Wide-format printer manufacturer swissQprint has introduced a faster version of its Karibu roll-fed UV printer, added automated double-sided print capabilities to it and existing models and introduced two ‘neon’ inks to expand colour gamut and creative capabilities across its entire line.

The Karibu S (for speed) is a 3.4m LED UV-curing roll-fed printer based on the original Karibu introduced at Fespa 2019. The new model is significantly faster at up to 330sqm/hr, which key account manager Adriano Gut said produces ‘sellable quality’. For volume production, the printer can handle 200kg rolls of material and supports a very wide range of substrates from paper and banner to film, self-adhesive vinyl and mesh/textiles.

There are 18 printheads in the Karibu S, of which 16 are dedicated to CMYK and the remaining two may be configured with white ink to allow printing on coloured or clear materials for double-sided graphics. A built-in lightbox allows for checking of backlit graphic material while it’s still on the printer. Mesh or fabric printing is carried out by moving the printhead carriage into a ‘mesh’ position that activates absorbent paper ink collectors behind the substrate, said to leave the machine clean after this type of printing; this mode also enables full-bleed print on any substrate. The LED UV-cured ink is sufficiently flexible for textile use, as Mr Gut demonstrated by scrunching up and then unfolding a small textile sample.

Automated double-sided printing is now an option for both standard and Karibu S models, and is available as a retro-fit for existing Karibu installations. This involves printing QR codes next to images on the first side to be printed, which are read by a camera built into the printer when the roll is reversed, and in conjunction with the Lory control software, used to provide accurate positioning of the reverse side, simplifying production of items such as block-out banners, ceiling hangers, posters and window graphics.

In what may be a first for the wide-format sector, all swissQprint printers, flatbed and roll-fed, now have the option of using two new neon inks – yellow and pink. As well as mixing with the other CMYK inks to produce vivid colours not otherwise achievable, notably a ‘neon’ orange, these have the property of fluorescing under UV (‘black’) light, which opens up interesting applications in club, party and trade fair/themed event settings, in addition to normal light applications in signage, PoS, posters and wristbands. All swissQprint machines have nine colour channels, so it is possible to configure both neons in addition to CMYK and white or clear inks for a wide variety of creative effects on flexible or rigid media.