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Getting started, which machines?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Print & Cut Systems' started by Woeter, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Woeter

    Woeter New Member

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    May 18, 2005
    Hello sign-making freaks,

    In a few weeks i want to start making decals for outside use on vehicles. It will be small decals so the quality of the print must be pretty good.

    So i went to a dealer and got some information. He advised me a Rockhopper 38 printer:

    [​IMG]


    And a Summacut vinyl cutter. An 120SE or 60SE:

    [​IMG]

    Together with Signalize RIP & CAS Software.

    A few details:
    - I'm from Europe (Netherlands)
    - I'm a newbee and no graphical background or something

    Can you please give me some advise, especially about the printer, someone told me the quality is not good enough?
    Maybe there's a better printer on the market? I got the idea that he advised me these printer because he does not have much other options in his range.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Lance

    Lance Member

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Gooday Woeter
    I am in a similar situation to you regarding experience with this type of equipment.
    The first and most important tip I can give you is to not even think about handing any of your cash to ANY dealer until you have done a whole lot of research. Certainly not the first dealer !!!!!
    Talk to trades people, dealers, consumable suppliers and anyone else that is likely to be of any help. Research your market.
    This forum is a damn good starting point as there a heaps of bods with a whole lot of knowledge willing to help.
    Do not be in too big a rush to spend your money. Look around and consider that cheap is seldom the better option.
    If you are serious about this venture praps look at used eqipment to start with and upgrade as you pick the fields you want to work in. This is the stage I am in at the moment and I feel very comfortable doing it this way. If it works, great. If it doesn't, I haven't spent a lot of money.
    Good luck

    Best
    Lance

    :thumb:
     
  3. Hmmm!
    It seems you are 'putting the cart before the horse'. I would suggest learning the design aspects of the job and sub out the work to someone who already has a printer until you get some design time under your belt. Just a thought...not meant to discourage.
     
  4. Woeter

    Woeter New Member

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    May 18, 2005
    No offcourse i don't buy stuff at the first dealer i visit. Otherwise i wouldn't post here! :wink:

    And about putting the cart before the horse... i understand your reaction, but it's not that i want to design decals. I already have a range of decals i'm now dealer off, actually i just want to produce the decals. I'm hardly going to design things. I have a guy who will make the files for me. When i have the files i can run the machines and just make the decals.
     
  5. gotcha! ok! Look at the JV3 and the Mutohs before you proceed.
     
  6. joeydirt

    joeydirt New Member

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    Jun 1, 2005
    i agree with other post do your homework first, i didnt and it bit me in the butt for thr first year now im fixed up and its because i did the homework, im running a anagraph 24" which noone likes but it only kills 1 blade every 5-6 months a mimaki cg-160 plotter (63"), and a mimaki jv-3 160sp. but for small very hi res images i would maybe go to another maker for a printer. i depends on the the final job you want. the mimaki is great i would never get rid of it but i do big stuff that you generally dont get very close to so i run 720x720 dpi but it will run 1440x1440 but i nevr tried it. never needed to. and get onyx to run it the cut feature is great better than the one it comes with(fine cut) also i fun the cg160fx as a regular plotter from omega 2.0, works very good for big stuff good tracking lengths
     
  7. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
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    The Rockhopper is the European version of the Mutoh. As such it is an eco-solvent printer. It is an option worth considering. The other available options are the Roland series of print and cut starting with the Versacamm 30 inch and the Mimaki, which is full solvent and probably your best choice. Mimaki's printers start at 30" as well.

    As far as what plotter to match to it, I would have the Graphtec and Summa plotters at the top of my list. Your support in the Netherlands will likely be better on the Summa since, as I recall, it is manufactured in Belgium.

    With any of these, for vehicle use, you should also consider a cold laminator.
     
  8. Woeter

    Woeter New Member

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    May 18, 2005
    Thanks for the reactions.

    Ok so an Mimaki is a good choice i hear. I think the smallest modell will do it for me (the JV3-72SP II)?

    And i see we have a (topo)graphic man in here! ;) Netherlands are next to Belgium indeed (or are we so famous over there?? ) So maybe i can get connected to the factory to do somethins about the price. Annoying is that all equipment (including Summa) is much more expensive here. It's because of the low dollar...
     
  9. Woeter

    Woeter New Member

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    May 18, 2005
    And what's the difference between solvent and eco-solvent?

    And i see that the Mimaki printer is more expensive than the Rockhopper. The 75SP is about 12.400,-. The Rockhopper is 9500,-.
     
  10. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Why would a plotter made in Belgium or a printer made in Japan be effected by the value of the US dollar in the Netherlands?

    I would suspect that your prices are higher because of the various VAT taxes you have in Europe. Our procedures are much different in the US. We pay a smaller sales tax and then we pay property taxes and income taxes, but we do not have anything like the VAT and doubt we ever will.
     
  11. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Solvent inks are probably a bit better at adhering to the vinyl because the true solvent bites the vinyl better. Eco-solvent does not require a ventilation system while solvent does. There has been some mention, however, of the long term health effects of eco-solvent fumes. Frankly, I wouldn't use either without adequate ventilation.

    The Mimaki is the best established and most versatile printer. It will print a better image on more films than either Roland or Mutoh and has a lower cost of materials and a higher production rate.
     
  12. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    I dunno. I know several people who own Anagraph cutters and love them. I have the AE 60 E and its never failed me. cuts straight, easy to use, and is driven by all major and minor software packages.. Ive had mine for several years and used to cut with it daily. That is until I got my printers..
     
  13. Woeter

    Woeter New Member

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    May 18, 2005
    Yes that's true. But i think it's also because the doller lowered. Because even when excluding VAT in the US it's cheaper. Anyhow, that's what the guy on the phone from Summa told me. Don't think that's interesting anyway.

    So would be better to get a Mimaki? Only thing i don't like is the price. How is the 2n hand market? I cannot find any printer on usual places.

    Can you advise me a laminator?

    What about this machine, it's a cutter and printer in one! Roland VersaCAMM SP-300
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
  14. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Yes that's true. But i think it's also because the doller lowered. Because even when excluding VAT in the US it's cheaper. Anyhow, that's what the guy on the phone from Summa told me. Don't think that's interesting anyway.

    Perhaps it's cheaper here because it's a bigger, more competitive market. But since there is no importation of any US made product under discussion, it really can't have much to do with the value of the dollar vs the Euro.

    So would be better to get a Mimaki? Only thing i don't like is the price. How is the 2n hand market? I cannot find any printer on usual places.

    I doubt you will find a used 30" Mimaki. It was only release a few months ago. It's also important to consider support in these matters. You will have lots of things that will happen and that will frustrate you. Unless you have systems already on line and are well experienced in color printing, you will do well to pay a bit more to have some assurance of being able to solve problems when they come up. Color printing is not a simple process.

    Can you advise me a laminator?

    There are lots of good brands but i don't know what is available in your region. Here the best machines are GBC, Seal and Ledco. A laminator also is not as simple as it might appear and I recommend you pay a dealer his fair profit for training and support.

    What about this machine, it's a cutter and printer in one! Roland VersaCAMM SP-300

    It's a very popular machine and probably because it has the built-in plotter. The plotter is, however, slower than any plotter on the market. Until the introduction of the Versacamm, even Roland agreed that this type of setup isn't all that good an idea. Having a separate OPOS equipped plotter is a benefit and much more productive.
     
  15. Woeter

    Woeter New Member

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    May 18, 2005
    Fred: [​IMG]


    Well i don't think i can finance a Mimaki printer right now. So i'm thinking about waiting a few months untill i can afford it. In the meanwhile i can (let) the files be made, and i want to try a local signmaker to make the decals for me. Is that usual in the business or not?
    This wil get rid of high shipping costs and (very) slow delivery.
     
  16. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    What you're describing is called outsourcing. I wholeheartedly recommend it until such time as you can finance the best choice for you.

    Here in the US, lots of shops are happy to handle such services. You will probably find the same to be true in your area. Be sure to shop around for the best combination of quality, experience, price and convenience to you.
     
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