Printer Review: Mimaki JF-1631 UV-curable Inkjet Flatbed Printer

Jim Hurley, owner of Print New Hampshire, loves the fact that he is in the wide-format business. “Having been in the printing business most of my adult life, I have come to embrace the digital print world. The fabulous fine artwork and graphic displays we produce each day reason alone to come to work. The technology is incredible… it’s amazing to see the many types of jobs we output on a daily basis. It brings a smile to my face.”

Since 1984 this Manchester, NH-based graphics house has grown to be one of the best in the region. “We strive to offer nothing but the best customer service to our clients. Our state-of-the-art equipment and facilities are ready and able to fill all graphic and printing creative and production needs,” he said.

Hurley is a big Mimaki user and has a number of Mimaki printers in house. “We’ve used Mimaki printers for many years now. They have been true workhorses for us. We’ve been impressed by the way they have stood behind their products.”

So, when it came time to add a new flatbed to their equipment mix, they chose Mimaki. “We were looking to purchase a flatbed machine that would speed up our production cycle by eliminating the step of applying adhesive vinyl and printing directly to substrates. In addition, our client base was also looking to print on a variety of substrates such as glass, metal, wood, polystyrene and gator boards,” said Hurley.

He reported that their JF-1631 has helped them meet those needs since it was installed in July 2007. “The Mimaki JF-1631 is a 5x10-foot UV-curable inkjet printer provides us the versatility to print on numerous uncoated substrates including corrugated plastics, polyacrylics and uneven or irregular media. With a maximum resolution of 1200x1200 dpi, the JF Series is suitable for both sign graphics with a long viewing distance and POP displays. The highest resolution of 1,200dpi and the variable dot technology (seven different dot sizes) realize near photographic image quality. Even four-color mode realizes a non-grainy print.”

Hurley has been pleased with his purchase. “It’s a good solid machine. There hasn’t been a substrate we haven’t tried to print on. One client wanted us to print on hoods from junked cars. He flattened them out and mounted on a wood frame. We then printed them directly to those frames on the JF-1631. The guy was selling them for $10,000 apiece in Florida! People come into the shop all the time asking us if we can print on different substrates. We’ve printed some really impressive jobs on it. The JF-1631 has really helped boast our printing capabilities.”

Hurley said they are also using the flatbed to print prototypes for inventors in the area. “We are producing a lot one off prototypes for people looking to come out with a new product. This is a really cool part of the business; seeing some of these products before they hit the marketplace.”

He also likes the unit’s white ink option. “The white ink is great feature. It’s given us a competitive edge. It’s a big plus with clients,” he added.

Using the standard white ink, JF-1631 can print bright, vibrant color even on transparent media. With the specially developed clear liquid, you can achieve a high-gloss finish while also improving color-fastness. The JF Series is equipped with dual UV lamps, enabling high speed, bi-directional printing. “Having the Mimaki JF-1631 flatbed has allowed us to take our shop in a number of new directions. I love Mimaki presses and wouldn’t do without one,” he concluded.