Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Four – Caring for Your Latex Spindles

In the final edition of our latex tips and tricks series, HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell offers some suggestions for spindle care as well as helpful hints for endcap placement that can resolve some common problems like paper recognition or “roll walking.”

Whether you have the 3-inch aluminum spindle for the Latex 365 or the smaller, adjustable core spindle for the Latex 115/315/335 family, Mitchell doesn’t recommend leaning the spindles against the printer when they are not in use. “It’s easy for the bottom to slip and it hits the ground and gets damaged,” he says. “Take care of them, I use beanbags on top of the printer to rest the spindles.”

Taking care of the endcaps and core adapters is also essential. There are locking mechanisms in place to keep the roll steady during printing that can loosen over time due to improper use. The tension is lost, rolls can slip or “walk.” If you have ever received a notification that the media was rejected or not recognized by the printer, it could be that the endcap is loose and the paper is not properly aligned in the printer.

“If you are doing long runs, using the take-up roll, the endcap needs to be secure and flush against the core,” Mitchell says. “If it gets loose, the media could slide with it. Making sure it’s stable is key.”

Mitchell also has some suggestions for the spindle with the adjustable core. “If you are completely committed to printing on 3-inch core product, you can permanently attach the core adapter with heavy-duty glue,” he says. You will want to ensure the glue doesn’t affect the latch if you choose to create a permanent 3-inch core.

Watch the video above to see Mitchell explain the best ways to keep your spindle and endcaps in working order, leading to a smooth latex workflow.

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Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part Two – Using the Counterweights and Take-up Reel on Your HP Latex Printer

Printing panels for trade shows can keep a latex printer and a production manager busy, but there is one tip from HP Latex Specialist Timothy Mitchell that can help lighten the load a little: use the counterweights.

“There are a couple of key pieces to successfully panel printing with the 300 series latex printer,” Mitchell says of the counterweights. If you’ve never used them, they could still be on the dancer bar for the newer 300 series printers. For the older models (310, 330, 360), you may need to contact HP Support to order a set.

When panel printing, it is more efficient and accurate to reduce the tension on the media. The dancer bar adds tension and adjusting the counterweights on either end of the bar allows you to increase or decrease the tension, depending on the media thickness and material.

Another important tool to use properly is the take-up reel. Many people may not know that there is an option to wind the graphics inside or outside.

“If you go inside, there is a little less tension than if you go outside. I usually judge it by the media,” Mitchell says.

Much like adjusting the counterweights, winding media inside or outside depends on the media.

Watch the video above to see Mitchell discuss his tips and tricks for the counterweights and take-up reel. If you have an older 300 series printer, you can contact HP Latex Support.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about printing with latex, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

Four-Part Series: HP Latex Printer Accessories

Part One – When to Use Platen Covers

If you’ve recently purchased an HP Latex Printer, there are some important tools you may not be using that can make printing a little easier: platen covers, counterweights, butterfly edge guards, and spindles.

In part one of our four-part series, we’ll discuss when to use platen covers.

Long, unattended runs on the latex printer is a great way for print service providers to complete large projects while staying on schedule with short runs or quick custom jobs. However, some PSPs experience issues when continuous runs are printed on fabric.

Because the media is porous and a heavier ink load is required (185-200% coverage), condensation can build up between the fabric and the platen and stain the image.

Timothy Mitchell, HP Latex Specialist, says that the platen covers, which are included with the Latex 365 or 500 series, are made specifically to reduce the condensation during these runs.

“These are there to prevent the accumulation of condensation and creating a discolored stain,” he says. “If I’m going to run an entire roll for a trade show, I will put these on because I am going to run continuously, and it will create a lot of moisture and the felt [on the platen cover] is necessary.”

Watch the video above to see Mitchell discuss the proper times and ways to use the platen covers. If you have an older 300 series printer, you can contact HP Latex Support.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about printing with latex, contact a LexJet printer specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com.

LexJet brandUP: Supporting Ringling College Students’ VR Game at SXSW

South by Southwest, or as it’s more commonly known, SXSW, is a convergence of creatives across the interactive, film and music industries held annually in Austin, Texas. Marketers exhibit brand roll-outs and new products and applications to attendees.

One brand activation at the 2019 festival featured a group of talented students from Ringling College of Art + Design. About 35 students, studying graphic design, game art, illustration, motion design and business of art and design, launched “Wet Dog Corp.” a futuristic, arcade-style virtual reality game that takes the player through various levels where dirty dogs on conveyor belts are waiting to be cleaned.

“Wet Dog is a zany, fun VR dog washing game that some of our Game Art seniors made in collaboration with Flight School. We thought it would be a fantastic idea to debut the game at SXSW at their Gaming Expo,” says Jamie DeRuyther, a Game Art and Virtual Reality Development faculty member at Ringling College. “It really kind of blossomed into this really, really amazing marketing campaign.”

To attract people to the VR game, the Ringling team wanted to personalize and brand as many eye-catching items as they could. From water bottles to banners to vehicle decals, the Wet Dog logo was everywhere. “It’s real-world stuff with real clients in a real product in real time,” says Jeff Schwartz, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Tallie Malka, majoring in business art and design with an emphasis on marketing, stresses the importance of brand identity. “Branding this company [Wet Dog Corp.] and promoting what we’re doing is what I want to do for a career,” Malka says. “Every touch-point that these people have, they know our brand. That’s why we have branded water bottles, branded everything.”

The students of Ringling and the professionals at LexJet joined together in a collaborative effort to design the graphics, choose the right media, and print the images needed for the project.

LexJet provided the media and offered tips to create many of the large-format printed assets for the experience including banners, displays, vehicle graphics, target boards and water bottles. Here’s a peek into how the students brought Wet Dog Corp. to life:

  • Because the team set up outside, they chose HEYtex Mesh for the eye-popping graphics printed on 60/40 pattern, providing see-through visibility.
  • Easy-to-read graphics printed with LexJet Production Display Film SUV were displayed with banner stands and strategically placed throughout the booth, providing directions and hints to gamers. This durable film was selected because of its excellent image quality and water-resistance.
  • Vehicle branding is one of the easiest, but most important marketing opportunities. The Wet Dog team rented a van for the event and created temporary door and hood graphics using HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP. This calendared vinyl offers a gray, repositionable adhesive and is perfect for fleet and flat-paneled vehicle graphics.
  • In addition to the VR game, a carnival-style game was created with images of dogs printed on HP Prime Gloss Air GP and then installed on backboards. The calendared vinyl with a gray, permanent adhesive is a print service provider’s best asset. This versatile product can be used for indoor and outdoor signage, menu boards, stickers and decals, and many other applications.
  • Using the HP Latex 335 Print and Cut, labels were printed on HP Prime Gloss CP allowing the students to personally brand the water bottles in the booth, on demand. The calendared vinyl with clear adhesive is perfect for stickers, decals and other graphics on clear or light-colored substrates.

The Wet Dog Corp. experience garnered over 900 visitors in a single day. To see more about this successful brand activation as well as see the products in action, click on the video above.

If you are interested in these or other products from LexJet, give us a call at 800-453-9538 or visit LexJet.com, today.

HP’s Timothy Mitchell: EnduraFab Stretch “Excellent” for Sign Frames

If you’ve got customers demanding fabric solutions for retail signage or trade show displays, HP’s “Latex Czar” Timothy Mitchell suggests EnduraFab Stretch for great performance on HP Latex printers as well as excellent scuff and scratch resistance.

“This was the first company to come out with a truly durable latex textile,” he says in the video above. When building its durable textile portfolio, HP was looking to improve scuff and scratch resistance, as well as improved performance on the latex printers.

The EnduraFab Textiles family of products include a proprietary coating that ensures they print seamlessly on the latex and maintain a soft hand-feel while also standing up to multiple washings. The 100% polyester warp knit fabrics are specifically designed to be used with HP’s third generation latex inks.

The EnduraFab Stretch option, which is also available in a fire retardant option, has a one-directional stretch that’s ideal for easy installation into SEG frames. It is also acoustically rated for Sound Absorption and Noise Reduction when paired with acoustic foam or boards.

“This would be excellent, for example, in a sign frame,” Mitchell says. “Using a SignComp frame where you are going to stretch it into a frame or sewing in the SEG gaskets.”

Watch the video about for all the details and possible uses for EnduraFab Stretch. Call a LexJet representative at 800-453-9538 to learn more about the EnduraFab line and how it can help you grow your retail and trade show offerings.

To see how EnduraFab was used in an over-sized SEG frame to create décor in an office setting, watch the video below.

Timothy Mitchell: HP Adhesive Vinyl Is ‘Top of the List’ for Print & Cut

HP Latex Application Specialist Timothy Mitchell was on the hunt for an affordable, easy-to-use and reliable adhesive vinyl for use in the HP Latex Print and Cut system, and says he’s found the ideal product with HP Prime Gloss Air GP Adhesive Vinyl, available at LexJet.

Mitchell was looking for a vinyl for decals, stickers and other indoor applications, and says, “From what I’ve seen, it prints beautifully on the 500 series; printing beautifully on this 315 for my Print and Cut,” he says. “Nicely done. Recommended – it’s certainly something you would put at the top of the list for the Print and Cut application.”

In the video review above, Mitchell discusses how well the product works with the HP Latex pinch rollers at a variety of speeds and temperatures.

“This runs at the maximum temperature with no trouble from pinch rollers … no issues,” Mitchell says. “Even at maximum temperatures, this is a highly compatible material [for HP Latex]. I can run it at slower and faster speeds and put more ink on it … so my quality range is all the way across the board, and I like that.”

HP Prime Gloss Air GP is one of six products in the new HP Adhesive Vinyl and Laminates portfolio.

“This is a nice product, and it prints great,” Mitchell says. “There are a lot of selections within the new Prime category that’s just been released.”

To learn more about the HP Latex Print and Cut system, watch the video below: