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How cheap can ink get for giant printers?

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Dukenukem117, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Does anyone happen to know how cheap ink could potentially get with the giant semi-truck sized printers? I read one review somewhere saying one of the giant EFI models was 4 cents / sq ft, but I can't imagine what the quality looks like. By comparison, the super giant Latex 3000+ is about 8.5 cents/mL, and indoor 10 pass seems to use about 1.5-2mL per sq ft (based on my Latex 560).

    If upfront cost was not an issue and you could get any printer you want in order to get the lowest ink price, what would you pick? How much would it cost to print a sq ft?

    And what is the name for this class of printers?
     
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  2. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

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    A solvent printer from China, and I would run liters of ink that cost $6-10 a liter. Then I would get a gun and blow my brains out from all the issues it created for my printheads lol.
     
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  3. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    What is the concern of ink price? There is so much more in this industry beyond ink price, and your ink cost should be less than 5% of you cost any way.
     
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Well, ya hafta start somewhere and he's starting with the cost of ink and he'll build his business around that. :thumb:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I remember reading a user here talk about using their waste ink as black ink, I bet it was this guy.
     
  6. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    The "semi truck sized printers" don't print that great of detail. They are for larger signage that will be seen from a distance. The ink droplet size is much larger.
     
  7. JJGraphics

    JJGraphics Member

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    I think it's a legit question. How does the ink cost compare on some of the big EFI grand format printers compared to an hp latex or epson/mimaki solvent?

    Building a business around "how much is the ink?" leaves a lot to be desired, but you can't just completely ignore it either. Good business owners ask lots of questions and then weigh out all the information.
     
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  8. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I think the legitimacy was lost at “giant semi truck sized printer”
     
  9. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    Inks for my 24f from EFI are $199.00/liter for CMYK. If you go into the super wide H5 the inks are $1365.00 for a 5 liter container or $273/liter. So the larger printers are not necessarily cheaper on ink cost.
     
  10. Gabriel Conti

    Gabriel Conti New Member

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    It depends what you are looking for. Outdoor durability for example for sure affects the ink cost/price. Yes prices from China can be very low but outdoor durability is very limited and color consistency is always a challenge. Also type of printheadsare to be considered should as lower viscosities and picoliters are more demanding in terms of pigments size , milling, etc.
     
  11. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Oh, I'm not a sign maker or contract printer. We print fabrics and we have some special needs that dramatically increases our ink usage.

    Based on my research on the HP Latex Line:
    Its 17.5c / mL with the 775mL cartridges used in the 560
    Its 12.5c / mL with the 3L boxes used in the 570
    Its 8c / mL with the 5L boxes used in the 1500 and up.

    Our material costs would drop significantly if we were getting the ink at 8c / mL with the 1500, well over 5%.

    Haha, well I don't have legitimacy as a printer cause I'm not one. My background is designing physical products, so this is all relatively new to me.

    I later remembered they were called grand-format printers. Does that encompass everything over 64"?
     
  12. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Is that a thing? How does one even do that?
     
  13. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    If you are printing fabrics, is it for long term or for event type work? Either way Latex is significantly cheaper than dye sub for fabric.
     
  14. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Long term. I'm setting up a production line.

    I think Latex it is then. I'm happy with the print quality of our 560. I just wish the ink was cheaper. I guess we can just move up to a 570 and hopefully a 1500 sooner than later.
     
  15. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Dye sub when you account for the whole process is more expensive, but dye sub is more durable except for uv exposure.
     
  16. Bruce Mello

    Bruce Mello Many years in the Production Business

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    Dye sub would be less expensive on ink since it only needs to be cmyk and the sublimation transfer pops the color by a massive amount.
    I recently sold a long time friend of mine a 10’ Vanguard Dye Sub printer and its being run at just under 1000 square foot per hour and their ink cost is under $100 per liter.
    Good luck to you!
     
  17. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    UV Ink can get down to under 5 cents a square foot, and that is still a large profit center for the printer manufacturers.

    A $1 million printer might run $5 million worth of ink (or more) in its 5-8yr lifetime. The cost of the printer, ink, and maintenance are all part of the negotiation when you get into the Industrial printer class like our Durst or some if the EFI machines.

    And the size of the printer has very little to do with the quality of the print and just about everything to do with speed and media width.
     
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