Mimaki Introducing LUS-350 Stretchable Ink

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Mimaki LUS-350 is a unique, stretchable ink suitable for a wide range of thermoforming applications, especially those requiring exceptional hardness and durability such as automotive parts. Mimaki LUS-350 ink is compatible with the Mimaki UJF-7151 plus and JFX200-2513 printers and will be available in CMYK, white and a unique clear ink.

Mike Horsten, General Manager Marketing EMEA at Mimaki Europe said, ‘This new ink will change the way vacuum moulded or thermoformed applications are created. It brings the benefits of digital printing to this segment of the market, addressing requirements for fast turn, short-run moulded objects with exceptional graphic quality. Previously, objects had to be formed and then have the images applied manually or with screen printing, a time-consuming and expensive process. Now thermoformed objects can be imaged before forming, using Mimaki digital printers with an ink that will not crack or otherwise be damaged during the heat-based forming process. It will provide a beautiful finish for applications such as car parts, mock-ups, moulded signs, kiosks and more.’

Mimaki LUS-350 ink will stretch up to 350% when heated to between 120 degrees Celsius and 200 degrees Celsius. After cooling to room temperature, the ink’s rigidity is restored, while securely adhering to the moulded product without cracking or peeling. Thus, the ink is unique in providing rigidity, durability and stretchability to serve a broad range of applications with no-compromise image quality. Images are printed on flat substrates using specialised imaging software and then formed into the desired shape using vacuum, thermoforming or other moulding techniques.

‘The beauty of this ink when used in the thermoforming process,’ Horsten added, ‘is that intricate textures and designs in fine decorative prints are retained even after moulding. What’s even more exciting is the ability to apply multiple layers of ink to create raised areas in the image for further enhancement, without worrying about cracking or the quality of the adhesion.’

Mimaki’s LUS-350 clear ink is also unique in the market, adding texture or a glossy finish that can’t be achieved with coloured ink alone.