Océ will be launching its Touchstone elevated printing technology at Visual Impact Sydney, which uses Adobe extensions along with its Arizona specialty inks to created raised, layered, textured prints up to 1mm from the substrate.
Garry Muratore, product manager, Graphic Arts, Océ Australia, says the new workflow software has the potential to help businesses broaden their offering and build their business by creating new high-value, high-margin products using what Océ calls 2.5D print.
The technology was previewed to attendees of the NSW LIA 3D printing night, standing out for its real-world, marketable applications, compared to the potential future profits available in additive manufacturing, or 3D print.
Muratore says, “We are all aware of the advantages of normal, 2D print and it’s been interesting to see the buzz around 3D in recent years, although the ability of print service providers to integrate those technologies profitably into their business has given it limited relevance for our industry,” Muratore reflects.
“With Océ Touchstone, Arizona printers can take advantage of dimensional print in the form of commercially viable and profitable 2.5D applications, creating layered, textured prints that command significantly higher margins, without the need to invest in any additional hardware.”
Citing research, Muratore says print buyers expect to pay a premium for tactile prints, creating genuine opportunities to add value and improve margins for print service providers who can find a cost-effective and efficient way deliver.
He says, “In any business, profitability is the key to success. Improving efficiency and reducing costs can help, but the real key is leveraging new technologies to establish a genuine competitive advantage.
“Touchstone provides the solution with a suite of new productivity tools that make it easy to achieve high quality, repeatable results with an exciting sensory dimension.
“Touchstone uses extensions to the Adobe toolset to allow designers to build dimensional features into print jobs at the design stage. The design tools are free to use, but production does require Océ’s patented ALPS technology, which sits within the Onyx Thrive/ Océ Arizona ecosystem, speciality Océ IJC257 inks and, of course, an Océ Arizona printer.”
The system offers two categories of dimensional print; the Alto offering provides opaque elevation plus colour in depths of up to 1mm, while Brila offers a lower profile up to 0.5mm, with colour and varnish. The latter opens the door to applications like metallic effects, achieved by printing on reflective media like foil.
Océ says its ALPS technology also ensures every pixel of the final top layer – or image layer – is printed at the optimum height, exactly as if it were a 2D job, achieving outstanding quality with no softening of the image in valley.
Muratore says, “We think Touchstone will appeal particularly PSPs with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, who understand that creating a point of difference can really help them stay ahead of the game. And, of course, those who – and also those who service ‘bespoke’ markets where print is only one component of the finished item.”
“Importantly, Touchstone makes it easy for printers to achieve these dimensional enhancements, with straightforward, intuitive operation, simplified real-world design dimensions and a high level of automation. There are no complex iterations required in the design phase and, in terms of production, it’s pretty much set and forget.”
Océ Australia will have a Touchstone Wall on display at Visual Impact on Stand D17.
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