Ricoh develops Ri 2000 DTG

Ricoh has introduced a new model to its range of desktop direct to garment printers, the Ri 2000, which builds on the existing Ri 1000 but with some interesting improvements.

Ricoh’s new Ri 2000 is a direct to garment printer that boasts two print carriages for faster production.

Ricoh has dramatically improved the printing speed, so that it is capable of producing a light garment in 9 seconds, which drops to 15 seconds for the Standard quality, 28 seconds in Fine Quality mode, or 58 seconds in the Super Fine mode. It can print a darker garment in 54 seconds, which falls to 60 seconds for the Standard quality, 74 seconds for Fine, and 97 seconds for Super Fine. For reference, Ricoh defines Super Fine as 1200 x 1200 dpi with eight passes, Fine as 600 x 600 dpi with four passes, Standard as 600 x 600 dpi with two passes, with the fastest speeds being 600 x 300 dpi in a single pass.

Yasu Takashima, General Manager of Ricoh’s Textile Printing Business Center, says that the Fine mode with four pass 600dpi printing should produce commercially acceptable print quality, which would make this one of the fastest desktop printers around. 

To achieve this Ricoh has doubled the number of printheads from the Ri 1000 to a total of eight, and split them across two print carriages. It’s an interesting approach, since more moving parts almost always leads to more complexity and servicing issues but that seems like an acceptable compromise given the extra speed that Ricoh has achieved.

Four of the heads are dedicated for white ink and are located on the first carriage so that a white underbase can be laid down quickly on dark materials. The remaining four heads are on the second carriage and split across the CMYK inks. The ink is the same as for the Ri 1000. There’s an ink recirculation system for the white channels that agitates the ink from the tanks through the tubes. Takashima says that this combined with an auto clean maintenance algorithm is sufficient to keep the heads from becoming clogged. He adds: “Based on our testing, the Ri2000 requires an operator to do less maintenance at the beginning of the day as well as in working time, compared to competitor models.”

The heads themselves are the Ricoh GH2220, each with two channels and 192 nozzles per channel or 384 nozzles per head. These are greyscale heads with a minimum ink drop size of 3pl. 

The printer itself has a printable area of 40.6 x 49.8cm and can print to cotton and high-cotton blends, polyester as well as wood and canvas. T-shirts can be loaded into platens that then clip quickly onto the table, using magnets to hold them in place. This means that if you buy a spare platen then you can prepare the next garment while one is printing to maximise the throughput. Ricoh says that it will add options for printing hats and shoes shortly. It can automatically adjust the table height to up to 30mm thick.

Ricoh says that it has automated much of the maintenance though you will have to load a cleaning jig every so often to place cleaning pads under the heads. But the machine takes care of the actual cleaning itself. In addition, Ricoh already offers remote servicing in the US and is about to bring this to the European region, which will make it easier for owners to track the usage of the machine.

The Ri 2000 comes with a ColorGate ProductionServer RIP, hardly a surprise since Ricoh acquired ColorGate back in 2018. Ricoh will continue to sell the Ri 1000 so this new model expands Ricoh’s range of DtG printers to four. The Ri 2000 should be available in Europe from November 2020. You can find more details from anajet.com.


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