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What is a RIP and should you be printing with one?


What is a Raster Image Processor (RIP)

A computer and printer speak different languages. The computer language needs to be translated to the printer language so the final print matches what is on the computer screen. If you were to travel to China without knowing Chinese you would need a translator to communicate with the locals. If your artwork does not have a translator for its trip through the printer, the final result could be very unexpected and costly.

Technically speaking, a RIP is software used in a printing workflow. It produces a raster image also known as a bitmap from a page description language such as PostScript, Portable Document Format, XPS or another bitmap of higher or lower resolution than the output device. The bitmap is then sent to a printing device for output.

  • Quick Tip: What is the difference between raster and vector images?

    • Raster images are made of pixels and are a set resolution. Photographs and scans are raster images.
    • Vector images are made of points, lines, and mathematical formulas. Certain logos and illustrations are vector images.
    • Postscript is used by applications like InDesign, Quark and Illustrator to describe the
      page (art) that has been created. Art from these applications can contain both raster
      and vector images.

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(Quick Tip Video) Installing ICC profiles on a Mac and Windows

If printing and color are important to you, ICC profiles will make all the difference in getting the results you desire! Here is a quick video and instructions of how to install ICC profiles on both Mac and Windows platforms.

Click here to go to windows instructions

Mac Instructions

1) Download the ICC Profile you wish to use.

Go to www.aldertech.com/support/icc/ to find a list of free Epson and Hahnemuhle profiles. From here choose your printer and media type and select “download profile” to the specified folder of your choice.

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Piezoelectric Print Heads Vs. Thermal Print Heads


For professionals and consumers alike, inkjet printing technologies have made producing full color high quality photographs, documents, and fine art reproductions easier, cleaner, and more affordable.

Today, there are two primary types of inkjet print head technologies in use: Piezo (Epson Printers) and Thermal (Canon and HP Printers). In this blog we will be exploring the main difference between the two, as well as some advantages and disadvantages of both.

How does Epson’s Micro Piezo print head work?

In the Epson Micro Piezo print head, microscopic piezoelectric elements (like crystals and ceramics) are built behind the print nozzles. When an electrical charge is applied to them, these elements bend backward, forcing precise amounts of ink onto the substrate (see Diagram 1). Because electrical charges can be turned on and off like a switch, there is a vast amount of control over the rate of ink being ejected through the nozzle Continue reading Piezoelectric Print Heads Vs. Thermal Print Heads