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  1. What is RIP Software and how is it used for printing

    What is RIP Software and how is it used for printing

    Raster Image Processing software, commonly known as RIP software, is an integral tool for any printing professional looking to deliver the finest quality of prints with the sharpest detail and colour variance. But what actually is RIP software, and how does it work? Even experienced employees, who have worked in the printing industry for many years, may find their knowledge about this topic limited.

    There is a fair bit to uncover, even about the basics of RIP software. It is also equally important to know how RIP software differs from other regular printer drivers and how it performs to fundamentally improve your images. With the help of this article, expect to advance your understanding of RIP software and explore our expert tips, plus advice, on using it to fully capitalise on its benefits.

    What Is RIP Software?

    RIP software is a type of software that offers more control over your print production. It optimises digital images for printing by converting them from their native file formats into high-resolution raster images. With RIP software, you'll have control over every element of your workflow, from image editing to colour accuracy and overall print quality.

    You can use it to adjust your image's colour, brightness, and contrast and handle other advanced printing techniques. On a technical level, there is so much you can do with RIP software to generate better prints.

    RIP software aims to make printing easier, faster, and more accurate. It bypasses all other programs, allowing your computer to communicate directly with your digital printer. A computer-aided design operator will have access to pre-designed products and an option to create unique, customised print designs. If you would like to produce high-quality prints, RIP software can help you in the following ways:

    • Easy manipulation of print (scaling, rotating, cropping)
    • Creation of a more efficient printing process
    • Automation of duplicate tasks like the placement of multiple files on a single sheet
    • Ensuring consistency across multiple printers
    • Creation of presets depending on your needs
    • Accurate control over the print's colours

    Image print RIP software eliminates the complexities of printing while ensuring you achieve superior printing quality.

    Key Benefits of RIP Software

    Speed

    One of the key benefits of RIP software is its speed in processing your prints. The entire process happens within minutes, allowing your company to meet customer demands while retaining high quality. You can process multiple files, easily manipulate your prints, and create presets that speed up your printing process.

    RIP software allows you to produce high-quality products by giving you complete control over the print files. You can adjust your print's scaling, opacity, colour correction, dot size, and other features to meet the desired print quality. This is especially crucial when printing large format prints. RIP software can resize your images while maintaining their quality.

    Production Efficiency

    RIP provides efficient functionalities and features that significantly optimise your company's printing workflow. It supports the simultaneous processing of multiple large files and ensures accurate prints and consistency across various printers.

    Therefore, using RIP for your daily printing tasks means fewer reprints, reducing the wastage of paper and ink. This results in more efficient production that saves time and money.

    How to Properly Use RIP Software for Printing

    RIP software is essential in the production of high-quality printed products. It can be easily installed and used with different printers, including large format printers. Here is how to properly use RIP software for printing and enjoy the numerous workflow benefits.

    Prepare Your Files for Printing with RIP Software

    Image print RIP software offers an intuitive interface that makes it easy to prepare your files for printing through the following steps.

    Set Up Print Parameters

    After you launch ImagePrint RIP software, you can set up your print parameters:

    1. Select your Printer
    2. Set the Page Size, Quality, Roll/Sheet and Media Type

    These settings may vary depending on the printer you're using.

    Select Your Media Outlet Profiles

    You can take the following steps to select a Printer Profile for the paper you'll use:

    Click on Choose by Profile to choose from already downloaded profiles.

    Configure Your Colour Management Settings

    After acquiring the printer profiles, configure your colour management settings:

    1. Expand the Printer selection area.
    2. Select either ImagePrint manages colours or Printer manages colours.

    Send Your Files to a Printer Using RIP Software

    When you're ready to print, you can send your file to a printer by:

    1. Click on the Print button at the top of the Dashboard.
    2. Click OK to confirm your print settings.

    Monitor the Printing Process

    You can use Spoolface to control and monitor the printing process through the following steps:

    1. Click on the Printer icon on the top right to open the Job Manager.
    2. Look at the top Active side to see the job that's printing.
    3. Monitor the job's progress in the Job Progress area on the right. It'll also show any errors or warnings that may arise.
    4. Once it's done, it'll move to the bottom Saved side.
    5. Monitor the printer's current status at the bottom left corner. Error codes will appear here in case the job runs into a problem.

    What Are Some of the Advanced RIP Software Techniques?

    RIPs offer a wide range of advanced features that enhance the printing process while improving the final product's quality. These features include:

    • Colour management: Image print RIP software allows you to create ICC profiles, modify ink capacity, and offer linearisation control. You'll have superior colour management features to help you create accurate prints.
    • Halftoning: Creates halftone patterns to ensure high-quality production of continuous-tone images
    • Automation: Automate the printing process, including repetitive print jobs such as smart cropping, sizing, multi-page layout, tiling, and more.
    • Scaling: Scale images without losing resolution.
    • Job management: Manage print jobs such as scheduling and tracking.

    With RIP software, you can effortlessly produce high-quality prints that meet and exceed your expectations.

    Ensure Print Quality and Production Efficiency by:

    Nesting

    Nesting allows you to combine multiple files into one print job. RIP software will automatically organise images, shapes, and objects to maximise your print material. It will calculate and figure out the best positions to place them. This ensures efficient use of the space on your print, reducing the wastage of materials.

    Tiling

    RIP software includes tiling features, allowing you to print larger images without cutting off design elements. When an image is larger than your media size, tiling breaks it into specific sizes your printer can handle. Tiling separates the design image into multiple pieces that can then be printed on multiple pages. Tiling is crucial when you get a job too wide for your printer.

    Imposition

    When printing your work, RIP software utilises the imposition feature to combine various print works and print them simultaneously. This minimises the printing time and significantly reduces paper waste by maximising the number of orders per impression and thoroughly filling the print sheet. Proper planning and positioning allow your work to be printed effectively and in an orderly fashion.

    Reach Out to PSW to Learn More About RIP Software

    RIP can greatly affect your printing processes and output quality. It enables creativity, streamlines production, and improves workflow while reducing costs. Therefore, if you would like to increase efficiency and improve profitability, consider investing in RIP software and a high-quality large format printer.

    At PSW, we have the right printing solutions for your business. We can help you utilise powerful RIP software to produce high-quality printed products with our extensive range of top-notch large format printers. Contact us today to learn more.

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  2. How to Convert GIS Data Into High-Quality Large Format Prints

    How to Convert GIS Data Into High-Quality Large Format Prints

    Converting GIS data into high-quality large-format prints is critical in effectively communicating spatial information. Whether it's creating maps, posters, or visualisations, accurate and vividly aesthetic representations of GIS data are essential. They facilitate meaningful discussions about geospatial observations and patterns in the GIS and topographic industry.

    This article will explore the entire process of transforming GIS data into detailed large-format prints. These documents can empower GIS professionals and topographers to use their GIS data for meaningful analysis. From preparing the data to selecting the right printer and optimising print settings, a comprehensive breakdown of each important step in the conversion process will be discussed in detail.

    Why Convert GIS Data Into High-Quality Large-Format Prints?

    Geographic information systems (GIS) produce data that experts use in the real world - often for large-scale projects like land development, architecture, and city planning. High-quality and large-scale prints are essential to many workflows. So being able to create them with large-scale printing is a must.

    The Link Between Quality GIS Data Output, Communication, and Decision-Making

    GIS documents can inform decision-makers and help coordinate teams. Sometimes, they are the reference point for multiple teams working together. The accuracy of the GIS document can determine the accuracy of both decisions and coordinated work.

    Understanding GIS Data Conversion

    GIS documents are created by combining hundreds to thousands of data points layered into a single document. However, printers require image file types. Therefore, data conversion in GIS becomes an essential part of the process.

    Converting GIS Data Into Printable Formats

    GIS data must be compressed into a printable format. But that doesn't mean you have to lose detail or accuracy. Large-scale printers typically have the internal storage to handle very large, detailed, printable files.

    Common File Formats

    Used in GIS Compatibility With Large Format Printers The best file types for GIS printing are vector-based. This means they are lossless when scaled. File format options include:

    • PNG
    • SVG
    • PSD

    GIS Software and Tools in Preparing Data for Print

    Several software options can be used in preparing GIS data for print—some GIS-specific and some for highly detailed image editing. Be sure the software you use can handle your mass of data without loss and output accurate vector graphics.

    Preparing GIS Data for Print

    What to Consider When Preparing GIS Data for Large Format Prints

    When preparing GIS data for large format printing, you will need to prepare clear visual images that come out in a single printable layer, even if your original design document is a multi-layered mass of data. Consider data cleanup, projection adjustment, and scale adjustments when preparing for print.

    Data Cleanup

    Determine the exact data to be shown and make sure that data points do not create obscure messaging in your final print.

    Projection Adjustments

    If there are intentional map distortions, then make sure they are consistent across the document to convey the details necessary for your project.

    Scale Adjustments

    Scaling GIS data for printing is a critical stage that must be done either before converting your data to a printable form or with vector graphics that scale losslessly after file conversion.

    Data Simplification and Generalisation for Improved Print Quality

    It may be necessary to simplify and generalise your data to make clearer prints and achieve higher print quality. Too many points will create overlapping indicators that can reduce the clarity of your documents.

    Selecting the Right Large Format Printer

    The right printer is essential for large-format printing of GIS data. The printer must be able to hold the full size and detail of the document and print with extreme accuracy to provide the best quality print. Large Format Printers Suitable for GIS Data Prints Not all large-format printers have the specs necessary for GIS data or the available paper sizes to meet your needs. Large-format printers must be chosen based on the largest size and highest data quality you will need to print for future projects.

    Printer Specifications and Capabilities Required

    Printers for GIS large-format documents must have at least 150 dpi, and 300 dpi (dots per inch) is even better. You also need printers with a great deal of internal memory that can hold the large and highly detailed files that you need to print. The ability to handle tiling may also be essential to piece together even larger-sized maps.

    Selecting a Printer That Can Handle GIS Data

    It is always a good idea to consult printer manufacturers like HP to identify a large format printer that has what it takes to handle the demands of your GIS data.

    Optimising Print Settings on a Large Format Printer

    Print Settings That Produce Optimal GIS Data Printouts

    If your desired GIS map size is bigger than the paper available, you can use tiling or 'poster' settings on your printer. Leave a margin on each page or allow for overlap so you can reconstruct the tiled map with a margin for error.

    The Best Print Mode, Paper Type, and Ink Settings for GIS Data Output

    Each printer will have specific settings available that will help increase the quality of your GIS data prints. Set your printer to the highest dpi and use the right combination of ink and paper for highly accurate details.

    Quality Control and Proofing Prior to Printing Large Format GIS Data

    Top Methods for Quality Control Prior to Large Format Printing Quality control depends on:

    • Clear and simplified data
    • Careful scaling of the map details, key, and indicators
    • Test printing

    Ensuring Data Accuracy, Visual Clarity, and Overall Print Quality

    Simplify your data. Focus on visual clarity, and don't hesitate to use more than one map if you need to represent multiple layers of data. Some even print on sheer drafting pages to allow layer-by-layer overlays. Optimise your markups and keys and convert the whole document into a vector file type before test printing.

    The Importance of Test Prints and Proofing

    Test printing ensures that your final map is up to your quality standards. Printing a single tile can help you assess if the data is conveyed clearly enough and if the notations meet your needs.

    Post-Printing Considerations About GIS Data Prints

    How to Maintain GIS Data Prints' Durability and Longevity

    Once your GIS document is fully printed, you will likely need it for active use. Large-form GIS printings tend to require protection so they can be used throughout a project but are more difficult to protect due to their large size. You will need to make sure a one-sheet or tiled map is kept flat and protected.

    How to Protect and Best Showcase Your Large Format Prints

    There are several possible methods to protect your prints.

    Lamination

    When you have a large enough laminator, you can machine-laminate your GIS print. This will seal two thin sheets of plastic over and around your GIS document, making it safe to pass around and actively use in a busy work site.

    Mounting

    You can mount your GIS map onto a board, giving it the durability and mobility of rigid backing. You can even seal over the mounted document with a sheet of plastic for safekeeping.

    Framing

    Place your GIS document in a glass-fronted frame. This can be useful for hanging a large-format map on the wall or even turning it into a live tabletop for better collaborative planning.

    Troubleshooting Issues When Converting GIS Data into Large Format Prints Common

    Issues Converting GIS Data Into Print Output

    GIS printing sometimes requires a little troubleshooting to ensure that the maps come out with the quality, clarity, and utility that you require. Here are a few common issues and how to solve them.

    Colour Inconsistencies

    The colours on your screen and the colours achieved by a printer are not always the same. A more versatile printer with a wide colour range is ideal, but you may need to calibrate your printer settings to get the best results.

    Artifacts

    Artifacts can be flaws in the data image created during scaling or file conversion. Scale carefully and always ensure that your data points and key/notations have been translated into a printable format correctly.

    Printing Errors

    Printing errors can happen. Misalignment of the image to the paper, ink spots, dry ink cartridges, and memory buffer errors can occur. This is where test prints and settings adjustments come in handy.

    Solutions and Tips to Achieve the Desired Print Quality

    You can get the best quality GIS large-format prints by learning your printer and exploring the printer features with the help of a professional who understands all the printer settings and how each can impact the high-detail quality of your GIS printed documents.

    Reach Out to PSW to Receive GIS Map Printing Solutions our HP printer experts will be happy to help you find the best high-quality plotter printer to create your large-scale GIS maps and documents.

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  3. Blackboard art meets EasyDot - Artful Signs

    Blackboard art meets EasyDot - Artful Signs

    Cheryl McLean at one of her workshops Cheryl McLean’s journey into the world of art and lettering began in her childhood, where she watched her grandfather create copperplate lettering with pen and ink. This early fascination with ornate patterns sparked a lifelong love of beautiful lettering. Cheryl took a formal sign painting course and then started her own business. The defining moment came when she was asked to create two large illustrated panels. With this project, she inadvertently created a niche for herself in what became known as “blackboard art”.

    A niche becomes a worldwide success

    Each project became a vibrant work of art, adorned with bright illustrations and colorful lettering that set them apart from digital print competitors. Cheryl’s hand-painted panels garnered praise and demand, with clients returning again and again to commission more, attributing their business success to her professional work. Cheryl’s dedication to her craft has earned her a loyal clientele throughout Sydney, where she works closely with clients. Alongside commercial work, Cheryl finds joy in taking on private commissions including murals, engagements and weddings, enriching people’s lives with her creativity and skill. In addition to her thriving business, Cheryl dedicates time to teaching workshops around the world, where she shares her passion for hand-painted signage and passes on the knowledge and skills she has gained in her twenty-five years in the industry.

    One issue that arises for artists like Cheryl McLean is the challenge of shipping their artwork to clients around the world without it being damaged. Previously, artworks had to be collected in person or elaborately packaged to ensure they arrived safely at their destination. Not only can this be very time-consuming, but it can also incur additional costs and logistical complications. Therefore, there is a need for a solution that allows artists to send their work easily and safely without being tied to one location.

    A solution for a global presence

    At an exhibition, Cheryl discovered EasyDot® Chalkboard adhesive film, which turned out to be the perfect complement to her work. Its unique ability to be easily rolled up and shipped without damaging anything allows Cheryl to send her artwork to clients all over the world. The EasyDot® film also makes it easier to install, as it can be applied with little effort and no air bubbles. This discovery has not only improved Cheryl’s work processes but has also increased customer satisfaction by delivering high-quality and long-lasting results. Thanks to EasyDot®, Cheryl can make her designs in Australia and then easily ship them without having to be on-site. This flexibility allows her to offer her artwork internationally and reach customers worldwide without being bound by geographical restrictions. The ease of use not only facilitates shipping, but also on-site installation, which is a convenient solution for both Cheryl and her customers.

    Special thanks

    for the cooperation go out to Cheryl McLean and Sabine Giger.

    Learn more about these fantastic artists on their Instagram: @Blackboardart_au @sabine_giger

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  4. Introducing The All New Flexi Complete from SAi

    Introducing The All New Flexi Complete from SAi

    Exploring the Future of Flexi: Flexi Complete:- In the ever-evolving landscape of design and printing software, staying ahead of the curve is paramount. Enter Flexi Complete, the latest offering from SAi, promising a suite of cutting-edge features to revolutionise the way professionals in the industry work. Let’s delve into what makes Flexi Complete a game-changer for designers, printers, and sign makers alike. Flexi Complete is the same Flexi you know and love but with a fresh new look and a bevy of improvements. Let’s see what’s new.

    A Better User Experience

    One of the standout features of Flexi Complete is its commitment to providing a seamless user experience. Flexi Complete brings a new look to the intuitive interface of Flexi. Designed to streamline workflows, users can navigate the software with ease, saving both time and effort. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in sign making, DTF DTG, direct-to-vinyl, or other wide format printing applications Flexi Complete’s user-friendly design ensures that you can hit the ground running from day one.

    Enhanced Design Capabilities

    Flexi Complete empowers designers with enhanced capabilities to bring their creative visions to life. With an array of new tools and functionalities at their disposal, users can push the boundaries of design like never before. From advanced vector drawing tools to dynamic effects and filters, Flexi Complete offers unparalleled flexibility and control, allowing designers to unleash their creativity without limitations.

    Optimised Printing Workflow

    Efficiency is key in the world of printing, and Flexi is engineered to optimise every step of the printing workflow. With robust finishing tools and advanced color management features, users can ensure that their prints are accurate and of the highest quality, every time. Whether you’re producing large-scale signage or intricate graphics, Flexi’s printing capabilities are second to none.

    Seamless Integration

    Flexi seamlessly integrates with existing workflows, making it easy to incorporate into your existing setup. Whether you’re using other design software, RIP software, or hardware devices, Flexi plays nice with others, ensuring a smooth transition and minimal disruption to your operations. Flexi Complete offers a total package from design to production, including a powerful 64-bit RIP to give users a seamless workflow from start to finish.

    Commitment to Innovation

    At its core, Flexi Complete is a testament to SAi’s commitment to innovation. With a dedication to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, SAi continues to raise the bar in the world of design and printing software. Flexi Complete is not just a product but a reflection of SAi’s ongoing mission to empower professionals in the industry with the tools they need to succeed.

    With its intuitive interface, enhanced design capabilities, optimised printing workflow, seamless integration, and commitment to innovation, Flexi Complete is made to revolutionise the way professionals in the sign and print industry work. Whether you’re a designer, printer, or sign maker, Flexi Complete is the ultimate tool to bring your creative visions to life.


    About SA International (SAi).

    Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, SA International (SAi) is recognised as the global leader in providing software solutions for the sign making, digital printing, textile, and CNC machining industries - from design to production.  SAi's Flexi family of software products rank as the world's number one software for sign making and digital printing, outselling all competitors combined.  Flexi is found on more wide-format printers than any other software.  In addition, the company is one of the leaders in the CNC machining and router markets with its EnRoute CAD/CAM software.

    SAi has a large and loyal network of resellers around the world and has over 250,000 customers in more than 150 countries.  SAi enjoys strong OEM relationships with industry-leading manufacturers.  In addition to its USA headquarters, SAi has offices in Brussels, Belgium, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China, Pune, India, Tel Aviv, Isreal and Tokyo Japan.

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  5. PVC-free films overview: Printing films become more sustainable

    PVC-free films overview: Printing films become more sustainable

    In a world where environmental consciousness is increasingly important, sustainable alternatives to conventional materials are gaining more significance. This is especially true for the advertising industry, where the demand for PVC-free films has steadily grown in recent years. Neschen, as a renowned manufacturer of high-quality printing films and coatings, has in an early stage already embarked on the development and production of PVC-free films to meet the rising demand for more environmentally friendly solutions.

    A sustainable development in advertising technology

    The demand for PVC-free films has significantly increased lately. Companies, especially large global brands, are increasingly focusing on sustainability issues. Neschen, as a pioneer in sustainability in the advertising technology industry, has been offering PVC-free alternatives for some time now to meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly solutions. Explore Neschen’s wide range of PVC-free films here: Neschen Green Graphics

    Types of PVC-free films

    Neschen offers various PVC-free films, including polyolefins such as polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), bio-PE, and polyester (PET). PP and PE films are cost-effective alternatives with robust product properties for UV printers. Bio-PE films, with an organic content of over 50%, are currently not printable, but we are working on that. Our PET films, made from polyethylene terephthalate, offer optimal performance and are optimized for printing with latex and UV inks.

    Advantages of PVC-free films

    Compared to conventional PVC-based products, PVC-free films (e.g., easy dot® PET matt L-UV or UVprint PP easy dot® matt) offer a range of benefits. They are dimensionally stable, do not deform, and have almost no shrinkage. Transparent PVC-free films (e.g., easy dot® PET transparent L-UV) provide significantly better clarity and are also more environmentally friendly as they require up to 40% less material, thereby producing less waste. Neschen aims to offer high-quality PVC-free films that are not only environmentally friendly, but also provide top performance and quality.

    Challenges and solutions

    While the use of PVC-free films brings many advantages, it also presents certain challenges. For example, dimensional stability can make processing more difficult. Through innovative solutions and profound expertise, Neschen assists its customers in exploiting the benefits of PVC-free films.

    “The development and production of PVC-free films are not only a commitment to the environment for us at Neschen, but also an opportunity to develop innovative solutions that are both environmentally friendly and of high quality.” – Moritz Weber, Head of Marketing, Neschen.

    Support measures for the Use of PVC-free films

    Neschen actively advocates the promotion of PVC-free films. By participating in various project groups and initiatives, the company strives to encourage distributors and end customers to increasingly opt for environmentally friendly alternatives. Emphasizing the benefits of PVC-free films, such as significantly better environmental performance and cost savings in disposal.

    Future outlook

    The future of PVC-free films looks promising. With increasing demand and rising production volumes, market prices for PVC-free films are expected to close the gap with PVC-based products.Neschen will continue to strive to offer innovative and environmentally friendly solutions to meet the growing demands for sustainability. As a leading manufacturer of PVC-free films, Neschen is well positioned to drive the development and use of these sustainable materials forward.

    Conclusion

    The use of PVC-free films in the advertising technology industry is a significant step towards a more sustainable future. This concerns us all! Neschen has established itself as a leading manufacturer of high-quality PVC-free films and actively contributes to reducing the ecological footprint and minimizing environmental impact. Through continuous innovation and commitment, Neschen will continue to play a leading role in the development and production of environmentally friendly printing films.

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  6. New contact-free large format art scanner delivers the market’s most lifelike results

    New contact-free large format art scanner delivers the market’s most lifelike results

    HD Apeiron/42, the new contact-free art scanner from Contex, uses unparalleled technology to accurately digitise media. With the market’s most realistic image quality, full light control and a unique ability to emphasize details, the scanner is ideal for fine art, fragile artifacts and more. This art scanner is another innovative solution from the world leader in large format scanning.

    Meeting the highest FADGI image quality level with four stars as the first of its kind, and also reaching CRI levels above 98 makes it clear that this scanner is head and shoulders above the rest.

    Featuring a clearance height of 10 inches (254 mm) and a focal plane of up to 5.1 inches (130 mm), it also enables scanning of thicker media, such as framed artwork.

    “When you’re working with what could be priceless originals, only the best is good enough,” says Jacob Bendix, CCO and VP of Global Sales & Marketing. “HD Apeiron/42 beats the competition on all parameters, which means our entry into the art scanner space will open up new opportunities for our customers. The technology we have put behind digitizing art and other media is simply better and more effective.”

    Unparalleled technology and light control

    Six quad-linear Fujifilm lenses with Toshiba colour CCDs capture all details in up to 1200 dpi optical resolution – twice the competition’s image quality.

    Patent-pending laser-controlled camera adjustment and motorized focus adjustment make focusing easy as well.

    “The way we integrated the precision timing belt for the table transmission makes HD Apeiron/42 equally as precise as our other scanners which we have further developed and improved over the last 20+ years,” says Søren Thuun Jensen, CTO and VP of R&D. “Together with the lighting in the scan module which is uniformly illuminated in all three dimensions, it is, simply put, a superior scanner.”

    The lamps in HD Apeiron/42 recreate the natural daylight spectrum using cutting-edge LEDs with TRI-RTM technology. This, plus the clever design of LED strips mounted in elliptical reflectors, results in correct and uniform colors – and no distance fading.

    Preserving the unique surface sensations of an original in the scanned image is also easy. HD Apeiron/42 offers four different lamp positions, and depending on their position, the lamps provide different types of highlights and shadow effects – especially if paired with the 3D option. In comparison the competition has only one lamp position.

    Museum-correct light with no UV/IR radiation conserves the art.

    Contex HD Aperion 42 Scanner

    Fast, flexible and fitted

    HD Apeiron/42 is the fastest contact-free large format scanner on the market. A flexible solution; it improves workflows while ensuring superior image quality.

    The hardware is designed to support correct ergonomics; this includes an adjustable arm with the touchscreen, so the operator doesn’t have to hunch over.

    Simple scanning

    Award-winning Nextimage software forms the operational foundation of the scanner. While the Nextimage Apeiron software (included) itself is complex, using it is as simple as:

    • Choosing between presets (or making and saving your own)
    • Positioning the table and the focal plane
    • Scanning

    All required parameters are readily accessible on the touchscreen rather than hidden behind tabs or dropdown menus. A variety of post-scanning options also allow the user to adjust parameters and effects, if desired.


    About Contex

    As the world's largest developer and producer of large format imaging solutions, Contex leads the market with innovative technology and advanced scan and copy software applications. Sold worldwide in more than 90 countries, Contex solutions are recognized in a wide range of industries for reliability, value, high performance, and superb image quality.

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  7. Summa Releases New Software: GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0

    Summa Releases New Software: GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0

    Summa nv, a leading company of high-end cutting plotters and finishing systems, has released a new version of their GoProduce software, GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0. This software is explicitly tailored to Summa’s flatbed cutter range, the F Series. As a result, the in-house developed software ensures optimal utilisation of the flatbed cutters and efficiency in customers' production processes.

    GoProduce Flatbed Edition

    GoProduce was originally released in 2019, as the first software module within Summa’s GoSuite platform. This was followed by a major upgrade to version 2.0 in 2020. Summa always strives to deliver innovative and cutting-edge solutions, so the major upgrade was done to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies. Out of the same aspiration, GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0 is born. The specification ‘Flatbed Edition’ has now been added to the software name to make a clear distinction in the software available, as Summa also has production software for their L Series laser cutters called GoProduce Laser Edition.

    The software comes with every new F Series and is easy to install. With its intuitive interface and easy navigation, the software is user-friendly and users quickly find their way around. For users who want to get the most out of their cutter and workflow, a Pro Pack is available that unlocks additional features such as Barcode functionality, Hot folder support and Twin X workflow.

    General great things about GoProduce:

    • Material manager: Library of materials and their optimised settings. There is already a whole lot of them included but you can also add new ones manually.
    • Action sets: there are standard action sets or you can custom make them, perfect to optimise the workflow for your way of working.
    • Backside cutting: it’s possible to cut the unprinted backside of the material, perfect for cutting packages, as that way the tool does not damage the design.
    • Sorting: Optimises the cutting path, making the machine more efficient and makes your output faster.
    • Barcode functionality Pro Pack: The barcode functionality reads the printed barcode and automatically identifies the job to obtain the necessary cutting data from the computer.

    More Powerful, More Connected, More Enhanced

    The new GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0 is now available, and it has some great new features:

    • Powerful 64-bit software: Not only does the software run faster, but there is now more working memory, making it operate more efficiently.
    • Connected media handling: It integrates the flatbed cutter smoothly with peripherals to create an efficient automated workflow, using our GoConnect software integration.
    • New predefined action sets for automatic feeder support.
    • New logging features for better support.

    The V3 software is optimised for routing jobs. It comes with new routing capabilities that are perfect for cutting out shapes more precisely. They maximise productivity when processing wood, acrylics, and plastics. The features supporting this are:

    • Automatic detection of drill hole placeholders.
    • Lead-in or lead-out for the milling path: It can now automatically start and end outside of the shape. There are two possibilities to do this using either a perpendicular lead-in or corner lead-in.

    Empower Your Machine Precision

    Randi Kerkaert, Product Manager at Summa, reflects on the importance of the upgrade for our customers: “I'm excited to see how this major software release will take our customers' production processes to the next level. We’re not just updating features; each major upgrade enhances the way our users interact with their F Series flatbed cutters and helps to maximise the productivity of their equipment. With GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0, we're once again raising the bar for what users can achieve with our software."

    The GoProduce Flatbed Edition 3.0 software is available with every new F Series and as a paid upgrade for existing users. A 30-day trial allows existing F Series users to discover the new features in the software: https://www.summa.com/en/support/software-firmware/

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  8. Onyx Graphics Previews ONYX 24 and Introduces ONYX Sync in EMEA Region at FESPA 2024

    Onyx Graphics Previews ONYX 24 and Introduces ONYX Sync in EMEA Region at FESPA 2024

    Onyx Graphics, Inc., a pioneer in wide-format digital printing solutions and RIP software development, is set to preview ONYX 24 and unveil the much-anticipated ONYX Sync at FESPA 2024. Version 24 introduces features such as automated multi-layer printing, seamless mobile device integration, and advanced print quality assurance. These innovations continually demonstrate the company's commitment and capability in powering the next generation of automated printing solutions for print operators and businesses worldwide.

    Introducing ONYX 24: Elevating Print Workflow Efficiency

    ONYX 24, the company’s latest release in RIP software, introduces major optimisations that address key industry challenges in print automation and efficiency. Developed with feedback from industry professionals, version 24 achieved major breakthroughs, including automated multi-layer preparation for spot colours and effects, mobile spectrophotometer calibration, and embedded workflows for colour verification.

    This release marks a significant leap forward, with end-to-end automation that transforms integrated print management. Key technical highlights include:

    • Easy Multi-Layer Printing: Achieves effortless multi-layer printing through automated generation of layers based on spot colours, varnish, or other special printing effects. This feature streamlines complex file preparation by eliminating manual separation of elements across layers, saving valuable time while ensuring quality.
    • Wireless Support for NIX Spectro Devices: Introducing native support for the NIX Spectro 2 and Spectro L spectrophotometers via Bluetooth. This new wireless connectivity powers the next generation of colour measurement, enabling wireless reading and calibration at an affordable price.
    • Colour Accuracy Verification: Users can now add a ColorCheck Baseline Swatch to newly created profiles to verify the accuracy of future prints. This is achieved by incorporating a ColorCheck Strip at the time of profile generation, subsequently establishing a quality baseline for printers. When future print jobs utilise this process control feature, the same patches can be measured in order to verify that the prints continue to adhere to colour quality benchmarks, allowing for the detection of drift over time and to prevent errors.

    "ONYX 24 marks a major milestone in our commitment to address practical challenges faced by the printing industry," said Matt Crawford, CEO of Onyx Graphics, Inc. "With this release, we're fully ready to roll out our most innovative RIP solutions to our European customers, empowering our users with the tools they need for unparalleled efficiency and success.”

    ONYX Sync: The Future of Print Shop Automation

    ONYX Sync is the latest REST API developed to enable print service providers (PSPs) to grow and automate their businesses. Our solution enables print shops to fully streamline and align their print production processes with various business tools, and to connect ONYX Thrive with users’ existing business management software to enhance workflow efficiency and productivity.

    This API integration empowers print shops to eliminate manual tasks, minimise operational errors, and conserve essential production time, resulting in advantages such as:

    • Real-time production feedback and status updates through an intuitive API.
    • Seamless integration with existing business management software, eliminating manual intervention.
    • Automated job submission and management tools for increased efficiency and scalability.
    • Enhanced communication and job status notifications for better customer service.

    “ONYX Sync drives tremendous sustainability gains through automated production efficiency,” said Crawford. “The seamless integration with ONYX Thrive optimizes workflows to minimize waste, create circular material usage, and provide robust analytics for carbon and environmental impact management. By embracing API and IoT technologies to reduce print resource intensity, we firmly believe ONYX Sync creates a greener model for the future.”


    About Onyx Graphics, Inc.

    Leading the market since 1989, Onyx Graphics is dedicated to helping customers increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge with superior software solutions for the print industry. Innovative, productive, and delighted customers around the globe help motivate the company to develop and enhance its leading-edge technologies. Global channel partnerships and longstanding relationships with printer manufacturers position Onyx Graphics as a market leader in powerful, reliable, large-format printing workflow and print business software solutions.

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  9. Unveiling HP's Newest DesignJet Printer Series for Sustainable Printing Solutions

    Unveiling HP's Newest DesignJet Printer Series for Sustainable Printing Solutions

    Sustainability is becoming a growing priority for businesses due to an increased desire for eco-conscious practices and a growing list of regulations related to businesses' environmental impact. Research shows that environmental impact will be the top business priority for businesses in the US and UK by 2025, with over 50% of companies aiming to be net zero by 2060. HP has long been an organisation that leads by example when creating sustainable printing solutions.

    The development of the new DesignJet T850 and T950 printer series is our latest contribution to reducing our environmental footprint in the printing industry and helping our clients meet their sustainability goals. In this article, we'll explore the technology that enables these new printers that improved print quality while reducing the ecological impact of printing practices.

    HP DesignJet T950 / T850 Printer Series

    Presenting the DesignJet T850 and T950 Printers

    The HP DesignJet T850 and T950 printers are designed for ease and efficiency. Each model can boost productivity and maximise agility while promoting sustainable printing practices. With an array of eco-friendly features that range from energy and ink-efficient design to the use of recycled materials, these new printer series are laying the foundation for the sustainable printing solutions of the future.

    Key Sustainability Features of the New DesignJet Printer Series

    The HP DesignJet T850 and T950 printers are equipped with innovative technologies that optimise ink and energy consumption and usage. AEC professionals minimise waste and reduce business costs when adopting these technologies. Some of the key sustainability features in the new DesignJet printer series include:

    More Printer Energy Efficiency

    Sustainable printing solutions directly address energy efficiency related to:

    • The impact of the ink or toner used to print
    • Cartridges
    • The energy required to run the printer

    Energy use during inactivity and reduced printer efficiency can result in increased energy consumption during the printing process.

    Auto-schedule capabilities in the HP DesignJet T850 and T950 series enable users to reduce energy usage during idle time by scheduling printer on/off usage. Also, auto-scheduling for ink maintenance routines addresses energy consumption related to lost printer efficiency that occurs without regular maintenance.

    Eco-Conscious Materials

    Investing in sustainable printing solutions is a vital step in decreasing the environmental footprint of your business. The DesignJet T850 and T950 series printers are made with at least 40% recycled plastics and recyclable supplies. The compact build of these printers and high-quality materials further reduce waste by extending the time to replacement. They also decrease the overall amount of non-recyclable waste.

    Reduced Environmental Impact

    Alongside the many energy-efficient features, the HP DesignJet T850 and T950 series printers are built with a variety of productivity-enhancing components that can help AEC professionals reduce their overall environmental impact in the printing process.

    For instance, the T850 series uses HP Flex Tech Inks that allow users to achieve high-quality CAD and renders across print sizes for fewer reprints due to low quality. The T850 and T950 series printers enable users to manage the device and print from virtually anywhere with the use of the HP App. This capability reduces the need for excess travel related to printing requirements.

    Reduced Ink Usage

    The cost of printer ink is one of the most prohibitive costs of using and maintaining a large format printer. Reducing ink waste with sustainable printing inks can help AEC professionals cut costs and decrease their ecological footprint. Designed for easy printing with minimal distractions, the T850 DesignJet series printers feature 130/300-mL ink cartridges that require fewer ink interventions. Larger cartridge sizes also reduce raw materials used in the production of cartridges, cost of transport, and related waste.

    The T850 and T950 series printers also allow users to automate ink maintenance routines. This option reduces printer inefficiencies that result in wasted ink due to repeat printings when errors occur.

    Minimal Printing Waste

    Minimising your business's printing requirements is the most effective way to save energy and reduce printing waste. HP's newest printers use several features to help reduce printing waste.

    • The T850 series uses HP Flex Tech inks for high-quality images that meet your needs with fewer reprints, reducing paper and ink waste.
    • T850 and T950 printers allow users to avoid reprinting with print previews.
    • Designed for productivity, the T950 series helps users avoid damage to finished prints with a stacker that holds up to 40 pages flat for easy collection.

    Higher Cost Savings

    The features of the HP DesignJet T850 and T950 series printers work together to help AEC professionals cut costs in many ways. From the features that reduce energy and ink waste to those that improve print quality, HP's new sustainable printing solutions help businesses reduce printing costs.

    Efficiency and productivity features help businesses cut costs further by reducing manual tasks and saving time. For instance, T850 printers feature an integrated input tray that eliminates the need to change from roll to sheets manually. T950 printers use integrated input and output trays that keep pages sorted by size. It can seamlessly print all A3 jobs without interruptions.

    What Makes HP's T850/T950 Series Sustainable?

    Designed with energy conservation and reduced ink waste in mind, the T850 and T950 series have specific features that optimise sustainability.

    Easier Ink Replacement and Maintenance

    Sustainable printing inks reduce raw material usage, wasted ink, and general printing waste. From larger ink cartridge sizes that reduce ink interventions to automated ink maintenance routines, the T850 and T950 series improve ink efficiency with features that reduce quality issues and waste accrued from ink usage.

    Optimised Usage That Saves Energy

    Auto-scheduling for on/off usage is just one way the T850 and T950 series reduce energy use. Integrated input, high printing speeds, and the ability to print with fewer clicks contribute to printing efficiency. Ultimately, these printers reduce the time and energy required for printing.

    Connectivity and Eco-Friendly Software Options Create Eco-Friendly Workflows

    Printers designed for efficiency and high productivity help professionals develop naturally eco-friendly workflows that assist with sustainability efforts. These productivity-enhancing features help businesses reduce the environmental impact of the printing process.

    Cloud Printing

    The T850 and T950 printer series allow users to work securely and easily submit jobs from anywhere with protection from HP Wolf Pro Security. With the use of HP Click, AEC professionals can store data in the cloud and print from mobile devices, reducing hardware needs and creating more efficient workflows.

    Mobile App Integration

    hen used with the HP App, AEC professionals can reduce travel between the office and the field. Manage your device and print from virtually anywhere with the use of a mobile or tablet.

    Compatibility With Industry Standard Design Software

    HP wide format printers and plotters are designed to be compatible with AEC industry-standard software. As a result, businesses can confidently print various forms on different paper sizes without time-consuming setup requirements.

    Reach Out to HP Today to Enquire About the DesignJet T850 and T950 Printer Series

    Growing concerns about the environmental impact of construction extend far beyond building practices. Printing remains a vital element of AEC design, making sustainable printing solutions crucial for effectively reducing your environmental footprint. Reach out to PSW to learn more about how the DesignJet T850 and T950 series printers can help you meet your sustainability goals.

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  10. HP share trends & predictions for Large Format Print in 2024

    HP share trends & predictions for Large Format Print in 2024

    Against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty and fluctuating customer demand, print business leaders face a number of challenges in 2024. However, the large format printing market continues to grow at a steady rate, with technology adoption and new application innovations powering progress. We see several trends that, if approached in the right way, represent opportunities for print service providers (PSPs) to truly thrive in the year ahead.

    Automating Workflows With

    80% of businesses worldwide automating processes, automation is increasingly important as organisations continue to navigate macro issues such as labour shortages. Automation also boosts the speed print firms can operate at, improves the accuracy of projects, and identifies errors - enabling PSPs to find new ways to streamline operations.

    As businesses run digital presses on a 24/7 basis, we expect to see a greater uptake of automated services, and the arrival of new tools to better meet PSP needs. By running businesses and print jobs through platforms like HP Print OS, print firms can unlock previously unseen efficiencies – such as through data analysis of operations, unattended printing or removing repetitive and time-consuming processes.

    Whilst the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) is still emerging in the large format sector, in the medium to long term, firms that have already implemented a highly automated infrastructure will be the ones most likely to benefit from AI-influenced advances in the future, such as predictive maintenance.

    Sustainability is Profitability

    Research shows that 85% of PSP customers now demand sustainable products and practices. Increasing demand for more sustainable goods reflects the consumer shift in values and awareness of the planet’s health. Print firms will continue to recognise this in 2024 and embed sustainable practices where possible.

    For this reason, water-based and odourless inks will be sought after, allowing print professionals to say yes to a wider range of jobs, including sensitive indoor environments. The fact more than one in five printers sold in the large format market is an HP Latex device, is proof that this trend is already well underway.

    However, print firms will need to look beyond ink and also consider how substrates can be procured and disposed of in a sustainable way. Although progress has been made, the industry must continue to find alternatives to materials such as PVC by investing in new media and research to discover and elevate sustainable solutions.

    Greater focus will also be placed on the energy efficiency of printers, as well as extending the lifespan of hardware through easy recycling options when a device reaches end of life. Vendors will be required to step up and support print firms in becoming more sustainable by practice - via programs like HP Planet Partners which provides recycling options for both supplies and hardware.

    Print and Protect

    Remote working prompted a rise in the volume and variety of malware attacks over the last four years. In an increasingly connected world, businesses will remain vulnerable. This is particularly true for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), that have lower budgets and a lack of dedicated IT support. Research shows nearly half of SMBs have experienced a cyber security incident within the past year, while over two thirds don’t consider security until after an incident.

    As the web of connected devices in office spaces become more sophisticated, and with the advent of AI, the cyber security landscape will become even more complex in 2024.

    There is an opportunity to redesign and rebuild a digital ecosystem of tools that help businesses securely manage their end-point devices and data. Printers are often a forgotten endpoint, giving hackers a way into a network. However, with more security-conscious solutions on the market, like HP’s Wolf Security-enabled DesignJet range, SMBs will begin to turn the tide on cyber criminals.

    Personalisation and Co-created Content

    In an increasingly commoditised world, PSPs will stand out and win business in 2024 with customisable offerings. Brands are seeking ways to differentiate themselves from competitors, while end consumers have shown appetite for personalised or ‘limited edition’ products and experiences. According to research by Sparks & Honey, the expected value of the personalised items market will reach $201bn by 2026, up 49% from 2021. Meanwhile, 70% of shoppers are willing to pay at least 10% more for customised or unique products.

    We are seeing creative platforms such as Canva increasing end users’ design capabilities, giving them more ways to personalise print products such as wallpaper. HP recently released a trends report which highlights that the digitally printed wallpaper market is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 23.6% until 2025, reaching a total value of $10.4 billion.

    Brands will increasingly base their marketing strategies around ‘user-generated’ or ‘co-created’ content - campaigns that tell the stories of their customers and speak directly to them. According to marketing analytics firm WARC, such approaches have become the number one most effective way to reach Gen Z and millennial audiences.

    With the right technology, print firms will be the enablers of this growing trend, and become trusted partners for brands. At a hardware level, firms will need digital print technology capable of handling a range of specifications, delivering short runs, and accommodating fast turnarounds. However, the ecosystem around the device will become even more key in 2024, ranging from the software firms are embedding to manage operations, to ensuring staff are upskilled to harness the latest tools coming to market.

    Transforming Our World by Design in 2024

    Print businesses have been evolving year on year, and turbulence in recent years has only accelerated the pace of change. Large format print providers are displaying resilience and creativity, and the industry will continue to thrive this year in a more connected, automated, sustainable and secure environment.


    About HP

    HP Inc. is a global technology leader and creator of solutions that enable people to bring their ideas to life and connect to the things that matter most. Operating in more than 170 countries, HP delivers a wide range of innovative and sustainable devices, services and subscriptions for personal computing, printing, 3D printing, hybrid work, gaming, and more.

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