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full color plotter/cutter questions

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by robync, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. robync

    robync New Member

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    I own and successfully own and operate a decal website selling custom decals and now it's time to jump to a full color machine - i guess it's called a plotter/cutter. Right? I want the machine to print in full color then die cut the decals and I have questions.....
    -like what machine is a good starter (Roland SP300v?)
    -is refurbished a good idea
    -what vinyl do they print on? orcal 651? thermal transfer compatable ok?
    -what is difference with cold and heat laminate


    - RC
    aka "sticker *****"
     
    Tags:
  2. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    You are looking for a printer with contour cut capabilities all in one, Roland does have several models to choose from.

    A plotter/cutter is for cutting vinyl only !

    Thermal printers are a completely different animal and several good ones are made by Summa and Gerber.

    Solvent printers will print on Oracal, however they print on many, many different materials as well.

    I recommend using the search feature of this site and start reading . . . !
     
  3. robync

    robync New Member

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    I've been reading for the past 5 hours..... whew alot more to learn about full color than I originally thought.

    TY

    I like the new gerber edge but for a few thousand more why not get a vesacamm. Hard choices.....
     
  4. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    Riften

    i run an edge and one the plus' is that it can print spot colors....so if a customer is looking for green on yellow....i can print green onto a yellow vinyl instead of having to print 4CP to create the green AND the yellow.....
     
  5. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Thermal prints are more durable without laminating!
     
  6. WhiskeyDreamer

    WhiskeyDreamer Professional Snow Ninja

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    i dont laminate my prints....but run an UV abrasion guard foil on damn near everything (except temp signage)
     
  7. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    Before you jump into a printer try farming out your printed decals for a while. Depending on what you need to print will determine the process you need. If you need white on clear material then you need to go thermal. If you need chrome or hot pink then thermal is the way to go. If you need full color on white then full solvent is the way to go. If you get a solvent printer you need to have enough work for it to print everyday to keep it running well. If you need the printer to be able to sit idle for a week or so at a time then thermal is the way to go. Lots of things to think about. After farming things out for a while you may decide that that is the best thing for you with your volume and it will let you see how your market is developing and what process works best for the work you are getting.
    Jimmy
     
  8. robync

    robync New Member

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    great responses guys - thank you - thank you - thank you

    I do out source my color work now. I also turn down alot of work cause my printer does not print white on clear. I get everything from reflective to white to photos etc.

    I think I am leaning towards a thermal - but i see the gerber edge is just the printer - then you have the plotter to go with it - but I only see it in 15" - is that it?

    then the edge can't print on magnet or coroplast or banner material, right? you can only use punched vinly for printing on... kind a bummer.

    also you said thermal prints are more durable without laminating - how long outdoors.
    how long do they last with lamination?
    how long do they last with a UV abrasion guard foil?

    Yes I am writing this all down - and making a chart to help me figure out which way to go.

    I watched the video for the gerber and it seems to me that when you load the vinyl into the maching you have quite a bit of wasted vinyl in the beginning, and the inks looked like the colors were similiar to using carbon paper (remember that old messy stuff) and I can see the colors not as efficient as if it were a liquid jar. so what is the cost per sq foot to print using average vinyl and normal colors?
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I've had a Gerber Edge since 1998. In that time it has produced somewhere north of $600 K in invoicing. I could have let the higher cost of materials deter me, but I didn't. What I got for that decision was a system that gives me all the advantages of both spot colors and process colors and a continuously happy and satisfied following of customers. It also gained me an edge on my competitors who were all focused on material costs instead of producing excellent, durable work.

    What you don't hear much about with inkjets is the much longer workflow. Print, dry, laminate, then cut. In the meantime, you are dealing with solvent fumes. My Edge has no fumes and no interruption to the workflow. Print, cut, weed, deliver.

    Durability in the hot, south Florida sun is 2 to 3 years with no protection. Add UV guard overprint and we have not seen a graphic fade out. We do magnetics all the time ... we just limit our sizes to 12" heights. Hasn't cost me a job yet.

    Then we get to color management. This is a major, major concern for inkjets. Spot colors do not require color management ... process color does but with thermal resin foils we have found that we are able to use one setting of our profiles and workspace and get predictable, customer pleasing results with any vinyl we print.

    If your business is decals, labels and small signs (including banners and 4 x 8's), an Edge may be your best bet ... at least for a first system. If you are planning on large work, wraps or lots and lots of banners, then an inkjet is your best bet. There's nothing to stop you from adding a second system later.
     
  10. zmatalucci

    zmatalucci Very Active Member

    summa dc-4 is offering 0% leasing in sign of the times this month
     
  11. robync

    robync New Member

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    i THINK I AM GOING FOR THE VERSACAMM..... BECAUSE i DO THE T-SHIRTS ALSO AND I LIKE THE 30" SIZE BETTER.....I JUST NOW NEED TO SAVE UP ANOTER $8K

    I KNOW WHAT EVERYONE IS THINKING - FINANCE IT - TRIED IT AND MY SCORE IS 625 AND I NEEDED 650 TO QUALIFY!

    i LOVE SO MANY THINGS ABOUT THE GERBER THOU!!!! I WANT THEM BOTH!
     
  12. robync

    robync New Member

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    Thanks Fred - you make some excellent points!!!!!!

    I have a small space now and because of winds and dirt we do not open the windows EVER!

    your making me change my mind again!
     
  13. robync

    robync New Member

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    i read mixed reviews about using roland brand ink vs roland compatable ink.
    anyone have any first hand experience?
     
  14. zmatalucci

    zmatalucci Very Active Member

    I strictly use roland ink. The cost savings in using non-oem inks is such a nominal fee,,,I prefer to be safe.
     
  15. houseofgrafix

    houseofgrafix none

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    I will have my SP300V very soon.. Well as soon as I sale my camaro!
     
  16. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    I've used my Versacamm 300 for about 5 years now..and I love it. It could be that I am about to start seeing some print failures due to sun exposure...but they're not really print failures..I tell all my clients that it is only expected to last 3 years..( you could stretch that a bit with UV protection) If they want more durable I could just do cut vinyl...and the versacamm will also do that.
    Cheers!
    Ken
     
  17. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

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    We have a Valuejet 1604 and a matched mutoh plottter.
    My little bit of advice is buy the bigger size printer as you always end up wishing you did.
    I am always a bit sceptical about a machine that does both printing and cutting.
    I can be printing on one and cutting on the other.

    SC
     
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