One of the most powerful features of digital print over traditional techniques is the ability to print every item differently. However, when you consider that digital printers are also becoming faster, wider and higher resolution the data rates required to drive the printer are also increasing in orders of magnitude. Workflows that use intermediate files on disk have already hit what we term a data rate barrier. One solution to this is to RIP and stream directly in real-time to the printhead electronics. However, as with most paradigm changes, it brings its own engineering challenges and drives new solutions.
A streaming RIP solution requires the right combination of software and PC performance and tight control over the PDF complexity and this needs to be done without adding to the overall bill of materials.
In this paper, we will discuss the complexities of selecting the software and hardware components at the heart of this real-time workflow. We will look at the trinity of factors that impact the data rate and how the complexity of the interaction has led to the creation of a dedicated benchmarking tool.