Started by Mark Lindquist, July 10, 2013, 09:29:11 pm
Quote from: Mark Lindquist on July 10, 2013, 09:29:11 pmAre there any printers that can print on aluminum, 4' x 8' sheets with inks that will last 25 years in direct exposure to sunlight?Obviously, a UV coating will be required, but I'm wondering if there are any commercial solutions for making prints that will withstand the rigors of Florida sunshine. Additionally, does anyone know of any professional printers (print shops) that do this? (Not necessarily sign printers).Is there a particular brand/model printer made that one can buy that will print on aluminum and create an image that will last 25 years without fading?Looking at a job of making about (60) unique 4' x 8' panels.
Quote from: Scott Martin on July 10, 2013, 09:45:55 pmThat's a job for a UV Curable printer and you'll also want a UV Curable lamination on top (which can be hard to find). HPI (http://hpihouston.com) is one place that does both, and does the printing at 1000dpi 24pass with 3M's latest 8 color inkset. Great stuff! I do a lot of it myself.
Quote from: tastar on July 10, 2013, 10:50:38 pmIf you are looking for someone to do these prints, you can try Advanced Finishing outside of Erie, PA - they sublimate onto metal and have done very large (up to 40 ft. x 60 ft.) murals, so they could probably do 4 x 8's. The sublimated metal seems to be extremely durable, too. The owner is Greg Yahn, their website is http://www.atexfinishing.com/welcome.html. I would guess that it would be a very expensive project, though.Tony
Quote from: Mark Lindquist on July 10, 2013, 11:12:55 pmShadowblade -Thanks very much for your thoughts and perspective on this issue. Yes, I'm looking for color, and no I haven't considered bird poop, but certainly will after reading your epistle.You bring up many good points, and although the process you describe is certainly most worthwhile, I think it will be beyond the scope of the budget, the cost of which will most likely not even get me through the proposal process on that scale.Your info is invaluable however. Many many thanks for taking the time to discuss this, and a million thanks for your generous sharing of information. After many years of sharing information freely, myself, it is gratifying to be on the receiving end, particularly with such astute practitioners, and on this forum.Very much appreciated, and I am deeply grateful, sir.Best-Mark Lindquist
Quote from: shadowblade on July 10, 2013, 09:50:13 pmAs far as I know, no current colour inkjet process - aqueous, UV or solvent - will be suitable for these conditions for such a long duration, nor will the dye-sub processes used by Imagewizards, Bay Photo, etc.
Quote from: Scott Martin on July 11, 2013, 10:24:17 amThen perhaps you should look into UV Curable printing. It's the standard for outdoor signage and is made to last for years in the sun, weather and to stand up to bird poop (a common thing for signage)! I mentioned the UV Curable lamination process as well because it dramatically improves an already incredibly durable process. With the UV lam, prints become graffiti proof - even spray paint can be wiped off. But a lot of places don't offer the lam because they don't think it's necessary. If super durability is what you're after, you'll want the UV lam. Lots of people, especially in photography and fine art markets, don't have much experience with UV Curable printing. The printers themselves are $200,000+ but the cost of having prints made is surprisingly affordable. Far, far more so than dye sublimation prints on metal that some mention here. If you don't have experience with it, don't knock it until you've made some prints of your own and put them on your roof for a while...
Quote from: shadowblade on July 11, 2013, 11:39:30 amWhat's the image quality like for photos of this print process? I know it's used for signage, but what's acceptable in a large sign or a large billboard isn't the same as what's acceptable in a small-ish photo-quality print that needs to resemble a continuous-tone image.Also, what's the long-term stability of these inks like? After all, I don't see people rushing out to produce archival fine-art prints using UV-cured inks... or am I missing something?
Quote from: Mark Lindquist on July 11, 2013, 12:48:47 pmShadowblade - for my project - I'm talking about very large billboard size images - if you read my original post - needing at least 60 4' x 8' sheets, minimally, and those sheets, tiling a very large XY pano image.
QuoteSo definitely, NOT small-ish prints. I am curious about archival longevity as well. Fading is one thing, especially when compared to an original sample, but some degradation would have to unavoidable, I would think over the long term. Also, in this case, coatings could be a strong factor in establishing longevity (taking into consideration what you posintewd out in your first post).
Quote from: Mark Lindquist on July 11, 2013, 07:01:35 pmYep multi-billboard size - gigapixel kindof thing.I'm looking at a technique that has a minimum of ten years in direct sunlight (measured in flat sun in Arizona, in real time) before degrading noticeably in comparison to an original sample. From that point on, the color fades according to a curve - just not sure how fast. Since the image is an abstract, it would be difficult to see a marked difference for at least about 15 years give or take. After that it's anybody's guess.The question is, how significant would the fading be, and what effect would it be (negative, or possibly acceptable).
QuoteGood to know about the Dyesub quick fade info. That would be a problem, for sure.
Quote from: shadowblade on July 11, 2013, 11:39:30 amWhat's the image quality like for photos of this print process? I know it's used for signage, but what's acceptable in a large sign or a large billboard isn't the same as what's acceptable in a small-ish photo-quality print that needs to resemble a continuous-tone image.
Quote from: shadowblade on July 11, 2013, 11:39:30 amAlso, what's the long-term stability of these inks like?
Quote from: shadowblade on July 11, 2013, 11:39:30 amAfter all, I don't see people rushing out to produce archival fine-art prints using UV-cured inks... or am I missing something?
Quote from: shadowblade on July 12, 2013, 07:23:59 pmSounds similar to an inkjet-made carbon or gum print then, only with polyurethane or epoxy resin as the binder in which the pigment particles are embedded, instead of gelatin or gum arabic. In theory, that should be *very* stable - provided the polyurethane or epoxy resin remains intact.
Quote from: shadowblade on July 12, 2013, 07:23:59 pmAre you talking about UV printers like the Roland LEJ-640 and LEF-12? With their four-colour system (plus white and clear), what's their colour and black-and-white reproduction like, particularly in wide areas of subtle tonal gradient, such as skies?
QuoteThey print on a translucent sheet and it is laminated between 2 pieces of glass - (the same process as safety glass - only the center layer is an image rather than clear). This solves utterly ALL the problems except budget, but possibly that can be overcome.
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