A flexible friend
This summer, Mimaki will be introducing its brand new LUS-350 ink, a unique stretchable ink that is suitable for a wide range of thermoforming applications, especially those requiring exceptional hardness and durability, such as automotive parts.
Mimaki LUS-350 ink is compatible with the Mimaki UJF-7151plus and JFX200-2513 printers and will be available in CMYK, plus white and a unique clear version
The new ink is set to change the way vacuum moulded, or thermoformed applications are createdand, with its ability to bring the benefits of digital printing to this important market sector, it addresses the requirement for fast turnaround, short-run moulded objects with exceptional graphic quality. Up until now, it was necessary for objects to be formed prior to decorative images being applied manually or via screen printing, which is a time-consuming and expensive process. However, this new ink technology enables thermoformed objects to be imaged before forming, by using inks that will not crack or be otherwise damaged during the heat-based forming process, thus providing a beautiful finish for a wide range of applications, such as car parts, mock-ups, moulded signs and more.
Mimaki LUS-350 ink will stretch up to 350 percent when heated to between 120 deg.C and 200 deg.C. After cooling to room temperature, the ink’s rigidity is restored, ensuring that it adheres firmly to the moulded product without cracking or peeling. These characteristics make the new ink unique in providing the necessary rigidity, durability and stretchability to serve a broad range of applications without any compromise in image quality. Images are initially printed on flat substrates using specialised imaging software and then formed into the desired shape using vacuum, thermoforming or other moulding techniques. Intricate textures and designs in fine decorative prints are retained even after moulding, with the additional benefit of being able to apply multiple layers of ink to create raised areas in the image for further enhancement, without having concerns about cracking or quality of adhesion.
Mimaki’s LUS-350 clear ink is also unique in the market, adding texture or a glossy finish that can’t be achieved with coloured ink alone.
The forthcoming launch of the new ink has been enthusiastically welcomed by Stuart Cole, National Sales Manager, Industrial Products for Mimaki’s exclusive UK and Ireland distributor, Hybrid Services,who commented: “This is a very exciting development for Mimaki users in the industrial sector who need to produce items with greater creativity in a less time consuming manner and more cost effectively than previously. Yet again, forward thinking technological development from Mimaki will provide end users with greater flexibility and the potential to create and develop an ever wider range of bespoke products.”
For further infrmation on Mimaki’s expansive product portfolio visit: www.hybridservices.co.uk