The Excellence of Canon LUCIA Pigment-Based Plotter Ink - TAVCO

Do you want your large format prints to really pop, be durable, and resist fading?

Usually, the solution is as simple as using the right kind of ink and media for the project. In fact, the secret to printing awesome large format photos or graphics is often found in the chemistry of the ink, and not just the paper or printer technology. 

So, when the highest image quality is mandated, you can rely on the performance of Canon LUCIA pigment inks. 

As you know, inkjet printing is not new. It was first conceptualized int the 1950s and brought to market in the 1970s by both HP and Canon. As per Wikipedia:

“The idea of using thermal excitation to move tiny drops of ink was developed independently by two groups at roughly the same time: John Vaught and a team at Hewlett-Packard's Corvallis Division, and Canon engineer Ichiro Endo. Initially, in 1977, Endo's team was trying to use the piezoelectric effect to move ink out of the nozzle but noticed that ink shot out of a syringe when it was accidentally heated with a soldering iron.”

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See the selection of Canon plotter ink tanks and cartridges available from TAVCO

Dye-based Plotter Ink

Traditionally, most inkjet printers use dye-based inks. The justification has always been a wider color range and lower cost. Most of the time, this is perfectly fine for general purpose printing and large format printers commonly used dye inks in printers for CAD and other business printing applications.

But, dyes are pretty volatile; they are merely water colors. Dyes are completely water soluble and can be greatly affected by the environment. Once exposed to the elements, dye inks can fade in the sunlight or bleed when they get wet.

Conversely, photographers and other graphics professionals need a much better image quality and durability. Because of this, they prefer pigment-based for a variety of reasons. Although advancements have been made with both ink type, pigments still get get the advantage.

Pigment-based Plotter Ink

Unlike dyes, which are essentially colored water, pigments are formulated as an emulsion. The pigments are actually microscopic solid particles that are suspended in a liquid solution. These solid particles are very durable and resilient and do not break down due to environmental conditions. Pigments will not fade and are mostly water resistant.

Even though they are a different from dyes, pigment inks are shot onto the media in the exact same way as dye inks via an inkjet print head. The difference is that dyes will soak into the paper, but pigments adhere and cure to the surface of the media. In addition to greater durability, pigment-based inks result in much better overall image quality.

Pigment inks delivery stunning results with fantastic durability.

Canon’s Pigment Plotter Ink Technology

Over the past few years, Canon has made great strides advancing the ink technologies of their entire large format printer series. This includes both the high quality graphics models as well as the more commonly used systems for CAD, GIS, and other business printing needs.

Canon LUCIA TD Inks

All five ink channels all pigment-based in the Canon TX and TM printer series.

Both the TX-Series and TM-Series printers use refined and improved ink sets. As before, the printers utilize five colors (C, M, Y, Bk, MBk). But, unlike previous versions, every ink in the set is now a pigment ink. This LUCIA TD pigment ink provides a way to get fantastic, high-quality prints on both coated inkjet media as well as standard bond papers.

The black density of these new inks is fantastic and bleed resistance is strong. So, contractors can use these prints, in the field, worry free. They will not fade in the sun, and a rainstorm will not completely ruin the construction drawings. Another benefit to the bleed resistance of the TD Inks is that drawings can be highlighted and/or marked up with out any smearing.

Also, compared to the earlier Canon imagePROGRAF 750/760/780/830/840/850 series, TX Series printers produce a wider color gamut. This means that renderings, maps, and aerials look better than ever. And even greater durability can be achieved by printing on a tough, long-lasting media such as water-resistant matte polypropylene, vinyl banner, or Tyvek.

Canon TM Series Pigment Ink Image Quality

Canon LUCIA PRO Inks

When image quality is paramount, Canon PRO inks deliver. This new ink formulation is found in the new family of PRO-Series and PRO-S-Series printers from Canon.

Canon LUCIA PRO Pigment Inks

The Canon LUCA PRO ink set includes 11 colors, plus a Chroma Optimizer.

The LUCIA PRO ink set consists of newly formulated 11-color pigment inks, plus a Chroma Optimizer. These inks are designed specifically to meet the demands of even the most critical photographer and graphic artists. This ink offers increased pigment density for richer color expression.

Plus, the new Chroma Optimizer works like a “clear coat” layer when printing on photo papers. Chroma Optimizer (CO) works to further enhance the quality and ensure uniformity of light reflection. This unique ink system help enable a broad color gamut with finer details in dark areas and improved gloss uniformity. Bronzing and graininess are also greatly reduced with the new LUCIA PRO ink set.

Canon PRO 4000 Plotter - 12 Color Pigment Ink

Final Thoughts

No matter if you are recreating an artistic masterpiece, or printing a set of construction drawings, the new Canon pigments inks will help you achieve much greater results. The Canon LUCIA  PRO, LUCIA TD, and LUCIA TM inks provide a wider color gamut to produce highly durable prints to offer you better peace of mind.

Canon pigment inks are tough and can survive the elements. Drawings, pictures, and posters will not fade. Combine the inks with a more durable printing material, such as polypropylene, and your print can even be used for short-term outside display.

Upgrade your printing game and achieve amazing results with a Canon plotter using a full pigment ink set.

Ready to check out a Canon Pigment Ink Printer? 

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Kelvin Reed

Kelvin Reed

Good review with one missing piece of information. Longevity of a photo printed with these inks. I had to call Cannon as that information is not readily available. I was told 25-50 years exposed and 50-100 under glass. Armed with that information, the inks in the Chromalife100+ series have longer longevity. Those are available for the Pixma Pro models, which is a shame, seems the imagePROGRAF series (a 10 ink cartridge system) using these Lucia inks should have longer archival quality as those are their top of the line models until stepping up to commercial equipment. Coincidentally the Lucia inks are used in commercial models as well like the article references. I don’t quite understand how a Pixma Pro print outlasts one on a more expensive printer model. The Epson inks for their P700 and P900 models have longer times as well, up to 300 years under the right conditions, but ink cost is high and lots of complaints on how much ink you have to waste constantly to clean nozzles all the time if you are not printing every day with it. I am on the fence as I am replacing an HP Photosmart 8750 that is getting hard to find ink for but has served me well and archival quality is 100+ years, the plus being when under glass. I am leaning towards the Pixma Pro 200, which currently seems to be made out of unobtainium. Like everything else, blame it on the supply chain.

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