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'How To' Textured Inks

By Terry Mitchell, Director of Marketing, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division | November 7, 2012

When creating sales samples and display pieces, the more “pop” you can get, the better your chances of grabbing people’s attention. Fujifilm’s Chicago Technology Center, a demonstration center located in Hanover Park, IL, first simulated a roofing tile with a technique that layers ink to create a textured look.

Since perfecting the process, the company has created multiple pieces including Braille, simulated rubber tires, stained glass, printed floor tiles, and simulated football leather and grass. An image of a lizard was also produced to illustrate the textured ink build.

Producing textured images is made possible by the accurate drop placement of ink using the Acuity Advance HS UV flatbed printer. The UV curable ink used to create the texture is Fujifilm Uvijet KI. By instantly curing the UV ink, each successive layer is printed until the desired texture is reached.

Creating a raised or textured print on the Fujifilm Acuity line of UV printers consists of creating and printing three different layers. Layer 1 will lay down as much ink as possible to build the texture; Layer 2 covers the first layer with white ink; and Layer 3 will print the finished image.

Here is the step-by-step process within the RIP that is used to create a textured print.

• Step 1: Open the image in Photoshop and convert it to black and white.

• Step 2: Press “Ctrl+I” to invert the colors. This swaps the highlights and shadows.

• Step 3; Using the levels slider for overall contrast or the burn/dodge tool, adjust where you’d like the darkest areas to be (the darker the area, the more raised the printed image will be in that area).

• Step 4: Erase areas you don’t want to have any depth. In this example, I’ve erased the area around the lizard as well as the left arm.

• Step 5: For the first layer of the technique, open the black-and-white file in the ColorGATE RIP and select the “Quality Layered” mode: Color Management>Advanced Settings>Print Mode>Quality Layered.

In the settings drop down menu under "Special Colors White," choose "Pixel." In the drop down menu for "Layers," choose “User Defined” and then click the box to the right of the Layer drop down menu to define them by checking all five boxes for all three layers.

• Step 6
Also listed in the "Color Management" menu is the "Color: Correction" tab. Create two points on the curve and set properties simultaneously for all channels. The first point properties should be: Input 50 and Output 0. The second point should be: Input 50.1 and Output 100. Then, print the image to your substrate.

• Step 7: To create the second print layer, open the black-and-white file again and repeat steps 5 and 6, checking only the “W” box for each of the three layers in Step 5.

• Step 8: Finally, to create the third layer, RIP the color version of the file at any mode you like and simply print directly on top of the first two prints.

• For more depth, repeat Layer 1 as many times as necessary for the desired result before printing the final two layers.

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