Tokyo is a shopper's paradise, where you can find almost anything you could wish for. This includes genuinely unique products, customised for every individual. This summer, two international students from the University of Michigan attended a Roland DG internship programme which gave them the opportunity to explore just some of the digital printing services in Tokyo, and the incredible personalisation available to customers.
The first stop for Jinyu Wang and King Yuk Chiu was the Makers' Base in the Sogo department store in Chiba, a studio that offers practical workshops to its members using equipment including a Roland LEF-200 UV printer.
Here, the students attended a purse-making workshop, where they could create their own design and see it printed directly onto the leather.
"We were fascinated by watching our drawings being printed on leather and cured instantly right in front of our eyes," says King Yuk Chiu. '"Flawless" describes what we saw coming from this printer. Imagine how pleasant it was to watch our projects take shape."
Under the guidance of professionals, the students then trimmed the leather to the correct shapes, chose their favourite combination of clasps and inner fabric, and put the pieces together to create a customised purse.
The next visit was to the Roland DG Creative Centre located in the Tokyo Sales Office, where they got hands-on with a Roland VersaUV LEF-12i UV printer. Until the end of September 2018, anyone could pop into the centre and use this clever desktop device to personalise a card holder or a 10 x 10cm canvas print for free.
The University of Michigan duo both chose classic card holders, customising them with sharp text for a 'Proud Michigan Dad' and a gorgeous photograph taken at Antelope Canyon in Arizona.
King Yuk Chiu explains her choice of photo: '"Its vivid colours might look good on a card holder," I thought, and the result did not fail my expectations. The entire printing process took less than ten minutes – what speed! My picture came to life."
Finally, the pair put FabCafe's slogan – 'You can make (almost) anything' – to the test. Located in busy Shibuya, this cafe runs workshops and rents out time on its machines to creatives for the production of their own work.
"Roland DG's UV printer is an essential ingredient among all the equipment," says Jinyu Wang. "Their fab workshop supports a wide range of items, including key charms, hand mirrors, ribbons, wood stamps and even macarons! We decided to create acrylic photo blocks, which will be a good decoration on our book desks."
After choosing the perfect photos to print, the Roland interns could see them being printed directly to the acrylic blocks to create a souvenir to last a lifetime.
Jinyu Wang and King Yuk Chiu discovered just a handful of the personalisation options that are possible using Roland UV printers.
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