What are UV Printers?
UV printers use UltraViolet light to quickly set ink onto a huge variety of materials and surfaces. The ink and the light together set off a polymerisation process, which results in an extremely durable, long-lasting, and highly professional finish.
UV printers can be used on an almost limitless range of materials, from golf balls and garments, to ID tags and credit cards, and even glass items.
The Ultraviolet light emitted by the printer cures the ink, meaning that it dries to a hard finish virtually instantly. Interestingly, the process was first used by beauty technicians to quickly set gel nail polish during manicures! It wasn’t long before the printing industry realised the incredible benefits of this technology for customising an almost unlimited range of products.
MaxLaser is extremely excited to be adding UV printers for sale in South Africa to our growing list of technologies designed to empower local small businesses. From one-off bespoke projects to large-scale production lines, UV flatbed printers offer incredible business opportunities.
Handy quick reference glossary
Ultraviolet light: Light with a wavelength between 10 nm to 400 nm, invisible to human eyes.
Substrate: The base material which you’ll be printing onto during the UV printing process – for example plastic, wood, or metal.
Curing: The chemical reaction which causes the ink to become dry to the touch and reach maximum adhesion.
Polymerisation: The chemical process whereby separate small molecules (monomers) combine to form larger molecules (polymers), strengthening the new printed surface.
How does UV printing work?
A UV light printer or UV digital printer differs from standard printing technologies in that you’re not waiting for the air to dry the ink. Rather, a high-intensity LED UV light follows closely behind the ink as it’s applied.
Not only does this speed up the drying process, but because the ink doesn’t get a chance to evaporate, it prevents any potentially harmful fumes from being released into the air. And because LED lights are so energy-efficient, the process also boasts a lower carbon footprint than other printing technologies.
Benefits and advantages of UV printers
Both digital and flatbed UV printers offer significant advantages over other printing methods. Here’s a quick summary of the benefits of UV light printers:
- Faster – thanks to the UV printer’s ability to set the ink virtually instantly, you can offer faster turnarounds on projects to your clients and gain a competitive advantage.
- Greener – other printing technologies which use heat to set ink create ozone and other toxic solvent fumes which then need to be extracted.
- Energy-efficient – UV printing uses substantially less power, both during printing and on standby.
- Huge variety of applications – UV printing on traditional materials like acrylic and cardboard is a doddle, and with the addition of a primer, even tricky surfaces like glass and metal can be beautifully transformed. Basically, if you can fit it inside the printer, you can print on it!
- Exceptional quality – the curing process results in a highly detailed, perfect image every time. This makes it ideal for projects where a photorealistic finish is desired.
- Durability – because UV inks are both abrasion and chemical resistant, your clients can expect their products to last for many years, even outdoors.
As you can see, our flatbed UV printers offer South African businesses many opportunities to outperform the competition!
Meet the artisJet UV printer and discover how it can help your business
Max Laser currently offers three incredible artisJet UV printers, suitable for small-, medium- and large-scale projects.
Desktop UV printer applications
One of the most exciting aspects of UV printing is just how many materials and products you can work with. Essentially, with the exception of specially water-proofed oil-surfaced materials, you can print on any substrate. So of the many different types of UV printing include:
- UV printer for wood products
- UV printing on fabrics, clothing, and canvas
This opens the door to customising all manner of different products. From durable indoor and outdoor signage to corporate and bespoke gifts, your imagination is the only limitation!
Some of the products UV printing has been used on successfully include:
- Sports equipment like tennis rackets, cricket bats, snooker cues and golf balls
- Musical instruments like guitars, violins, and personalised drumsticks
- Bamboo products
- Fashion accessories like handbags
- Electronics such as custom laptop or smartphone case designs
- Glass bottles
- Ceramic tiles
- Beautiful plaques, trophies, and awards
- Notebooks and unique leather book covers
Another interesting possibility with UV printing is that you can use multiple print runs to create interesting textures – such as a faux woodgrain, oil painting, or leather result. UV printing can even be used to add braille writing to products!
And because no heat is emitted thanks to the LED technology, even delicate materials like silk are no problem.
FAQ about desktop UV printers in South Africa
Below you’ll find quickfire answers to some of the questions we get most often about UV printers in South Africa:
UV printers offer faster, higher-quality printing than traditional techniques on virtually any material.
Yes, in UV printing, UV light is used to dry the ink almost instantly.
Yes, UV printing offers much better results more quickly than traditional printing methods.
UV in printing stands for Ultra Violet – a special wavelength of light which cures the ink.
Yes, shirts and other fabrics can be easily printed on with a UV printer.
Yes, because no heat is emitted by the special UV LED lights, wood and other potentially flammable materials are no problem in UV printing.
Because there’s no downtime or waiting for ink to dry, UV printers are significantly faster than other printers. Exactly how much faster will depend on the model you purchase, but we can guarantee you’ll be impressed.
With the single exception of oil-surfaced materials, you can print on any substrate with a UV printer. In some instances, such as with wood or glass, you may need to use a primer coat first, but thereafter you’re good to go!
Get your UV LED printer in South Africa today!
MaxLaser is completely confident that our incredible UV printers for sale in South Africa will set your business apart and allow you to offer solutions your competitors can only dream of.
Whether you use this amazing technology to supercharge delivery on items you already produce, or you want to branch out into completely new lines, our artisJet UV printers will get you there.