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best flatbed for fine art printing

Discussion in 'Flatbed Printers' started by buzzgraphics, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. buzzgraphics

    buzzgraphics Member

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    Hey guys, I'm looking to add a flatbed to the mix (we have a couple of Mutoh ecosol printers). This machine would be primarily printing on plywood blanks at high resolutions (fine art). I've been eyeballing these machines for a while, but we've gotten to a point where we outsource enough of this stuff to justify having a piece of equipment in house (hopefully). While we may do other work with the machine, the fine art will be its focus.

    anybody have any recommendations for something like this?
     
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  2. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Best? SwissQ.
    Realistic? Something like an Oce Arizona or Fuji Acuity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. buzzgraphics

    buzzgraphics Member

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    any thoughts on the Roland 640?
     
  4. 2B

    2B Moderator

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    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. buzzgraphics

    buzzgraphics Member

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    100-200k. talking with local suppliers and I will probably go to Sia in Vegas in April. just getting my ducks in row. looking at space and power requirements so we're ready when we pull the trigger. Also considering dye sub as an option too.
     
  6. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

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    The best samples I have ever received are from the SwissQ lineup. But you are looking at $200+ with those. I have the Fuji Acuity LED1600. It's been great although I haven't printed on plywood yet.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Sloooow... and banding. Massive thread on here somewhere that I don't believe has been resolved in ~2 years.
     
  8. CMYKENGINEERING

    CMYKENGINEERING Member

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    Keep in mind too that print quality owes much to the printheads. Kyocera heads are currently the fastest with the smallest droplet size, so consider printers that use that head (there are several).
     
  9. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Depends on your budget.

    The swissQ printers are going to blow just about anything else out of the water, but you're going to pay for that quality (think $400k+). The higher end VUTEk printers (hybrids) are also capable of getting very good print quality, but in my experience they lay down a lot of ink.

    The Agfa Mira seems like a pretty stellar printer. I've never owned/operated one, but have been impressed by what I've seen.

    [Edit: I will say, I have not been impressed with the Oce printers. Do not like them, would not buy again.]
     
  10. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Odd... which Océ did you have? We spent months researching before buying ours, as it was the only machine that came close to SwissQ print quality for much less cost.
    Ours just reached 5 years old last September and has been nothing but a dream to use so far.
     
  11. Pauly

    Pauly Colour Guru

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    Also curious why you didn't like it.
    The quality mine produces is outstanding.

    I can admit the stock profiles suck. But when using a flatbed and printing on foreign materials.. there's no manufactured profile.
    Everyone who has came to us and said "the last shop did this, can you recreate it?" and every single person has been blown away from our quality and colour.
     
  12. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Yep, our self-created profiles are brilliant. Night and day compared to the bundled ones.
    You'd be hard pressed guessing that the prints were done with only 4 channels. Variable droplet heads make a huge difference.
     
  13. Bruce Mello

    Bruce Mello Member

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    You can get a Vanguard 5x10 with Kyocera heads for $150k.
    I just sold 2 - 1 is for high quality and the 2nd is for high speed with 2 rows of heads.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Scott18

    Scott18 New Member

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    I did an extensive study 2 years ago for this very question, ran tests on a dozen different brands of machines. Hands down, if money is no object then it's a SwissQ. If you want a reasonable priced and very close machines it's the Fuji Acuity.
     
  15. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    In all fairness, ours are pretty old and probably due for replacement. I don't like the ink adhesion, I don't like the finish, and there is always banding. The VUTEks definitely outperform them in speed, quality, and durability (but they're also more expensive by a good margin). They're also the only true flatbeds we have, so they still get used until we get replacements. I wouldn't say that I hate them, but I definitely do not love them. I hate Rasteks. I mildly dislike Oces.

    I think it's fair to say that stock profiles are almost always going to be sub-par, so it's not really surprising that proper color management is leading to better results. ;)
     
  16. Scott18

    Scott18 New Member

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    I wish you all the success in the world, Buzzgraphics! I almost wrote 'Luck' there but luck won't have anything to do with it. I recently parted ways with a friend and employer after 34 years, he has given up on the fine art print market and is retooling as a sign shop. I still believe there is a market out there for near photographic fine art printing. A small one, to be sure, but a potentially high paying one. I think most of them gave up on our industry and are currently do it yourselfers for their own printing. Finding them, and luring them in to your business is going to take an incredibly dedicated and skilled sales person or persons. My friends business never found such a person. It turned out to be easier for our sales staff to cater to the masses than find the few discerning fine art customers. I would love to hear what you finally settle on for a flatbed, and how your business grows in the fine art market!
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Quick question..... you say printed on plywood blanks. What kind of plywood, what grade and will they be printed directly to bare wood or do you use some sort of treatment on the wood prior to printing ??

    To get what I think you're wanting is gonna talk some really big bucks. How or where were you getting these printed before ?? Ask them what they have. That's the best answer.
     
  18. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    • Like Like x 3
  19. aparat

    aparat New Member

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    For fine art i would take a used durst omega 1 or 2. They can print up to 1728dpi.. you can find a good one for 30-50k
    Allso jetrix is a great fine art printer.
     
  20. FireSprint

    FireSprint Merchant Member

    We would run it on our Durst P10250. It's an amazing printer but isn't in your price range. Would be happy to sample some prints for you.

    For a lower cost machine, you should look at the Vanguard line. They are out of Atlanta.


    We own a Jetrix KX7 and if they would upgrade the software, I'm sure it could do fine art quality, but no dice.
     
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