Ricoh is launching what it says is a compact, affordable direct to garment (DTG) printer, the Ri 100, marketing it as a sub-$10,000 low-risk investment into promotional garment printing.
Henryk Kraszewski, senior product & marketing manager – Production Print, Ricoh Australia, says, “It is at a price point where you have never had DTG before. Even the other entry level options are $20,000-$25,000, this is under $10,000. It is almost like a consumer type product, and makes DTG accessible to virtually any printer, quick printer or franchise. Even if you are just a home industry pumping out a couple of shirts a week you would be able to produce and supply them.
“Where I see the opportunity is more for the franchise type operations, where it is adjunct to their existing business. Commercial printers would look at a more upscale type solution. The Ri 100 can be operated by anybody, you do not need a high skill set.
“It can also produce tote bags, pillow cases, other promotional products, as long as it fits within the cartridge. You load the substrate onto an A4 sized print, print to that, and then bind it to the substrates. It can handle cotton from 100 per cent up to a 50-50 mix.
“It comes bundled with the software, which is PC-based computer, and you can use Wi-Fi to send images to the device directly. The aim is to make that production as easy as possible for a novice user.”
It prints up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi in vivid mode, leveraging Ricoh's printheads and modular drop-size technology.
Users can choose between ready-out-of-the-box Ricoh Design Software to create and print designs or an RPCS driver, which allows users to create designs with their preferred software of their choice before printing.
Ricoh says its Ri 100 is bundled with a heating system that removes wrinkles from fabric, creating a smooth surface for printing, and then cures the ink after, helping to fix the design in place for long lasting, colourfast prints.
The Ri 100 will be available for the Australian market mid-2018.
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