Ricoh is showing off a new direct to garment printer at this week’s Ipex show. Actually, the Ri6000 is one of two direct to garment printers that Ricoh announced back in May this year.
Both this and the Ri3000 are desktop printers designed to produce promotional items such as T-shirts, cloth bags, hoodies, sweatshirts and socks. They can print on a wide range of materials ranging from 100% cotton and 100% light polyester to mixed (polyester) garments up to 50/50 blends.
Naturally, these printers use Ricoh’s piezo electric drop on demand printheads, which deliver 600 x 600 dpi resolution.
The main difference between the two models is that the Ri6000 has an extra row of printheads and is faster. Thus the Ri 6000 can print full-colour 30cm x 25cm graphics on light garments in less than 27 seconds, with the Ri3000 taking 51 seconds.
The printers appear to have been developed with AnaJet, which Ricoh acquired back in January 2016. They use water-based pigment inks from AnaJet with CMYK plus two white channels.
They come with AnaRIP software, which gives total control of print settings and expected ink costs. The systems also include user-friendly maintenance features such as an automatic ink circulation system for white channels which improves ink flow and increases performance. Print workflows are easily managed too, with a new seven-inch, touch-enabled operation panel.
Graham Moore, inkjet sales & marketing director for Ricoh Europe, explained: “The Ricoh Ri 3000 and Ri 6000 models offer the benefit of digitally printing low volume, personalised short run jobs, as well as production volume longer run jobs. We are able to achieve outstanding image quality on both light and dark garments without any limitation on half tones, detailed designs or photographs. These systems deliver colourfast, machine washable prints that last and can stretch without cracking. The new eco-friendly Ricoh Garment inks give designs a soft touch and vibrant colours.”