24 November 2017
Exciting day today - researching our first Dibond print. Dibond is of interest as we are researching printing a large one-colour vector illustration. It is an aluminium composite sheet specially optimised for display, so even though the sheets are huge and very thin, they lie super flat, which is amazing. Also, they are very light compared to aluminium. Dibond comes in a variety of colours including a brushed silver that looks like stainless steel and a mirror finish that looks just like a mirror.
The print quality is amazing, perfect for a one-colour vector drawing, however compared to a more traditional digital print, the quality is not quite there, especially when you look at gradients, that are a bit more spotty.
I had a look at the new direct to media printer, which was impressive (photos above). In addition to Dibond, it can pretty much print on anything. This printer has been used to print on a huge cow hide and also bricks. In fact, as long as it the material is less than 8cm thick, it can probably be done.
The bed is massive, and can print up to 3.5 x 2.5 meters. It has a series of holes in it that sucks the material to it, so that it lies as flat as possible, hence a high resolution print. There is a heating device that dries the link instantly as it is being printed. This heating device will cause some coated digital papers to burn, but these are some of the only materials that cannot be used!
One last interesting fact: the print head costs £45K to replace (photo of the print head is above). Which had to be done recently. After paying about £250K for the machine about three years ago, the printer was not very happy about this!
I will write again when the job is done…
Have a nice weekend!