I'm interested to hear from anyone using a Roland, Mimaki or any other entry to mid-level UV flatbed or hybrid to print on substrates such as glass, ceramic tiles and/or fabrics such as leather. What successes or problems have you had? What would you recommend / not recommend?
I'm the Product Manager for Océ Display Graphics based in Melbourne. We have customers using Arizona flatbeds printing to glass and tiles to a lesser degree. Most of these applications require some form of adhesion promoting. If you'd like to discuss further or be put in touch with some customers please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
we represent the swissQprint and Teckwin range of UV printers. Steve is correct - printing onto glass with good results will require some type of adhesion promoter or primer. The swissQprint machines offer a 'jettable primer' which is applied by the machine itself. This means primer is only placed where there will be ink printed - the result is that the glass retains is clarity and natural properties in "no ink" areas.
There are also hand applied primers which do help quite a bit on these surfaces. Considering you are looking at Entry level machines, this may be the way to go. Do your research though, you may find issues with slippage of the heavier glass panels on hybrid type systems. It really just depends on your application and requirements.
Our Teckwin range offer excellent speed and print quality with a true flat table design that means the sheet to be printed never has to move during the printing process. Prices are higher than the entry level systems you mention, but are still extremely competitive given the capabilities.