The new digital printing revolution started at the international printing exhibition, Drupa 2016, where the latest advancement in printing technology related to Nanography was unveiled.
The Nanographic printing process is based on Landa NanoInk, a water-based ink with nano-pigments that measure tens of nanometres in diameter. The process starts with the ejection of billions of ink droplets onto a heated conveyor blanket.
As the water evaporates, the droplets flatten and blend to create an ultra-thin, dry polymeric film. The 500 nm thick colour image, the thinnest of any printing process, is then transferred from the blanket onto the substrate, forming an abrasion resistant, laminated layer that matches the gloss of the paper and produces exceptionally round dots with super sharp edges and high gloss fidelity to the substrate.
Unlike inks in other printing processes, the Landa NanoInk droplets used in the nanographic printing process do not penetrate beneath the substrate surface. As a result, they create an extremely sharp and vivid colour image on paper, plastics or packaging films. With no pre-treatment or post drying requirements, the printed output can be immediately processed right off the press.
Advantages of nano printing over the existing toner and inkjet based technologies
The nanographic process has a number of fundamental advantages over existing printing technologies.
- The biggest difference between current digital printing and nanography is in the ink itself. Nanography uses Nanoink, which is shipped as a viscous liquid to which water is added in-press after being deionised and filtered through the process. This process use of nano-pigments, which are excellent light absorbers that enables a colour gamut that is 15% wider than alternative technologies.
- Nanography process create images that are 2-10 times thinner than other processes
- A Nanography printer is setup to be more cost efficient (Using less energy, less ink and having no need for the traditional printing plates)
- The ink is dried and formed before it is transferred to the substrate, enabling Nanography to print on any off-the-shelf substrate, and with very high ink coverage without causing cockling or other issues.
Though its outlook is bright and very promising, the Nanography printer is still in its infancy. Some companies have placed their orders, but right now it’s not quite ready for public release (it is believed that the main reason why is still not commercialised is because Benny does not want to repeat the Indigo mistake of releasing too soon – and he wants to make sure it is “100% bullet-proof”) .