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Best Large format printer for Canvas Prints

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  • Best Large format printer for Canvas Prints

    I'll start with a disclaimer: I'm pretty new to the world of large format printing, so I apologize in advance for my ignorance and possibly silly question that result from that ignorance....


    I'm looking for advice on purchasing or leasing a large format printer that will be used almost exclusively for canvas prints.

    One of the most important factors is the ability eliminate the need to laminate the canvas after printing / before stretching. Some preliminary research has led to believe that any solvent or latex printer will address this need, and possibly an inkjet printer with a pre-treated canvas ( Can anyone confirm this?)

    In terms of budget, I was looking around $7500 (or less) to purchase or roughly $650/ month lease (I don't want to rule out $20K+ Printers, but I would have to lease one if possible).

    Another really valuable feature for my application, if it exists, is a printer that has a cutter capable of cutting through canvas (up to roughly 20 mil). Does anyone know if this is exists?

    With regards to other features, aside from min. width of 54", I'm impartial and am open to suggestions on what is and is not important.


    Thanks, in advance. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to help out.



  • #2
    "Best" depends on you priorities of course. Aqueous printers like the Epson P10000/P20000 will meet your needs and give very high quality. There are pre-coated canvas for aqueous printers that reduce or eliminate the need for laminating or coating after printing. I don't know if they are available in 54" material. The pre-coat material is relatively is expensive, but eliminates the need for a spray booth. It also reduces labor costs. I think Breathing color makes that stuff, but we use Fujifilm Vivid Canvas on our old Epson 9890 and like it a lot. Aqueous printers have low entry costs, but relatively high materials cost. Solvent or Latex have low materials cost but often are a bigger initial investment for the printer. The quality may be "good enough" but is definitely not as good a aqueous. Aqueous dominates fine art and photo printing. You probably need to spreadsheet the cost structure for the different types of printers, assuming they all meet your basic quality requirement.
    I have been in a discussion in a private forum considering whether Latex or Solvent is now good enough now to replace aqueous. There is no consensus, but most experts there say they still need different printers for different quality/cost assignments. Many of these folks come from the photolab channel and "quality first" has traditionally driven most of their investment decisions. "Good enough" is a tough concept for a lot of them, including myself.

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    • #3
      Hey Lorenzo, thanks so much for your input.

      Would you care to share a little more on your experience/opinion of the Fujifilm Vivid Canvas? If I understand correctly, you're saying that particular material is not a "pre-treated" material, but it still does not require laminating / coating. Is that correct?

      I know the topic of the thread is about comparing printers, but ultimately what I am looking to discover is the ideal combination of Machine and Material for my application. So please feel free, if you're able, to express your opinion on canvas material as well.

      Again, I do greatly appreciate your time. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tpare View Post
        Hey Lorenzo, thanks so much for your input.

        Would you care to share a little more on your experience/opinion of the Fujifilm Vivid Canvas? If I understand correctly, you're saying that particular material is not a "pre-treated" material, but it still does not require laminating / coating. Is that correct?

        I know the topic of the thread is about comparing printers, but ultimately what I am looking to discover is the ideal combination of Machine and Material for my application. So please feel free, if you're able, to express your opinion on canvas material as well.

        Again, I do greatly appreciate your time. Thank you.
        more on Fuji Vivid Canvas:
        https://www.fujifilmusa.com/shared/b...et%20v0508.pdf

        I see it is 44" max. I don't really know if "pre-treated" has any meaning here. All aqueous media is coated to be receptive to the ink/pigment. I think solvent's big advantage is that is doesn't need ink-jet coated media - hence lower media cost.
        The Vivid Canvas could be though of as having a extra layer that reduces the need for post-printing lamination or coating. We have been using it for 5 years with zero customer returns or complaints. Most of this work is being displayed in homes and offices. It doesn't get the physical abuse that trade-show graphics might get.
        A lot of labs print on standard inkjet canvas and then coat, but I hear about some issues where the coating cracks or fails.

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        • #5
          So I actually reached out to Canvas On Demand (http://www.canvasondemand.com/ and https://www.greatbigcanvas.com/) to see if I could get some information on what they use, they couldn't disclose everything but I got some valuable information...
          They Use Latex Ink, with a 18mil polly-cotton (35% cotton) material with a satin finish that is said to have built in UVB coating. They said that they do not apply a coating after printing.

          If I can derive from that information exactly what machine and material they are using, I may have my answer.

          Any chance you can share your thoughts on that?

          Comment


          • #6
            We have been printing Canvas for 6 yrs on HP Latex L25500 and get very good prints and excellent fade resistance without coating.

            While it may not have the Gamut and detail of the aqueous, the general customers and some photographers prefer the colour and particularly the durability of the Latex.

            The one area where the Latex struggles is with Greyscale/B/W and we got an HP Z3200 which is great for the Photographers and B/W!

            There is a huge price difference on the running costs between the 2 printers but 98% of our production runs on Latex, so we don't differentiate.

            I understand the new HP Latex 300 series might not achieve the same results as the older L25500, L26500 & L260 series due to changes in the ink!

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey Rory, that is very interesting. Thanks so much for sharing!

              Any chance you can tell me exactly what type of canvas you print on?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tpare View Post
                I'll start with a disclaimer: I'm pretty new to the world of large format printing, so I apologize in advance for my ignorance and possibly silly question that result from that ignorance....


                I'm looking for advice on purchasing or leasing a large format printer that will be used almost exclusively for canvas prints.

                One of the most important factors is the ability eliminate the need to laminate the canvas after printing / before stretching. Some preliminary research has led to believe that any solvent or latex printer will address this need, and possibly an inkjet printer with a pre-treated canvas ( Can anyone confirm this?)

                In terms of budget, I was looking around $7500 (or less) to purchase or roughly $650/ month lease (I don't want to rule out $20K+ Printers, but I would have to lease one if possible).

                Another really valuable feature for my application, if it exists, is a printer that has a cutter capable of cutting through canvas (up to roughly 20 mil). Does anyone know if this is exists?

                With regards to other features, aside from min. width of 54", I'm impartial and am open to suggestions on what is and is not important.


                Thanks, in advance. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to help out.

                I would take a strong look at the Epson S80600 if you're looking to produce canvas prints. The S80600 will get you as close to an aqueous fine art color gamut as possible while saving you about 30% on your cost to produce in ink and media costs compared to Aqueous. The S80600 puts you just above $20k but will be the best option for you for you if you're looking for a printer that can produce the best quality and the highest color gamut on a printer that allows you not to have to coat the prints after printing.

                When printing on an aqueous printer on canvas your ink costs are typically around $0.34 per ml and your canvas cost is about $1.20/sqft giving you a total cost of $1.54......then you have to coat the canvas and stretch it. PLEEEEEASE don't fall for Breathing Color's aqueous canvas that supposedly doesn't have to be coated. That is a crock of ______! Every aqueous canvas needs to be coated!

                When printing on eco solvent/latex printers your ink costs are typically around $0.22/ml and your canvas cost is about $0.70/sqft giving you a total cost of $0.92/sqft. No coating required ! You're looking at a difference of $0.62 per sqft savings and no coating process when using a latex or eco solvent printer on canvas.

                With all this being said......Your volume usually dictates the need for upgrading to a solvent or latex for canvas printing. I have an excel sheet that shows you the difference in cost and time savings between an aqueous printer and solvent printer.

                Send me a private message if you have more questions regarding canvas printing.
                Last edited by PrintSolutions17; 05-11-2017, 12:36 PM.

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