Inkcups, an American manufacturer of industrial printers, has announced a new direct to object printer, the Helix Hi-Fi, a 7-colour version of the existing Helix inkjet printer.
The Helix has been developed to print personalised images to straight-walled cylinders, tapers, and objects with limited wall curvatures. This includes glass candle holders, drinkware including stemless wine glasses, stainless steel tumblers and pint glasses, suitable for promotional and retail markets. The system features a built-in programmable tilt to reduce change-over time and eliminate the need to optimize print recipes for each SKU change.
The new Hi-Fi version gains three additional colours – light cyan, light magenta and light black – alongside the existing CMYK plus white and varnish. These new light colours improve the reproduction of skin tones to allow printing of true photorealistic images with smoother shade transitions, less graininess, and higher-resolution edge effects.
Besides the colours the printer also lays down white and varnish. There are six printheads in total, each having two channels. Jessica Makrinos, marketing manager for Inkcups, says that you can load the seven colours, each in one channel, plus two channels each for the white and varnish.
Ben Adner, CEO of Inkcups, commented: “The addition of these three inks is a game changer for customers looking to achieve high-quality personalized results. Inkcups has always had a strong business with promotional printing, and we are pleased to lead the industry in the personalization category.”
The printer uses UV LED ink and prints 360 degrees. It has a maximum resolution of 1200 dpi, with a choice of print modes from 4-24 passes and lays down 7 picolitre drops. The machine’s printable area is 218mm; the system can print on items 76mm to 305mm in length with a diameter ranging from 51 – 114.3mm, though this can be widened to 127mm with a modification.
The Helix is supplied as a complete package that includes software to integrate with web-based production solutions. There are various pre-treatment options and inks. The inks themselves are in 3 litre bulk containers. Inkcups says that metals, glass, plastics, and ceramics are all validated for image durability from handling and washing.
Inkcups, which was founded by Ben Adner in 2001, is headquartered in Danvers, Massachusetts, USA. There is no UK distributor but the company does have a European sales office in Freudenberg in Germany. You can find more details from www.inkcups.com.