You may have heard that good things come in small packages. In the world of large format printing, that’s not always true. But good things definitely come in simple packages. Between ink configurations, ICC profiles, and print & cut processes, producing high quality, digital prints can be challenging. So, when it comes time to finish your digital prints with lamination, the simpler the better. You really don’t need a complex piece of overbuilt machinery at this stage. That’s why we are happy to announce that we’ve added Daige Solo laminators to our extensive line of large format digital printing equipment. The Solo series foregoes costly complexity for simplicity and economy. The Solo Series comes in four sizes, starts under $1500 and is made in the USA. Sound like something your sign or print shop can use? Read on.
Daige Laminators Overview
Daige is located in Long Island, New York. All their products are manufactured in the United States. They have been manufacturing adhesive systems for over 50 years. Their product line includes cold adhesives, permanent hot melt adhesives, cold laminators and liquid laminates. The Daige Solo series are products of decades of experience in large format finishing. We think perhaps that’s why the Solo laminators are so simple. Having seen all the ways people get frustrated trying to laminate large format prints, Daige has boiled it down to the essentials and produced a laminator that offers just what you need and nothing more.
The Solo Laminators come in 25”, 38”, 55” and 65” models. Each can be used as a desktop device or on a floor stand. The stand is a $250 option. It includes four lockable rolling casters. This allows you to easily move the laminator to the side when not in use, or to position it next to a worktable for easy offloading of long print jobs.
The Solo Series are cold laminators for use with pressure-sensitive overlaminate film. Cold laminators are preferred for use with solvent and eco-solvent ink. These inks are printed with the assistance of heat. Adding heat during finishing can reactivate the ink and degrade print quality. Hot laminators are fine for use with aqueous inkjet printers, but in the outdoor signage world, they offer only unneeded complexity.
Why Laminate Eco-solvent Prints?
But wait. Solvent and eco-solvent prints are generally rated for up to three years outdoors without lamination. So why do you even need a laminator, cold, hot or indifferent? Because solvent-based ink is designed to repel the effects of UV rays from the sun. It’s not as good at defending itself against the abrasion and detergents some prints are subjected to. Vehicle graphics and floor graphics are two examples. Vehicle graphics need to hold up against extreme and harsh weather, road dust and debris, plus the detergents used to keep them clean. All of these elements will damage prints. Lamination protects prints from these elements as well as the sun’s rays.
And, since adding a layer of over-laminate film basically doubles the thickness of the installed vinyl, the extra layer makes it easier to apply graphics without overstretching. Laminating your eco-solvent prints makes them easier to install and helps them look great longer.
Daige Solo Features
Daige Solo Laminators have automatic pressure control. This is a huge benefit. There’s no need to fiddle with knobs and dials to find the right setting. Instead, the Solo is built with a simple handle that moves the rollers to default positions for standard or thicker media. If you’re finishing something thick, like 6mil vinyl, just pull the handle forward for a wider opening. This setting is also ideal for mounting prints to boards. Solo Laminators can accommodate boards up to ½” thick. When the handle is in the back position, the rollers lower for laminating print vinyl. When set correctly, the laminator will adjust to provide ideal pressure automatically.
Another great Daige Solo feature is the automatic take-up shaft for the release liner paper. This feature automatically rolls the release liner onto the take-up shaft. This keeps the liner out of the way so it can’t interfere with your workflow.
The Solo series is simple, but durable. They are built around a rugged steel and aluminum casting, so they last a good long time. Daige tests each unit at their New York manufacturing facility to ensure the highest standards of performance and reliability.
As noted above, the best thing about the Daige Solo is its simplicity. A Solo Laminator can be run by one person. There is on/off switch on the top that controls the feed motor. With the Solo 25 it’s pretty easy to just flip the switch to start and stop the rollers. But with the wider 55” and 65” laminators, some users may have a hard time reaching the feed switch while loading media. An optional footswitch provides hands-free control no matter how wide your laminator is or how short your arms are.
Finally, there is a front-mounted print holder to help manage long print jobs. This feature is optional for the Solo 25 and comes standard on the wider models. If you have a long job, you can use the print holder for hands-free loading operation. Once your print is dry and ready to laminate, roll it onto a 3-inch core. With the print facing outwards, place the core on the holder and start the Solo. The print holder feeds the print into the rollers for you. This frees you to position yourself behind the laminator to receive the finished print.
Daige Solo Price Info
The Daige Solo Series comes in 25, 38, 55, and 65-inch models. As noted above, each can be purchased as a desktop unit or with an optional floor stand and optional foot switch. The stand and foot switch are both highly recommended. To simplify your life, we bundle the floor s stand with all but the Solo 25. The 25″ Stand costs $250 and the foot switch is a $55.00 option for all models. Add that to the absurdly reasonable prices below and you’ll see that the Solo Series also hits a home run on value.
- The Daige Solo 25 costs only $1,295 as a desktop model and an even $1,600 with the stand and foot switch.
- The Daige Solo 38 costs only $1,945 with the floor stand and an even $2,000 with the optional foot switch.
- The Daige Solo 55 costs only $2,4445 with the floor stand and $2,500 with the foot switch.
- The Daige Solo 65 costs only $2,950 with the floor stand and $3,005 with the handy foot switch.
You can order a Solo separately or as part of a large-format starter bundle with a PrismJET or MUTOH eco-solvent printer. If you plan to lease your equipment, a package deal usually provides the best bang for your buck.
Cold Laminators are ideal for protecting solvent and eco-solvent prints from UV rays, dust, dirt, and abrasion. Lamination is recommended for vehicle wraps, custom vehicle and fleet graphics, wall graphics, floor graphics, and similar applications. The Daige Solo series makes adding this essential protection easier than ever. They are simple, affordable, American-made, and built to last. There are four sizes to choose from, plus a nice assortment of printer packages. Click here to start shopping, or call 800-899-5655 for more information.