Digital printers and print service providers around the world are beginning to realise the benefit of combing their existing systems with laser cutting technology. One such organisation to recognise the advantages a laser cutting system can provide digital printers is world-leading printer manufacturer Ricoh, whose team at the Printing Innovation Centre in Hannover has been using a Trotec Speedy 300 laser system since February 2013.
Trotec has been focusing on ‘Print and Cut’ technology for many years and recently intensified this focus by announcing a partnership with Ricoh. Alexander Jauker , Head of Product Management at Trotec, believes that ‘the collaboration is very beneficial’, adding that with the new partnership, both companies ‘can gain even deeper insights into the requirements of the printing industry and receive valuable feedback on [their] products.
Matthias Achorner, Ricoh Team Manager at the Printing Innovation Centre shared his praise for the new partnership, noting that the aim of the partnership was ‘to stimulate the creativity of [their] customers’.
High Paper Finishing Quality
Ricoh are not the only company in the printing industry to enjoy the benefits of laser cutting technology. Laser technology allows print service providers to produce very detailed geometric shapes with a high level of precision and quality, making unbelievable attention to detail possible. A cutting plotter is unable to meet these standards, and customers will be delighted with new opportunities for design.
Not only can you cut the most delicate paper, cardboard and acrylic shapes without difficulty, it is also possible to engrave logos and pictures. Only one tool for all of your materials is required, making the laser beam the universal tool for all geometric shapes, strengths and material thickness. No matter whether the substrate is rigid or flexible, hard or soft, all you need is your laser to optimally process a huge range of materials.
Signage, display and digital printing companies frequently use our machines to cut acrylics, paper, card, MDF, foam boards, polystyrene, films and textiles.
Perfect Quality and Vision Recognition
Printed signs, displays, or point-of-purchase materials can be cut on an individual basis using laser technology and vision recognition. With other methods, like manual or laser pointer registration, slight distortions of the printed design create unsatisfactory results. However, a camera system recognises any distortions in the printed desng, no matter whether it is a linear or non-linear distortion of a rotation, and the cutting path is adjusted automatically and dynamically. The cutting lines therefore always match the printed design on both flexible and rigid materials.
Vision registration works by printing registration marks along the image. The camera is mounted on the processing head of the laser and registers the dimensions of the printed design by reading these marks prior to cutting. By comparing the registration marks on the printed design and the target positions in the original cutting file, the vision registration algorithm is able to recognise and compensate for any discrepancies. The software not only corrects rotations, but also adjusts the cutting path if the printed design is distorted or skewed. This guarantees a perfectly and precisely cut end product.
Expand Your Business
Many digital printing and print process providers who invest in a laser cutting, engraving and marking system end up expanding into other fields. Trotec laser systems are capable of cutting, engraving and marking on most materials, so users of our machines find they are able to offer a wider range of services.
‘Most of the sign and display companies that invest in a laser cutter expand into the field of acrylic fabrication’, notes Jauker. This is because Trotec laser machines are capable of cutting unusual shapes with unprecedented detail, especially compared to routers.
Trotec Speedy 500
Trotec’s Speedy 500 laser system is ideal for digital printers and print service providers, and today is the perfect partner for many businesses around the world. The standard features of the Speedy 500 and the optional extras available with it make it the perfect system for digital printers and print service providers.
The Trotec Speedy 500 is the ultimate laser cutting and engraving system for those who require fast processing of large volumes and/or large surface material, where smaller laser models are often insufficient. The Speedy 500 is the most productive system in its class.
With its 1245x710mm working area, the Speedy 500 provides enough space for most standard material formats in use today. Despite the large working area, every corner of the interior is easy to access.
The machine’s pass-through capability enables the processing of very long and bulky parts, and the unique multi-functional table concept facilitates optimal configuration for a large range of cutting and engraving applications.
To find out more about the Speedy 500 laser system, please see the product information page on our website. If you have a specific question about digital printing and laser cutting technology, please feel free to get in touch with us!
Parts of this post originally appeared in an article written by Alexander Jauker that was published in Specialist Printing Worldwide Magazine (Issue 3, 2011).