Test driving the all-new VUTEk 260 Outdoor Printer

While many large-format printing companies are buzzing around all the new flatbed printers that are hitting the marketplace, VUTEk has quietly introduced a competitively priced, very respectable 103” solvent-based inkjet printer. VUTEk certainly has an excellent reputation in the print industry, so we were thrilled when they recently released this new model. VUTEk’s printers have revolutionized the printing industry, enabling large, attractive graphics to be created one at a time. Such machines can print on a variety of media, including vinyl and textiles, so we were anxious to take it on a test run.

Features

Available as a six-color model and featuring 6-color printing, 360-dpi addressable resolution (720-dpi apparent), the VUTEk 260 prints on hundreds of uncoated materials up to 103 inches. The image quality we saw coming out of the printer will satisfy the most demanding customer requirements, and it operates at a significantly lower cost per square foot than many other printers.

Print speeds varied in range from 400 sq. ft./hr. in Enhanced 1- pass mode to 200 sq. ft./hr. in Ultra 2-pass mode. The printer also comes standard with the ColorBurst Pro RIP, which was a joy to use.

Stunning Colours

The VUTEk ink has to be one of its biggest benefits. The supplied ink comes in six 3.25 liter bottles in cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light magenta and light cyan that provide knock out color. These larger inks also provide users with longer unattended print runs. VUTEk inks are solvent based and therefore can print on the largest variety of stocks. They carry a two-year outdoor durability warranty (extended to a five-year warranty with Aquashield). Proper ventilation is required.

The provided ColorBurst Pro RIP provides excellent color reproduction to match the original artwork. An intuitive graphical user interface makes for easy operation and calibration.

Additional RIP Features

  • ICC color management for media versatility and color accuracy
  • Multi-color support for smooth highlights to mid-tone transitions, improved color quality and increased apparent higher resolution
  • Tiling feature to simplify complex printing jobs

Printing Technology

The VUTEk 260 features SPECTRO Piezo drop-on-demand solvent inkjet technology. The advantages of using piezo technology in inkjet printers are easy to list. This technology is robust, keeps printer life long and positions the individual ink droplets on the paper continuously with the greatest precision and speed.

The VUTEk 260 comes with a one-year printer warranty (includes piezo inkjet heads, which are not considered to be consumables with VUTEk printers).

Projects

When testing the VUTEk 260, we printed several 54”x 54” projects. We found the print output speed at 2 Pass (Ultra Mode) produced great quality and color density at 200 sq. ft. per hour and can be viewed from within 5 ft. The 1 pass (enhanced mode) produced 400 sq. ft. per hour and would be suitable for billboards and signage to be viewed from 10 ft.or greater. Here are some of the possible applications:

  • Billboards
  • Point-of-purchase advertising
  • Banners and signage
  • Posters
  • Exhibition and display graphics
  • Vehicle and fleet graphics
  • Bus wraps and shelters
  • Telephone kiosks
  • Wall murals
  • Long-term outdoor graphics
  • Stage graphics

Conclusion

The VUTEk 260 is a top-notch printing device for outdoor durable prints. It will enable commercial imaging shops to step up to VUTEk image quality and higher-volume productivity at an attractive price. It will allow shops to generate high-quality output at high speeds, expanding their business and making more profits on applications like POP advertising, window displays, floor graphics, posters, fleet graphics and outdoor banners and signs.

Priced at $99,000 (US), the VUTEk 260 solvent, roll-to-roll printer will help businesses looking to expand their current capabilities and attract new revenue from jobs requiring superior image quality and faster turnarounds.

The VUTEk 260 is now shipping within Canada.

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