iQ Digital – Hands-On Testing

When unveiled at the SGIA Expo last year MHM’s iQ Digital showed serious potential of being the first DTG solution for high-volume production in garment printing.  We couldn’t wait to get our hands on this new technology, so when MHM invited us to play I booked my flight to visit the Arioli Group, parent company of MHM and developer of the digital printing technology incorporated into the iQ Digital.  Here’s a look…

 

Arioli is located just outside of Milan in the beautiful Lombardy region of Italy.

 

I arrive at the testing facility at Arioli to find the iQ-Digital primed and ready.

 

Working with Federico Rusconi, R&D Technologist. This grayscale image of Iggy is run through RIP software and sent to the IQ Digital.

 

Like all current machines in the MHM line, the iQ Digital is equipped with a touch-screen user interface.

 

Drag-and-drop functionality in the very intuitive GUI.

The iQ-Digital utilizes a pigment-based, CMYK ink system.

Close-up view of the print-head on the iQ-Digital.

 

Printing…

 

Now, the results…

 

An attempt at replicating this grayscale portrait of Iggy

 

The RIP software allows for adjustable screen-print halftone replication. This is important in reproducing genuine screen-print look and feel.

 

Achieving a rich, dense black with DTG can be difficult. I was quite happy withe the results here.

 

Smooth color gradation without any adjustments in the art file.

 

Again, achieving a look and feel of traditional screen-print was paramount.

 

This image just “jumps” off of the shirt.

 

Perhaps my favorite in terms of color, contrast, and image quality.

 

Dark shadows, natural tones, saturation, and highlights.

 

Detail!

 

And what about printing on a dark substrate?…

 

High-Solids water-based ink is screen-printed in-line, prior to digital.

 

Again, we achieved a dramatic dimensional effect. The image “jumps” off the shirt.

 

The finished print has a super “soft-hand” feel.

 

I can’t say enough how excited I am to continue working with this revolutionary technology.  Rick and I will be at FESPA, in Hamburg next month, participating in live demo’s of the iQ Digital. Hope to see you there.

PS:

A “huge thanks” to the wonderful people at Arioli and MHM for their hospitality during my visit to Italy.

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