Installed four months ago, the new desktop flatbed was supplied by CMYUK and is being used in tandem with the online company’s existing Trotec Speedy 300 laser cutter and engraver to create new product lines.
“My idea was to take the Trotec capabilities and combine these with Mimaki features to create unique items,” said Ashleigh Hopwood, owner producer at Paw Deco.
While Hopwood has a background in engraving, it was her career in dog grooming and her love of pets that spurred her on to create this business, which was founded in 2020 after the birth of her daughter.
“I wanted to bring comfort to pet owners. As a dog groomer, I obviously became attached to the dogs that I was looking after, so, when they passed away, I thought it would be nice to present the owner with a keepsake and that’s how the business idea began,” she added.
It was during a trade show visit that Hopwood first saw a Mimaki UV printer on the Trotec stand. After expressing interest in its capabilities, she was put in touch with CMYUK, which distributes both Trotec and Mimaki equipment.
Hopwood visited CMYUK’s demo and training facility in Shrewsbury, and she then decided to invest in the UJF-3042MkII e printer.
While the flatbed comes in two sizes, A2 and A3, due to space constraints Hopwood opted for the smaller model.
The device offers direct printing capabilities on numerous materials such as wood, glass, acrylic, and metals, up to 153mm thick. It is suited to applications including novelty items, merchandising, awards, badges, and greetings cards.
“I’ve wanted to incorporate colour into my engraved designs for some time now, but never thought I’d be able to evolve the business to a point where I could,” said Hopwood.
“Once I saw the demo at CMYUK, I thought it was just an amazing piece of kit and I wanted to incorporate stained-glass effects into the product line – which is really what led me to invest in the printer.”
She said that while at first she was apprehensive about operating the Mimaki, with training from CMYUK she was surprised at its ease of use, while the device has also helped to push her productivity.
“It’s much faster than I expected, and the good thing is that I can run it in the background while I’m doing other things, which is really helpful.”
Paw Deco has seen an uptake in orders since the machine was installed, with the printer paying for itself far quicker than anticipated.
“I’ve noticed an influx in orders since I’ve had the Mimaki because I’ve been able to create more appealing designs that are the result of combining Trotec output with UV coloured inks,” said Hopwood.
“I’m getting more orders per day. Looking forward, I want to branch out further into new product offerings. I’ve got the ideas, and the technology, I just need more space.”