Epson Extends Photo Printers to Commercial Photo-Printing Market with SureLab SL-D3000
Best known for its desktop color printers and wide-format printers using the company’s proprietary Micro Piezo printing, a variant of color inkjet printing, Epson Japan is now extending its color inkjet lineup with a new color printer designed for the commercial photo-printing market, the SureLab SL-D3000.
Designed for photo print shops and photo studios, the printer can produce up to 650 print per hour (printing 6″x4″ photos), and has a compact footprint 2.1 m2 (82.67″) for the main unit (3.2 m2 [126″] including a sorter unit).
Epson notes that with its MicroPiezo ink-jet technology, there’s no waste – a big advantage, since traditionally print shops have had to rely on silver halide-based photo labs, which rely on chemical reactions to print photos, which in turn requires careful management and disposal of chemicals, as well as a water supply. In contrast, the SureLab SL-D3000 doesn’t require disposal of waste chemicals.
New UltraChrome D6 Inks
The SureLab SL-D3000 uses Epson’s newly developed UltraChrome D6 ink set. Epson says it’s sought to minimize vibration when the system’s printing by employing a sturdy frame and strengthened components, and has also improved the accuracy of the printing mechanism. The whole printing process is managed by software designed to optimize each printing stage.
It also says it’s made particular advances with the SureLab SL-D3000’s paper rollers, which ensure that paper is sent to the print heads at precisely the right speed and time. Although these paper rollers are built to extremely precise specifications, Epson says it’s impossible to create them with a cross section that is a precise circle. Although the difference can be a matter of only a few microns, there are inevitably slight variations among models. These variations can cause slight disparities in the accuracy of the paper forwarding, leading to differences in print quality. To correct the problem, Epson engineers say they thoroughly analyzed the differences among each paper roller, and made careful adjustments to correct the angle of the rollers.
Two configurations of the SureLab SL-D3000 are available, one with a single paper-feed roller and one with two paper-feed rollers. The double-roll model provides for using two different-size paper rolls at the same time.
Epson has not yet announced pricing or global launch dates.