Eurotech Mermaid dye-sublimation grand-format inkjet textile printer.
The Eurotech Mermaid is a dye-sublimation inkjet printer in grand-format size (3.x meter width) for textile printing. So the Eurotech Mermaid can produce soft signage on polyester. In Western Europe and other parts of the world both legislation as well as personal commitment to protecting the ecology recommends soft signage on textiles to avoids the environmental issues of solvent ink VOCs and vinyl.
Dye-sublimation with disperse dye textile ink is for banners, soft signage, etc.
The Eurotech Mermaid dye-sub large-format textile printer is for soft signage instead of old-fashioned stiff vinyl. Smelly vinyl is printed with solvent ink; soft signage flows with the wind, and is ecologically green. Plus all banners and other signage made with any kind of fabric or textile-like material is aesthetically more attractive than stiff, thick and creasable vinyl.
Direct-to-fabric kind of dye-sublimation textile printer.
Five years ago dye-sublimation was accomplished by printing onto transfer paper. You then had to move the printed transfer paper to a heat transfer calendering machine (a heat press). The heat press turned the ink into a gas and impressed it into the adjacent polyester-based fabric.
Eurotech Mermaid dye-sublimation printer seldom exhibited.
When I first visited the factory the printer was not completely finished. In the last three years I have not often seen this printer at expos. So we have moved onward to look at other dye-sublimation printers such as the Durst Rhotex 320 and recently at the MTEX, based on a Mimaki JV5. There is now also a new 3.2 meter VUTEk textile printer (as of April 2011).
How does FLAAR obtain its knowledge of inkjet textile printers?
After we visit all major trade shows: DRUPA, VISCOM Germany, VISCOM Italy, ISA, SGIA, and FESPA, we have a better awareness of which printers have potential. Our sources and resources allow us to relatively quickly learn which textile printers still have glitches: a big brand name, even in the US, Canada, Asia, etc is not immune to having a dye-sublimation printer that has features in need of significant improvement.
The second day I devoted to studying their direct-to-fabric dye sublimation printer, the Eurotech Mermaid. Naturally it was also possible to see one Eurotech Eagle solvent-based grand format printers being finished in the factory.
Keundo tried for years to build a dye sub printer. A full version has never been exhibited outside Korea in recent years.
Even Gandinnovations had issues for many years trying to create a dye-sub printer. Their first versions had issues with inks and the sublimation. Agfa has tried to improve it, but at the last two trade shows that I attended, ISA and a large expo in Australia, the AquaJet was not exhibited.
What we can learn from this is that even companies with years of experience, such as Keundo and Gandinnovations, are not able to engineer a dye sublimation printer without issues. So far, Mimaki has been the company with the most success in engineering a total sublimation system. d-gen and other dedicated textile printer companies have as well. In other words, unless you have an entire division dedicated, for many years, to developing a textile printer, it's not easy just to build one from scratch.
First posted April 6, 2009.