Canon has shown off a new version of its Colorado wide format printer, the 1650, which is a variant on the original 1640 but with a new inkset that allows users to choose between matte and gloss finishes.
Thus the new model uses the same 1.6m roll to roll chassis, with UVgel ink and LED curing. Canon has made some changes to the curing system so it’s not possible to upgrade a 1640 to the new 1650 spec. This new version mostly seems to be a response to user requests for a matte finish, which is essential for the interior decor market and particularly for wall coverings.
Derek Joys, Canon’s wide format product marketing manager, explains: “We channel the light across the print area so its pining the ink before the final cure, which gives us the matte effect.” He adds: “And it’s a true velvety matte finish.” It’s worth noting that there are several wide format printers that also give users the option to choose a matte or gloss finish, and which always comes to down to varying the degree and timing of the curing. That said, the new Colorado does produce quite nice effects, particularly if you vary a matte finish on gloss or vice versa, and it’s surprising how much this affects the apparent saturation of the colours.
The new inks are quite flexible, with up to 85 percent stretch, which is good enough for printing to things like canvas, but not enough for vehicle wrapping. Joys adds: “We can print uncoated media in matte mode because we are curing straightaway.”
The new model can also do double-sided printing, which should open up the flags and banner market for it, something that Joys says was another common user request. It can handle rolls that have been wound with the printed side inwards, the only trick being to make sure that you match the right reverse image, and print it the right way around.
Joys says that the existing Colorado 1640 has been wildly popular with some 500 installed worldwide, with most customers printing on average 15,000 sqm/ year. He says that 80 percent of this is printing to paper and self adhesive vinyl for banners and backlits.
The new Colorado 1650 costs £55,000, which is similar to the existing 1640. It runs an Onyx RIP, which is not surprising given that Canon owns Onyx Graphics. Joys says that it should start shipping in the next two weeks.
Canon has also integrated a Fotoba XLD series cutter with the Coloarado printers via an auto-loading module, which feeds the media from the printer direct to the cutter for fully automated cutting with no operator needed. The XLD can handle up to 18mpm.