Our A to Z of Wide Format – R is for RIP Software
Applications, Bleed, RIP Software…. We get asked lots of questions about the world of Wide Format on a daily basis. At Signmaster we are here to help and our lovely team of experts have pulled together a handy A to Z guide answering the most frequently asked questions.
Introducing the Signmaster A to Z of Wide Format.
This is a series of helpful blogs, guides and articles that we hope you will find useful. We will post a new blog every fortnight and we’d love to know what you think so please comment or drop us an email. We’d love to hear from you!
This week it’s all about R is for RIP Software
What is RIP software?
RIP stands for Raster Image Processor and a RIP Software, in the printing industry, is a linking piece of software which takes you from your design software through to your finished print.
What does RIP software do?
RIP software has one main job, and that is to convert your print job into a Raster image (also known as a Bitmap). The input job can be in many different file formats, such as .EPS .PDF .JPG, or .PNG, and the file can contain Bitmap or Raster Images and these will be converted along with the rest of the file.
What else does a RIP software do?
A RIP software will also perform many other tasks to increase your workflow and productivity,
- Quality Control
You can increase or decrease the quality in which you are printing, decreasing quality will increase speed of print and also limit the amount of ink that is being used, this is perfect for jobs that don’t need to be 100% colour accurate but still look good! Increasing quality will slow down your print production but it will allow for better colour matching and less graininess in the print.
- Image Adjustments
Within most RIP software packages you can edit a limited amount of properties of the image, you can resize and rescale, trim, crop, tile copy and mirror. Some applications also allow for step and repeat tiling, colour correction and replacing and also cut application controls.
- Profile Adjustment
RIP Software allows you to apply profiles that have been specially made for your material. This will give you the best quality output and also reduce ink usage. This is also crucial when using high end materials where the output image needs to be correct first time and wastage is not an option.
- Control Job Workflow
With your RIP Software you will get the ability to set up multi job print runs, this will decrease operator input time and will allow the printer to print a continuous run, this is perfect for night printing applications. This also allows for the designer to produce files in smaller, segmented files, which can then be automatically grouped within the RIP software; this makes it easier to move artwork between computers.
What RIP Software brands are available and which ones can I use?
There are many types of RIP Software available, some are dedicated to one brand of machine and some are available to multiple brands, here is a selection of Software packages that you will find:
Cadlink Provides both design (SignLab) and print (Visual Production Manager/Digital Factory) applications, this software can support most major printer and plotter/cutter brands available (subject to package) and allows for an ‘all in one’ style of working. This is for Windows computers only.
Caldera RIP software supports multiple machine brands, and most notably it is available for Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. This software offers higher production flow for large PDF and multi-layer PSD Files.
- Roland Versaworks
Versaworks is a RIP software created by Roland to be used by Roland products only. Versaworks software is free with all Roland printers and it does not require a licence or dongle to use it, just a Roland printer! It supports the use of multiple Roland printers at one time and is the best software to get the most out of your Roland printer. Roland Versaworks, also works as a cut server for print and cut jobs
- Mimaki Rasterlink
Rasterlink is a RIP software made by Mimaki, to run Mimaki Printers only. Rasterlink is a high end software that allows for more control over your image that most other software packages, it is also heavily geared towards the UV market, this allows for control over white and gloss printing.
If you need help choosing the best RIP software for your application, email [email protected] for more information and support.