At AP Graphics, we use a variety of high-end machinery to produce our finished products. One such category of machine, are latex printers. But why, of all the types of available printers, do we use latex printers for our work? Here’s more on why we print with latex printers…
What is a Latex Printer?
First, let’s talk about what constitutes a latex printer. A latex printer is a printer which creates designs using latex ink. To expand on this, the print heads used by a latex printer distribute water-based ink using latex as a carrier for the color pigment.
The Difference Between Latex and Solvent Inks
The main difference between a latex and a solvent ink printer (or eco-solvent) is the type of ink used. Both printers, in the hands of trained technicians, will produce a wonderful product. The main difference is a latex printer will simply produce a more durable, finished product in less time, and with less side effects.
Why Do We Use Latex Printers?
The usage of latex printers is rapidly growing. In fact, rumors are surfacing that legislation will lead to the demise of solvent printers, favoring technologies like latex printing. So with all of these things in mind, here’s why we at AP Graphics decided to use latex printers for our applied graphics printing services:
1. Latex Printers are Environmentally Friendly
This is a greener technology because most of the ink itself is comprised of water. In addition, latex sits on top of the printing surface which makes it easier to recycle. A final reason our vinyl printing is produced using a latex printer is because latex does not emit any hazardous VOCs, whereas solvent printers do. If you’ve ever been around a solvent-printed graphic, you would know the smell, it’s unpleasant and it’s not good for the environment.
2. Latex Printers Require Less Maintenance
The general maintenance requirements for a latex printer are far below those of a solvent printer. For starters, most latex printers come with automated cleaning features. In addition to cleaning, if any of the parts break (one common example being a print head) the replacement piece is typically less expensive.
3. Later Printers offer Faster Turnaround Time
One of the largest benefits to a latex printer is the turnaround time. Ink cures instantly with a latex printer so jobs can be printed out quick for rush orders, or to correct any issues during installation. This also means more jobs can be processed in a single day offering better economies of scale for the company and its clients.
4. Latex Printed Graphics are More Durable.
Latex printed graphics do not need to be laminated. Straight out of the printer, these graphics can survive for up to 3 years outside without any additional lamination. Still, we choose to laminate all our latex prints to provide additional longevity and different finishing options.