Ricoh has announced the Ri 4000 DTG (direct-to-garment) printer for polyester garments, which it says will ‘address the market gap for cost-efficient high quality 100% polyester print production’ and which will be officially launched at Fespa Global Print Expo in March 2024.

Described as an ‘industrial garment printer’, though no throughput figures have been revealed, the new machine features a built in ‘enhancer solution’ which is jetted inside the printer ‘when required’ – presumably only where ink is needed. Ricoh says this eliminates the need for additional pre-treatment and avoids potential quality problems that can arise from inconsistent manual pre-treatment processing.

The Ri 4000 will use newly-developed Ricoh inks that the company says will produce ‘vivid and long lasting prints that maintain their brilliance through numerous washes’; handle and feel are also claimed to be ‘incredibly soft’, increasing the appeal of the printed garments to a range of industries and markets that include apparel manufacturers, sports teams, athletes, promotional product companies, fashion designers, advertising agencies, and e-commerce operations.

Axel Stuhlreiter, head of textile solutions, Graphic Communications Group, Ricoh Europe, said, ‘We are excited to revolutionise the textile printing landscape and set new standards for excellence with the Ricoh Ri 4000. While polyester’s versatility and performance attributes makes it a popular fabric in sportswear, it is infamous for the challenges it presents when it comes to high quality printing and durability. The Ri 4000 eliminates these obstacles. It opens a world of exciting opportunities for apparel decorators, designers, and a wide range of businesses aiming to expand their product line.’

Although the printer will receive its public launch at Fespa, it is available immediately.