“Before deciding to invest in new print technologies, it is important that you weigh-up the many variables,” advises Sawgrass. “Start-up costs, production economy and capabilities, profitability, speed of ROI, market demand and scalability are only a few to consider. Many print solutions hit on some of these areas, but few enable businesses to capitalise on them all. Dye sublimation is one that does.”
Sawgrass launched its Virtuoso HD Product Decorating System last year, which it claims is the “first and only fully integrated, high definition product decorating solution on the market.” It has been created with the intention of giving users virtually everything needed to start a sublimation business, explains the company. It adds that, “these turnkey systems feature the only printers designed specifically for sublimation production and Sawgrass’s newly formulated SubliJet-HD inks.
Co-engineered with Ricoh and harnessing the advanced technology of the printer manufacturer’s popular GelJet line, Sawgrass’s Virtuoso SG400 (A4) and SG800 (A3+) desktop printers have the lowest start-up cost of any commercial product decorating technology.”
Both printers are said to offer speeds that are nearly twice as fast as their predecessors, the Ricoh 3110DN and 7100DN, and print capabilities up to 1200 x 1200 dpi for “HD photo-quality reproduction”.
The Virtuoso 8-Colour System, featuring the Sawgrass VJ 628, uses a Mutoh print engine with i2 print technology and is capable of printing a full-bleed design on 24” (610 mm) products. The print heads can print up to 1440 x 1440 dpi, which the company says is the highest resolution possible for printers in this category. It can be used for interior signage and fine art as well as high volume production of personalised gifts and promotional products.