 to print full-colour figurines and maquettes, all of which are based on 3D scans of people. Many of the thousands of figurines printed annually are purchased by visitors who take the opportunity to be 3D scanned at Madurodam, a miniature park and tourist attraction based in the Netherlands. Maikel de Wit, Marketiger founder, comments: “This 3D technology from Mimaki is totally unique in the market. Not only is it a supremely reliable and easy-to-operate machine, it also prints in millions of colours with a base material that is very strong, producing models that are extremely colour-fast. Our customers are always impressed not only by the vivid colours of the models but also how long-lasting they are.”

Mimaki’s 3D portfolio also features the 3DFF-222 3D printer, an in-house tool for design and production which uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) to produce prototypes and end-use parts such as jigs and three-dimensional signage. A product co-branded with Sindoh, the 3DFF-222 system prints in PLA material to ensure that models are robust and do not warp easily. Printing parts up to 210mm x 200mm x 195mm (W x D x H), job progress can be monitored remotely through an app.

“We anticipate a really exciting show at Formnext this year,” Drieman adds. “At Mimaki, we pride ourselves on keeping our customers at the centre of our business. So, not only will we be demonstrating what can be achieved with our 3D technology, but there will be plenty of sales partners available on the stand to discuss attractive pricing options on consumables.”

Innovative 3D printing company blossoms with Mimaki technology

A-Video-view Marketiger

Eindhoven based 3D printing company, Marketiger, is unique in the Netherlands. It focuses entirely on printing full-colour 3D objects, including figurines (statuettes) and maquettes and does this exclusively with the Mimaki 3DUJ-553. Founder, Maikel de Wit, sees Mimaki as a reliable partner that enables his company to face the future with confidence.

At young company Marketiger, thousands of full-colour statuettes are produced annually, all of which are based on 3D scans of people. Many of these miniature dolls can be purchased at Dutch tourist attraction, Madurodam, a miniature park that offers its visitors the opportunity to be scanned in 3D.

“It’s really funny how many of those miniature people come out of the printer”, says Marketiger founder Maikel de Wit. “But we also print maquettes, scale models and basically anything that customers need. And we do it all with our Mimaki 3D printer. It runs 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

With a background in graphic design, commercial economics and marketing, Maikel bought his first 3D printer four years ago while on holiday in Greece. He soon became obsessed with the creative possibilities and decided to investigate whether he could use his fascination with 3D printing to start a company: Marketiger. Four years later, his company is now flourishing, with Mimaki as its most important technology partner.

More Info 3DUJ-553

From monochrome to millions of colours
Success didn’t arrive overnight for Maikel. Marketiger started out with a few dozen single-colour Prusa 3D printers, with which the company printed all kinds of marketing tools, including key chains, business cards and USB sticks. These could be personalised by customers and were often painted by hand. However, this wasn’t a scalable business model and Maikel struggled to make the business profitable.

“As a marketer, you always have to do things differently to your competitors, or you won’t stand out from the crowd. It’s the same with 3D printing. You want to deliver the best possible product to your customers for a competitive price.”

Maikel decided to invest in a number of multi-colour printers that he built and programmed himself, but after a few experiments it turned out they weren’t reliable enough for high production volumes: “We also wanted to be capable of delivering larger quantities to our customers, with fewer technical problems, and preferably with an even better quality.”

In the meantime, he became increasingly involved in the 3D printing world and came into contact with Mimaki, who had just launched their first 3D printer. Maikel was already familiar with full-colour powder-based prints, but found them to be of poor quality. “The material is fragile and loses its colour within a year. As far as I’m concerned, you cannot sell that kind of product to customers”, says Maikel.

However, he was very impressed by the new 3D printer from Mimaki, which works on the basis of UV-cured polymer resin. “This 3D technology from Mimaki is totally unique in the market and I consider it to be the perfect replacement for the older powder technology. Not only is it a superb machine, it also prints in millions of colours and with a base material that is way stronger and a lot more colour-fast.”

24/7 production
For a relatively small company such as Marketiger, a Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer was an important strategic investment. That’s why it was vital to thoroughly evaluate the machine beforehand. “For two months we tested the printer extensively to see if it could handle the desired production volumes. During that time, Mimaki supported us extremely well, answering all our technical questions and listening carefully to our wishes.”

At the end of the trial period, the Mimaki printer had passed the test with flying colours and Marketiger decided to purchase the printer. “It was quite daring to choose a 3D printer from a company known worldwide for its industrial 2D printers, whilst being relatively small in 3D printing. But I have faith in Mimaki’s printers and technology, and I believe there is a market to be found for the products that can be created with it. This was a key factor in making our choice.”

Marketiger has since become an extremely successful 3D printing company, where the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 is continuously producing 3D prints. This success is in part due to the quality of the product, but also to the personal and customer-oriented approach. It was thanks to this combination that Marketiger was able to acquire Madurodam as a customer, which previously had its miniatures produced by a large, international supplier.

“We are really seeing a shift in the market in that area”, Maikel explains. “Even large organisations are now looking for companies like us. Clients want to work with a company that can produce high volumes but also take a flexible, customer-oriented approach. The fact that we can communicate with our customers quickly and accurately is what really differentiates Marketiger in the industry.”

Japanese culture
Maikel is full of praise for the collaboration with Mimaki: “The company has a Japanese culture, which is reflected in everything it does. It takes some getting used to, but we have quickly learnt to appreciate it. For example, sales managers will never promise something that they can’t deliver. Their customers are important to them and they’ll really go out on a limb for you, especially when disaster strikes. For instance, once they even removed a part from their own demo machine to help us out with our malfunctioning device.”

Using Mimaki technology, Marketiger is a pioneer in the Netherlands within the 3D printing market, and from that viewpoint the collaboration is extremely valuable for both parties.

“We are their benchmark customer”, Maikel concludes. “I think it’s important for us to provide Mimaki with our feedback on the product, and in turn for our needs and wishes to be attended to. The company has a wonderful product and, as far as I’m concerned, we will be steady partners for many years to come. I am confident that with Mimaki, we will be able to conquer the market in which we are currently active.”

Innovative 3D printing company blossoms with Mimaki technology

B-Video-view Marketiger

Eindhoven based 3D printing company, Marketiger, is unique in the Netherlands. It focuses entirely on printing full-colour 3D objects, including figurines (statuettes) and maquettes and does this exclusively with the Mimaki 3DUJ-553. Founder, Maikel de Wit, sees Mimaki as a reliable partner that enables his company to face the future with confidence.

At young company Marketiger, thousands of full-colour statuettes are produced annually, all of which are based on 3D scans of people. Many of these miniature dolls can be purchased at Dutch tourist attraction, Madurodam, a miniature park that offers its visitors the opportunity to be scanned in 3D.

“It’s really funny how many of those miniature people come out of the printer”, says Marketiger founder Maikel de Wit. “But we also print maquettes, scale models and basically anything that customers need. And we do it all with our Mimaki 3D printer. It runs 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

With a background in graphic design, commercial economics and marketing, Maikel bought his first 3D printer four years ago while on holiday in Greece. He soon became obsessed with the creative possibilities and decided to investigate whether he could use his fascination with 3D printing to start a company: Marketiger. Four years later, his company is now flourishing, with Mimaki as its most important technology partner.

Request a 3D sample

From monochrome to millions of colours
Success didn’t arrive overnight for Maikel. Marketiger started out with a few dozen single-colour Prusa 3D printers, with which the company printed all kinds of marketing tools, including key chains, business cards and USB sticks. These could be personalised by customers and were often painted by hand. However, this wasn’t a scalable business model and Maikel struggled to make the business profitable.

“As a marketer, you always have to do things differently to your competitors, or you won’t stand out from the crowd. It’s the same with 3D printing. You want to deliver the best possible product to your customers for a competitive price.”

Maikel decided to invest in a number of multi-colour printers that he built and programmed himself, but after a few experiments it turned out they weren’t reliable enough for high production volumes: “We also wanted to be capable of delivering larger quantities to our customers, with fewer technical problems, and preferably with an even better quality.”

In the meantime, he became increasingly involved in the 3D printing world and came into contact with Mimaki, who had just launched their first 3D printer. Maikel was already familiar with full-colour powder-based prints, but found them to be of poor quality. “The material is fragile and loses its colour within a year. As far as I’m concerned, you cannot sell that kind of product to customers”, says Maikel.

However, he was very impressed by the new 3D printer from Mimaki, which works on the basis of UV-cured polymer resin. “This 3D technology from Mimaki is totally unique in the market and I consider it to be the perfect replacement for the older powder technology. Not only is it a superb machine, it also prints in millions of colours and with a base material that is way stronger and a lot more colour-fast.”

24/7 production
For a relatively small company such as Marketiger, a Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer was an important strategic investment. That’s why it was vital to thoroughly evaluate the machine beforehand. “For two months we tested the printer extensively to see if it could handle the desired production volumes. During that time, Mimaki supported us extremely well, answering all our technical questions and listening carefully to our wishes.”

At the end of the trial period, the Mimaki printer had passed the test with flying colours and Marketiger decided to purchase the printer. “It was quite daring to choose a 3D printer from a company known worldwide for its industrial 2D printers, whilst being relatively small in 3D printing. But I have faith in Mimaki’s printers and technology, and I believe there is a market to be found for the products that can be created with it. This was a key factor in making our choice.”

Marketiger has since become an extremely successful 3D printing company, where the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 is continuously producing 3D prints. This success is in part due to the quality of the product, but also to the personal and customer-oriented approach. It was thanks to this combination that Marketiger was able to acquire Madurodam as a customer, which previously had its miniatures produced by a large, international supplier.

“We are really seeing a shift in the market in that area”, Maikel explains. “Even large organisations are now looking for companies like us. Clients want to work with a company that can produce high volumes but also take a flexible, customer-oriented approach. The fact that we can communicate with our customers quickly and accurately is what really differentiates Marketiger in the industry.”

Japanese culture
Maikel is full of praise for the collaboration with Mimaki: “The company has a Japanese culture, which is reflected in everything it does. It takes some getting used to, but we have quickly learnt to appreciate it. For example, sales managers will never promise something that they can’t deliver. Their customers are important to them and they’ll really go out on a limb for you, especially when disaster strikes. For instance, once they even removed a part from their own demo machine to help us out with our malfunctioning device.”

Using Mimaki technology, Marketiger is a pioneer in the Netherlands within the 3D printing market, and from that viewpoint the collaboration is extremely valuable for both parties.

“We are their benchmark customer”, Maikel concludes. “I think it’s important for us to provide Mimaki with our feedback on the product, and in turn for our needs and wishes to be attended to. The company has a wonderful product and, as far as I’m concerned, we will be steady partners for many years to come. I am confident that with Mimaki, we will be able to conquer the market in which we are currently active.”

Mimaki to unveil next generation large format printers and cutters

Driving the evolution of wide format digital printing towards ultra-efficient, cost-effective and sustainable production processes, Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, announces today the launch of its Plus series, the next generation of its industry-acclaimed large-format printing and cutting solutions. Debuting worldwide at The Print Show (NEC Birmingham, UK, 17–19 September), the brand-new CJV300 Plus, JV300 Plus and CG-FXII Plus will be on display on Stand E10, Hall 9 where Mimaki will be represented by its authorised UK distributor, Hybrid Services.

Building on the legacy of Mimaki core technologies, the new Plus series – consisting of three models, namely the CJV300 Plus integrated solvent printer/cutter, the JV300 Plus solvent printer, and the CG-FXII Plus cutting plotter – boasts substantial productivity increases on previous models, in addition to delivering superior print quality at faster printing speeds. This is enabled by MAPS4, the latest version of the Mimaki Advanced Pass System which uses a unique algorithm to calculate the most effective way of jetting ink drops to avoid visible banding. This constantly changes depending on ink colour, coverage and print speed. Reliable productivity is assured with Mimaki’s pioneering NCU (Nozzle Check Unit) and NRS (Nozzle Recovery System), while a brand-new, advanced Take-Up device enables the handling of rolls up to 45kg – preventing media shifting and ensuring a smoother, more efficient production process.

The Plus series models also feature new, proprietary ID Cut function. This innovative functionality has been developed to enable continuous cutting operations on multiple jobs, with minimal human intervention, time, or material waste. The ID Cut function consists of printing ID barcodes in the layout of print and cut jobs – through Mimaki’s RasterLink6 Plus RIP – with the code including cutting and rotation information. By reading each unique barcode, the crop mark sensor automatically loads and executes cutting, ensuring that all alignment and rotational requirements are observed. Whilst both the CJV300 Plus and the CG-FXII Plus feature the ID Cut function, the JV300 Plus can be used in combination with the CG-FXII Plus to take full advantage of the new functionality.

“Once again Mimaki is pushing the boundaries of innovation in the wide format printing industry,” claims Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe. “Each innovation we introduce to the market stems from our close observation of industry trends and of our customers’ needs, as well as extensive R&D. The unprecedented quality and productivity gains that the Plus series provides, combined with an environmentally friendly vision, make each new model a very compelling proposition for those print service providers aiming at boosting their competitiveness, whilst at the same time optimising their production workflow.”

As part of the “Mimaki Green Technology” concept, the company is also introducing new 600ml ink packs and reusable eco cases on the Plus series. Designed to ensure smarter, more sustainable printing processes, the new ink eco cases provide larger run capacity and 15% savings on ink consumption when compared with the 440ml cartridges. In addition, the eco cases can be reused extensively, further contributing to making the Plus Series an eco-friendly, cost-effective choice for large format print service providers.

Following the launch at The Print Show, the CJV300 Plus, JV300 Plus and CG-FXII Plus will also be exhibited at Salon C!Print, (Madrid, Spain, 24–26 September) on the Digidelta booth (Stand C51) and at Viscom Italia (Fiera Milano, Italy, 10-12 October) on the Bompan booth (Hall 8, Stand E23/E27/G20/G26).

* The CJV300-160 Plus is equipped with the new ID Cut function for the most efficient print and cut operation possible.
* The JV300-160 Plus features the latest version of Mimaki Advanced Pass System (MAPS), producing even higher quality during high speed printing.
* The CG-FXII Plus Series will be available in three different widths – 75cm, 130cm and 160cm.

Mimaki drives cost-effective wide format printing with innovative SWJ-320EA solvent printer

SWJ-320EA_Twin-Roll

With the SWJ-320EA now available in EMEA, this cost-effective large format solvent printer can be seen in action this week at FESPA Africa 2019.

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces that it will showcase its innovative, cost-effective SWJ-320EA large format solvent printer at FESPA Africa 2019 (Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa – 11-13 September 2019). Addressing the demanding, ever-changing and price-sensitive super-wide format printing market, this highly productive 3.2-meter-wide printer offers an unmatched ratio of top print quality, fast printing speed and reliability at a very accessible price.

Following successful sales progression in price-sensitive markets, such as Turkey, Russia and the Middle East, the SWJ-320EA is now available for the entire EMEA region. “Addressing the needs of the highly competitive wide format market, the SWJ-320EA represents an important business differentiator for customers,” says Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe. “Combining a high level of efficiency and low operational costs with a very competitive price for the hardware and the inks, the SWJ-320EA makes a much more cost-effective choice for investment, particularly when compared to what our competitors in China, Russia and Turkey have on offer.”

Building on the legacy of Mimaki innovation, the SWJ-320EA super-wide solvent printer includes Mimaki core technologies, namely MAPS4 (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) and NRS (Nozzle Recovery System). MAPS4 helps prevent banding during the printing process. With every pass, MAPS4 is using a unique algorithm that calculates the most effective way of jetting the ink drops to avoid visible banding. This constantly changes depending on ink colour, coverage and printing speed. This feature, alongside NRS – which ensures the replacement of clogged nozzles without stopping production – enhances the printer’s performance and boosts productivity and print quality for the user. For further production benefits, the SWJ-320EA is equipped with four advanced high-speed printheads, arranged in a staggered array ensuring resolutions of up to 1200dpi and print speeds of up to 137m2/h.

Offering established world-class Mimaki speed, quality and reliability in a super-wide format, the SWJ-320EA is equipped with an extremely stable media feeding system and a newly designed tension bar. These features prevent the media from cockling and ensure high grip for extremely accurate printing, resulting in steady, premium print quality, even for larger prints. For those requiring higher volumes, a twin-roll printing function is available as an optional feature, enabling the printer to handle up to two rolls (with maximum width of 1,524mm each) and resulting in double-volume production for smaller rolls per day.

Designed to enable users to diversify their businesses in a profitable way, the Mimaki SWJ-320EA is ideal for producing a wide variety of large format indoor and outdoor applications, including POS materials, banners and billboards, displays, transport and floor images. Diversification will also be driven by a wide and varied range of compatible solvent-coated substrates, such as self-adhesive PVC film, photo paper, billboard paper, blue-back, backlit film, banner materials and tarpaulin, to name a few. The SWJ-320EA uses Mimaki CS100 solvent-based ink – available in CMYK configuration and with a capacity of 3 litres per colour. The new inks have been developed to ensure lower consumption and increased weather and scratch resistance.

A highlight at the Graphix Supply World booth (Hall 3, Stand D21-43) at FESPA Africa, the SWJ-320EA will also be exhibited at The Print Show (NEC Birmingham, UK, 17–19 September) on the Hybrid Services booth (Hall 9, Stand E10), at Salon C!Print (Madrid, Spain, 24–26 September) on the Digidelta booth (Stand C51) and at Viscom Italia (Fiera Milano, Italy, 10-12 October) on the Bompan booth (Hall 8, Stand E23/E27/G20/G26).

Mimaki Paving the Way to Luxury, Green Packaging at Luxe Pack 2019

Luxury Packaging Application-UJF-3042MkII

At Luxepack 2019, Mimaki will demonstrate how luxury brands can combine first-class packaging with smarter, more sustainable choices.

Luxury packaging will be in Mimaki Europe’s sights at Luxe Pack 2019 (Grimaldi Forum, Monaco – September 30-October 2). As a Technology Sponsor of the foremost show for creative packaging, the leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems will demonstrate how luxury brands and packaging professionals can succeed in designing and producing first-class, one-off premium packaging whilst at the same time, make smarter, more sustainable choices by using Mimaki’s advanced printing technology.

Mimaki will highlight the value of print embellishment through a show-stopping array of applications – including 360-degree-printed packaging and 3D-printed packaging mocks-up – on stand DD02BIS. In line with the show’s focus on creative, luxury packaging, the company will inspire visitors to Luxe Pack with samples of high-end cosmetic and perfume packaging. Expounding further on technological benefits for the luxury industry, the company will showcase 3D-printed top-quality prototypes of perfume bottles, demonstrating how brand owners can take advantage of the company’s cutting-edge full-colour, UV-curable 3D printing system, the 3DUJ-553.

As a technology demonstration, the UJF-3042MkII direct-to-object UV printer will run live on the Mimaki stand. Offering ease-of-use for on-demand printing, this leading-edge flatbed printer will be equipped with Mimaki’s Kebab option, enabling 360-degree direct printing on cylindrical products. Allowing UV print on a wide range of substrates in differing sizes, this combination is designed to enable users to further expand the opportunities of decoration-printing on 3D objects.

“With our market-leading, integrated portfolio of printing solutions, we offer spectacular creativity and limitless opportunities for the thriving luxury packaging industry. At the same time, we are able to address the pressing demand from the market for more sustainable choices,” explains Danna Drion, Marketing Manager, Mimaki EMEA.

As part of the company’s presence at Luxe Pack 2019, Mimaki will participate in the event conference programme for visitors. Igor Gadreaud, Development Manager, and Thierry Lim, Area Sales Manager at Mimaki France will tackle the topic of personalisation as a vector of appropriation in premium packaging development, in a speech entitled “To be unique is out, being creative is the new me!” (September 30 – 4.45pm).

“New ways of personalisation, continuous improvements in print embellishment and an increasing awareness of sustainability are key drivers for the high-end packaging industry. Building on the expertise in digital printing and with its cutting-edge technology portfolio, Mimaki is compelled to champion the evolution of the packaging industry at this important juncture,” Drion concludes.

Cycling and sublimation, the ideal jerseys for escape

Didonè-Cecchin-Fraccaro-Hayashi

GSG masterfully implement the combination of cycling and digital printing thanks to Mimaki digital printers.

In a sport where one thousandth of a second can make the difference, the details of technical clothing have a key role to play. Back in the 20s and 30s, famous cyclist, Ambrogio Binda, said that nothing else was needed aside from the “legs” to achieve maximum results. Yet in cycling today, we know how important aerodynamics and fabric is to the sportswear worn. And for its “commercial”, visual and communicative side, the graphics and colours of a jersey play a fundamental role, as does the technology that revolves around the printing process. With this in mind, GSG made the choice for Mimaki machines, including the new TS55-1800.

Creativity and technique at the service of the cyclist

Founded 35 years ago, thanks to the intuition of Simone Fraccaro, a professional cyclist from 1974 to 1984, GSG, based in Vallà di Riese Pio X in the province of Treviso, produce technical clothing for cycling at the highest levels. The company’s mission is to intercept and respond to the needs of the sport, aiming to design and manufacture a product of high quality and reliability, to promote the best possible athletic performance, but also to create a look that allows teams to stand out among others.

“I was a professional cyclist for 11 years, an experience that has allowed me to discover the elements that affect the performance during a race. When I raced the “Giro d’Italia” in 1975, one of my greatest sufferings was the feeling of being suffocated by my uniform. With sportswear playing a very important role, I set myself a goal to bring innovation into this field; forgetting the old hypoallergenic woolen suits which were very uncomfortable, and replacing these with technologically advanced materials. Therefore, the union of skills with my partners, including an expert in screen-printing, has led to the creation of GSG; a large family now consisting of 70 people, it has achieved significant growth in turnover in the last 5 years in an increasingly demanding market, which aims for record-breaking performance. Also in the cycling segment, Made in Italy is of great importance; an Italian pride, which guarantees all-Italian design and production, with the Japanese help of its printing machines.

Technical clothing

To promote physical well-being and results on the road, the cyclist’s clothing must have the right ergonomics and aerodynamics and pass all the tests in the wind tunnel. As far as the fabric is concerned, the basic material is always polyester, with honeycomb shaped weave to create air chambers that allow transpiration and quick drying. It is also extremely printable, enabling easy transfer of colours. The microfibres can be bio-ceramic, in carbon or with special elastomers, offering a high degree of elasticity which avoid the formation of wrinkles and brakes in the air. In winter, it is ideal to wear polypropylene or meraclon underwear, as it is in summer, as well as polyester-based clothing with the addition of membranes to protect against air and cold.

“When supplying professional sports groups, it is necessary to pay attention to the smallest of details and be prepared for customisation. Athletes who compete in major competitions seek maximum performance and sometimes ask us to modify their sportswear according to the needs of each race. Given the importance of the aerodynamics of fabric on the skin, there are teams who need to gain a few hundredths of a second, a time that is often decisive in cycling, and therefore require a different length of sleeve, for example”. Simone Fraccaro also told us that a study is underway to create fabrics resembling golf balls for greater air penetration into the jersey. “Among the fabrics in vogue today is seamless technology, but it is not ideal for cycling because it weighs down when wet. It is very bandaging and not printable. In such a dynamic sport, the printing phase is fundamental: you need aggressive colour and attractive graphics.”

The eye wants its share

In cycling, the colours of the jersey are very important and GSG – which has been awarded several times for its productions – is well aware of this, as it also carries out graphic and customisation consultancy. “The colours must be attractive, brilliant and the sponsors must be clearly visible and strategically positioned on the jersey. The psychological factor is important: if you do not use the right formula that allows you to stand out using graphics and colour, the team loses interest, with the result being a less incisive personality and, especially on television, is likely to “blend in” with all the other teams. Current fashion trends sees the prevalence of fluorescent colours, but GSG has developed several innovative solutions with different colours, such as the black jersey with fabric that repels the sun’s rays and a turquoise central stripe for the English team of Sky.

The GSG-Mimaki partnership

GSG’s printing partner, Cekin in Castello di Godego (TV), has always been the Mimaki dealer in the Veneto region. Here, the partnership between Simone Fraccaro and the two owners of Cekin, Plinio Cecchin and Alberto Didonè, was born and continues under the protection and quality of the Mimaki brand. “Cecchin and I have always known each other and thanks to the advice of its service center, GSG has always been abreast of the times, following the developments of technology. I remember that we went together to a fair in San Francisco in 1993 to see with our own eyes the first sublimation inkjet printer with piezoelectric head. In the past, screen-printing was used to create team uniforms, but it was too demanding for small sports groups because it was too expensive and complicated for just a few pieces. However, with the advent of digital machines it was possible to satisfy with an excellent price/performance ratio for even those who required small quantities.”

Machinery

In GSG’s production laboratory, the JV5, JV300 and the new TS55-1800 Mimaki machines are installed, with the option of 10kg ink tanks in double four-colour. “Among the most important plus is its reliability. The machines guarantee higher speed, absence of the operator and limited maintenance. We use the machines a lot, for about 16 hours a day, so we have chosen to equip the machine with 10kg ink tanks to achieve an even higher level of efficiency and productivity. This is a flexible machine, fast and easy to handle and even for short runs it allows you to operate with extreme ease and flexibility.”

Once they print the paper with sublimation ink, using graphics in a mirror-like position with respect to the desired effect, the paper is placed cut out in contact with the fabric by means of a hot press, allowing the uniform adhesion of the paper onto the fabric. With this sublimation thermal printing process, the ink printed on the paper is transformed into gas, resulting in an image that is permanently and indelibly transferred onto the synthetic fibre of the polyester fabric. “The range of colours available today”, explained Plinio Cecchin, “is much wider than in 2000 and the colour results have also improved over the years. Previously, the colour saturation of the sublimation was not at all comparable with screen printing, but a lot of work has been done to ensure that good colour intensity is now achieved with digital.”

Written by Technofashion

Killing Eve Sparks Pursuit of Digitally Printed Pyjamas

Friedmans fabric textile application

Mimaki’s TS300P dye sublimation printer plays a starring role in Episode One of the highly anticipated second season of Killing Eve.

When Jodie Comer’s habitually glamourous character, Villanelle, stalked the streets sporting pop-art inspired kids’ pyjamas in season two of the BBC’s Killing Eve, viewers caused a social media storm trying to track down the night-time attire.

Fans of the show soon traced the bold pyjama design to Friedmans, a design studio and printed fabric supplier based in Greater Manchester, UK. According to the company’s design manager, Nick Thomas, the initial order was placed by Killing Eve’s production company, Sid Gentle Films, through Friedmans’ Funkifabrics web-to-print website: “It was as much a surprise to us as anyone else that our design ended up in the limelight. It only really came to our attention when we saw the interest on social media after the first episode had aired.”

What could have been an expensive and time-consuming task for Killing Eve’s production team was made simple by Friedmans, providing a case-in-point on the benefits of digital production in the world of fashion. When Killing Eve’s costume department decided against off-the-peg for this particular ensemble, they started exploring fabrics and quickly landed on an apt design. Stretch fabric was key to the storyline, to make the outfit appear tight on Comer, as if she was wearing children’s pyjamas, but retaining her freedom of movement. The pyjamas were also finished with red trim at the cuffs to highlight how short they were.

By using Mimaki digital production, Friedmans’ Funkifabrics offers customisation of the fabric choice, the scale of the design and run lengths from just 0.5 meters – all with speedy lead times. Consequently, Sid Gentle Films were able to produce a one-off bespoke pair of PJs that stood their ground amongst a collection of looks from a television show commended for its outlandish and luxurious fashion choices. The Los Angeles Times even quoted Comer as saying: “I think it’s my favourite outfit of the whole series.”

Villanelle’s iconic pyjamas were printed by Friedmans on a Mimaki TS300 dye sublimation printer (purchased through authorised Mimaki partner, R A Smart), before being transferred using a rotary heat press onto polyester-lycra blend fabric.

The unexpected surge of attention has been welcomed by Friedmans: “We were delighted to see the print receive such a positive reaction – especially as the show is so synonymous with great costume design,” enthuses Thomas. “Thanks to our ongoing investment in wide format textile print technology and software, we are continuing to grow as a business, reaching an ever more varied customer base. Combining this with a forward-thinking workflow, we can focus on providing on-demand delivery for customers big and small. The vibrant, customised pyjamas worn by Comer in Killing Eve are a perfect example of what can be achieved when great vision, talented design and first-rate technology come together – it’s tremendously satisfying to see such an impactful end result.”

Core Technologies that deliver the ultimate image quality

Application Textile - TX300P-1800B

The development of Core Technologies, including Mimaki’s Advanced Pass System and Waveform Control Technology, make the difference by delivering the ultimate in image quality and spectacular print as standard.

Mimaki’s Core Technologies are specifically engineered to assist print operators in two broad areas; ensuring stable production and delivering high image quality. A series of innovative and proprietary features result in empowering users to deliver unsurpassable image quality – a reputation Mimaki is understandably proud of.

It’s no secret that high image quality is a given at Mimaki – we take it as standard that our machines deliver the very pinnacle of output quality day in, day out. So it’s always at the front of our minds. It’s this desire that’s driven our technical team to develop a whole list of exclusive technologies that together ensure your work speaks for itself when it comes to quality.

“We build in a raft of Core Technologies that focus on helping our customers to deliver premium image quality with the minimum of fuss,” says Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki Europe. “Years of experience developing cutting edge print solutions has enabled the technology to trickle down so that even our ‘entry level’ products benefit from features such as Mimaki Advanced Pass System (MAPS) and Waveform Control Technology (WCT) that help deliver these spectacular results.”

MAPS and WCT are just two of the Core Technologies, that together with the likes of Variable Dot Printing, determine how ink is placed on the substrate and maximise the control over dot placement, shape and size to create smooth, vibrant and high-density print. Mimaki’s use of high precision piezo-electric print heads assures users of consistent and reliable output and the addition of the Core Technologies exploits it to its maximum. With a seamless workflow from design creation through to RIP, printing and cutting, these Core Technologies work away in the background to assist the user in producing the highest quality output.

Application-Textile

“We’re proud of our reputation at Mimaki for empowering our customers to deliver beautiful printed output,” continues Benckhuysen. “The development of imaging Core Technologies is key to this and with many of the technologies featuring across our range of print devices, price is now no barrier to output quality.”

With all printers offering a range of operator-led settings for print quality, output speed and imaging, Mimaki’s Core Technologies provide the opportunity for print operators to assess a job and choose specific options to suit its precise requirements. “With Mimaki printers able to output to a vast array of substrates, ranging from paper or self-adhesive vinyl to non-flat or textured objects such as metal and glass, it’s never been more important to be able to assist operators in their quest for the ultimate in imaging quality,” concludes Benckhuysen. “Mimaki’s unique appreciation of print companies’ day-to-day requirements has resulted in innovative and practical inbuilt technology that make the difference.”