Vertical Surface Printing Innovation Is Launched To The South African Print Industry

Vertical Surface Printing Innovation Is Launched To The South African Print Industry

WallPen offers print service providers the opportunity to print any image, directly onto almost any vertical surface, without the need for pre-treatments, vinyl or wallpaper.

South Africa is now home to one of the latest global print innovations: vertical printing. Pioneered by German company wallPen, the single biggest advantage of vertical printing is the liberation of media requirements, since wallPen can print on virtually any surface – including uneven surfaces.

As such, print service providers are no longer restricted by costly media or media size limitations, and can offer their clients an entirely new way of creating full-colour prints, directly onto any vertical surface, quickly, cleanly and cost effectively.

Johannesburg company wallPress, founded by South African print industry veteran Shaun Prinsloo, has been appointed as the exclusive distribution partner for wallPen in South Africa. According to Prinsloo, the new technology is one of the biggest disruptors to traditional printing, because it offers something very different to what’s currently available, and helps solve many of the creative challenges companies continually encounter with mainstream printing technology.

‘The combination of wallPen and a blank vertical surface is not only cost-efficient, but because it’s unique, the opportunities in the local market are virtually untapped,’ said Prinsloo. ‘From a commercial perspective, it’s a first of its kind for the African continent, especially the SADC region,’ he said. ‘It’s an ideal revenue stream opportunity for print service providers because they would no longer be at the mercy of the ever-increasing cost of substrates and consumables such as vinyl, paper and glues used during the application process.’

With the launch of the new wallPen E2, the product that wallPress is offering locally, the technology has now matured to the point where mainstream commercial viability is assured.

‘WallPen E2 can print on almost any vertical surface, even if the surface is covered in holes and cracks,’ Prinsloo explained. ‘Built into the head are two sensors that scan the surface 200 times a second as it moves up and down. If unevenness is detected, the head retracts and moves closer to the wall in order to keep the nozzles the same distance from the surface as it sprays the ink.’

Prinsloo said the built-in laser sensors compensate for unevenness, up to a difference of 10cm, by measuring the largest and smallest distance to the wall. Using this information, the wall printer optimally adapts the printing process to the conditions, and ensures seamless performance with impressive results, even on vastly uneven surfaces such as brick.

Ideal for South African conditions

South African users concerned about the ongoing power crisis in the country can take comfort in the knowledge that wallPen uses only 280W of power in full printing mode, and can therefore be reliably powered with portable power backup solutions for continuous operation for larger jobs, switching between backup and grid power when available.

‘Power issues aside, wallPen is perfectly adapted to South African conditions,’ said Prinsloo. ‘There’s zero post-print maintenance required, such as wallpaper peeling, even if the sun beats down on a wall, since it uses highly-robust UV ink that’s resistant to scratches and water, and ensures colour longevity and instant drying.’

WallPen is available now from wallPress and local partner, Thunderbolt Solutions.

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