What is GELJET Printing?
You may have heard of Inkjet and LaserJet but how about GelJet? Well if you haven’t, keep reading because you’ll be hearing a lot more about GelJet over the next few years when it comes to printers.
GELJET is effectively a hybrid of both laserjet and inkjet printers. The technology (formally known as GelSprinter™), which has few more distinguishing features, was developed by printer manufacturer Ricoh, as a more cost effective and versatile way of printing.
GELJET printers, as you can imagine, use a liquid gel ink in the printing process. As the gel ink is more viscous than traditional ink, GELJET produces a more affordable and rugged finished print.
How Does it Work?
The viscous ink remains in a liquid state whilst in the cartridge, but due to its high viscosity, it sets and dries upon contact with the paper. This produces a solid and crisp image on paper.
As gel dries so quickly, the ink is ideal for high speed or duplex printing, it’s also waterproof and produces a sunlight-resistant print.
Gel ink is fed from vacuum-packed ink cartridges via a dual tank system. Each colour is pumped through a tube to the reservoir in the print head tank unit. The reservoir is topped up whenever the volume of ink falls below a certain level, guaranteeing a continuous supply of ink and zero waste.
The GELJET printer uses MDOT, a ‘Micro-piezo system’, where a small element in the ink nozzle is electrically charged forcing it to restrict and distorts, this creates pressure within the nozzle and forced the ink to be fired from the nozzle.
This method is far more controlled than a traditional ‘bubble system’ where ink is literally heated into a bubble and squirted onto paper (this is why you sometimes get blots or bursts of ink on paper from older or cheaper printers).
Advantages of GELJET
So apart from efficiency in print, what advantages does GELJET have?
- Wider print head- GELJET has a far wider print head meaning, more surface area is covered in each pass of the print head, requiring fewer passes per page
- Fast-drying- The special fast-drying viscous ink sets and dries quickly on the page, providing a solid, crisp image on plain paper.
- Lighter print image – A lighter footprint greatly reduces the image density on duplex pages so that the image doesn’t show through from the other side of the page
So how about the price? Although GELJET printer can be more expensive at the outset than traditional inkjet, the gel technology is actually far more cost effective, especially at in home printing or for SMBs.
Zero waste-The dual tank system ensures that all ink in the cartridge is used before flagging for a replacement
No heating element-The micro-piezo technology doesn’t require a heating element to heat the ink, so GELJET has a short warm-up time and saves energy compared to other printers.
Low maintenance– Because there is no heating element, there are no heaters or other mechanisms to deteriorate.
Should You Switch?
For small businesses a Geljet printer could prove to be an excellent investment as they have many advantages over inkjets. For small print runs, GelJet offer an economical and practical alternative to lasers with quick turnaround time, low costs and low maintenance.