Summa just released the new version of their thermal printer, the DC5 and the DC5sx. Just when you thought they couldn’t make any real upgrades to thermal printing technology, they did! As far as we can tell, printing quality is the same as what you would see in the previous DC4 and DC4sx models, but their new DC5 series really makes thermal printing attractive. Let’s look at some of the new features…
The first thing that caught my eye was their new full color display. Summa is top-shelf when it comes to printer design and user interface design. Their new S2 cutter interface is gorgeous, and the DC5 appears no different. The vibrant blue shades on this full color display look fantastic. When you work on these machines all hours of the day, it’s nice to work on something that’s easy on the eyes and looks cool.
Ethernet connectivity. This is one of the things I really missed when I purchased my DC4. All of the other machines we use run off of ethernet. It really makes a machine more flexible in terms of where you can put it in your shop since you can run longer cords with ethernet. I also think that ethernet can expand a machine’s possibilities since it’s a better way to communicate.
Faster Processing. 7x’s faster to be exact. Though I don’t recall my DC4 being particularly slow, I’m sure I would notice if this new one is 7x faster.
This isn’t a listed feature that I found, but after taking a peak halfway down the DC5 Accessories and Supplies page, you’ll notice a replacement pack of cutoff blades, the same ones found on the S2 cutters. This is a huge feature, much needed indeed. It has been hugely helpful in our decal production with our current S2 cutter, to be able to have the machine cut off one job and move on to the next, leaving me a nice pile of sheets to process in the basket.
UPDATE to Cutoff Blade: I clarified this with a technician at Summa. There is no cutoff blade on the new DC5 or DC5sx. What you see on the supply page is simply a refill for the hand cutting knife they provide with every machine.
Another big feature is the ability to add up to four of these DC5′s via USB.
The DC5 (not sx) can now utilize 2 more sizes of media. 1 meter, which is popular in european countries, and 48″, which is another standard size in the US. So for the DC5, you can now print and cut on 24″, 30″, 1 meter, 48″ and 54″. The D5sx still takes the standard 24″ and 30″ media.
Last but not least…
The new Color Control 8 looks stellar. I gotta admit, when I purchased my DC4sx, Color Control 7 felt a little lacking. Partly because I was used to a full RIP software like Flexi. This new CC 8 looks pretty rad and can control multiple DC5 printers at the same time. The only bummer is that it does not look like it’s compatible with older DC4 and DC3 model printers.
The biggest feature about these upgrades, in my opinion, is the ability to queue. With the new communication abilities via ethernet connectivity and the new Color Control software, you will now be able to add multiple jobs to the print queue at a time. This is always an issue currently when I want my thermal printer to print several jobs throughout the night or while I’m away. Queuing is a HUGE convenience that we have on our other printing equipment, it makes it so that we can get more work done.
In conclusion, these upgrades to the Summa series thermal printer in the DC5 are brilliant. The only way to make it better is if they somehow were able to bump up the resolution in CMY/CMYK printing. However, that’s not where any thermal printers shine. The spot colors are unreal and are something that you cannot get with latex or eco-solvent type printing.
You can tell that Summa really paid attention to their customer’s needs on this one. Well done Summa, can’t wait to see what you bring the market next!