Electrostatic printers as alternatives to piezo and thermal inkjet printers.
Electrostatic printers are far faster than any inkjet, yet can cost from $100,000 to $250,000. Color quality may be less than people now expect from inkjet.
Xerox’s division that produced their electrostatic printers went bust, same way as did the Xerox division, XES, that attempted to sell oil-based wide format printers. Today Xerox repackages Encad printers from Kodak and puts a Xerox label on them.
Raster Graphics was one of the few remaining companies that produced an electrostatic printer, their model 5442.
Sihl makes an electrostatic transfer media, "Spectrafusion Transfer Paper." This transfers your image (printed with an electrostatic printer) onto canvas, vinyl, fabric, foam core, and wood for trade show exhibits, signs, and displays, sihlusa.com
You can find an article on electrostatic printers in the Nov. 99 issue of Digital Graphics, vol. 3, no. 11.
Most people who still have an electrostatic printer are making a profit with it because the materials are cheap, the printer is fast, and they know how to work around the weak points of electrostatic technology.
But if you are starting out, with a new print shop, I would not suggest even considering an electrostatic printer unless you have an operator with many years of experience.
Also realize that spare parts and service may be tough to obtain. Most of the companies that handled consumables for electrostatic printers have gone bankrupt, disappeared, merged, or are working on completely different technologies today. The heyday of electrostatic printers was in the 1990’s.
Most recently updated Jan. 17, 2006.