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need info to decide on printer

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by tomence, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. tomence

    tomence Very Active Member

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    hi guys how are you all doin'
    i started this business a while ago with just a grapthec cutter and i love it it has been worth giving it a try. but lately lot of my customers ask me for color banners or signs etc. but i dont have a printer. now i am looking to buy one and the prices on this machines are crazy high for my budget. but lets say i want to buy a brand new one which one should i buy is my question and is it better to get a printer cutter in one or buy them separate. and also should i look for a used or refurbished and if so where can i look what websites or stores sell this used or refurbished machines.
    thanks
     
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  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Ive heard its better to get separate printer and cutter, so you can print on one while cutting prev. print jobs on the other...dont know, I only have cutter and gerber edge
     
  3. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    you may be better off to outsource your printing to a wholesaler.... if you don't sell digital prints at the moment you may not end up with enough demand to justify the cost of owning your own printer.

    that said you can get into it much cheaper than you could a few years back.. mutoh falcon is a decent starting point for lower cost.
     
  4. tomence

    tomence Very Active Member

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    i mean i have somebody that prints stuff for me and charges me 2.50 a sq/f plus my own material which in my mind is lot of money comparing to owning my own printer.
     
  5. zmatalucci

    zmatalucci Very Active Member

    There are merchants here that print for 2.50sq. on their material.
     
  6. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    You supply your own material and your outsource charges you $2.50 a sq/f on top of that??? You need to shop around...

    I know owning your own equipment "sounds" cheaper but you really need to do the math beyond just the cost of the printer alone. There will be maintenance, consumables, plus maybe a laminator and you also might need a bigger plotter to be able to contour cut for decals. PLUS you have to factor in the learning curve and all the ink and material you will waste learning how to do it.

    Just something to think about...
     
  7. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    Think of it this way...
    $2.50 psf wholesale vs. $1 psf if you do it yourself.

    Printer, laminator, plotter, and materials - $41,000
    $1.50 psf savings

    You've only got to print about 28,000 square feet to cover your costs (not counting what you've got to destroy while learning color management, plotter registration, printer maintenance, etc.)
     
  8. tomence

    tomence Very Active Member

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    now $41000 i know its crazy expensive but i was thinking of buying roland sp540 which i got a deal for 15500 out the door plus around 2500 for laminator that makes it 18000 which is not bad. with that printer i got cutter too in one so it is all good. and i know from a friend of mine that has this same printer/cutter he gets like around 20 cents per sq/f thats what he is telling me which i think is not bad you know plus what 18-20 cents for material and another 15-20 cents for laminate it comes up to around 60 cents maybe less so its not bad.and i do get lot of banners to print from my customers and there were some that i refused to do because of timewise. by my calculation i think i can get at least 300-400 sq/f per week if not even more so i think i should be able to cover all the costs and maintanances for the printer.
     
  9. ProWraps™

    ProWraps™ Guest

    mutoh is what we run. but the advantage of owning your own printer shouldnt be measured in the difference between your wholesale rate vs the cost of buying a printer. it should be measured in the ability to print on demand, and to see EXACTLY what is being printed (correct color vs. your design etc.).

    i would recommend a mutoh 64" as you will be able to print up to 5' width on demand. vendors are HURTING and you can easily get one for $20k to your door. if you have the volume that should pay for itself rather quickly. you can go used, but i would avoid anything older than the valuejet line such as the rockhopper/outdoor series. how do i know? i owned one used, then bought a new valuejet. so i know the difference in quality and even more importantly speed, as well as ease of maintenance etc.

    i may have a 48" valuejet for sale real soon with less than 1 year on it if you are interested. we would probably let it go for $6500 and it has the add on $1200 take up reel (very important for printing any kind of length).
     
  10. Bizzarth

    Bizzarth Member

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    I'm a big Mutoh fan as well. There are some amazing deals out there and many distributors will fight for your business.
     
  11. tomence

    tomence Very Active Member

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    so you guys are saying to get a mutoh. i was looking more to get roland which i think is better printer than mutoh but i may be wrong because i never owned a printer. and another thing is roland is printer/cutter and is 54" wide printable area so i mean it is a good size printer and has very good price. getting 64" mutoh like you said it is around 20000 dollars and it is only a printer but not a cutter that is one thing i dont like. but then on the other hand like you said you can print 5' banners which is pretty cool and i may get some business from the local shops too that i work with. so i dont know what to do, but i know i will not settle for anything less than 54".
    by the way whats it cost to run mutoh like what is ink price per sq./f
     
  12. scootinbob

    scootinbob Member

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    I have done banners with a simple GS-15 plotter I use by just layering the vynal(kinda a pain depending on how many colors) but I have done it. Didnt know how intense your graphics are.
     
  13. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    Well there are a few more things to look at. If you invest 20K to get into printing what is your printer payment each month? How much printing do you out source each month? How much printing would you need to do to cover the printer payment, the materials and the labor to do the print work every month. Is there enough hours in the day to do all the work you have now plus all the work it will take to pay for the printer? If it took you 4 months to get up to speed on printing and finishing before you broke even on you printer cost how bad would that hurt the business? My last printer payment is in November and I can't wait. The stuff that goes along with it that you think of later can be expensive. A room to put it in, the larger work benches to deal with the prints, banner finishing equipment, an air purifier, a couple of grand worth of materials to get started with, and software to name a few. Try and look at everything and make a decision that you can live with.
    Jimmy
     
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