Acrylic makes for very attractive products, but presents many difficult challenges.
In order to use it successfully, one needs to know and understand the intricacies of handling acrylic materials. Clear Design was founded in Cape Town 18 years ago by owner Darren van Eyk and have become masters in the art of working with acrylics.
Initially, all production processes at Clear Design were handled manually, but each stage of development within the company has seen another level of automation being introduced. Until recently however, one aspect of the production process was still outsourced – the printing. Said Darren, “We were outsourcing our printing but this meant that we had no control over the quality of printing or how our materials were handled when they were out of our hands. This resulted in many printing related problems, delays and repeats.”
Three years ago Darren started looking for the right printer to be able to bring the printing in-house. Darren commented, ‘We looked at all of the usual players in the large-format market but we had very specific criteria. Firstly, the inks had to have a high degree of flexibility and stretch. Secondly, we needed UV inks but they could not be heat-cured inks as the heat would introduce stresses into the acrylic.’
On the advice of a trusted friend with many years in the large format industry and after extensive research, Darren chose the Mimaki JFX1631 Plus UV LED printer. This printer met both of his initial prerequisites and also features the ability to handle two different ink sets: Flexible UV ink and Hard UV ink. It can handle print onto a wide range of materials including glass, wood, board, paper and vinyl, in fact any substrate up to 48mm thick onto which the ink can be printed.
Darren added, ‘The Mimaki JFX1631Plus printer has done so much more than bring control back in-house, it has given us the ability to make our customers’ visions come to life. The range of products manufactured by Clear Design is only limited by the imagination of the client and even here, input from the team will often result in a more exciting alternative. Such is the reputation Clear Design has developed for quality that it has attracted clients from around South and Southern Africa and has a growing list of international clients as well.
To find out how Mimaki’s superior range of machines can advance your business, speak to Graphix Supply World today. Graphix Supply World can assist with all your printing needs from large format printers to high performance media and inks.
Clear Design www.cleardesign.co.za