Best Practices for Printing an Overlaminate with Timothy Mitchell

HP Latex application specialist Timothy Mitchell explores uses and best practices for the versatile HP Gloss Polymeric Overlaminate. This product not only works as a typical overlaminate used to protect prints, it can also be printed and used as a clear media that works with the HP Latex Print & Cut Solution.

Mitchell suggests using the product for a project like a decorative border around the edges of a window. The clear media works well on windows and can be custom cut using the Print & Cut system.

For optimal results, Mitchell suggests raising the ink load to 200%. “If you were to build this at 110%, and you were to put it in a store window with strong lighting coming through it, it’s going to look washed out … because you have what is a translucent material in a window, and that light cuts the color back,” he says. “If you were to switch that same print to 200% and you put it in there, the colors are going to pop.”

He suggests building the ink signature the same way as a backlit. In the video above, he walks through the steps to do that, and shows how the printer color calibrates and then can create a customized or standard ICC profile, based on the type of Latex machine.

Mitchell also discusses other advantages of the product and how to get the best results. Watch the video above for all of his insider tips and tricks.

Easy Variable Data Printing with HP Print & Cut + SAi Flexi

Looking for a quick way to use variable data in your next print project? When the Suncoast Jeep Festival asked us to create 500 numbered decals for their event, we opted for an easy software and print-and-cut solution to get the job done.

Each Jeep that entered the event needed to be tagged with a decal, and each needed its own number, which was to be displayed on the windshield. We chose HP Latex Print & Cut Solution, which comes with SAi FlexiPRINT RIP software that makes variable data printing a breeze. For the decals, we chose to print on HP Optimal Gloss Air GRP, which has a removable and repositionable adhesive.

In the video above, we provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to set up your design file for auto-serialization numbering, as well as marking cut-lines for kiss-cuts and perforations, to illustrate how fast and simple making these decals was.

Working in tandem with the HP Latex Print & Cut system, the Flexi RIP software creates a barcode during the printing process, and the cutter will read and recognize this barcode, and is then programmed to know the exact pattern to cut and perforate — no additional programming is needed when moving the print job to the cutter.

While we chose a simple number serialization project, the Flexi RIP software could be used to swap out photos, graphics, logos or anything else to create individual or personalized prints for labels, decals or whatever your customer can dream up!

LEARN MORE: Watch this video to see how we created cut lines in Adobe Illustrator:

For more information about working with variable data, give a LexJet print specialist a call at 800-453-9538.

Tis the Season for Customized Wrapping Paper

Looking for new ways to offer personalized printed products to your customers? Now’s the time to stock up for one of the holiday’s biggest trends: customized wrapping paper.

HP Satin Wrapping Paper is an easy solution! It’s a high-quality, thick paper that creates sharp, crisp prints using HP Latex inks, HP PageWide XL pigment inks or HP DesignJet Z6XXX inks. This paper dries quickly and resists smudges and smears while handling.

Help your customers easily create customized wrapping paper for family, friends or even corporate gifts with logos or special photos. The paper is also sturdy and versatile enough to use for temporary posters and signage.

PLUS: HP Satin Wrapping Paper is FSC®-certified and recyclable through common community recycling programs.

Stock up on HP Satin Wrapping Paper now before the holiday rush begins. Call a LexJet print specialist at 800-453-9538 to discover more ways to inspire your customers with personalized gift-giving ideas.

 

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.