The versatility of Inca’s inkjet technology was on show at this year’s Royal Academy Schools Show in the shape of student Elliot Dodd’s striking exhibits, Ice Cream Man (Grabber) and Ice Cream Man (Daytona).
The pair of sculptures — which were sold to a collector at the end of the show — started out as hip hop video stills which Elliot captured, printed and moulded as a skin around 3D objects. He then photographed these and printed the resulting images onto steel sheets at Inca’s Cambridge demonstration centre using Inca’s Spyder X and Onset X wide-format flatbed UV inkjet printers. The final step was to mould these by hand into the finished pieces, which also incorporate PU foam and aluminium mesh.
For the 17 emerging artists lucky enough to take the RA’s postgraduate contemporary fine art course, the Royal Academy Schools Show is the climax of three years of intensive study. The show has become a highlight of the contemporary art calendar and a cutting-edge counterpoint to the RA Summer Show.
Experimentation with a variety of multimedia technologies is at the heart of Elliot Dodd’s work, which combines 3D computer design, sculpture, drawing and sound as well as digital print. “Inca went out of their way to help,” says Elliot. “I had access to two printers for the whole day as well as the help of two Inca technical specialists. This gave me the time to test print samples, discover the process and understand ink weights that achieved the best quality and colour gamut. In the end, we used the SpyderX to print a layer of opaque white onto metre-square steel sheets, then printed the images in full colour on the Onset X3.”
John Mills, CEO of Inca Digital, says the company is happy to help with projects such as Elliot’s whenever possible. “Applications like this are an excellent way to show people the enormous potential of digital printing. Advances come from experimentation, not only for the artists but for our technical people too, so it’s a win-win as far as we’re concerned.”
The Inca SpyderX is a versatile dual flat-bed/roll-to-roll 6-colour + white inkjet printer which uses Inca ink, features 3.2m wide flat-bed and roll-fed capability for handling rigid and flexible substrates, and delivers high-speed (230 sqm/hr) production at sharp, pin point accuracy.
The Inca Onset X3 (14-colour) produces superb quality on a range of substrates in sizes up to 3.22m (126 inches) x 1.6m (63 inches) and thicknesses up to 50mm.