Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Equipment Question

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by myersvinyldesigns, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. myersvinyldesigns

    myersvinyldesigns Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Okay, I decided to go into the vinyl business, not for wrapping cars, but mostly for decals for boats, boat motors, TX Numbers, etc... To get started I bought a Roland BN-20 as an entry level machine. I have had quite a bit of business doing this in the past month, and am also offering business cards, banners, coropolast signs, etc.. all via Merchant Members of this site.

    One unforseen revenue stream has been T-Shirts. I have started doing Vinyl Transfers onto shirts, and am now investigating sublimation.

    My question is this... Would it be possibly smarter to Sell or Trade my BN-20 and get a Canon Printer to print, with a GX-24 to cut, and also get either an EPSON wide format sublimation printer, or a RICOH sublimation printer, and have the same capabilities as now, except without white ink?

    Just something I have been thinking on. I have had the printer for almost 2 months, have run through about half of the CMYK ink, and have a full white cartridge. Have used the white for a few things, but the only shop that has used that was using someone that could not print white, and switched to me based on speed of getting jobs out.

    What do you all think? Is this even something that might be possible? I do not know how trade-ins for machines like this work, or if someone would even be interested in buying this machine for a price that would allow me to purchase the above equipment.

    Or, maybe I am nuts, and just need to keep my BN-20 and wait on the dye-sublimation. It just seems that T-Shirt jobs are surpassing Vinyl jobs and having a nice Dye-Sub printer would do wonders for income.

    I have learned a lot, and am having fun which since I am trying to get this off the ground while working a regular job is important to me. I never intend to do vehicle wraps and so do not need a larger printer.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    You are in over your head! Are you doing one off shirts? They should be $50 each!
    the worst thing Roland did was put out the 20" machine now everyone thinks they can get in the sign/shirt biz.

    If you want to print shirts for profitt you need to screen them at large quan or get a brother DTG machine to do one offs.v that Roland after you print a shirt will feel like a big rubbber stamp on the shirt!!!
  3. JoshLoring

    JoshLoring Very Active Member

    Get a neoflex DTG. Prints insane in black and white.. Had I known before I went sub.. I would have bought one.
  4. OlsonSigns601

    OlsonSigns601 Member

    Jul 23, 2011
    He's got a BN-20...

    Telling someone who's business equipment is just a BN-20 to get a Neoflex is like telling someone considering buying a Camero to get a Ferrari instead.

    Just saying...
    Find a competitor who is willing to give you wholesale pricing, then when you are spending more on subbing it out than you would on your payment, then you should consider buying.

    Besides that unless you have the clients to keep a printer like that running everyday, its just going to turn into a clogged line headache.

    That's just my 2 cents, no disrespect
  5. JoshLoring

    JoshLoring Very Active Member

    None taken. Your absolutely right though. Sub it out until you are doing enough to justify the purchase.
  6. edgette

    edgette Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Why not just keep the bn20 and start small with sublimation if you want to try it out? With a quality heat press (don't cheap out on the press) and a ricoh or epson desktop sublimation printer you can be in it for under $2k. See how that goes before trading in equipment or getting a large format machine.

    The thing you have to remember about wide format sublimation is getting a large format heat press, which can run over $10k pretty easily just to get started. Keep running your bn, you've only had it for 2 months. Let it make you some more money until you want to get rid of it.
  7. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    Just make sure it's all held together with a solid business plan. It doesn't cost anything but a little time and hard work. It will be the most important part of your operation.

  8. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    DTG tech is not where it should be right now. Also, unless your treatments of shirts (especially for darks) are spot on with regard to DTG, you could be in for some interesting results. Some DTGs like the Brother for light shirts (although you have to get used now, I think they stopped selling them), you can use a heat press for post treatment to set the inks. But you still have the same limitation of color as you do with sublimation with that particular printer. Also, DTG printers have issues with clogged print heads as well if they aren't kept running, especially with the ones that print white. The titanium oxide just doesn't seem to like print heads all that much.

    I would agree with starting small with the sublimation printing, but I wouldn't get an Epson. Ricoh printers handle down time a lot better then the smaller Epson printers.

Share This Page