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Dimensional print on Arizona with Touchstone

Wednesday, 05 September 2018
By Wayne Robinson

Dimensional printing: the new Touchstone software for Arizona raises print by 1mm or 0.5mm

Printers are now able to produce elevated print with the new Touchstone workflow software for use with the top selling Océ Arizona range of flatbed printers, software which the company says has the potential to help print operations broaden their offering and build their business, by creating new high-value, high-margin products using what Océ terms 2.5D print.

In fact, the system offers two categories of dimensional print. Alto offering provides opaque elevation plus colour in depths of up to 1mm, while Brila offers a lower profile up to 0.5mm, with colour and varnish, opening the door to applications like metallic effects, achieved by printing on reflective media like foil.

Garry Muratore, product manager – Graphic Arts for Océ Australia, says, “With Océ Touchstone, Arizona printers can take advantage of dimensional print in the form of commercially viable and profitable ‘2.5D’ applications, creating layered, textured prints that command significantly higher margins, without the need to invest in any additional hardware.

“We are all aware of the advantages of normal, 2D print and it’s been interesting to see the buzz around 3D in recent years, although the ability of print service providers to integrate those technologies profitably into their business has given it limited relevance for our industry.

Citing recent research, Muratore says print buyers expect to pay a premium for tactile prints, creating genuine opportunities to add value and improve margins for print service providers who can find a cost-effective and efficient way deliver.

“In any business, profitability is the key to success. Improving efficiency and reducing costs can help, but the real key is leveraging new technologies to establish a genuine competitive advantage,” Muratore says. “Touchstone provides the solution with a suite of new productivity tools that make it easy to achieve high quality, repeatable results with an exciting sensory dimension.

“Touchstone uses extensions to the Adobe toolset to allow designers to build dimensional features into print jobs at the design stage,” Muratore explains. “The design tools are free to use, but production does require the patented Océ’s ALPS technology, which sits within the Onyx Thrive / Océ Arizona ecosystem, speciality Océ IJC257 inks and, of course, an Océ Arizona printer.”

The Océ ALPS technology also ensures every pixel of the final top layer – or image layer – is printed at the optimum height, exactly as if it were a 2D job, achieving says Océ utstanding quality with no softening of the image in valley.

The company says the the quality, versatility and tactile appeal of Touchstone prints make it easy to appreciate how it could enhance a range of applications from wallpapers and interior products, short-run or personalised marketing, limited edition packaging, POP and signage, prototypes and moulds.

“We think Touchstone will appeal particularly printers with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset, who understand that creating a point of difference can really help them stay ahead of the game. And, of course, those who service bespoke markets where print is only one component of the finished item,” Muratore says.

“Importantly, Touchstone makes it easy for printers to achieve these dimensional enhancements, with straightforward, intuitive operation, simplified ‘real-world’ design dimensions and a high level of automation. There are no complex iterations required in the design phase and, in terms of production,it’s pretty much ‘set and forget’.”

Those keen to feel the difference will have the opportunity at Visual Impact, where Océ Australia will have an entire Touchstone Wall on display on Stand D17.

Océ says that printerts that cannot be in Sydney, but still want a preview,  can contact their local Océ business development manager to book a demo – the company has even introduced trial licenses of up to 12 months for existing Arizona users who are keen to dip a proverbial toe in the dimensional print market.

“Océ is committed to helping print businesses achieve success through new and profitable print technologies,” Muratore says, “and it is fair to say that, with the introduction of Touchstone, printing has never felt so good.”

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