Roll-to-Roll, Flatbed, or Hybrid Wide Format Printer?

wide format printing paper

Are you in the process of choosing a wide format printer? Whether you're an end-user or a commercial printing company, a wide format printer is a substantial investment, and you'll want to move forward armed with the facts.

Wide Format Basics

To begin, let's take a look at some common wide format terminology.

  • Flatbed— These wide format printers are used for rigid substrates which are loaded onto the static flatbed.
  • Roll-to-roll— Print media is in a rolled format, which is usually loaded from the back of the device. A take-up roll on the other side is a common feature.
  • Hybrid— These wide format printers allow users to use rolled media with an option to attach a flatbed to print on rigid media.

What Do You Want to Print?

Some organizations opt for hybrid wide format equipment because they don't want to be boxed into one type of media.

Roll-to-roll printers can produce:

  • Banners
  • Vinyl with adhesive backing
  • Backlit displays
  • No-curl banners
  • Static cling films
  • Textiles
  • Perforated window clings
  • Vehicle wraps

Flatbed printers are the right choice for the following outputs:

  • PVC
  • Foamboard
  • Polystyrenes
  • Acrylic
  • Wood
  • Metals

If your company requires a mix of roll-to-roll and flatbed printing, a hybrid is a good option. If space and budget permits, leasing or purchasing two wide format printers is also an option.

Space Considerations

Speaking of space, it would be a mistake to assume that simply measuring your wide format equipment will allow for enough room at your location. Wide format printing processes require more room than office printers, and you'll need to have a work table, cutter, and laminator nearby. And if you choose a roll-to-roll or hybrid printer, you'll need room to work from the back of the device.

Your best option? Work with a knowledgeable wide format equipment provider to avoid a costly mistake. Give us a call at Liberty Business Systems to gain more insight today!