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Mimaki TS30-1300

Brian Sims takes a look at the Mimaki TS30-1300, a printer with an affordable price tag and high build quality that is providing a gateway for sign-makers to enter a new market

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The Mimaki TS30-1300 is an entry level printer ideal for sign-makers looking to enter the wide-format printing market

A bright addition to Mimaki’s portfolio

We are very fortunate that we live in a world where we can print on demand, and increasingly we can do this on virtually any substrate. We now know a lot about 3D printing, which the purists would still argue is not printing, but even if rebadged as rapid prototyping, anyone would concede these printers can produce the most remarkable components.

Our printing world also has some instant product superstars to choose from and this month we are looking at one of them; the Mimaki TS30-1300. This is an entry-level printer that boasts a very formidable scope of products backed by the very latest eco-standards. It launched this year at FESPA and has just started shipping.

As Mimaki explains on its website, it is unique in being able to offer fluorescent inks alongside the critically acclaimed Sb54 and Sb320/420 sublimation inks used by the TS30-1300 printer. More importantly, these inks are now the recipient of the Eco Passport certification from Oeko-Tex.

It is unique in being able to offer fluorescent inks alongside the critically acclaimed Sb54 and Sb320/420 sublimation inks used by the TS30-1300 printer

We are very conscious of the apparel that we purchase and use, and there is far heightened concern on the effects to our skin of clothing we wear and our children wear, for instance. We like vivid yellows, greens, and oranges, but we also have those gremlins that question ‘how do they make it so bright?’

(Above & below) It offers fluorescent inks alongside the Sb54 and Sb320/420 sublimation inks used by the TS30-1300

Some of us may have old watches from our grandparents that have superbly luminous dial faces that shine brightly in the dark. However, casually pass a Geiger counter over them and you quickly understand just how we made things glow in the 1940s.

In this modern age, to counter our concerns, the Swiss-based organisation Oeko-Tex can provide the safe guards we seek through their certification programme. This programme has at its heart the control of the raw materials, products, and finishing chemicals used to produce the garments and products we use and have next to our skin.
Long gone are the days when we have little concern as to how the product was completed. As consumers, we are investing into the ‘cradle to grave’ time frame of exactly how and from where these intimate contact items come from and how they were produced.

Mimaki has taken these concerns and consumer choices very much to heart when it considered the design and manufacture of the TS30-1300. It has made sound business connections with Nissenken, the Japanese custodian of all things ecological, to ensure that this entry model textile printer can easily match the Standard 100 requirements set by Oeko-Tex and give us peace of mind.

To put the final seal of approval on the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, this printer from Mimaki not only meets the standard set, but it actually comes with the stringent certification covering over 300 elements of raw materials, chemicals, and finished items. The tie up between Oeko-Tex and Nissenken is instrumental in the environmental credentials of this printer.

The specification

So, what about the printer itself? At its heart is the fairly ubiquitous on-demand piezo head producing ink displaced at eight lines of 180 nozzles. The resolution possible (depending on the product) is from 540 to 1,080dpi, with a wide scope of droplet size. Coming in either four or six sublimation ink sets, the printer can produce the standard CMYK, along with light cyan and magenta for the additional two colours. This array can produce vivid and bright colours on textile products such as fashion apparel, sportswear, store decoration, and other personalised products.

Mimaki Sb54 sublimation inks are designed to apply to a scope of applications and as such, test results are gauged against the various ISO standards, and pass each of the required benchmarks.

This printer is not designed for large volume production, it has a 1,372mm media width and a print width up to 1,361mm, and the ink droplets are deployed onto media at a speed of up to 19.6m2. It was never designed to cope with the production of 5,000 football shirts; it has been specifically designed to produce one-off, bespoke, and low volume products.

Vivid colours can be printed onto textile products such as fashion apparel and sportswear

That said, the TS30-1300 is not limited with the media type it can print on. Not only is it very adept at printing on polyester textiles used widely throughout the clothing industry, but also it is equally at home to print on rigid items such as mugs, metal, and wood.

Not only is it very adept at printing on polyester textiles, but also it is equally at home to print on rigid items such as mugs, metal, and wood

More rudimental details about the printer are that it is a roll-to-roll printer and those rolls can be up to 180mm in size, along with a 50mm paper core with a weight of substrate no more than 25kg. The ink cartridges are 440cc in size and have an ink pack of up to two litres. Head gap can vary from 2 to 5mm in total and each head can produce droplets from 4 to 14pl.

As an entry machine, it runs from a single phase 15 amp supply which means it can be virtually plugged into any normal domestic socket. With power consumption at maximum of 300 watts, this is far less than a standard kettle.

Being so nimble, changes to mock-up designs, personalisation, and one-off designs are easily achieved on the TS30-1300. Obviously to accomplish such feats, the printer is very adequately supported by Mimaki’s Raster Link 6 software. Even first time users of this printer will very soon be producing the most extravagant designs and products possible.

So be it t-shirts, mouse mats, or polyester banners, if you are looking to dip your toe into the world of dye-sublimation printing at a competitive price, the TS30-1300 will not only accomplish this for you, it will do so with some of the most impeccable eco-credentials anyone would wish for.

Brian Sims, principal consultant, Metis Print Consultancy, www.metis-uk.eu

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