The technical scientific project entitled “Out-Put Pre-Print Image Interface” consists of a specific hardware/software system dedicated to large format digital printing. This project was possible thanks to collaboration between the dx5 research group, INEDIT, University of Vigo and BSCH. Implemented under the Ministry of Science and Innovation’s project “Application of new technologies to contemporary graphics in Fine Arts”, it not only translates into higher performance and management of existing teaching and research material at our faculty, but also extends its potential scope to pioneering companies in the development and manufacture of plotters. This scope also covers SMEs providing printing facility near the University, large-scale consumer reprography, reproduction of artworks for museums, or production of pieces for individual artists for sale and exhibition.
Software and hardware: Digital Pre-print Image Manager
The project consists of the development of specialised software and hardware to manage and compute images printed with large format plotters, in the pre-print process, for specific application in Fine Arts. The intention is to optimise control and computation of graphic resources in large format digital printing, via a pre-paid ink consumption system.
In short, this project consists of the creation of pre-print and printing software that calculates the printing costs of a given image on large format plotters and permits online payment via a bank debit card. This interface makes it easy for unspecialised users of large-scale prints to use these machines remotely without the need for any prior knowledge of colour profiling or print media. It also informs about the costs of said process depending on the type of image (there is currently no effective way of pre-calculating the ink cost of a black-and-white line-print or a full-colour print that occupies the entire area of the spot). It also provides critical information for calculating machine depreciation costs as well as optimising plotter ink consumption. Very effective in reprography centres in institutions such as museums, universities and teaching art centres, art galleries and studios for printing artworks, etc.
– Input and output of the digital image.
– The algorithm.
– Digital language and vectorised shapes applied to graphic icons and bitmaps,
– Quality multi-tone translations and stochastic screens for application in high-resolution artistic prints and colour quality.
– Cuneiform writing in the digital age.
– Pictograms and graphical interface.
– Digital graphical tools and interfaces. Quality digital printing.
– Computation and translation of VGA pixels to CMYK in pre-print.
– Calculation of ink-consumption in injection.
– Prior control and management of ink consumption in large format digital printing using a pre-payment card. This card allows you to pay charges without any intervention of specialised staff.
– Create a new interface that manages print spooler data and allows user to quickly know the amount in picolitres of ink needed and the cost of paper, depending on the paper feed to the plotter.
– Translate graphical interfaces into channel spacing bitmaps and ink cartridge spacing; quantify the number of points to be mapped by number of picolitres per pixel.
– Adjust and customise pixel and colour costs to a minimum so that each person knows the exact ink consumption in millilitres of a certain image prior to printing.
– Modify an existing network card for use in ordering ink, replacement of spare cartridges, machine overhaul and consumables when requested by the machine.
– Self-manage and socialise the use of high-resolution, large-format plotters via an Internet connection to order new ink and paper cartridges online when they are about to deplete, thus permitting adequate and low-cost maintenance.
–Lower retail price through online maintenance. Develop a network service with real-time consumables distributor.
– Adapt and specialise a generic software dedicated to the fine arts and the teaching environment.
This project has developed a system that controls the cost and payment of printing on a plotter and allows users to pay using 4B chip cards. The system consists of an Epson 9900 plotter connected to a print server (Mac Mini) which has the Inèdit Print RIP installed (nèoStamp 7). This will permit printing only if an authorised user is identified or if payment is made using the PinPad payment module.