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A flatbed printer in every garage!

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by artbot, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    while doing some major mods to my printer, i've seen these pics popping up all over the internet. evidently it's pretty easy to reverse engineer a printer into a flat bed. i've seen several different companies offering these. gets me hoping that maybe in a year a conversion kit might be available from china too.
     

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  2. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    The t-shirt DTG guys do this all the time.
     
  3. Edserv

    Edserv Member

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    Great post! Got me thinking. IF the Nascar guys can do it with duck-tape...
    We've rigged many small pieces of equipment over the years. So why not a wide-format printer. I guess the only risk is you try something (and unless you have a second machine) you may be down for a few days or weeks?
     
  4. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    I was wondering why you guys with big printers didn't have in-feed and out-feed tables and just send panels through them. There must be some sort of non-obvious rocket science involved.
     
  5. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

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    signmeup,

    I have a large roland. It'll only take 1.5 thick material.

    I really like flatbed conversions idea. I've been kicking this around for years, but for me, I don't do enough coroplast foam core jobs to justify it.
    Easier to big squeegee substrates.
     
  6. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    1.5 inch or mm or? Would just a table on each side work or would it take more effort than that? Would the feed rollers mess up coro? It just sounds so easy. I have to assume there is more involved than meets the eye.
     
  7. weaselboogie

    weaselboogie Very Active Member

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    Irregular substrate, no vacuum table and head strikes seems like it would forever be an issue.
     
  8. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

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    mm not inches.

    Gotta have a vacuum table and some kind of heater, blower on the back end of the printer passing along the substrate as you print.
     
  9. sardocs

    sardocs Active Member

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    I built an infeed/outfeed stand that allows me to print flat matte-board showcards on my sp300. I made it from a collapsible laundry drying rack. I don't think anything much thicker than matte-board would work on a printer like mine.
     
  10. kffernandez

    kffernandez Member

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    i hear that a local roland SC-540 owner feeds sintra boards onto his machine. and that it actually works. the only downside is that he is said to go through his pinch rollers just about one set every month.

    me, i just don't have the balls to do it. simply far too many things could go wrong....
     
  11. dsmskyline

    dsmskyline Member

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    This is why I like the Mutoh Value Jet 1608 I have. Its hybrid so it will do roll and risgid media.

    Looks like a regular printer without the tables.
     
  12. oldgoatroper

    oldgoatroper Roper of Goats. Old ones.

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    If you're using infeed/outfeed roller tables, you will still need some vacuum on your platen for rigid substrates... and enough strength in the clamping rollers to advance the substrate over the force of the vacuum...

    After owning a 72UVR, I can fully see why this system is flawed right from the get-go. each part of the system fights against the other part.

    Flatbed is a far more sensible way to print rigid substrates...
     
  13. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    thEY SELL PRINTERS LIKE THESE...they are called flatbed printers!!!!!
     
  14. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

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    Yeah, come check out my colorspan.. you'll know why the infeed/outfeed method doesn't work that great.
     
  15. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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  16. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    The very first thing that popped into my head when someone mentioned vacuum tables was air hockey tables and a shop vac! It would be nice to see a picture of your setup.
     
  17. artbot

    artbot Very Active Member

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    the air hockey tables were a lot more difficult to build than i figured they'd be. all said, i was up to $1600 in supplies and paying some help to assemble. there are four 5x4 tables. use two most of the time going vertical with lightweight featherboards on the left side. i have the guides permenantly attached to the printer, so if i knock the tables about loading sheets, it doesn't mess up the guides.

    to air up a table i use a blower for those kiddy scapes blimp/jumpy things.

    do a lot of aluminum and veneer. here's some links to printing directly on veneer.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alldredge/sets/72157626473720326/show/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alldredge/sets/72157626414222282/show/
     
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