Those of us working in the printing industry are familiar with the term ‘RIP’ (or Raster Image Processor) – a software tool that acts as a vehicle for converting files on a PC into a format for outputting onto a printer. You can’t run a wide format printer without it. Mimaki’s exclusive RIP software; RasterLink has a number of benefits and great features that make it accessible and efficient, while enabling highly proficient, quality print output. Richard Williams is the Showroom Manager at Mimaki distributor in the UK and Ireland – Hybrid Services, and he talks us through the ins and outs of RasterLink6Plus.
The biggest strength of Mimaki’s RasterLink RIP software is the print performance, with the net result being outstanding print quality, which is what it’s all about at the end of the day. Due to the strength of co-developing products with input from multiple departments, Mimaki has been able to develop Rasterlink in conjunction with the engineers evolving the hardware and the chemists advancing ink technology, creating tailored software that is easy to use and equally up to the task. In fact, the strength of Mimaki’s research and development equates to software that is continually being improved, with regular updates for added functions and bug fixes.
Another great benefit of the RasterLink RIP is that it’s easy to use and the RIP display is visual and intuitive, striking a balance between having all the performance of a high-end RIP but with straightforward usability. Navigating your way around the software is simple to do and, for newcomers to wide format printing, they can easily find their feet with RasterLink, accessing great features without feeling overwhelmed! It’s all about ease of use. With a customisable user interface, you can create a bespoke RasterLink interface just for you! Work smarter and utilise drag and drop functions to enhance your print management.
The latest version of the software is RasterLink6Plus which delivers a number of handy features in addition to core components of the software. It can support twin roll printing onto two rolls of media at the same time, which is essential for users of the Mimaki UJV55-320. You can print special colour layers, which works beautifully with the Metallic Colour Library and there’s a zero-margin crop mark function to help reduce media waste and reduce print and cut time. The list is extensive and what’s also of interest is that RasterLink6Plus can open different file types including popular, competitor RIP files, meaning you can make a smooth transition to Mimaki without recreating all your pre-existing files.
With RIP software, ‘profiles’ are used to govern the amount of ink that goes onto the print which is dependent on the material – a process which is vital for print quality and colour management. Anyone using the RasterLink RIP can access custom-made profiles via Mimaki Europe’s website, saving you loads of time. However, should a RasterLink user wish to explore the world beyond off-the-shelf profiles and make their own decision, there is the capacity to self-determine the profile with the tools provided. You are able to fine-tune colour requirements and manage customer expectations and, once the parameters are determined, the profile can be saved for future use as you build your own custom environment in the RIP.
Last but by no means least, what many people don’t realise is that RasterLink is included in the price of your Mimaki hardware, so is essentially free of charge. Couple that we free updates available to download from Mimaki Europe and it’s safe to say RasterLink delivers both fantastic results and great value for money.