Cool Stuff: Inkjet Makes a Grand Entry

By Mary Schilling / Published:

Inkjet has entered our homes in many ways. From flooring and wallpaper to tile and upholstery, inkjet print technology has touched just about every point in our personal lives. Products within our homes are being customized through print at a faster pace than ever before. There seems to be no limit to the ability to personalize the interior of our homes and make them one of a kind.

But, why limit the personal touch to the interior? What about the exterior? Custom inkjet printed products have made it through the front door, but rarely do you hear about customizing the door itself.

 

Enter axpanel

And do I mean “enter”.  A division of aroja xorfex digital solutions (spelled in lower case), axpanel is revolutionizing home entry. This custom developer of digital printing and industrial automation for XY, rotary and single pass solutions located in the Czech Republic, offers solutions for customized printing on sectional garage door panels. Their technology prints in high resolution 720dpi quality using UV-CMYK Inks. Formulated with high UV-resistance, the process is suitable for almost any type of design, graphics art, scan, photograph, or custom design for individual door panels. 

If designing your own custom garage door art is not enough, axpanel offers additional 3D effects which can be incorporated into the texture to add customized depth perspective.

Each panel exterior is protected against harsh environments with the application of a specialized automobile grade polyurethane lacquer after printing. The lacquer provides superior resistance to fading, corrosion, scratches and chemicals, even including acid rain. Yes, in some countries acid rain is a big concern.

axpanel states -fading is only 3 – 5% after 15 years compared to typical fading of 2 – 3% per year for polyester paint finish. Door companies can offer a 10-year warranty against fading, corrosion and scratches.

Creating a New Point of Entry

While flatbed printing leaves unprinted white space at the bottom edge and on the male joint.  By using automated “Z-axis technology”, axpanel offers unique, custom, inkjet printed panels featuring no unprinted white spaces at the panel joints. This technology solves the problem of printing around the bottom edge of the door panel. 

No white space at the joint

In addition to the unique Z-axis printing technology, the axpanel system incorporates a number of technological innovations specific to producing printed sectional door panels, creating three main applications:

  1. Replace wood design panel inventory with digitally printed standard white panels with more than 100 wood designs readily available.  There are no minimum print job requirements – every panel can be different.  Most panel styles are suitable for printing: wood designs: flat, V-ribbed, U-ribbed, micro-rib and cassette.  The only requirement is that the maximum depth of the style should be 6 mm for best printing results.  Wood grain or smooth panel surfaces are best for wood designs.  The main advantages are wood design panel inventory can be reduced by up to 80 – 90%, and dozens of new wood designs can be offered.
  2. Print new designs – extending beyond typical one-color paint finish and wood designs.  There are 100,000 design possibilities with everything from brick and stone to geometric shapes and metal look designs.  The advantage is that hundreds of ready-to-use designs can be offered to customers.   Custom one-off designs can also be offered.  The only investment is developing the graphics files.
  3. Print new, virtual panel styles on flat panels, which can have wood grain, stucco or smooth surfaces.  Panel styles include a wide variety of wood designs such as horizontal, vertical and angled boards.   Designs are only limited by the imagination.  3D effects can be incorporated into designs to add depth to the design.  Again, these can be ready-to-use designs or custom one-off designs.

Looking to Upgrade your She-Shed?

Contacting your builder or garage door manufacturer is your first step as this technology is for the garage door manufacturing industry and not direct to consumer. (I know, bummer.)  axpanel works directly with assemblers, panel manufacturers and door manufacturers which has in-house panel production.

Need a sample? They keep stock of printed door panel samples ready for immediate shipment or print one or more typical garage door panels by choosing from more than 200 ready-to-use designs. 

Welcome to your She-Shed wine cellar

Panel styles include flat, V-ribbed, U-ribbed, micro-rib and cassette.  You can even start with a custom panel texture surfaces which include woodgrain, stucco and smooth.  Ready panels are manufactured by EPCO, Italpannelli and Metecno.  You can also print a custom design on ready panels with a customer supplied graphics file, or axpanel can prepare the graphics for you.

If you have a special garage door in mind, you can send them the garage door panel for test printing with a ready-to-use or custom designs.

Go Bold, Get Creative

Digital printing is not well suited for solid colors but, is excellent for patterns and abstracts.  For example, a solid printed green door.  Instead of printing a solid one-color area, the door can be printed with green grass, leaves or as a virtual vertical garden.

And What is the Craziest Thing They’ve Printed?

axpanel customers have some interesting ideas of what they want printed on their garage doors.  All would be considered non-traditional.  Some of their favorites include logo of a football team or artwork of a Grand Prix race car, a photo of a wine cellar, a sailing ship, duplication of an oil painting of birds and flowers, and duplicating a driveway with stones onto the door.

What Would You Choose?

Inkjet has now expanded beyond interior to make an external impact. Image driving up your driveway to your customized garage door, creating a truly personalized entry to your inkjet printed home. What graphics would you choose?

Keep reading InkjetInsight and we won’t just help you think outside of the box, we’ll help you think “outside of the house.”

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About the Author

Mary Schilling

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Mary Schilling is the co-owner of InkjetInsight.com, she writes technical inkjet industry articles, provides RIP and workflow training, manages print quality analysis evaluation, ink management and color management for OEM’s and end users for pre and post machine installs. Mary Schilling consults with paper mills, fluid and inkjet machinery suppliers on how to improve color and print quality for high speed and industrial inkjet involving paper, plastics, metal, fabric and glass with UV and aqueous inkjet fluids. This experience led her to receive Innovator of the Year awards from the Flexographic Technical Association and from Xplor International for her efforts in closing the gap between inkjet printing for document, and digital corrugated packaging. She is the owner of Schilling Inkjet Consulting, Published Author and Certified ColorGate Color Trainer and Distributor. Her latest published works can be found www.thinkforum.com/bookstore

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