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38 ProPrint March 2015
What does the printer do?
The Epson SureColor SC-F7100 is a
64in-wide (1.6m) roll-to-roll textile
printer, that jets water-based dye-
sublimation inks from piezo-electric
When was it launched and what are
the target markets?
Officially launched at Ipex last year. It is
largely aimed at full-time textile
producers who print complete rolls of
cloth that will then be made up into
garments, soft furnishings, soft signage,
banners, flags and the like.
The smaller 44in (1.1m) Epson
SC-F6000, which is so far the better
seller, is more attractive for producing
small quantities of in effect on-demand
lengths to be cut to size for individual
applications. Although both printers
can also produce transfer paper for solid
items (such as phone covers), it is likely
that the F6000 would be the first choice
How does it work?
Although optimised for textile transfer
work with roll rewinding, it is
essentially the same as Epson’s current
family of SC series wide-format
printers. These are progressively
replacing the Stylus Pro range.
The SC-F7100 prints onto a special
transfer paper, which is then brought
into contact with the textile rolls in a
separate heat press, normally a roller
calendering machine. Epson has not so
far announced any plans to run a
calendering press inline with the
printer. As with any dye-sub process,
the end-medium needs to have a high
polyester content to absorb the
vapourised (sublimated) dyes.
Ink tanks are used rather than
cartridges. These are 1.5 litre capacity
and can be refilled on the run from
resealable 1.0 litre ink pouches.
How does it differ from earlier
The SC-F7100 is a replacement for the
SC-F7000, first introduced in April
2013. The new model adopts Epson’s
latest Precision Core TFT printheads,
first launched last year. These allow
high resolution (720x1,440dpi) with a
single row of heads. PrecisionCore self-
monitors every ink chamber and
nozzle, detecting and compensating for
blockages on the run.
Other important improvements
include a much improved take-up
system that rolls the paper accurately to
within +/-2.5mm on up to 40kg rolls.
This is important for calendering
systems where it’s key to transfer the
image accurately in position. A new
post-heater ensures that the ink is fully
dry before going on the take-up roller,
so there is no offsetting.
How productive is it?
Speed is always a knotty question with
any inkjet, as it depends on how many
passes you want to specify. The top
speed of the SC-F7100 is 58.9sqm per
hour with the lowest-quality single-pass
operation, but it is 22sqm per hour for
more typical three-pass working.
And in good news the nature of dye-
sub transfer tends to blur out
imperfections (as well as sharp detail),
so more passes are not needed.
What’s the front-end?
Epson supplies the ErgoSoft rip in an
Epson edition as part of the list price.
This is based on the TexPrint version of
its software, with special features for
textile work. The lower cost F6000
comes with a Wasatch rip and there is
the option of a Caldera rip.
What is its USP?
It is an all-Epson solution: hardware,
printheads and ink. Other suppliers
have put together dye-sublimation
packages based on Epson printers for
years, but this is the first with Epson’s
own UltraChrome DS ink.
How easy is it to use?
The ErgoSoft rip has built-in features
developed for textile work, including
step-and-repeat, special colour
replacement and ink limit controls.
What training and support is
Epson recommends basic print training
for new wide-format operators.
Experienced operators only need a
Purpose-built textiles machine
with the latest technology
Max roll width
58.9sqm per hour
(1-pass), 22sqm per
CMYK UltraChrome DS
5.3pl (variable size)
1.5 litres per colour
Mimaki got into the textile
sector a good while earlier
than Epson. The latest 1.3m and
1.6m JV300 (which is eco-
solvent as standard) is said to
be producing good results at its
higher speeds when run with
dye-sub inks, thanks in part to
twin printheads. The inks use
blue (Bl) instead of cyan, as
well as a dense black (DK),
specifically for textiles.
Max roll width 1.6m
Media thickness Up to 1mm
Max throughput 105.9sqm per
hour (‘super draft’ 360dpi),
32.7sqm per hour (540x720dpi
4-pass), 15.4sqm per hour
Max resolution 1,4 40dpi
Inkset BlMYDK, light blue and
Ink capacity 440ml car tridges
(2 litre bulk system optional)
Contact Mimaki Australia
MUTOH VALUEJET 1624W
Mutoh has dye-sub models in a
range of sizes and speeds. The
ValueJet 1624W is nearest on
price to the Epson and uses
Mutoh’s DS2 water-based inks.
It has a cutting knife as
standard but winders and
unwinders for calendaring
rollers are extra.
Max roll width 1.6m
Media thickness 0.3 –2 .1m m
Max throughput 39m2/hr
(draft), “typical production”
between 14m2/hr and 27.5m2/hr
Max resolution 1,4 40dpi
Ink cartridge capacity 1 litre
Footprint 2.7 x0.9m
Contact Mutoh dealers
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