Very simply, a RISO Duplicator is a device that ‘duplicates’ a document. They are specifically designed to produce copies in high volumes and long print runs, that are regarded as too long for a conventional office photocopier or printer to produce effectively from both a production and cost perspective. Duplicators are designed to bridge the gap between office printers and lithographic printers, which are used to do extremely long, high-volume print runs.
Lithography is an extremely popular printing technique today, and is widely used in professional printing, outsourced printing, and as an art form. The technique uses simple chemical processes to create an image or print.
RISO Duplicators, widely known as Risographs, are used for printing a variety of printed materials, including: posters, business cards, catalogues, magazines, art prints and letter heads. A broad range of papers and printed medias including envelopes can be printed onto, with paper weights ranging from 46gsm right up to 400gsm.
With the introduction of the RISO A2 digital duplicator, these devices can now print up to A2, making them the ideal addition to any art department or print shop. Although edge-to-edge printing is not possible, the same result can be achieved through printing with full-bleed and ticks and then guillotining the finished print after the printing process. Duplicators come with optional finishing equipment, including glue binding and stapling, so users can produce magazines or catalogues with minimal user involvement in the process.
How does a RISO Duplicator work?
RISO Duplicators work by transferring the original artwork onto a master (similar to plates in the Lithographic printing process. This master is then wrapped around the colour drum, which is filled with ink. The paper passes through the machine while the ink is pushed through a stencil produced by the master and then down onto the paper. You can use a number of colour drums and masters interchangeably to produce multi-coloured artwork, producing prints at over 180 pages per minute, even in A3 format. Most RISO Duplicators print in single colour, with one model offering the ability to print two colours in one pass.
Typically, RISO Duplicators are best for print runs that are between 20 and 2,000 copies, as it is not worth producing a master for less than 20 copies and anything over 2,000 is cheaper to produce lithographically.
Because the Duplicator printing process does not involve heat, these machines experience fewer jams and need less maintenance than other office printers. A good lifespan of a Duplicator may be 100,000 masters and 5,000,000 copies.
RISO Duplicator Ink
Duplicators use ink rather than toner. There are 21 standard coloured inks available, though RISO can produce special ordered colours to meet brand guidelines and specific requirements. Some of the standard colours include: black, blue, red, green, fluorescent pink, purple and metallic gold.
Due to Duplicators using ink, they are the perfect device for producing documents such as letter headed paper as you can place the pre-printed paper into a toner based printer and overprint as normal.
Midshire is Europe’s and the world’s largest reseller of RISO printers, giving us unrivalled experience in providing RISO duplicators to all types of businesses and organisations. We are aware that one size does not fit all, so we can provide guidance about products suited to certain sectors or business size.