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Painting the body and tires of a car and creating a textured print wrap for the SAMURAI SPEED racing team

The 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC)

The 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC)

From Monday, June 24th to Sunday, June 30th

Ricoh’s inkjet technology to be displayed on the body of a racing car in the 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

From Monday, June 24th to Sunday, June 30th we will participate in the 97th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) held in Colorado Springs, Colorado USA as a sponsor of the SAMURAI SPEED racing team. The team will compete in the electric vehicle class.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) Race Overview

SAMURAI SPEED Team Overview

Direct Printing with the Auto Body / Tire Printer using Ricoh’s Original Inkjet Technology

Auto body printer

Auto body printer

Printing a design

Printing a design

Our auto body printer is a revolutionary system that prints directly onto vehicles and has various other applications (with uneven or curved surfaces). Up to now, graphics have generally been printed on film sheets which are then applied to a vehicle. The material cost and time taken to process and apply the wrap are not insignificant. Using our auto body printer is cheaper than printing and applying conventional film sheets. It also uses special low-cost ink that makes it possible to print over the existing image as many times as you like. For racing cars, this method of decoration should also help reduce weight.

Printing took about 40 minutes to complete.

Race car after printing

Race car after printing

Race car after printing

Our tire printer is the first of its kind in the world. It spins the tires to print directly onto their sidewalls. It can print a variety of designs from single lines to colorful graphics.

For more details see

Tire printer

Using a UV Inkjet Printer to Print Roof and Hood Wraps With a Texture to Reduce Air Resistance

The multiple round indentations on the surface of a golf ball are called dimples, and they serve to decrease air resistance. We were approached by SAMURAI SPEED who wanted to test what effect this would have when applied to the surface of a vehicle, so we used Ricoh's inkjet printing technology to create this dimpled surface.

The multiple round indentations on the surface of a golf ball are called dimples

The printer we used is known as a UV curing inkjet printer. UV light is applied immediately after printing to instantly harden or cure the ink. The UV curing ink we used is more widely known as UV ink. In addition to paper, it adheres to other media including plastic, sheet metal and glass. In this instance, we used it to print on vinyl car wraps.

Using UV Curable Ink Jet Printer To Print Roof And Hood Wrapping With Dimple Texture By Utilizing Layered Printing Technology

After the graphics are printed using colored ink,
a clear ink is applied for the layered printing to create the dimpled surface

The thickness characteristics of a UV ink make it ideal for use with layered printing (known as 2.5D printing) and has been used to replicate things like the texture of oil paintings or the surface of fruit.
In order to create more realistic textures, the printer must have high laminating accuracy and the inks must be highly adhesive. In addition, they must be capable of adhering to a soft film and not just a hard surface. As film gets stretched when it is applied to gently curved surfaces, such as a vehicle’s roof or hood, so it is vital to ensure that the design will conform to the shape of the material and won't crack when applied. UV inks often harden like plastic and can crack when bent. But Ricoh's inks resist cracking and can maintain their layered form. This feature allows them to be used on car wraps and many other applications.

Ricoh will continue to identify and develop innovative new solutions using its inkjet technology.

For more information, please visit https://industry.ricoh.com/en/industrialinkjet/