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Author Topic: Epson Solvent Printers vs Ink Jet Printers?  (Read 10751 times)
hacimd
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« on: March 28, 2013, 01:35:29 PM »
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Hey there,
Wondering if anyone has had the chance to use Epson Solvent printers and what their thoughts were?  How they would compare to Ink Jet Printers and would they make sense for Fine Art/Gallery production?  Big leap in cost from Epson 9900, which I've been very happy with.  What would the advantage of using a Solvent Printer?  Has there been any word on upgrades from the 9900?  It seems that Epson is putting their effort into these new solvent printers.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!
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iladi
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »
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solvents can print on coated AND uncoated media. solvent can last up to 3 years outdoor unlaminated, and up to 7 to 10 years laminated. droplet size is the same, since is the same head, so details are pretty much the same. gamut is similar, maybe a plus for aqueous (users of the new  Epsons are thrilled by their print quality).
solvents are expensive because the ink lines, dampers, pumps, caps, head nipples must all resist to solvent ink.
and because they print allot.
mechanics must be more robust than fine art printers. signage don't print 30 x 40 cm prints, they can usually print 30-40 sq meters per job (there is an USA print house that print 1.000.000 sq feet in 3 months on other forum, with only 2 machines) so a solvent printer must be a really workhorse.

Epson advises there new printers as indoor/outdoor printers. I think they want to target both markets with only one device, since they manage, or claim to eliminate almost all the hard chemicals and heavy metals from the new solvent inks.

this is what a solvent printer can do:

""2011 was 705,000s/f non stop 24/7 and the machine did perform as expected. Now for 2012 this project is a little over 900,000 s/f . Machine already has 1.3million s/f on it and about to run 24/7 once again. I do have my reservations on if LX will survive the mission...

1900 hours of print time or 80 days non stop, 750 rolls of media, 2300 liters of ink, 190+ heads.

Should be interesting to say the least. Guess we will really see if this is a true production machine.""

not mine, unfortunately

LE: I have the guts to let my solvent to print unattended all night, but my epson pigment not for more than 5-6 sq meters, due to clogs during printing. and I think is a matter of dampers: too small for the aqueous printers.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:31:57 PM by iladi » Logged
hacimd
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2013, 02:55:19 PM »
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Thank you very much.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2013, 04:01:17 PM »
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Epson solvent printers are also excellent for fine art canvas print production. No clear coat is needed when printing on canvas, which can reduce the cost of producing canvas prints by 50% or more. Solvent canvas is less expensive than aqueous canvas and ink should be less expensive by about 1/3.
BTW, Epson solvent printers ARE inkjet printers. I think you meant Solvent vs. Aqueous.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 06:30:44 PM by Randy Carone » Logged

Randy Carone
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 04:32:21 PM »
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By the way, Solvent printers are NOT inkjet printers.  Inkjet is the pigment (aqueous) printer series (R2000 and up to the 11880).  Eco-Solvent and solvent are solvent based like Latex are close to solvent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inkjet_printing

Solvent printing does bake in the ink to the media that it's printed on for better duration of staying visible outdoors like someone else stated.  Pigment (inkjet) can last about as long, but it's more used for keeping around indoor.  Pictures that you carry around in your wallet are used on inkjet (aqueous) inks.

The thread details would be correct for comparison.  Solvent would be better for what others said regarding coating and unlaminated.
Your cost between inks and the media would be fairly different and a less expensive as solvent based products are cheaper.

Atlex.com
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enduser
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 05:53:02 PM »
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Randy is completely correct.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 01:10:25 PM »
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Not that it really matters or is relevant to the OP, but to quote the first sentence from the wiki article  ...

"Inkjet printing is a type of computer printing that creates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper."

I didn't read the article further since Wikipedia, while replete with a lot of great information, is full of opinions and much of it written by non experts.  So who knows what's "right".  But it seems the "definition" of an inkjet printer is about the process and technology used, not on what type of ink is being placed on the substrate, be it solvent or aqueous based.  Logic supports that definition as well ... the basic technology is the same.

My only question with solvent inkjet is long term stability.  It's designed for to handle elemental extremes, such as outdoor signage.  I don't know how it ranks for long term fading, such as 50 - 100 years or beyond.
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kdphotography
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 01:30:15 PM »
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My understanding is that Epson's pigmented aqueous printers (79/9900) are able to print with higher quality than commercial solvent printers such as their GS series of solvent printers.  The trade-off being that at least for fine art printing on canvas, aqueous printers require the sometimes tedious coating of the canvas, usually by hvlp, whereas solvent printers can handle much higher production output and forego the coating process.  I don't know about the quality of print advances with the current generation of newly released Epson solvent printers, but I suspect that the Epson 79/9900 printers would still hold the edge.
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enduser
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 06:25:44 PM »
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For anyone who needs the occasional banner for their own use, I made one with our Canon iPF on a product called Thin Fabric Banner.  It has a fine weave of fibreglass or something similar within it.

Anyway, we printed a 2 foot high, seven foot long color image advertising my son's business and hung it on two wooden poles in the front of the property, next to the highway.  We coated it with the cheapest spray can clear coat we could find.

Five years later we couldn't see much difference in the look of it.  The fabric edges had a bit of damage from the wind effects.
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louoates
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 06:52:47 PM »
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About a year ago I had some canvasses printed on the Epson solvent printer by a sign company. I found that the printing was almost indestructible. I could barely scratch it with a screwdriver. The minuses were that whatever canvas profiles he tried he couldn't come close to the color values from my Epson 9800. They were nice colors and very vibrant, but off by at least 10%. The other problem was how the color appeared in daylight vs other interior light sources. It may have been another profile problem of not having the right viewing color temperature option on his rip. Whatever, the color variation between daylight and incandescent was as much as 50%. From maybe acceptable by my galleries to No Way would I buy that. Now I'm happily printing on my own 9900.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 07:58:43 AM »
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Hey Atlex.com, I think you need a seminar on "What is an inkjet printer". Just sayin'...
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 07:04:26 AM »
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By the way, Solvent printers are NOT inkjet printers.  Inkjet is the pigment (aqueous) printer series (R2000 and up to the 11880).  Eco-Solvent and solvent are solvent based like Latex are close to solvent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inkjet_printing

Solvent printing does bake in the ink to the media that it's printed on for better duration of staying visible outdoors like someone else stated.  Pigment (inkjet) can last about as long, but it's more used for keeping around indoor.  Pictures that you carry around in your wallet are used on inkjet (aqueous) inks.

The thread details would be correct for comparison.  Solvent would be better for what others said regarding coating and unlaminated.
Your cost between inks and the media would be fairly different and a less expensive as solvent based products are cheaper.

Atlex.com

what?
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Sunny Alan
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2013, 12:31:25 PM »
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I do not know why this topic on Epson Surecolor series printers abandoned abruptly.
I am looking for a fast printer to complement with a 9900.

Logic is 9900 for most demanding(color, longevity) canvas and ofcourse to satisfy the 'art-print means strictly inkjet' class. (well, they are adamant on reasons), and another fast printer with a 5 year or nearby OUTDOOR durability to print medium longevity mass-consumed art prints.
Because 5 year outdoor nonfading means 25+ year indoor durability. If someone hang his canvas artprint on his rooftop, open to elements and yelling at me 'you cheated me, it faded in 10 years, I have my reply !

If some user dissuade me from using Sure-color for art-prints on his practical experiences, I can slam my doors to this series, because I am no signage man.

Any comments please, I am about to invest quite some money...
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epatsellis
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2013, 10:50:14 AM »
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Having spent some time with a Mimaki, the daily maintenance (cleaning heads with swabs and solvent, printing at least a square coot or two a day, and the ventilation requirements make solvent a non issue unless you print a lot of work, every day.
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Sunny Alan
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 11:04:49 AM »
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Having spent some time with a Mimaki, the daily maintenance (cleaning heads with swabs and solvent, printing at least a square coot or two a day, and the ventilation requirements make solvent a non issue unless you print a lot of work, every day.
I dont think Mimaki has any model that can be anywhere near to Epson Inkjet or Solvent, I never heard Mimaki series is used for art printing.
I was asking about all-Epson.

>>>....unless you print a lot of work, every day.<<< This is my 'problem', I will have to print a lot of work every day, my business plan is such.

Thanks for sharing....
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 11:10:44 AM by Sunnyalanoly » Logged
Randy Carone
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2013, 11:30:54 AM »
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Sunny,

Roland, Mutoh and Mimaki all use Epson heads. Roland oops, meant Epson, keeps the latest generation of heads for their own printers so the Epson SureColor line should have the best quality of the other three brands, but only incrementally. Epson and/or Roland would be my choice for printing canvas (over the latest Epson aqueous printer line). The quality should be at, or close to, the level of Epson's 9900 series. No coatings needed, cheaper canvas/ink and faster output.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 07:08:36 PM by Randy Carone » Logged

Randy Carone
Scott Martin
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2013, 12:55:59 PM »
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Wondering if anyone has had the chance to use Epson Solvent printers and what their thoughts were?  How they would compare to Ink Jet Printers and would they make sense for Fine Art/Gallery production?  Big leap in cost from Epson 9900, which I've been very happy with.  What would the advantage of using a Solvent Printer?  Has there been any word on upgrades from the 9900?  It seems that Epson is putting their effort into these new solvent printers.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

I've been doing a lot of work on the Epson GS6000 and new Surecolor printers developing optimal color profile setups for a variety of media. I've been working with Epson, several paper companies and some of the highest volume shops in North America. I can tell you that they need media that specially coated for solvent printing (not uncoated or aqueous coated) as this determines how much ink the media can hold and, in turn, what the Dmax and gamut will be. With high quality media, the color gamut and quality is very similar to that from the 9900. From a distance on canvas they look the same. As Randy points out no coatings are needed, the ink is more affordable and the output faster.

Epson is targeting high volume, mostly canvas printing for these machines. The ink and media they consume drives the market and the Surecolor printers are perfect for it. They are high quality, high duty cycle printers that crank out canvas that doesn't need to be coated. It just wouldn't make sense for a low volume user to buy one of these printers.

The Epson Surecolor S50 is crazy, crazy, crazy fast, but with a 4 color inkjet the dot visibility is greater than what we've come to expect with aqueous printing. Still, the S50 will be attractive to those looking to offer very competitive canvas pricing. The S70 is the Surecolor that quality oriented printers will like. It's 10 color inkset has not only CMYKlclmlkO (O is Orange) but also White and Metallic inks that open up the potential for new products that one can't make with aqueous printers - that's pretty exciting! 

They don't have printer drivers and ONYX is the primary RIP used with it. The calibration process in ONYX is not for the faint at heart and requires CMYKO 5 color profiling. Anyway, fun stuff, and surprisingly nice quality, when it's calibrated right.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 01:01:50 PM by Scott Martin » Logged

Scott Martin
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2013, 12:59:39 PM »
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And as far as the terminology goes, inkjet is becoming a little vague like the term "giclee". If you're a pro in the business you tend to say "aqueous" "solvent" or "UV Curable" to indicate the printing process. "Inkjet" by itself doesn't really communicate much except perhaps an experience level that's limited to printing with aqueous inks.
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Sunny Alan
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2013, 01:26:28 PM »
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Roland, Mutho, Mimaki for archival art-printing?
Orthodox will shout at you....

for Some, even machine printing is allergic, only 'hand-made' is the norm...
In fact I never seen a Roland printing art......


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shadowblade
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2013, 10:32:32 PM »
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Roland, Mutho, Mimaki for archival art-printing?
Orthodox will shout at you....

for Some, even machine printing is allergic, only 'hand-made' is the norm...
In fact I never seen a Roland printing art......

Jon Cone uses one, and so do a number of other artists and printers.

They just use them to print aqueous inks, rather than solvent...
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