If your company is planning to buy a large-format printer, you should know that there is more to owning a large-format printer than just making contact with a supplier, placing the order and waiting for the delivery. You must also understand the printing workflow involved in operating such a big and sophisticated machine.
You see, not all printers are alike, even the large-format ones. There are printers that are versatile enough to work with any kind of media. There are some printers designed to use a specific printing medium or a specific type of ink. And then, the printing process is not always the same. So, in order to ensure the quality of your printing jobs and to prevent damage to your expensive printer, you need to be aware of the right printing workflow to go along with when you use your printer.
Here are a few things that you need to know when operating a large-format printer.
1. The printing job. What is it that you going to print? Are you going to produce banners and streamers, wallpapers, learning aids, visual presentations or prints on 3D objects? Are your printing projects for outdoor or indoor use? Determining the nature of the project will help in determining what kind of printer that you need to use.
2. The print medium. What is your medium? Will you be printing on cloth-backed paper or on fabric? And if it is fabric, what kind of fabric? Or will you be using vinyl, plastic, leather, metal, wood or ceramic? While large-format printers can work with many different mediums, it still depends on what medium the printer was designed to work with.
3. The software. Most large-format printers make use of raster image processing software or RIPs. Most printers already have RIPs as built-in firmware, but with these kinds of fancy printers require standalone RIPs that can control print queue, trapping, batch processing, halftone screening color separations and the like.
Why are these kinds of sophisticated RIPs even necessary? Given the size of the printout, the medium to be used and a host of other factors, these RIPs help maintain the quality of the printout, especially the integrity of its colors. They are there to make sure that the colors and the details will turn out exactly as they are supposed to be. Many print service providers even go the extra mile in ensuring the integrity of their prints by using color management devices called spectrophotometers.
Operating large-format printers and ensuring that the printing workflow is going smoothly is not always an easy job. It can be a complicated process, and the people who are to handle this process in your company should be trained to deal with it efficiently. Otherwise, you will end up with botched print jobs, wasted resources and a bogged down printer. Also, do not always believe the ads that you see about large-format printers. As we all know, the reality is always different from what ads want us to believe.
This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry Articles.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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