Have you ever wondered where Roland DG began? As one of the biggest digital pioneers, Roland has achieved many milestones since its early days. Today, we are discovering the consistent innovations that can be seen in this detailed Roland DG history.
Roland DG History – A Walk Back in Time
Take a walk back in time as we celebrate the rich Roland DG history that has continued to break barriers in our digital world, year on year.
1981. Roland Corporation affiliate company AMEDK Corporation is founded in Osaka, manufacturing computerised music peripherals and electronic music parts.
1983. Company name is changed to Roland DG Corporation. The first A-3 size plotter, the DXY-800 is introduced.
1986. PNC-3000, the world’s first desktop CNC mill, is released.
1987. PNC-2000, the first CAMM-2 engraver, is launched.
1988. CAMM-1 PNC-1000, the first dual-purpose vinyl cutter and pen plotter, is launched. Roland DG Australia is established as a subsidiary of Roland DG Corporation.
1989. PNC-1100, PNC-900, CM-12/24 and CX-12/24 are released.
1990. Roland DGA Corporation is established to supply sales, marketing and support through the Americas.
1991. Stika SCP-85 is introduced, followed by the STX-7/8 and SX-8/12/15.
1992. Roland hits sales of $9 million, continuing its growth in the signage and digital graphics markets.
1993. PNC-900 is launched, breaking the $3,000 price barrier for vinyl cutters.
1994. PNC-1050 sprocket-fed vinyl cutter is launched.
1995. The original ColourCAMM, the PNC-5000, is launched – the world’s first print and cut device for vinyl.
1996. The first wide-format inkjet print/cutter is launched – the CAMMJET CJ-60. The CS-20 is the first plotter for engraving, pen plotting and vinyl cutting.
1997. ColourCAMM PRO family of wide-format thermal transfer printer cutters is launched. The PIX-3 is the first touch probe 3D scanner featuring Roland Active Piezo Sensor technology for precise scanning of various hard and soft substances, including modelling clay.
1998. The first 6-colour wide-format inkjet to print 1440 dpi is launched – the Hi-Fi JET FJ-50.
1999. Roland wins first DPI Product of the Year award for the Hi-Fi JET. The CH-500 is the first 6-colour wide-format inkjet printer cutter.
2000. The ground-breaking Hi-Fi JET PRO is launched – another global first. The same year, the MDX Series desktop milling machine was also released, offering in-house rapid prototyping. The first photo-impact printer, the Roland MPX-50, made it possible to print various items.
2001. ColorCAMM PC-12 is launched – the world’s first roll-fed desktop printer/cutter. Other releases included the CX PRO Series, the EGX Series engravers, the LPX-250 and the SOLJET.
2002. The EGX-400/600 and EGX-20 continue to break boundaries in desktop and benchtop engraving. The Pro II Series is released.
2003. Eco-SOL mild solvent ink is launched, allowing VersaCAMM and SOLJET inkjets to print directly onto coated and uncoated media. The VersaCAMM SP-300 is introduced.
2004. HeatWave is launched, offering the first complete wide-format inkjet sublimation solution. Roland SOLJET EX inkjets win two DPI Product of the Year awards. The SOLJET SJ-1000 grand printer is launched. The VersaCAMM 54″ model printer cutter, the SP-540V, is launched. Roland VersaWorks RIP software starts shipping with all Roland inkjets.
2005. Advanced eco-solvent ink, ECO-SOL MAX is released. The GX-24 vinyl cutter is launched. Hi-Fi JET Pro II FJ-540 wins two 2005 DIMA Printer Shootout Awards. High-precision Metaza MPX-70 photo impact printer is released. A new line of high-performance SOLJET inkjets is launched, featuring Roland VersaWorks.
2007. Two new high-performance models are added to the VersaCAMM line.
2006. Roland DG celebrates its 25th anniversary. The 104″ AdvancedJET AJ-1000 featuring EcoXtreme solvent ink is launched. SOLJET model printer and Eco-SOL MAX ink take Top Product of the Year honours with Wide Format Imaging Magazine while the Roland MPX-70 wins DIMA Innovative Digital Product Award. The Roland Hi-Fi JET Pro wins 2006 DIMA Printer Shootout Award. Other releases include the Hi-Fi Express FP-740 74″ sublimation printer, GX-PRO Series of professional-grade vinyl cutters, and the SOLJET Pro III XC-540 printer/cutter that was later used in the Miami Vice film.
2007. Mesh printing ability and a new 74″ model are added to AdvancedJET grand-format inkjet series. EGX-350 professional model engraver is released along with R-Wear Solutions for custom apparel decoration, MDX-540S and MDX-540SA desktop mills and LPX scanners, XJ Series SOLJET Pro III inkjet printers. SOLJET range is named “Top Products of the Year” by Wide Format Imaging Magazine. New standard “Two-Year Trouble-Free Warranty” is added.
2008. New Roland JWX-30 milling machine is released for jewellery model making. Roland R-Wear Studio for custom apparel applications launches. Revamped SOLJET Pro III XC-540 is launched, featuring white ink capabilities and Roland Intelligent Pass Control technology. VersaArt Series wide-format eco-solvent inkjet printers launch. VersaUV LEC-300 – the world’s first UV inkjet printer/cutter is launched, later being named DPI Product of the Year.
2009. Roland wins three DPI Product of the Year Awards for the VersaCAMM, AdvancedJET and Eco-SOL MAX Metallic Silver Ink. EGX-30A desktop engraver is launched along with the EGX-360 rotary gift engraver. New VersaCAMM VP and AdvancedJET “i” models featuring Roland Intelligent Pass Control are launched. The world’s first metallic silver eco-solvent ink is released for the XC-540MT printer/cutter.
2010. DWX-30 launches as Roland DG’s first dental milling machine. The GX-640 cutter is announced. VersaUV makes headlines with the new 54” LEC-540 and Label Industry Global Award for New Innovation. The VS Series 40”, 54” and 64” printer cutters become instant best-sellers.
2011. Roland DG Corporation celebrates 30 years with the worldwide Creative Awards. The DWX-50 dental mill is released. The VersaUV lineup gets a benchtop flatbed option with the LEF-12 that enables CMYK, White and Clear UV ink printing on objects. The first flatbed printer, the VersaUV LEJ-640 hybrid flatbed launches. The VersaStudio BN-20 brings print/cut and metallic ink capabilities to the desktop.
2012. 64-inch VersaArt RE-640 printer launches. Roland’s fastest, most advanced SOLJET ever launches – the 64-inch Pro 4 XR-640 printer/cutter.
2013. DWX-4 compact dental mill launches. Benchtop UV flatbed printer offering is expanded with new 20-inch model, the VersaUV® LEF-20. SOLJET® Pro 4 XF-640 is launched along with the VersaCAMM® VSi series printer/cutters.
2014. The monoFab™ series ARM-10 3D printer and SRM-20 milling machine are released along with the world’s first and only wide-format flatbed UV printer. Roland DisplayStudio™ digital signage launches. Texart™ RT-640 dye-sublimation printer, Texart ink and ErgoSoft Roland Edition RIP software is released. VersaEXPRESS RF-640 eco-solvent printer also released.
2015. Texart XT-640 dye sublimation printing technology is released, along with the SOLJET EJ-640 Wide Format Colour Printer, DWX-51D DWX-4W dental mills, CAMM-1 GS-24 desktop cutter and Rolandprintstudio (RPS)
Rolandprintstudio (RPS) – the first RIP software for Mac OS.
2016. TrueVIS VG and SG wide format printer cutters are launched, along with MODELA MDX-50 benchtop CNC milling, Metaza MPX-95 photo impact printer, and VersaUV LEF-300 flatbed printer.
2017. GR-640/540/420 professional vinyl cutters launches. Roland’s first dental 3D printer, the DWP-80S is launched. VersaUV LEF-200 is added to Roland DG’s lineup of benchtop UV printers.
2018. LD-80 Laser Decorator launches, along with the ROTO-350 rotary attachment for the Roland EGX-350 Engraving Machine. DGSHAPE Corporation launches two new 5-axis dental mills: the DWX-52DCi and the DWX-52D.
Here at Digizoo, we continue to celebrate the contributions that Roland has provided within the printing industry. When you browse our high-quality Durban printers and devices, it’s always good to remember how it all started, with a rich Roland DG history that highlights every milestone.