UV LED colour capabilities added to this growing pet keepsake niche business
Pawdeco.co.uk has installed a Mimaki UJF-3042MkII e UV LED printer from CMYUK. The new desktop flatbed will be used in tandem with the 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,” says Ashleigh Hopwood, owner producer at Pawdeco.co.uk.
While Ashleigh has a background in engraving, it was her career in Dog Grooming and her love of pets that spurred her on to create www.pawdeco.co.uk, a dedicated Pet Keepsake business, 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 says.
It was during a trade show visit that Ashleigh first spied a Mimaki UV printer on the Trotec stand, and after expressing interest in its capabilities, she was put in touch with CMYUK, which distributes both Trotec and Mimaki equipment.
After visiting CMYUK’s impressive demo and training facility in Shrewsbury, Ashleigh invested in the Mimaki UJF-3042MkII e UV LED printer. This flatbed comes in two sizes A2 and A3, but due to space constraints, she opted for the smaller model. This printer offers real versatility with direct printing capabilities on numerous materials such as wood, glass, acrylic, and metals, up to 153mm thick. Stable and fast, with consistent quality output, the Mimaki UJF-3042MkII e is suited to a wide range of applications including novelty items, merchandising, awards, badges, greetings cards, and much more.
“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. 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,” says Ashleigh.
In terms of operation, Ashleigh was at first apprehensive about operating the Mimaki, but with training from CMYUK was surprised at its ease of use. In addition, the printer has really 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,” she says.
The Mimaki has been installed for 4 months now, and Pawdeco.co.uk has seen an uptake in orders, with the printer paying for itself far quicker than anticipated.
Says Ashleigh, “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. 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.”