Avatrex Transportable Imaging Receives 2012 InterTech Technology Award

Avatrex Transportable Imaging was named as a recipient of a 2012 InterTech Technology Award that judges selected for being truly innovative and for the significant impact the technology is expected to have on the graphic communications industry.

Award winning product for the graphic arts industryAvatrex Transportable Imaging is a thin, multi-layer coating with built-in adhesive and protection properties that can be printed with a variety of print platforms and transported to practically any surface.

Printing Industries of America recently selected 12 technologies to receive a 2012 InterTech Technology Award from a variety of technology nominations ranging from digital presses and related enhancements to a variety of mobile and Web-based software for the printing industry.

“The judges were impressed with Avatrex’s remarkable versatility – it can produce high quality images with most printing processes and bond to virtually any surface,” said Dr. Mark Bohan, vice president, Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America. “The coating technology that underlies Avatrex allows images to be used in ways previously not thought possible.”

Avatrex Transportable Imaging works across a variety of print platforms, including virtually all digital and traditional print methods: offset, flexo, screen printing, inkjet (aqueous, latex, solvent, low-solvent and UV-curable) HP Indigo and dry toner systems.

New technology for the sign and graphics market
Thomas Reprographics used LexJet Infinium, which is based on Avatrex Transportable Imaging technology, to produce these antinqued signs for a restaurant chain. Andrew McConnell of Thomas Reprographics says Infinium's ability to conform to the painted aluminum blanks made the signs look more authentic than a vinyl application.

Some of the commercial printing applications include book covers of all types, packaging and specialty labels. And, since Avatrex Transportable Imaging takes on the color and texture of the substrate, heavily textured or embossed surfaces can now be decorated with full-color, photographic images and graphics.

LexJet Infinium, which was introduced in December of 2011, is based on Avatrex Transportable Imaging technology, and is compatible with latex, solvent and low-solvent wide-format printers.

“Its significance lies in its avatar-like ability to take on the look, color and texture of whatever surface it is applied to, disappear into that surface and essentially become part of that surface, while at the same time be impervious to UV light, water, temperature and contaminants because of its inherent protective layer,” explains Ralph Giammarco, one of the developers of Avatrex Transportable Imaging. “Avatrex is the first technology to address the increasingly customized requirements of the printer.”

Beyond its application and print platform versatility, Avatrex Transportable Imaging is water-based, contains no VOCs, the carrier can be turned over and re-used as a white backer for many applications to minimize waste, and a separate laminate is not required, which cuts down on labor, time, materials and cost.

The InterTech star, a symbol of technological innovation and excellence, will be presented before an audience of industry leaders during the 2012 Premier Print Awards Gala featuring the InterTech Technology Awards and web2awards, Oct. 7, in Chicago, Illinois.

A technology review booklet showcasing all of the entries will be produced and distributed this fall at GRAPH EXPO 2012 and with the September issue of Printing Industries of America—The Magazine; the booklet will also be available at www.printing.org/InterTech.

For more information about Avatrex Transportable Imaging go to www.avatrex.com. And, to find out more about LexJet Infinium, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538.

Wet Application: How to Apply Infinium to Glass

Window graphics application and installationLexJet’s new Infinium, an inkjet-printable material that conforms to virtually any substrate to which you apply it, can be attached to a substrate using various attachment methods.

In previous posts, I showed you how Infinium can be applied to substrates like canvas and wood and even plexiglass using a thermal laminator.

One of the other ways to attach Infinium to a surface is simply by using water. This method works great for graphics on glass or windows that aren’t going to be permanently installed.

In the video embedded below, learn how to apply Infinium to glass using a wet application method…

More than 100 Educational Videos Now at LexJet’s YouTube Channel

YouTube educational videos for wide format inkjet printingLexJet’s YouTube channel has been the go-to destination for professionals in the wide format inkjet printing industry, photographers who print in-house, fine art reproduction companies and others involved in inkjet printing with new educational and how-to videos covering a wide range of topics – from printer setup and workflow to demonstrations of new products – at www.youtube.com/lexjet.

LexJet’s YouTube channel currently hosts more than 130 videos divided into nine featured playlists: Canon iPF Printers and Workflow, Epson Stylus Pro Printers and Workflow, HP Printers and Workflow, Education, Product Demonstrations, Onyx RIP, Display Hardware, Infinium and Around LexJet.

“Most of LexJet’s videos are produced based on customer requests for help with troubleshooting various print processes, from developing and preparing a wide format job in the software to finishing the graphic once it’s printed,” explains Sean McGettigan, LexJet’s video production director. “Though our customer specialists are here to provide free and unlimited product and technical support, the videos are an excellent supplement to our services.”

The Printer and Workflow playlists for Canon, Epson and HP include printer setup videos, how-to videos for printing through various applications (like Photoshop, Illustrator and PDFs), troubleshooting and demonstrations of various printer functions, like properly loading media and ink.

The Education, Product Demonstration and Display Hardware playlists include how-to videos on a number of subjects, like how to coat canvas, how to use Sunset Stretcher Bars for canvas wraps and step-by-step banner stand assembly.

The Onyx RIP playlist shows users how to use the Onyx RIP to maximize efficiency and color output in the wide-format printing process. The Infinium playlist shows how the industry’s first transportable and conformable print material can be applied to a range of substrates, from leather to wood, and the Around LexJet playlist gives an inside view of LexJet’s unique culture at its offices in Sarasota.

According to McGettigan, viewership at LexJet’s YouTube channel increased by more than 1,000 percent in 2011 over the previous year, and plans are in progress to continue this growth curve by introducing five to ten new videos per month in 2012.

For more information and to stay updated on the latest technologies and products for wide format inkjet printing and how to use them, go to www.youtube.com/lexjet.

Killer Application Test for LexJet Infinium at SAS Systems

Inkjet printing on three dimensional irregular surfacesDon’t try this at home. Nevermind. Go ahead and try it, but don’t think you need to try it on a skull. Cale Frederick, graphic designer at SAS Systems in Muscle Shoals, Ala., was dying to test the new Infinium graphic material from LexJet and found something that would put the product through its paces.

Touted as the industry’s first transportable, conformable graphic, Frederick wanted to make sure it performed as advertised before trying it on a project. Looking around the shop, he spied a skull sitting on a shelf someone in the shop had been given as a gag gift.

The skull had all the elements he was looking for – lots of nooks and crannies and irregular surfaces – and Frederick went to work on it with an appropriate graphic.

How to apply a conformable graphic“They say it’s conformable, and the test was successful. We’re pleased with the way it turned out. I’ve got some more ideas but haven’t had a chance to test anything else. We have a customer we print templates for that uses them as guides to carve cedar logs. He’s bringing some rough cedar and we’ll experiment with that as well,” says Frederick. “I used a generic vinyl profile and it seemed to work fine; it prints especially well in the dark colors. We’re really excited about it for future projects.”

The Infinium was printed with the company’s Roland solvent printer and applied using a heat gun and foam-textured surface applicators from 3M; a hot laminator for flat substrates like leather or canvas will work as well. Frederick says it took about 30-45 minutes to wrap and some of the steps in the process are shown in the photos.

Before applying a conformable graphic“The material worked really well and sank right down into some of the really deep spots. I also found that using a printhead cleaning swab for the smaller areas worked really well,” explains Frederick. “I kept my heat gun set on about 970 degrees. That is the temp we usually use for installing textured wall wraps. The force of the air worked nicely for helping the material sink into some of the concave areas.”

How to Apply Infinium to Canvas and a Wood Coaster

Printing canvas with a conformable materialLexJet’s new Infinium is the industry’s first transportable graphic. When properly applied it takes on the characteristics – the look and feel – of the material to which it’s applied.

In a typical advertising and promotional program, for instance, graphics for events, trade shows, retail environments and promotional materials often require different types of materials on different printer technology platforms.

With Infinium, one inkjet printable material can be transported to just about everything. This ensures accuracy and brand consistency as well as a reduction in time and materials. Moreover, because it is conformable to almost anything, it can be used creatively in unusual applications, like ceiling tiles, bricks, shoes, footballs, leather and ceramics, as well as more traditional materials like glass, wood and graphic arts boards.

Infinium is not a paper, it’s not a film, and it’s not a transfer material. Simply put, it’s a printable material with laminate and adhesive qualities all in one material. So, for applications that required multiple materials and multiple steps, Infinium does it with one material in two steps: Print and apply.

You can apply it to practically any surface you can imagine, including irregular surfaces and curves, using heat, water or a primer (LexJet Infinium Bond). This technology allows you to pick the surface or substrate you want to image, the print method you want to use and the application method.

LexJet Infinium Gloss and Infinium Matte are compatible with solvent, low solvent, latex and UV-curable printers, and like all LexJet products they come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and super-fast $9.99 flat rate shipping from LexJet’s nationwide network of distribution centers.

In the instructional videos below you’ll see how Infinium retains the texture and look of gesso-coated canvas and a wood coaster when applied using a thermal laminator…

How to Apply LexJet Infinium to Plexiglass

Printing graphics for application to plexiglassAs mentioned in an earlier post, LexJet Infinium is a new inkjet-printable material that conforms to virtually any substrate to which you apply it. Infinium is not a paper, film or transfer medium but a material with adhesive, laminate and print receptive qualities built into it.

When properly applied, Infinium not only conforms to the material but takes on the texture and look of the material. It can be applied with heat, water or a primer (LexJet Infinium Bond), depending on how temporary or permanent the graphic needs to be.

The current generation of LexJet Infinium is compatible with solvent, low solvent, latex and UV curable printers and comes in gloss and matte finishes in roll widths ranging from 25″-54″. For more information about LexJet Infinium, contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

In the video below, see how Infinium is applied to plexiglass with a thermal laminator…