Ricoh is planning to bring two new printers – the direct to garment Ri 1000 and the wide format flatbed TF6250 – to the European market, both of which were launched in the US at the end of last year.
The Ri 1000 is desktop direct to garment printer, which will replace the Ri 3000, occupying the space between the entry-level Ri 100 and the more expensive Ri 6000. It’s been developed by Ricoh’s subsidiary, AnaJet.
Karl Tipre, CEO of AnaJet Inc, commented: “With the Ricoh Ri 1000’s affordable price point, automatic maintenance features and built-in Interactive Operation Guide, capitalizing on the garment market opportunity has never been so attainable. We’re proud of its speed, versatility, ease of use, and ability to deliver vibrant, high-resolution graphics. The Ricoh Ri 1000 is our most user-friendly, full-featured DTG machine yet.”
It prints to cotton and cotton blends, polyester, wood and canvas. It’s suitable for printing t-shirts and tote bags, as well as hats, shoes and so on.
It uses four Ricoh printheads, with eight channels and 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution. It uses CMYK plus white, with recirculation on the white ink. Basic maintenance such as cleaning the printheads has been automated.
It takes magnetic platens that hold the garments in place. These platens are available in multiple styles and sizes up to 40 x 50cm, which snap on and off the machine so that it’s easy to reload new garments for printing. It can deliver a full colour CMYK 10x8ins graphic in 28 seconds, or 42 seconds for Fine print quality.
The second of these printers is the Ricoh Pro TF6250, a small flatbed that’s aimed at the industrial, sign and graphics print market. And sounds very much like a smaller, cheaper version of Ricoh’s existing T7210. It has a 2.5 x 1.3m bed and can take media up to 110mm in height, with a sensor to automatically adjust the printheads to the height of the media. The bed is split into four vacuum zones and there are registration pins on the bed to help align media.
It can produce up to 129.23 sqm/hr though production quality is likely to be slower. It’s an LED UV printer, using Ricoh printheads with resolution up to 635 x 1800 dpi.
It takes CMYK inks plus clear and primer, and Ricoh says that there are different inksets available to cope with difficult and uncoated media, including one focused on high colour gamut for sign and graphic applications.
It has a daily maintenance regime, activated with one-touch, that cleans and purges printheads.
Both of these printers are likely to be shown off in the UK at the Sign and Digital show in April, and to the rest of the European market at the Fespa show in May.