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| p.1 #6 · What is Aqueous Printers? |
Many solvent printers use what can be thought of as paint (thick), whereas aqueous (waterbased) technology uses ink (watery). While both "spray" their colors, aqueous printers can get much tinier droplets since water can be misted much finer than sticky, messy paint. However, paint is far more durable, hence why sign shops can make signs that are cheap and can last a decade outdoors.
If you look up close at some vinyl signage, you'll see very large, dull-pencil-tip sized dots - that's because the solvent can't be reliably ejected any smaller than that.
You'd know if you had a solvent printer, as it would cost many, many thousands of dollars, and require unique supplies and maintenance.