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Getting Ready to Step Up a Little

Discussion in 'Roland' started by Darklight, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. Darklight

    Darklight Member

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    I was hoping for some input from the brain trust on printer/cutters. Been looking at the Roland Versacamm 30", but Id really like to hear from you guys that have already been working with these or similar machines. Need to get under 20k as far as possible. In addition, of dealers you have dealt with personally, who do you reccomend? I always enjoy th knowledge I gain here, looking forward to your input. Thanks.
     
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  2. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    I bought a Mimaki because I don't think print and cut in the same machine is a good idea. In addition, I think it is a bad idea.

    As far as cost, I tricked myself into looking at smaller printers first, then once I had climitized myself to that amount of dept, I thought about all the 3' and 4' prints and banners I wouldn't be able to print, and then I figured out how much more per month my payments would be.

    I forget the number now, but when I reduced that difference in monthly payments, it was something like like one smallish job that I had to bring in each month with all that extra potential, and I was able to push myself out of fear of the greater debt, because I really believed the financial benefits of the bigger printer would far outweigh the additional costs.

    I was right!

    Think like a business man. If you plan to make money with a printer, get the best printer for your business... not the best printer for some imaginary financial restrictions you may be imposing on yourself, because that's just like a client buying $50 black and white internet magnets that will draw almost no business, instead of $400 custom vehicle graphics that could bring $4000 in additional profit every year.
     
  3. John L

    John L Very Active Member

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    well said
     
  4. Whatever brand you decide to get...GET A PRINT AND CUT!
     
  5. DARLAK

    DARLAK Guest

    I disagree, I have a CJ500 SolventJet and it works great.
     
  6. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    I have a SP-300V and love the ability to both print and cut.
     
  7. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    Kind of depends on your market. I do a lot of decals for smaller manufactures that don't need but 250 or so at a time and for this market print and cut is good and thermal is better so I got a Summa DC4SX 30" and it does very well for what I do, If I did a lot of banners or wraps it would not be a good choice. I would go with a 54" machine and a seperate cutter. You know your market best, look at your work and don't cut yourself short on the size of the machine.
    Jimmy
     
  8. juan45215

    juan45215 Member

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    I agree with isign on the larger printer size. ONly about 1/3 of the banner that I print are less than 36". I think you will be sorry if you get a printer that prints less than 48".
    As for print and cut. I think they both have their advantages. If you have a small shop the roland will save floor space. Pesrsonally, I think it's a pain to move the graphics from the printer to the cutter. But remember with seperate machines you have true print and cut (at the same time). With the Roland you have print or cut.
     
  9. chopper

    chopper Very Active Member

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    I think that everyones opinion is a valued one.. but I see it from both sides,
    I have a print and cut 30 inch versacamm it works great and fits the need for 90% of my work, 10% of the time I wish I had a bigger machine, and I am in the process of weighing that out, as I sign stated how he had come to his decision that is what you will need to do figure out where you want to be in a few years, dose it involve larger printing? if so you know the answer, where I differ here is the print and cut topic, what I have done is I have a 30 inch summa cutter with the optic eye so it will cut my designs from my versacamm also, so when I get a lot of printing to do I will switch from cutting on the roland and cut on the summa, so the printer will keep going instead of stoping to cut the job, also dont forget there is more money to spend you will need a laminator to finish your prints, and even if you get a small printer and intend on going larger later make sure your laminator is as big as you need for the larger printer you may aquire or you will have to buy two pieces of equipment later also....and then you will have to relearn how to use all the new equipment again...and dont forget that there is a learning curve to running the printer and the laminator it will be frustrating and time consuming but we all have been there, good luck //chopper
     
  10. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    I agree with everything Doug said . . . excepttttttttttt . . .

    I also have a print cut [Roland] works flawlessly, also have 2 add'l cutters [Roland] !
     
  11. zmatalucci

    zmatalucci Very Active Member

    54"

    We love our 540, print out 4'-8' signs all day long.It's a huge bonus
     
  12. Darklight

    Darklight Member

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    All great and knowledgeable info, as usual. There seem to be opinions both ways. I do see the need to think about down the road. Im still very small, but I want to get caught up on my shop's abilities. I see a dwindling market for plain cut vinyl (jmo) based on some of the things I read on here. Im not so concerned about spending the extra money if that 30" size machine is too small. Does anyone have a thought about ease-of-use between models/brands? Thanks for all the great input. You guys rule, as always.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  13. mystysue

    mystysue Active Member

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    We got the versacamm 540 and really glad we went with the larger size.. I also love the ability to print and cut..and have no problems with that funtion on the machine..
    I found the versaworks very easy to use and didnt see much of a learning curve at all..
    We got ours from ordway and I absolutely love the customer service and support that they give us.. even now a year later.. all we have to do is call and get an answer right away..
     
  14. Darklight

    Darklight Member

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    Thanks Mystysue.
    For those of you that own any of the aforementioned models, whats the set-up like?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  15. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    just to clarify, I would never suggest not being able to cut your prints, I am just in favor of a seperate cutter. It's true, it does take up more floor space, but as noted above, it gives you print AND cut, rather then print OR cut...

    ...plus, on the comment "I think it's a pain to move the graphics from the printer to the cutter" ...don't you people laminate your prints?? ...Inkjet needs laminate to give it an acceptable outdoor life expectancy, except banners or posters which don't need cutting. Sure, some indoor signs that need cutting but not laminating would be faster on the Versacamm... but in my 2 years with an inkjet, that is a minority of my jobs. I laminate the majority, which would require taking the print out of whatever machine & returning it back in whatever machine (which I do, while the next job is printing)
     
  16. Darklight

    Darklight Member

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    Thanks Isign, Your points are well-taken as well. As I have mentioned, I am still a small operation, only now starting to outgrow my GX-24 cutter a little bit. I will undoubtedly have an upgrade there for size, even though it is a great machine for what it does. Should I be comparing a print and cut setup to a printer and new cutter of equal size to make it an accurate comparison? Does anyone think I should be searching for a package deal before I decide? or are these items better a mix and match approach? Thanks, again, for the knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  17. cartoad

    cartoad Active Member

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    Dark,
    For the difference in price from a smaller printer to the 54inch, go with the larger one. Even if you do not think you will need it, you will be surprised.
    We print the vast majority of our banners, we up sell the color options over vinyl to our clients, and most printed banners we do are 36 or 48 inch wide. As to cutting, we use a plotter for all the vinyl (often printing on the Roland and cutting vinyl at same time) and only use the cut on the Roland for oversize vinyl, or contour cutting. Check to see what kind of package deals you can get, Pete Ordway is great to deal with, we purchased several items from them, but not the Roland. Whoever you purchase it from check out their service arrangements, first few months lots of fun things (always at 4:30 pm on a Friday) will go wrong.
    Hal
     
  18. Darklight

    Darklight Member

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    Thank you Cartoad,

    The GX-24 has impressed me with its ease of use and reliability, but I realize I am venturing into new ground in these larger machines for both purposes. I dont mean to start a debate (I know many of you are very brand-loyal), but when you get into this big equipment, do the qualities I like in my small cutter change? I guess what I mean is....do you guys see a trend where other machines are more reliable, and easier to use in the larger sizes than Roland? Im sold on them at the small level, but I wonder if they may have to face better competition in the larger format equipment, both print and cut? Thank you all so much for indulging me, I learn from you guys and gals every single day.
     
  19. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    I think Roland is a good company and they make a good product.
    I think almost all the top name printers can do a better job then you even need.
    I think having good support is worth far more then the difference in value of the tops machines.
    I think you should make your printer purchase based on who you can initiate & maintain a loyal business relationship with. good support can be worth so much over not having loyal vendors, so show some loyalty in return, & buy inks and media from your vendor, and have them give you good service. (Like Advantage Sign Supply does for me)
     
  20. Darklight

    Darklight Member

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    Thanks isign,

    With what is a large expenditure for my small operation, the emphasis on great service makes a lot of sense. If I could indulge everyone with one more question, I promise I will try to be quiet for a while! lol If I could get a little input on expense of the thermal machines by comparison? I refuse to shy away from the big-name manufaturers, I dont see myself venturing into wraps at this time, it looks like If I want to be competitive as I grow, I need to make sure I am fully capable with signs, banners and decals. This input is helping me more than you guys know, I really appreciate it. ( My Lord look at that run-on sentence! Yikes!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
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