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Newbie and need advice on Printer/Plotter

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by lkreis12, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. lkreis12

    lkreis12 New Member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Yes I am a newbie and am in search of some advice :)

    I have been researching for about a month and still am not sure which direction to go in... I am in search for the best printer/plotter machine to invest in. I mainly want to design decals, stickers, and venture out into designing apparel (heat transfers.)

    I have looked into the Roland BS-N 20 and the Gerber Edge but am wondering if there is a cheaper option out there... Also which would be the best option in comparing materials. I am having a hard time finding out how long the ink last, ect. Not that price is a major factor because I do want a quality machine. I just don't want to buy a machine and regret it later.
    I'd appreciate any suggestions!

  2. CS-SignSupply-TT

    CS-SignSupply-TT Very Active Member

    May 31, 2011
    Lisa, could you do the design and sales while sub-contracting the production in the short term?
  3. lkreis12

    lkreis12 New Member

    Aug 10, 2012
    Thanks for such fast replies.
    Pat- I have looked at this site for answers but I find it hard to understand what most posts are talking about sense I don't know much about the machines. The closest dealer is over 300 miles away so it is very hard for me see what they are talking about. If you know of a post that can help me please let me know.
    Also, as of right now I am looking into creating decals for cars, windows, and stickers for hard hats, etc. I know it may be easier for me to just order them but I am a very creative person and my husband spends a bloody fortune ordering decals and stickers for his work/employees that makes an investment in a machine well worth it.
    I am not sure if the Roland BNS20 is the right machine since it does both printing and cutting, or if I should go with two different machines... Or maybe I am making this more complicated than it really is... :)
  4. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Since you are so new to this my besty advice is to wait dont buy anything think about what you would like to do now and in the next 2 to 3 years as you may want to grow so one machine maybe better for growing than the other.

    The second thing you really should do is go to a trade show there is so much there and you can ask millions of questions.

    If you cant make it to a trade show go to the dealer you said it was like 300 miles away so make it a overnight trip with the husband if possible.

    The really big thing here is that there are so many different printers and plotters and dual machines and there are table tops and grand format etc etc so you need to really think about what you want to do now and in the future 2 years or so and really look around as to what people are paying for these and do the math as to what it would cost you to make them and if there is enough money then buy away but you really need to think about this.

    You said that your husband spends money on stickers but what could you make them for between the ink/ribbon cost plus the material cost plus the laminate plus your time(profit) plus the design work/time plus your printer payment /payback.
    there is a lot to think about dont get me wrong there is money to be made but typically you need to go a little bigger than what you are thinking or posted to make it worth the time to do it in my opinion.

    Just food for thought not trying to tell you not to do it just hate seeing people jump in just to find out that the water is deeper than it looked.

    PLEASE if you do buy the equipment and start doing this do yourelf and the other companies near you a favor and dont give it away if everyone in town is charging between 15 and 20 dollars for something dont sell it for 8 even if you can as this will hurt you in the end (you will work twice as hard for just as much as the other guys and it will be harder to grow in the future).

    Good Luck
  5. Tizz

    Tizz Member

    Dec 10, 2011
    Hey Lisa, welcome to the forum.

    I was in the same position and I bought myself a 54" wide eco sol printer & cutter. Best investment Iv made. I was thinking about the BN 20 but after reading countless posts I decided to go much wider as in time I would be able to offer more products with this setup.
    A laminator is next but for the time being its a big squeegee.
    Its taken me a good 2 years to get to this stage starting with only a cheap vinyl cutter I bought from ebay.
    Piece of advise do a lot of research on the equipment, materials, suppliers, support etc... And last your target audience.

    I totaly agree with Bearwen's comment about pricing.

    Good luck with your decision.
  6. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

    May 1, 2012
    Miami, FL
    I also got into a 54in. But for your needs, I'd say the bn 20 is the best match. Plus a big squegee from dale to laminate and your in business. With the bn20 you have option to white and metallic. You can make shirts, decals, and more. Plus you wont find nothing at that same price unless its used.
  7. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Used equipment is fine as long as you 1. get it for a great price and 2. MOST important you check it out really well (bring someone who know if you can)

    I purchased a used JV3 years ago and it was a good deal and got into the printing side of things. So used may not be a bad idea but you need to be caerful as the JV3 I purchased was a great price and we had a few problems with it (mainly user error) but I think If I would have known then what I know now I would have passed on it.

    Like I said in my original post before you commit to anything do a little research on what you are wanting to make and the money you can make doing it AND ALWAYS think about what you could do if you had the equipment. Such as a 54" solvent printer could do all the things you want to do and so much more.

    Used is ok you just need to be careful.

    Good luck and welcome.
    If you need anything else post your questions we will do our best to try and help you out.

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