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What is RIP Software for Screen Printing?

Posted by Harvey Cole - Outside Sales on 3/24/2016
What is RIP Software for Screen Printing?
The term "RIP" software has probably passed by you many times as a screen printer, and indeed you may use RIP software.  But if you are new to screen printing, what is RIP software and what can it do for you?

According to Wikipedia, RIP software is defined as follows - 

 - raster image processor (RIP) is a component used in a printing system which produces a raster image also known as a bitmap. Such a bitmap is used by a later stage of the printing system to produce the printed output. The input may be a page description in a high-level page description language such as PostScriptPortable Document FormatXPS or another bitmap of higher or lower resolution than the output device. In the latter case, the RIP applies either smoothing or interpolation algorithms to the input bitmap to generate the output bitmap.

One of the more well known RIP software packages specifically for screen printing equipment is AccuRip, which is developed and released by Freehand Graphics.  AccuRip takes RIP software and presents it with specific printers in mind (almost exclusively Epson printers).  Some of the most common features of interest to scree printers are - 

  • Easy Setup: AccuRIP's Setup Wizard makes the setup process fast and convenient. It auto builds a print driver for your selected Epson model. In minutes you are ready to output (print) using AccuRIP.
  • Streamlined User Experience: As an on-demand RIP, AccuRIP is always ready and waiting to process your file data and deliver sharp and clean halftones and solids. No program to launch and manage.
  • Job Queue: A "Job Queue" and "Job History" window to review and watch jobs process.
  • Direct Application Printing: Nothing beats the convenience of printing directly from the graphics program your file is in. Go to the "Print" window of any of your design programs and AccuRIP is ready to RIP.
  • Automatic N-UP Printing: AccuRIP automatically gangs a separation on your film saving valuable output time and media. When your art board/page size is less than half your media’s width, the N-UP feature comes into action. This feature is a user favorite.
  • Ink Laydown Control: With numerous ink and film brands available AccuRIP provides the controls to balance ink laydown to your media. A good match delivers needed dMax and a better dry time.
  • Dye Black Film Ink Cartridges loaded into your Epson: An option for AccuRIP users with select ink jet models. Enjoy the many benefits of running your Epson with every cartridge filled with high-quality black dye. Don’t try putting an Epson black cartridge into another slot. Cartridges are chipped and keyed for particular slots. Only AccuRIP and our Dye Black Film Ink Cartridges are designed for this purpose. This feature is a user favorite.
  • Network Solution and No Dongle: Install AccuRIP on one host computer and share the AccuRIP driver easily across your entire network and even across platforms. One printer, one RiP, multiple users. AccuRIP uses an Internet-based serial number registration for instant access. No dongle required.
  • Windows and Mac Solution: Whether you use Mac or Windows, or have a cross-platform network, you have the RIP for all environments. Share AccuRIP at no additional cost with all users on your network

    Accurip software give you precise control over your Epson printer

    One of the more appreciated features of AccuRip is that it will let you use all black ink cartridges in your Epson printer and draw from them all, also letting you control very precisely how much ink is laid down.  When you are using it to control your half-tones and separations, you can use all available ink cartridges.  If you have been laying down too much ink then you can adjust for that in the software.  

    Some printers have even gone so far as to run a job through a printer twice if the ink isn't laid out in the thickness that was desired.  Obviously, this can cause some real problems with alignment.  AccuRip give you such precise controls over ink output of your positive printer that running through twice should not even enter your mind.  Using an Epson 1400 Series printer (our preferred printer for the Texsource screen printing classes) you get excellent speed and quality especially when paired with a good waterproof film.

    AccuRip software can be somewhat expensive, as retail prices for the latest versions tend to hover around the $500 price.  That is certainly a costly upgrade for some screen printers, but when you consider that a bad proof can halt your entire process (and you get used to how well a GOOD proof helps your production) then you begin to see that this may be a 1-time investment that is a worthwhile addition to your shop.

    Need to speed up an inkjet device? The speed of an inkjet as its print head moves across the media is set and cannot be sped up. Others make ambiguous statements that make you believe that their RIP is speeding up the printing process. The speed of a RIP is in how it translates the file and sends it to your device. AccuRIP is the fastest at sending the data - so fast it only takes seconds. Your time savings is in this release rate as well as in work-flow. AccuRIP is so fast you will never again sit and wonder if your file is actually processing. In the time it takes another RIP just to "load" your file into the RIP application then process your data, AccuRIP is already printing. The instant your print progress bar leaves the computer screen your inkjet head is in motion! Nothing is faster that AccuRIP.

    Just want to print halftones with no hassles or extra work? After the tasks of designing, file building and color separating what should be a simple process on your list is often complicated by other solutions. By offering those screen print specific features for black and white channel output required by screen printers and eliminating the unnecessary color management features, for example, of other more expensive solutions the RIP process with AccuRIP has been significantly simplified and the RIP rate accelerated. Stochastic printing is a fantastic option for screen printers but not easily achievable before AccuRIP. The stochastic option is now available for both Macintosh and Windows users.  

    Texsource Screen Printing Supply is an authorized dealer for AccuRip software, and we have trained support staff that can help answer any questions or issues that you may have with it.  Texsource will never leave you hanging - on the contrary, we want to help your shop grow and succeed and earn your longterm business.  If you are looking to have some further questions answered regarding AccuRip or any other Screen Printing Equipment or supply items, contact us today - you will be glad you did!
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