Ricoh has announced the launch of the new sub £4000, entry level Ri 100 DTG printer in Europe.

The machine has already been named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree. “Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honour outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 28 product categories,” explains Ricoh.

The Ri 100 has been designed to fit on desks and shop counters and can print on a wide range of materials – from 100% cotton to blends with a minimum of 50% cotton. It incorporates Ricoh piezo-electric inkjet technology with the integrated variable drop size technology enabling the printing of smooth gradations at 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution in vivid mode.

Users can choose between Ricoh Design Software to create and print designs, or an RPCS driver, which will enable them to create designs with their preferred third party software before printing. The printer also supports wireless printing, and its automatic maintenance features are said to support uptime.

The optional, stackable Ricoh Rh 100 Finisher is a heating system that promises to both remove wrinkles from fabric, creating a smooth surface for printing, and also cure the ink after printing, thus removing the need for a heat press. It has been designed with simplicity and safety in mind, reports the company, to help those who are new to DTG printing.

“Over the years, our customers have asked for an affordable, low risk way to enter the DTG market and we’re proud to be the first to answer that question at a price point that is unmatched today,” said Karl Tipre, CEO of AnaJet, a Ricoh company. “Like our Ricoh colleagues, our commitment to our customers is to help them reach their business goals. The Ricoh Ri 100 does just that, and at a much lower cost than traditional DTG printers, helping them come to market even quicker.”

Graham Kennedy, head of Commercial Inkjet Business, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe, adds: “We are delighted to build on the success of the Ri 3000 and Ri 6000 with this compact entry level option. Its affordability and ease of use will attract a new audience to garment decoration and allow operations to expand their range of services, fully supported by the highly knowledgeable and responsive Ricoh team. It has never been easier to start direct-to-garment printing with a complete solution from one vendor.”

Final pricing has yet to be finalised, however Jim Nicol, managing director of TheMagicTouch (TMT) – the UK distributor of the Ri 100 – expects the printer to sell for around £3250 (exc VAT), and confirms that consumable costs and ink yields will be competitive.

The new model will make its UK debut on TMT’s stand at P&P Live! 2018, (NEC, Birmingham from January 21-23, 2018), and will be available in the UK, Netherlands and Spain from April. Available in the rest of EMEA will follow later in the spring.