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HP 5500 DesignJet- Worth having?

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by CES020, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Is this worth having? I've got someone that's got one they are trying to sell me.

    Is it any good for a starter printer? We don't do any printing here now.

    Also, is there any way to check to make sure it's working properly, if it's worth having, from a self test? It's not hooked to a computer at the moment. Anything I need to watch for (if it's worth having).

    Do the heads get replaced each time with the ink, like on the 3500, or does this work different? If it works different, are replacement heads expensive and available?

    Is this strictly an indoor product printer or will it do outdoor stuff as well?

    Any input is greatly appreciated. I've never seen one so I don't know anything about it.

  2. The heads are replaceable but don't need to be changed with new ink unless you are switching back and forth from aqueous and UV. You can get a UV ink set for it and print for out doors. Its a fairly reliable machine but it runs very slow.
  3. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Is it worth $1000?
  4. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    No. You can't sell the prints off this machine unless you laminate everything. It can't do banners either. The medias for that machine are very expensive as well.
  5. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

    Jun 22, 2009
    All Over

    Thats not true you can do banners no problem if you use the UV inks, the downfall is your price of materials is very high for banner printing its not great but for anything indoor like tradeshow graphics and fine art or POP signage that machine is great for that stuff. This was one of the most successful machines HP has ever made and there are still lots of them still being used today. I love HP-5500's!
  6. I have done banners with them, I don't remember how heavy the material was. We used to do double sided indoor POP, paper, wall paper, and adhesive vinyl. You know those green "Pull" "Push" graphics you see on the doors of most 7-11s? Those came off the 5000 series.
  7. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I started in print with HP aqueous printers.
    On the right media and laminate prints can last outdoors for years.
    Trouble is, the right media is not cheap. Nor are the inks.
    They are good poster printers too.
    I wouldn't bother with dye ink.
    Unlaminated on instant dry paper dye inks fade really quickly.

    I got rid of our last one a year or so ago.
    Our L25500 does everything the 5500 did and way more, with cheaper ink and media.

    If you watch your pricing it might be a decent way to get into digital print.
    It has an onboard webserver that gives accurate ink usage similar to the L25500.
    Drive belts fail occasionally but otherwise are workhorses.
    We had an ink tube system develop a leak too which required replacement.
    Check if you can still get parts.

    PS you will need some kind of rip.
  8. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

    May 1, 2012
    Miami, FL
    Aren't people converting those? To latex?
  9. bois323

    bois323 Member

    Nov 24, 2011
    If it's a UV ink model that yes it is a great starter printer. I have a design jet 5000PS UV and it is very simple to use. Laminated banners last about 9 months outdoor before fading and laminated prints last between 18 and 24 months outdoor.

    I paid $2000 for mine and it paid for itself the first week. I had to change the drive belt. Took me about 2 hours and the kit cost $129.00. These machines are very inexpensive to maintain.

    Not that I know of... the designjets 5000/5500 do not have heaters.
  10. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    houston tx
    HP hopes you will purchase a new HP L26500 latex printer for around $17K and use the controller board for an end user rebate of $3K. :)
  11. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    so yes its worth $1k IF you plan on getting an L26500
  12. Robert Boyd

    Robert Boyd Member

    Jan 21, 2010
    Atlantic City NJ
    I still use a 10year old 5000 dye and have a 6-7yr 5500UV
    They are work horses, still print beatiful. We use them for interior only.
    We thermal laminate and apply PS adhesive to paper. There is adhesive
    backed media available and banner media also. I have a Mimaki JV3, so we
    don't use them anymore for banners
    The UV ink will hold up outdoors, not as durable as solvent or latex.
    If the printer that you are looking at has the PostScript built in, you can print directly from Corel or whatever your graphics program is
  13. Jack Knight1979

    Jack Knight1979 Very Active Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    My first printer was a 5500PS UV. Great starter, but the time has passed for this printer. You can get into a printer that produces much more durable prints that don't require lamination and don't rub off the substrates, for a little more money.

    It was an awesome machine, but the inks and material are crazy expensive for the durability of the prints.
  14. vladio

    vladio Member

    Sep 16, 2011
    I love my 550ps uv. It's my only printer. I do a lot of interior signage, pop and trade show. excellent printer. You have to shop and keep your eyes open and you'll find ways around the super expensive supplies that are out there. I just bought a Yellow and Magenta ink tanks from Lexjet for a little over $100 each and that's UV pigmented inks. I think they're close to 700ml. Also, these use much less ink as my previous printers - Encads. I'd buy that for a grand without thinking twice about it.
  15. adseureka

    adseureka New Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    What is the ink usage on this printer?
  16. The1Railroader

    The1Railroader New Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    The HP 5500 is great for posters, and window cards.... I use a adhesive back vinyl, about 138 dollar's for a 36" x 66' roll, from Reese Supply, and I print the graphics for Real Estate Signs, I laminate them by hand, and they look great, and they last long enough outdoors for this type of service.... I paid $400.00 dollars for the machine, and was and still is a great starter machine! For a thousand bucks, buy it! The ink lasts a long time, I did have some problems with the print heads, but they are all new now and causes me very little grief.... it is slow, and I print out of Corel X4.... PS... Does anyone know a good substitute paper for what I am using? Again, I am using an adhesive backed coated Vinyl for UV from Shil...... I see prices are very low on Amazon, but would like to order the right thing the first time! Any suggestions?

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