Mimaki to Show Business Driving Digital Print Solutions at PSI and Viscom 2019

Highlights include on-demand and personalized 360-degree direct-to-object printing, technology for striking backlit signage as well as the ability to print different designs on both sides of a substrate.

Mimaki Europe today announces that under it’s ‘Join the Experience’ joint show theme, it will exhibit its portfolio of market leading UV flatbed, solvent and sublimation printers at PSI and Viscom 2019 (8-10 January 2019 – Dusseldorf, Germany). Designed to enable profit generating applications across the sign graphics, promotional products, industrial and textile markets, visitors will see a host of print solutions designed to suit a wide range of businesses – but with the flexibility to support their needs today and tomorrow.

As one of two specific highlights of the Mimaki booths, visitors to Viscom 2019 will see the white ink capability for the highly popular Mimaki UCJV300 sign and graphics printer. This feature enables enhanced backlit applications for striking graphics and additional revenue opportunities. Visitors to the Mimaki booth at PSI will also see 360-degree direct-to-object printing from its Mimaki UJF Series, enabling high quality and personalized print onto bottles, cylinders and a wide range of promotional items.

Danna Drion, Marketing Manager, Mimaki Europe comments: “At Mimaki, our worldwide team is committed to customer service and providing products that the market wants and needs. To ensure we achieve this, not only do we spend roughly 7% of our annual revenue on R&D, but we also have a team of over 120 people dedicated to product development.”

“As such, we go to PSI and Viscom 2019 with packed booths demonstrating some of the markets fastest, highest quality and most advanced print solutions available, almost anywhere. So, whether you’re a mature sign shop, a promotional product supplier, a start-up textiles printer, a seasoned marketeer or indeed a retail manufacturer, we have products to suit all your requirements.”

PSI (Stand 10C11)

At PSI, Mimaki will show three of it’s direct-to-shape digital printers designed specifically for the international promotional products market. It will also present a range of creative promotional products in various materials including glass, plastic and (faux) leather – further demonstrating how advanced digital printing enables value adding and profit driving personalization and versioning capabilities:

  • Mimaki UJF-3042MkII – Market leading productivity and ease of use for on-demand, direct
    to object printing up to 420mm wide. Shown with the optional ‘Kebab’ capability plus white ink, visitors to PSI will witness 360-degree printing onto glass and plastic bottles.

  • Mimaki UJF-6042 MkII – Double the print width and shown with an optional ‘Ionizer’ feature, as well as clear, white and primer inks, this solution prints onto products 153mm (6in) thick. At the show, it will demonstrate amazing print quality and colour capabilities on matte black notepads.

  • Mimaki UJF-7151plus – With a maximum print size of 710mm x 510mm, this state-of-the-art high quality and high-performance printer is ideal for wide range of promotional products, ID cards and personalized gifts.

Utilising Mimaki’s renowned high build quality for ultra-reliability, high speed and rich colours, the company will demonstrate to visitors of both shows how they can ‘print and profit’ using Mimaki technology.

Viscom 2019 (Stand 14E55)

At Viscom 2019, Mimaki will display breath-taking print samples from customers around the world, as well as provide live demonstrations from nine of its solvent, UV and sublimation printers for applications in three distinct markets – Sign Graphics, Industrial Products and Textiles. Specific Mimaki show highlights include:

  • Mimaki UCJV300-160 and UCJV300-75 (UV integrated printer/cutter) – The award-winning sign and graphics solution will feature a white ink capability enabling four-layer printing to create transformative graphics for backlit applications. Perfect for applications using transparent film, the printer also enables five-layer printing for producing different designs on both sides of the substrate, simultaneously. These Mimaki capabilities provide new value adding and profit driving applications.

  • Mimaki TS55-1800 – Ideal for interior fabrics, sports and fashion apparel, flags and tapestries, the TS55-1800 Series offering continuous operation, is designed for users that demand high productivity and high-quality print. Featuring a plotter roll for small runs or a mini jumbo roll for long runs, the TS55-1800 Series has the flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

“Exhibiting at PSI and Viscom 2019 is a great way to start a New Year, and we look forward to meeting visitors in Dusseldorf,” concludes Drion.

Here’s what Mimaki and these leading designers will be showing at Heimtextil 2019

For Heimtextil 2019, Mimaki is collaborating with more than ten different leading designers. Working in various disciplines – fashion, interior design and art – these designers will showcase the power of digital textile printing. In this interview, the designers talk about what we can expect to see of their designs.

 

Claire Vos – Interior Designer

Who is Claire Vos?
“I run Studio Roderick Vos with my husband. We met at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and have worked together ever since. Roderick is a product designer, while I’m much more focused on interiors and fabric design. Together, we work for major furniture brands, among other clients, and a few years ago, as Art Directors, we breathed new life into the furniture brand Pode. I was recently asked by Textiles & More to design an interior textile collection and it’s through this collaboration that Mimaki found me.”

What will you be showing at Heimtextil?
“I will be mixing all kinds of textile printing disciplines in my space at Heimtextil. Working from the theme ‘The Dressing Room’, my Textiles & More collection will form the basis. I’ve applied various prints from this collection to pillows, curtains and carpets, but also to all the objects at the stand. These include a chair by Pode, a footstool by Leolux and, to put the finishing touches on ‘The Dressing Room’, shoes by Anousjka Röben and a kimono by Deux d’Amsterdam. I see this collaboration with Mimaki as an opportunity to really show off all that’s possible in the area of textile printing. That fits perfectly with my own style, which I like to think of as ‘fashion for furniture’. It’s more than just interior design, I often look for the fashion element too. That’s the combination that makes my work stand out.”

What does the collaboration with Mimaki mean to you?
“I think it’s a really terrific to have the opportunity to collaborate with Mimaki. It’s a fantastic company with highly advanced machines and I’m so glad that Textiles & More brought us into contact with each other. The innovative printing techniques offered by Mimaki, such as sublimation transfer, open a whole range of new possibilities for me. For example, the layered construction of designs that it enables, results in very beautiful colour blending and extra depth.”

Sigrid Calon – Visual Artist

Who is Sigrid Calon?
“I’m a visual artist and I have a degree in textiles from the Academie voor Beeldende Vorming in Tilburg. After graduating, I spent several years focusing on the applied side of textiles, including design, styling and merchandise, and then in 2005 I decided to begin working as an artist in my own right. I soon got involved with graphics and I’ve continued to experiment with printing techniques and materials ever since. So, the collaboration with Mimaki is quite a logical step for me. I first came into contact with them in 2015 when they sponsored an exhibition of mine in Amsterdam, and now we are continuing our collaboration at Heimtextil 2019.”

What will you be showing at Heimtextil?
“Many years ago, I developed my own distinctive visual language that appears in all my work – this was also my starting point for Heimtextil 2019. Mimaki offered me the opportunity to work with new printing techniques and materials. For example, we started working with copper foil and we created a fantastic design using Mimaki’s latest print head technology. While copper foil is normally used more for things like packaging, by using it at Heimtextil in an artwork and in a completely different context, I wanted to inspire visitors and show them all what digital printing has to offer. What’s great is that we’ll be using this material together again for my exhibition in January at the De Pont museum in Tilburg. For this, we’ve also reprinted some of my existing artworks on other materials including one measuring 2×2 metres.”

What does the collaboration with Mimaki mean to you?
“First of all, I think it’s supercool that Mimaki is open to experimenting with its technology, as well as proactively supporting ‘the arts’. A couple of years ago Mimaki sponsored me, and now they’re helping me again with my new exhibition – today, we’re working together for Heimtextil 2019. It’s great to have a company behind you that supports and believes in you. Through Mimaki, I’m also exposed to new techniques and materials that open up all kinds of new possibilities for me. Finally, I know that the results are always good when I collaborate with Mimaki. No matter how much my requirements may vary, the prints are always top quality. That gives me incredible peace of mind.”

Tessa Koops – Fashion Designer

Who is Tessa Koops?
“I’m a womenswear fashion designer, specializing in clothing that feature floral/textural prints. My designs are sold through over 50 retail outlets across the Netherlands, and I also dress a number of Dutch celebrities. I focus on women who want quality, great fit and originality. I use quite a lot of prints: 90% of my work involves print and, of course, that makes this collaboration with Mimaki very appropriate.”

What will you be showing at Heimtextil?
“At Heimtextil 2019, I really want to demonstrate the possibilities of digital print. My goal is to give visitors a fantastic experience. I do that by combining art – I’m also a painter – with fashion. I normally use a lot of prints that I purchase, but this collaboration with Mimaki allowed me to completely think outside the box in terms of design. At the Mimaki stand, we will be showing one of my own paintings in different ways as a recurring motif, including as a print for dresses. Together with the other designers, this will let me really show all the diverse ways in which the Mimaki printers can be used.”

What does the collaboration with Mimaki mean to you?
“I think it’s awesome to be working together with Mimaki for Heimtextil, and I hope we can do more together in the future. I’m really excited about the possibilities that Mimaki printers can open up for me. As a fashion designer, you don’t generally tend to come into contact with machines like this. Mimaki’s technical capabilities and know-how are a terrific match for my creative input – we can truly inspire one another with our respective expertise. And that in turn enables me to think bigger, even beyond fashion design.”

Mimaki Announces Tessa Koops as Fashion Designer for Heimtextil 2019

Koops to demonstrate the power of Mimaki digital print technology for increased creativity, personalisation and profitability within the fashion industry

Mimaki Europe today announces its partnership with Dutch retail fashion designer, Tessa Koops, for Heimtextil 2019 (8-11 January 2019, Frankfurt, Germany – Stand J81, Hall 3.0). Completing its line-up of designer collaborations for the show, clothing specifically designed for Mimaki by Koops, will be used to demonstrate the power of art in fashion and the huge impact digital print can have on creativity and personalization within the fashion design and manufacturing process.

Koops joins a prestigious group of inspirational world-leading designers brought together by Mimaki for Heimtextil 2019. Under the theme of ‘The Fusion of Innovation and Design’ and celebrating digital print within all elements of art, interior design and fashion, Mimaki commissioned work from designers including Sigrid Calon and Claire Vos (Studio Roderick Vos), will also be showcased throughout the Mimaki booth.

Tessa Koops is a fashion designer of women’s clothing, specialising in dresses with floral/patterned prints. In addition to dressing different celebrities, her clothing is sold in more than 50 retail outlets across the Netherlands.
“Ordinarily, I work a lot with purchased prints for my clothing. However, this collaboration with Mimaki has enabled me to go beyond the typical design limitations of fashion and better understand how digital print can increase creativity, personalisation and diversification across a range of pieces. As you will see on the booth, one of my own paintings is used in a variety of ways including as a print for dresses,” comments Tessa Koops.

“I am very impressed and inspired by the possibilities that Mimaki printers offer the fashion industry. As a designer, you normally don’t get to experience such cutting-edge technology first hand, so this has been quite enlightening. In fact, exposure to the potential of digital print has enabled me to think in broader terms than just fashion design,” concludes Koops.

With printed applications on a diverse range of textiles, fabrics and interior materials, visitors to the Mimaki booth at Heimtextil 2019 will learn how they too can use advanced print technology to drive design innovation and profitability. Additional Mimaki designers include Anousjka Röben displaying shoes and creative studio Deux d’Amsterdam showing a unique kimono designed specifically for Mimaki – all designs were digitally printed by Textiles & More (T&M).

The Mimaki stand will showcase a printer for almost every type of textile application, with other digitally printed textiles applied to design classics in the ‘Pode’ range from Leolux, and feature walls utilising photography from Arjan Benning also being displayed.

Mimaki Announces Digitally Printed Design Collaborations to be Showcased at Heimtextil 2019

World leading designers to demonstrate creative, profit driving digitally printed applications

Mimaki Europe today announces its collaboration with over 10 inspirational world leading designers for Heimtextil 2019 (8-11 January 2019, Frankfurt, Germany – Stand J81, Hall 3.0). Under the theme of ‘The Fusion of Innovation and Design’ and celebrating digital print within all elements of art, interior design and fashion, Mimaki commissioned work from designers including Sigrid Calon and Claire Vos (Studio Roderick Vos), will be showcased throughout the Mimaki booth and used to demonstrate the power of digital print to increase the creative process.

Seeing printed applications on a diverse range of textiles, fabrics and interior materials, visitors will learn how they too can use advanced Mimaki technology to drive design innovation and profitability. From designers including Anousjka Röben displaying shoes; creative studio Deux d’Amsterdam showing a unique kimono designed specifically for Mimaki and Heimtextil, all designs were digitally printed by Textiles & More (T&M). The Mimaki stand will showcase a printer for almost every type of textile application, with additional digitally printed textiles applied to design classics in the ‘Pode’ range from Leolux, and feature walls utilising photography from Arjan Benning also being displayed.

“Heimtextil is always a really good show for us. For 2019, we’re excited to share the results of our collaboration with these amazing designers and to demonstrate what’s possible with our comprehensive range of printers,” says Mark Sollman, Mimaki Application Manager EMEA.

“From entry-level printers to production workhorses, each Mimaki system delivers premium quality print and profit-enhancing productivity. What’s more, using our wide range of inks, a huge variety of substrate applications now becomes available too. So, whether you’re a designer seeking to push the creative boundaries of textile printing, or a brand looking to increase your productivity and lower your environmental footprint, a visit to the Mimaki stand is a must,” continued Sollman.

Heimtextil visitors will experience Mimaki’s broad portfolio of printing solutions, split into three distinct areas including interior design, fashion and art. In the art section, the UCJV150-160 inkjet printer with environmentally-friendly UV-curable inks, will be used to produce wallpaper. Textiles will be printed in both the interior design and fashion areas, with the ultra-productive TS55-1800 sublimation transfer inkjet printer focusing on upholstery. Using a belt-conveying solution, the TX300P-1800B entry-level direct-to-textile system will also be printing onto stretchable fabrics used in fashion.

Claire Vos, introduced by Textiles & More (T&M) and a graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven, studied her craft in Italy, Switzerland and Indonesia before settling in the Netherlands. With a contemporary graphical industrial flavour to her work, many of Vos’s products are produced using Mimaki printers for Textiles & More. Her work, shown under the theme of ‘The Dressing Room’, will be shown at Heimtextil through Mimaki-printed upholstery including chairs and cushions.

Bringing vivid colour and fine graphical elements into her work, Sigrid Calon is a visual artist. At Heimtextil, the detail and vibrancy of Calon’s art will be brought to life by a 2×2 metre artwork utilising Mimaki’s latest printhead technology delivering smooth gradations and sharp and precise details. Examples of Calon’s work will also be shown in various materials, produced by Mimaki advanced print technologies, including UV and 3D printing.

“Quite simply, fabric diversity means that designers no longer have to compromise,” states Sollman, “Whether it’s for the fast paced and ever-changing high-street marker or for more bespoke pieces, substrate availability is paramount for all fashion today.”

Danna Drion, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe, concludes: “We’re absolutely delighted to be showcasing this collection of talent at Heimtextil – it perfectly demonstrates what can be achieved when you mix design excellence with high quality digital printing from Mimaki technology. Of course, we will also show the business case that supports these projects too – profit generating print solutions that enable innovation and business growth.”

Why the Mimaki TS55-1800 is (r)evolutionary

The textile printing market is rather traditional. For example, only 4 percent currently use digital printers. The reasons for this are diverse, from sticking to familiar production methods to the fear of high investments. Mimaki wants to change that with the TS55-1800, a high-end digital textile printer for use with heat transfer sublimation paper. It is a solution designed specifically for the entry and mid-level market with an unprecedented price-quality ratio.

by Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki EMEA

I have been working in the printing business for decades and have a technical background. That is why I love all the new technical gadgets, but I still must admit that I’m also quite fond of traditional analogue printing techniques as well. Just as an old steam locomotive makes you aware of the history and the technological progress of trains, digital print technologies also make my heart beat faster. But ultimately, we must progress, including in the printing business; and the future of printing is undoubtedly digital. The good news is that Mimaki has now succeeded in bringing industrial digital textile printing solutions within reach of small and medium-sized businesses. That is truly a revolution, thanks to an evolutionary process of continuous innovation by Mimaki.

High ink density and speed

The textile and apparel industries are extremely dynamic and require high production volumes. These high volumes are feasible when using traditional printing techniques, but the quality can lag. Digital printing has been an excellent way to improve quality for years. However, to achieve a marketable print quality at a high production speed normally requires a high level of investment, which means that only major players in the industry can afford it. Mimaki recognized the gap in the market and decided to develop a new dye sublimation printer, designed specifically for the entry and mid-level market. The TS55-1800 is a very affordable printer that, unlike all comparable products in this segment, meets high quality and ink density demands at the faster print speeds that the market requires. It prints at a resolution of 480×600 dpi while maintaining vibrant colours using one-pass printing at 140 m² per hour. In addition, for the TS55-1800, Mimaki has also incorporated its unique MAPS (Mimaki Advanced Pass System) technology in two-pass printing mode to eliminate banding.

Mini Jumbo Roll

To offer companies as much flexibility as possible, Mimaki also decided to offer the option of using this exciting new printer with the new Mini Jumbo Roll unit. This facilitates printing continuously with 2,500 linear meters of transfer paper. Smaller printing companies can use this machine to scale up to higher production volumes, but that is not all. By replacing their 150- to 200-meter plotter rolls with Mini Jumbo Rolls, they can also save more than 20 percent on paper costs and increase production capacity since no small rollers need to be replaced. Mimaki makes it even easier for companies to make the transition to digital printing by, for the first time, supplying print media with the TS55-1800 as a package deal in the form of Mimaki Vision Jet-X transfer paper, provided by Neenah Coldenhove.
And finally, the printer has a 10-l ink system that drastically lowers ink prices per m2!

With two additional unique features, Nozzle Check Unit (NCU) and Nozzle Recovery System (NRS), already available from two-pass print mode, Mimaki ensures that production can take place without any trouble and without requiring any human intervention over longer periods of time. The Nozzle Check Unit automatically checks nozzles and cleans them if required and the NRS substitutes defective nozzles giving uninterrupted operation.

I recommend the TS55-1800, a revolutionary printer, for anyone who is interested in engaging in this lucrative market and those looking for ways to streamline existing production. Textile professionals can drastically reduce operating costs with this printer, increase production volume significantly, and at least double their annual profit. And it is an affordable entry point for those just entering the market. That is really revolutionary, and I believe it will help many companies grow in digital textile printing or take their first steps into the digital world.

Mimaki Announces Participation in “ADAPT” Consortium Launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mimaki’s 3D printer to be installed in MIT’s laboratory to help its additive manufacturing technology research

Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. (Mimaki), headquartered in Nagano Prefecture, Tomi City; President, Kazuaki IKEDA, has announced Mimaki’s participation in the “ADAPT (Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies)” consortium launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (hereinafter called MIT) as one of the founding members.

“ADAPT” is a consortium directed by MIT professor John Hart, who leads MIT’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity. With the aim of supporting the advanced additive manufacturing industry, ADAPT will promote research and education for next-generation manufacturing technology based on AM (*1) processes, including 3D printing.
*1: Manufacturing methods of forming by adding materials, through AM (additive manufacturing), laminated object manufacturing, 3D printing, etc.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to install our UV flatbed inkjet printer [UJF-7151 plus] and 3D printer [3DUJ-553] at MIT to support AM-related classes and research activities. Working towards ADAPT’s vision of amalgamation and evolution of AM technology and digital production sought by MIT professor John Hart, Mimaki will continue to contribute to ADAPT activities through our inkjet technology and mass customization printing solution. And, we will feed back synergy effects gained through ADAPT activities to future product development. In this sense, it is indeed an honor that Mimaki was selected as one of the founding members of MIT’s ADAPT,” comments Yasuhiro Haba, Executive General Manager of Sales Division, Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd.

The “ADAPT” founding members held a kick-off meeting at the international trade fair for additive manufacturing and industrial production – “formnext” – held in Frankfurt, Germany in November and are scheduled to have their next meeting at MIT in Spring, 2019.

ADAPT founding members:
ArcelorMittal/Autodesk/BigRep GmbH/Dentsply-Sirona/Electro-Optical Systems Inc./Formlabs, Inc./General Motors/Mimaki Engineering/Proto Labs, Inc./Robert Bosch GmbH/Volkswagen AG

Mimaki proudly present at FESPA Eurasia

This morning FESPA Eurasia kicked off and General Manager Arjen Evertsen of our subsidiary in Turkey was invited to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the official opening.

The exhibition is the region’s leading wide format digital printing, screen printing, signage, textile printing and garment decoration exhibition and welcomes visitors from 6 to 9 December 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. Mimaki is once again a proud sponsor at FESPA Eurasia and will have a significant presence at the show with two major stands. Mimaki’s booth C20 in hall 9 is all about innovative textile solutions, whereas booth C25 in hall 10 showcases a wide variety of other innovative Mimaki technologies and products.

Mimaki Highlights

On the textile booth visitors can set eyes on the newly designed Mimaki TR 300-1850C/S Coater and Steamer as well as the brand new TS55-1800 sublimation printer. With unique features such as the Mini Jumbo roll and 10kg ink supply system, this machine is a true (r)evolution in textile printing. On the Mimaki main booth in hall 10, Mimaki experts will demonstrate printing on copper film as well as our unique 5-layer printing possibilities with the Mimaki UCJV series using our most advanced UV-Led technology. Another must see is our new Silver Metallic ink printing on the Mimaki UJF7151plus.

If you want to see it all in action, come and visit us at FESPA Eurasia, stand C20, hall 9 and stand C25 in hall 10!

3D printing brings cosmetics companies to the 21st century

With 3D printing, companies can convert digital prototypes of their products into physical objects at a breath-taking pace. In doing so, they arrive much faster at the right design and shorten their time-to-market. This provides great benefits for prototyping cosmetics packaging. However, previous 3D technology had a major limitation in terms of colour. Now this is a thing of the past with the arrival of Mimaki’s full-colour 3D printer.

Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki EMEA

The cosmetics industry is extremely creative. This is evident in all the beautiful packaging of, for example, perfume bottles, tubes and cream jars. Historically, a model maker was always engaged for prototyping these products. They were shown the digital design and then started working with manual techniques, including glass-blowing, moulding and screen printing, to meticulously recreate the design. This cost a great deal of time and money. Moreover, nine out of ten designs were rejected, which meant that the model maker then had to begin the next design immediately, incurring even more time and cost. Over the past few years, 3D printing has increasingly been used in the cosmetics industry, taking over a large part of the model building work, at least for early production models. The most important limitation that prevented this from a more rapid adoption is that previously, these 3D-printed objects could only be printed in white or colourless. It required a lot of imagination to really assess a 3D prototype, or a drawing of it had to be done by hand. This changed drastically with the emergence of full-colour 3D printers, and in particular, with the Mimaki 3DUJ-553.

Transparent ink

When Mimaki brought its first 3D printer to the market, it was a hit almost immediately. It finally made it possible to print with up to 10 million different colours, but also with transparent ink. A digital design of, for example, a perfume bottle, complete with printing and packaging, could now be faithfully reproduced with the 3D printer without any human effort. This was literally a revolution for prototyping in the cosmetics industry. Now it is possible to print complete photo-realistic prototypes for all kinds of products, from perfume bottles, tubes and jars to labels and packaging materials. Although they are not functional, but only suitable for marketing purposes, and to determine whether certain packaging is right for a specific product, it is ideal to take both time and cost out of the process, ensuring faster design cycles and a time to market that delivers a significant competitive advantage.
Since that time, more and more people are beginning to understand the wide range of applications for this type of rapid prototyping. For example, requests from the market can also be made to print such specific things as transparent black. In doing so, you can simulate a bottle with dark glass, which is common in perfume bottles and other cosmetics packaging. But in principle, all sorts of colours are possible by using what we call “skeleton mode.” In this mode, the 3D printer combines the transparent ink with a specific colour tone, so you can also simulate pink or green transparent bottles – or any other colour that is desired.

Faster time-to-market

Another major advantage of Mimaki 3D printing technology is that the digital models can be sent directly to the printer without any complicated adjustments. This is ideal, because the designer can manufacture prototypes completely independently without the intervention of a model builder or technical expert. That not only saves time but also eliminates the need for additional software or human expertise.
We can honestly say that full-colour 3D printing with transparency is a real breakthrough in a highly competitive market such as the cosmetics industry. There is no better way to quickly manufacture photo-realistic prototypes. The time-to-market for new products is significantly speeded up because the design phase is much less labour-intensive and produces products that you can physically view and touch. As a result, cosmetics manufacturers can bring new products to the market much more frequently and faster. This is a win-win situation, both for the cosmetics manufacturers and the enthusiastic buyers of their products.

Mimaki brings over 10 million colours to formnext

Mimaki raises the bar in product design prototyping with best in class fine detail and colour

Under the theme ‘Shape the Future in Colour’, Mimaki will showcase its advanced colour additive manufacturing technology at formnext from the 13-16th November in Frankfurt. Running live on booth D26 in hall 3.1, the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer allows bureaux, designers and product developers to reach unparalleled levels of photorealism due to its fine detail and extensive colour capability.

“The colour range and vibrancy combined with the ability to match colours with such accuracy opens up some very exciting application possibilities,” states Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki. “For instance, skin tones – where the slightest variations can easily be detected by the human eye – are reproduced with photorealistic quality as Mimaki meets the accuracy of scanning equipment with absolute precision. Product developers striving for accurate representations of their designs get extraordinarily smooth colour gradations, minimising granularity, and special spot colours can be created for brands with exacting requirements.”

The 3DUJ-553 3D printer prints in over 10 million colours and the results are consistent and repeatable thanks to Mimaki’s unique use of ICC colour profiling. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin so full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be realised. Printing in 19, 32 or 42µm layers, the 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super fine detail and smooth surfaces, which are preserved during post-processing as the support material is water-soluble and simply dissolves in water.

Through a collaborative project with Materialise, Mimaki 3D printed models are currently available via i.materialise.com under the name Multicolor+. Miranda Bastijns, Materialise Director Manufacturing Online, comments, “Materialise is currently trialling Mimaki’s full-colour 3D printing technology. The material, Multicolor+, allows us to create smooth surfaces with vibrant colours that enhance the value of a finished object. Multicolor+ offers more vivid and intense colours and enables stronger, sturdier materials with a minimum wall thickness of 1mm. It also allows for printing interlocking parts. As a result, Multicolor+ is ideal for printing decorative parts such as figurines, avatars and architectural models.”

Mimaki 3D printed models have a strength comparable to ABS plastic. Printed in UV-cured photopolymer resins with inkjet printing heads, models can be handled direct from the print build tray, which is a large 500x500x300mm. The 3DUJ-553 3D printer is easy to operate either remotely or through a touch panel. Mimaki 3D Link software also allows colours to be changed on-the-fly.

Mimaki’s expertise in inkjet, UV and colour management derive from the company’s heritage in 2D printing according to Benckhuysen: “Our history in 2D printing is fundamental because it’s given us proficiency in colour management, ink circulation for maximum uptime of the printer and operability. We also understand the importance of continued investment in R&D; not only that, but it means we have excellent technical support and customer service already in place, even as we look to expand our sales infrastructure.”

Benckhuysen concludes, “It’s said colour speaks all languages, so our incredible range of print samples – encompassing industries from toys, entertainment, tools, medical, consumer products, signage, architectural, art and packaging – will speak for themselves. Following our successful launch last year, we’re delighted to meet with the formnext community again and show them the technology, the colour and all developments we’ve made over the last year.”

Unfold focuses on smart production with wide Mimaki printer

Haarlem-based Unfold works from a large industrial building, located in a large commercial zoning area. A common assumption for most production companies. What’s not so common, is that Unfold houses a huge range of heavy production printers, yet very few people to operate them. Owner of the company, René Spanger, does most of it all by himself. Just recently, he upped his own game and invested in a 3,20-meter-wide Mimaki printer with UV-curing. The UJV55-320 is a big whopper – crucial to be able to deal with the print demand at Unfold.

From the home

Spanger started out as an events’ organiser 15 years ago. As he developed flyers and posters for events, people automatically asked for the next step. Spanger is a design autodidact. All thanks to Google, according to him: “Before you know it, you’re a trader in print material. I got so many print requests that I actually bought my first home plotter. I put it in a 15sqm room in my home. After that, things got out of hand,” he adds jokingly, “and my machine portfolio grew exponentially.”

To more space

By adding printers, Spanger needed more room and went from 150 to 800 to 1250 sqm. More room, not more people though. René Spanger and his emergency crew, that’s it. Order intake, order preparations, prepress, printing, finishing, packing and shipping – most companies have one person per division. Unfold doesn’t, it relies on its automation installation to do the work for them. Spanger no longer designs – he focuses entirely on production.

Automation

André Geuke who works for supplier Igepa calls Unfold an a-typical company. “René took huge strides forward when it comes to automation. He put in a lot of time in setting up a functional system that enables five printers to be operated by just the one person.” Nonetheless, Spanger is checking with different people for additional support, when required.

Print service

Geuke: “It’s astonishing, how the company only offers print service (printing, plotting and milling). Unfold works for third parties like graphic and sign companies that outsource the print jobs to this specialised print machine.” Companies with an online sales focus also often turn to Unfold for production. The company does not advertise, and its website is a contact page. Work comes in via resellers providing print-ready PDFs.

Combinations

The Esko software schedules jobs the smart way and completely books the machines. The four Mimaki printers are running non-stop. “Just look at the incoming orders of plates in different sizes. I put these in the Forex folder and the software sorts the plate-orders to make sure the machine is fully booked. It sends the prints to the printers and the plotting files to the plotters.” Spanger says.
The company has different job sections. Orders arrive at order processing where Spanger accepts the orders and processes them into the company workflow. At the Mimaki printers, he then picks up the orders, puts in the material, launches the order to print and cuts the output. Onto the plotter, where he scans the order and lets the plotter handle it. He then rolls it, tubes it, labels it and sends it off for shipping. The shipping company picks up the shipments from the shelf and takes it along. Igepa makes a daily delivery of substrates to make sure that each day’s order book can be processed entirely.

Long-term relationship

The relationship with Mimaki goes way back. It started with the first plotter Unfold purchased. Fifteen years ago, it was one of the first machines that could print and plot at the same time. “I asked my foil supplier a reference for a printer. It became the Mimaki on the second go. After that, it just kept on feeling right.” Spanger adds. “I am pleased with the Mimaki printers and it remained our go-to brand as our capacity grew. We still have our first machine up and running even.”

Growth

The new Mimaki UJV55-320 was supplied by Igepa and extends the print width capacity. The machine replaces a smaller 2,6m printer. Mimaki has been supplying a 3,2m printer just recently, but at Unfold it’s been running for a few months. Much to everyone’s delight from the very start. “The printer arrived just in time to comply with the increasing print demand. In Harlem we are now the frontrunner in this area. But I spot potential to push our growth even further“, René Spanger concludes.