As it celebrates 40 years in business Mimaki is doubling production with a new 84,000sqm factory in Japan.

“We will be able to produce your products even if you order twice as much as you do now. We commit to invest over 7% of our annual turnover,” he said at the Mimaki birthday party earlier this week. 

Mimaki Japan chairman Akira Ikeda said Mimaki already had a UV desktop printer, the UJF-3042, that could print in 3D using additive technology and the company plans to test the market over the coming months by running a print service.

“We want to understand the demands of the market. We don’t just need the printer, we need to develop software too. We need to collect information to build the knowhow to develop it,” he said.

“We haven’t decided on the application yet. At this stage we’re focusing on developing a full-colour 3D printer. There is a big market. One application is architectural models or medical models, such as a full colour heart. We think we can do that within two years.” He added: “We have already sold 5,000 machines after introducing them to market in 2011. The UV printer price was very expensive at that time. This 3042 was half of that price.”

Growth in sign and graphics was 7%, but textiles much more robust growth of 24%. Kobayashi also revealed the company was developing a new product for launch later this year but did not elaborate.

Mimaki Europe general marketing manager EMEA Mike Horsten said the company had gone from an operation run out of a garage to a successful business employing more than 1,200 staff worldwide. “Mimaki has been leading the environment in textiles, it’s the hottest topic in the industry. We’ve sold more than 33,000 of the JV33. We’re selling more of these products than anything else,” he said.

Mimaki also launched a new 1.8m-wide dye-sublimation printer, the TS300P-1800 at Fespa.