UV printed braille on HP FB550

signman315

Signmaker
Wondering if anyone has any tips/tricks on printing braille with a Scitex FB550. Not sure if anyone is doing it and if it's reasonable on that printer. We are considering buying a 3d printer or desktop UV dedicated to braille but we already have the FB550 and wondering if maybe that's an option for printing braille. I've run UV printers for 13 years, and usually we do our ADA on our CNC router (or send it out) but maybe we can take advantage of the capability if the FB550 can do it. Thanks for any comments!
 

CanuckSigns

Active Member
I know the small Roland desktop UV printers can do raised lettering and braille, but when I saw it being done it was painfully slow and the end result was "meh" at best.

I would look into a small engraving machine and the raster braille method, it's way faster and the end result is much nicer in my opinion.
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Wondering if anyone has any tips/tricks on printing braille with a Scitex FB550. Not sure if anyone is doing it and if it's reasonable on that printer. We are considering buying a 3d printer or desktop UV dedicated to braille but we already have the FB550 and wondering if maybe that's an option for printing braille. I've run UV printers for 13 years, and usually we do our ADA on our CNC router (or send it out) but maybe we can take advantage of the capability if the FB550 can do it. Thanks for any comments!
It is not really possible on the HP hybrid. the registration on braille is really tight and there is too wide a tolerance when loading the HP. The other issue is the ink is not hard enough to survive touching, you can pick it off really easily.
 

signman315

Signmaker
I know the small Roland desktop UV printers can do raised lettering and braille, but when I saw it being done it was painfully slow and the end result was "meh" at best.

I would look into a small engraving machine and the raster braille method, it's way faster and the end result is much nicer in my opinion.
Thanks Canuck, yeah I saw the Roland desktops in action and was not impressed. Really not impressed by Roland in general. Good starter machines though!
 

signman315

Signmaker
It is not really possible on the HP hybrid. the registration on braille is really tight and there is too wide a tolerance when loading the HP. The other issue is the ink is not hard enough to survive touching, you can pick it off really easily.
Those were the kinds of answers I'm looking for...so if I'm understanding correctly any UV printer that is designed for Braille (like any of the smaller desktop type units from any given brand) achieve the braille by printing/curing layer after layer to build it up dimensionally? So if the FB550 could somehow register that accurately then it wouldn't be any different than any other braille UV printer? Do the braille UV printers use a special ink dedicated to braille? Just learning as much as I can about UV printed braille, seems like a cool concept on paper but maybe not as functional as it sounds. Good tip on the scratching/durability, thanks!!!!
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Those were the kinds of answers I'm looking for...so if I'm understanding correctly any UV printer that is designed for Braille (like any of the smaller desktop type units from any given brand) achieve the braille by printing/curing layer after layer to build it up dimensionally? So if the FB550 could somehow register that accurately then it wouldn't be any different than any other braille UV printer? Do the braille UV printers use a special ink dedicated to braille? Just learning as much as I can about UV printed braille, seems like a cool concept on paper but maybe not as functional as it sounds. Good tip on the scratching/durability, thanks!!!!
It is just that! It's printing layer over layer to the spec'd height and then doming it. With the hybrid belt feed it's very inconsistent but can be done. The ink is not a special ink but you want a very strong bond to prevent ink chipping or allowing the dots to be picked off.
 

iPrintStuff

Prints stuff
I remember seeing the oce Arizona touchstone samples and those were great. They’d printed a tree trunk and it actually felt like wood grain. So assuming they could pull this off. No idea on how long that takes though lol. I can only assume any type of printing will be a lot slower than an engraver/CNC
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Here are samples off our Vanguard
 

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I know the small Roland desktop UV printers can do raised lettering and braille, but when I saw it being done it was painfully slow and the end result was "meh" at best.

I would look into a small engraving machine and the raster braille method, it's way faster and the end result is much nicer in my opinion.
This. In my experience, No matter what the salespeople try to tell you with one of these printers (or it's "equal"), they're ridiculously time consuming and the dots and letters are fragile (easy to pick off). Get an engraver and pay the raster licensing fee. Use the HP to print the fancy backers and put applique and Braille on it in a separate step.
 
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signman315

Signmaker
Here are samples off our Vanguard
Wow that looks exceptional...so what RIP/settings are you using to do that? Since I last posted on this thread I've been able to use the FB550 to prove concept, but it required loading the sign 11 times and printing it over/over to achieve the braille to proper spec. The key was to only measure on the first load and it keeps a tighter tolerance on subsequent loads, as long as the operator loads it properly. It's decent in terms of height/durability, and even speed but our next hurdle is finding a way to automate the 11 passes in a single substrate load...my coworker is playing with spot layers to see what we can get....using ONYX Thrive. The thought being to print the sign flat and reload it to add the braille, hoping that we can print the braille in a single substrate load and automate the 11 passes via ONYX. This should increase accuracy but more importantly reduce operator time loading over and over....
 

Christian @ 2CT Media

Active Member
Wow that looks exceptional...so what RIP/settings are you using to do that? Since I last posted on this thread I've been able to use the FB550 to prove concept, but it required loading the sign 11 times and printing it over/over to achieve the braille to proper spec. The key was to only measure on the first load and it keeps a tighter tolerance on subsequent loads, as long as the operator loads it properly. It's decent in terms of height/durability, and even speed but our next hurdle is finding a way to automate the 11 passes in a single substrate load...my coworker is playing with spot layers to see what we can get....using ONYX Thrive. The thought being to print the sign flat and reload it to add the braille, hoping that we can print the braille in a single substrate load and automate the 11 passes via ONYX. This should increase accuracy but more importantly reduce operator time loading over and over....
We use Onyx Thrive. My brother was able to get the spec height using 8 layers of ink with 4 prints. On our FB750 we were able to get it done too, but it was highly inconsistent.
 

Jun Lanon

New Member
I use my Stratojet flatbed to do braille. I build up layers of white. Here's an example of a pentagon print I did.
 

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