EFI announces new VUTEk h+ Series hybrid printers

22 Feb 2024
  • EFI™ VUTEk® h3+
  • Electronics For Imaging Inc.
  • Large Format Printing
  • LED-curable digital inks
  • VUTEk® h5+

Electronics For Imaging, Inc. has announced the EFI™ VUTEk® h3+ and VUTEk® h5+ hybrid flatbed/roll-fed LED printer series with enhanced printing and media handling capabilities. The VUTEk h+ series is a re-engineered and refined version of the high-volume, super wide format hybrid VUTEk h series platform. The enhancements made for the VUTEk h+ series offer improved productivity, print quality, reliability, capability and profits.

‘We are excited to bring these new printers to market,’ said Todd Zimmerman, SVP/GM Display Graphics & OEM Ink of EFI. ‘VUTEk printers have been a leader in the hybrid category in signs and display graphics for more than two decades, with more than 300 installations worldwide. The VUTEk h+ series answers some of the key pain points for our customers, all while improving ease of use and offering the LED environmentally friendly benefits you expect from EFI VUTEk technology.’

Future-proofing enhancements

The EFI VUTEk h+ series was designed to give forward-thinking sign and display graphics customers a competitive edge, with significant improvements to the original platform, which will come standard on all new printers. Media handling improvements are some of the most notable enhancements in the VUTEk h+ series. An upgraded vacuum table allows for better control of thicker media and thin light-edged materials thanks to double the vacuum strength on the print table.

All new media hold-down rollers mount to existing Media Edge Guide (MEG) rails and the spring rollers force media into the vacuum, often eliminating the need for MEG skis entirely. When MEG skis are needed, they are now available in 0.063 in, 0.094 in, and 0.012 in thicknesses.

The VUTEk h+ series offers new optional colour configurations as well:

– CMYKcmyk + W + Clear

– CMYK x 2 + 2W

– CMYK x 2 + Clear

This opens the door for two new clear ink options for VUTEk h+ series users. Building on the success of the EFI UltraClear Coat flexible ink introduced for EFI super wide roll-to-roll LED printers, EFI extended the offering to the VUTEk h3+ and h5+ printers. A second clear ink, EFI VUTEk Endura Clear, which has a harder surface finish for increased protective qualities, is also now available for the VUTEk h3+ and h5+ printers.

Both UltraClear Coat and Endura Clear inks can be used for decorative applications – to enhance an entire image (full flood) or selected areas (spot) to add extra pop to colours or special effects to graphics – as well as for a final protective coating. They print inline, simultaneously with the image, with a gloss or matte finish.

In addition to the clear inks, an optional innovative Gloss+ print mode – a unique new software capability that regulates the curing process – can be used to add a flood or selective gloss effect to graphic prints. It’s the perfect way to add value to short-run, specialty jobs, without the use of clear ink.

Now available: LED Thermo-formable inks 

Compatible with the VUTEk h+ series printers, are next-generation, LED-curable digital inks that EFI formulated for first- and second-surface interior and exterior, as well as non-backlit and backlit applications, where common thermoforming is specified. EFI Transform-TF inks exhibit outstanding elongation characteristics while maintaining excellent adhesion and opacity, providing ideal characteristics for heat bending and routing of acrylic sheets with no chipping or loss of adhesion. And since Transform-TF inks adhere to a broad range of materials, applications go well beyond thermoforming.

More developments are also in the works for VUTEk h+ series printers. Expected soon is enhanced double-sided printing for high-value block-out applications. Existing VUTEk h3 and h5 printer owners can also opt to upgrade their current unit with most of the new enhancements to the VUTEk h+ series printers.