UV printing has been picking up steam recently as people worldwide are looking to expand their creative potential.
And UV printing is no different - you can now print on just about any material or product from any shape and size. As long as it fits into your UV printer, you can decorate it with your beautiful creations.
So let's get to it. What is a UV printer?
Understanding UV LED printing technology
UV printing works basically by shining an ultraviolet LED light source right after the ink is applied. The UV dries out the ink instantly, resulting in fine art and sharp print quality because the ink doesn't spread due to rapid drying time.
Additionally, UV dried ink is far more durable than regular ink and provides higher levels of weather-resistant heat resistance, and it doesn't fade or absorb into the atmosphere.
But the main advantage of UV printing is its property to stick to nontraditional surfaces as long as the UV light source stays within a specific range of the material's surface. It can print on just about any material, including but not limited to acrylic, aluminum, wood, glass, stainless steel, and plastics.
UV LED technology was developed as a way to dry nail polish during a manicure instantly and has rapidly become one of the most versatile and valuable technologies in a lot of industries – including medicine, rapid prototyping, and low scale manufacturing.
How UV can print braille and embossed art
Many of today's UV printers can emboss or print Braille signs with just a few clicks. It just put one layer of ink (clear ink in general) on top of the other. This is possible because the first layer gets instantly cured by the UV light, making it ready to get a new layer done.
An example of a printer capable of doing brail in one click is the ArtisJet Young A4 desktop UV printer. It has a small footprint and fits perfectly on your desktop or workstation but still offers all the great features of a professional UV printer.
The ArtisJet Young can print ADA-Compliant Braille with just one click and is a perfect fit for all smaller UV printer projects
How much does a UV flatbed printer cost?
Like all high-end technological products, UV printers started as advanced and expensive machines meant for large-scale business. Still, as the market evolved with more brands offering better options, prices started coming down and getting affordable and reasonable for small home-based customization businesses.
You can buy a simple desktop UV printer for less than a thousand dollars and an advanced machine with high-end features, such as the ArtisJet Young or others, for less than 10K, a fair amount when investing in a good piece of technology for a home-based business.
Are all UV printers equally good?
The answer to this is a big fat NO. There are many differences between one UV printer and the other one. This will help you understand the gap in pricing between the two
The modified UV printers
Some UV printers, such as the Epson, or ProColord UV printers, are created as modified hardware from regular paper printers and use many of the same parts.
Using existing technology and parts can offer a more affordable price. The problem is that these parts are not meant to work with UV ink and are often not designed for long-term use in the UV environment causing them to break often and costing a lot of maintenance.
This option is ideal for those that have funding limitations or for tech-savvy people with experience in printer maintenance that can maintain their printers by themselves
The professional UV printer
But there are several professional-grade UV printers on the market that are slightly more expensive but are well designed and have many upscale features to make them efficient and easy to use with less maintenance cost.
And those brands, in general, stand behind their products with excellent after-sales customer service to assist you in any way.
An example of such a printer is the ArtisJet young, which offers an automated Maintenance portal on the custom software and many professional features. And all parts of the machine are self-developed and built with the UV user in mind.
This is the go-to option for most UV lovers and the ideal machine for those looking for some quality standards
What are the advantages of UV printing?
The advantage of UV printing is enormous, and here is a partial list of why.
With UV, your graphics will be printed in high definition on almost every surface you want, including clear materials, plastic, and metal.
The print quality of UV is excellent and far better than similar technologies.
Most UV printers can add gloss or varnish to your print, and together with embossing, it makes your craft stand out.
UV is fast, simple to use, and quality, making it a great way to have your customer base happy with your custom products.
Customers love to make gifting personal, especially if it can be done without losing quality or time.
You can print directly onto almost everything you can imagine, from phone cases to smartphone laminates to braille signs and luggage.
UV is durable, very durable, and resistant to most elements, weather, heat, chemical, and continued use of the item.
Low-scale manufacturing will help you customize and create unique graphics products so that you can sell them to your customers without high warehousing expenses.
What is the disadvantage of UV printers?
Here are some disadvantages of UV printing.
UV ink is tough to clean up because they don't harden unless cured. In case of a spill, you may have issues cleaning up.
UV ink tends to be more expensive per print (although this is not always the case)
The initial startup cost is high; the printers are generally costly to purchase, and the ink is also.
UV ink can cause skin irritation on contact before curing. It must be operated carefully.
The desktop UV printers are masterpieces of technology, with a ton of capabilities for customized gifting and supplying outstanding-quality outdoor signage.
And if you're a creator by nature and your hobby is to produce beautiful art, you can spark your creativity by unlocking all the new capabilities UV is opening for you.
It is also a fantastic solution for product design and substrates, as you can reproduce beautiful images on a variety of unique materials.
And even the medical industry can benefit from it since it's a fast and straightforward way of creating braille signage and literature.
But if you want a stable piece of equipment, you need to consider a professional grade UV printer such as the ArtisJet Young and others.