Ink Jet as replacement for film...sizing accuracy?

schenkadere

Well-known member
I would like to get rid of our filmsetter, but I cannot get a consistent and accurate result on clear media with an Epson 9900 and Oris Color Tuner. Has anyone made this transition successfully? I am only using the clear for dielines, but they must be accurate. The trouble seems to be in the feed direction. Even if I compensate with a scale in the software, it still measures slightly different with each output of the same file. I notice the same when creating "color keys" to show customers overlayed separations...they don't come close to registering.
 
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chevalier

Well-known member
I've experimented with different inkjet clear media/'films' including the ORIS one and I can only achieve ~97% accuracy. We've had the same issues with die-lines from our CAD software to inkjet printers. It has more to do with the feedrate and floppiness of the media than anything else. I've found an ancient HP Draftmaster is way more accurate.
 

Jerald

Member
I also have an Epson 9900 with an Oris Color Tuner front end. I am also seeing the exact same results as you. Our imagesetter was down for a couple of days and we tried to output to transparency film as a back up. For small pieces the fit was okay but when we tried to print up to 40" the fit problem was more noticeable. I have tried adjusting the feed rate in the Oris Color Tuner but I haven't been able to get it honed in on the number correctly. I'm not sure if the amount of ink being used on the clear film affects the stability of the film but it doesn't seem to be accurate enough to count on.
 

chevalier

Well-known member
I found that media thickness is the most important factor. A 5 - 7 mil film might make the problem go away but I couldn't find anything like that inkjet friendly.
 

Bob Hill

Well-known member
Our substrate is very dimensionally accurate and is the same substrate as image setting film. The problem of fit is mostly a problem with the Epson ability to be accurate over longer distances. Epson has a specification for Line Accuracy which states the accuracy of the length from piece to piece is a plus or minus .2% of file length. So the clear may be perfectly stable, but the Epson is not 100% accurate on length.
 
Try this, print it per sheet, cut the film to your desired size. If that's a big bother, if you're printing in rolls, be sure that you have enough allowance for the film, never let it drag
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
Our substrate is very dimensionally accurate and is the same substrate as image setting film. The problem of fit is mostly a problem with the Epson ability to be accurate over longer distances. Epson has a specification for Line Accuracy which states the accuracy of the length from piece to piece is a plus or minus .2% of file length. So the clear may be perfectly stable, but the Epson is not 100% accurate on length.
Good information...curious...did this come from Epson directly?

So, bottom line...it will never be truly accurate based on device limitations, correct?
 

Jerald

Member
That's my take on it. I don't think the Epson 9900 is designed to take the place of an imagesetter - it is a heck of a proofer though. I have heard of people using different inkjet printers to replace their film output. I believe MacDermid has a Flexo plate process that features a Roland inkjet to create the film. It may be worth looking into.
 
What i mean by not letting it drag is to not let the feeder pull the film from the roll, leave an allowance to the roll of film equal to or more to what you are going to print, or try to print in sheets, cut the desired size and try from there
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
What i mean by not letting it drag is to not let the feeder pull the film from the roll, leave an allowance to the roll of film equal to or more to what you are going to print, or try to print in sheets, cut the desired size and try from there
that seems worth a try...I'll give the sheet thing a whirl when I get a chance.
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
I think I'm going to simply stick with my filmsetter. The price of good clear ink jet media cost considerably more than a roll of Network #1 film.
 

Jerald

Member
As long as they continue to make film I am going to use my imagesetter as well. I have heard rumors from my Fuji rep that once it is no longer economically sound to manufacture film they will no longer make it. Hopefully that is a few years off yet.
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
As long as they continue to make film I am going to use my imagesetter as well. I have heard rumors from my Fuji rep that once it is no longer economically sound to manufacture film they will no longer make it. Hopefully that is a few years off yet.
I'm with you.
 

prepressing

Well-known member
You may want to look at an OYO thermal imagesetter. They produce an imagesetter that offers excellent registration (plus or minus 0.01% measured at a length of 60 inches). Plus the film will be produced for many years to come and the machines do not require a processor.

TechStyler Link: Film Screen Printing Equipment Machine Printer Creating Film Positives and Film Negatives OYO TechStyler

Liberator Link: Flexo Printing Equipment, Flexo Film Printer, Gravure Litho Screen Film Positive Negative Machine Flexography Film Separations Printing
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
You may want to look at an OYO thermal imagesetter. They produce an imagesetter that offers excellent registration (plus or minus 0.01% measured at a length of 60 inches). Plus the film will be produced for many years to come and the machines do not require a processor.

TechStyler Link: Film Screen Printing Equipment Machine Printer Creating Film Positives and Film Negatives OYO TechStyler

Liberator Link: Flexo Printing Equipment, Flexo Film Printer, Gravure Litho Screen Film Positive Negative Machine Flexography Film Separations Printing
That's interesting depending upon the cost of the device and the film.
 

schenkadere

Well-known member
The pricing for the film is also available online:
OYO Film for Screen, Flexo, Offset, Gravure Autotype Aspect Film

When you calculate in that you no longer need to maintain a processor or purchase chemistry, the price of the thermal film is close to traditional film costs. The thermal film is also ready to use as soon as it comes out of the imagesetter plus it is not light sensitive and can be archived for later use.
My other concern would be that this is a proprietary system with proprietary substrate. This day and age anything can happen...what about support and availability of the film. That would be a concern...how many installations are there out there?
 

prepressing

Well-known member
That is a good point especially since you need to make sure the equipment you buy today will have a future tomorrow. The machines are running at thousands of sites around the world and the film will be produced for years to come. There are absolutely no plans to phase out the film.
 

M&M Displays

Well-known member
What size are you printing? We tried it on two printers and two different types of clear material. In both cases it was pretty shitty compared to imagesetter film. Our setters are gone now and we have been using a Lucsher Jet Screen Laser system which is fantastic. 63, 85 and 133 LPI are no problem. The issues we had in digital film, very slow speed, bad looking dots are gone. Our average size of print is 36 x 48. Our largest is 52 x 96
 

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