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Opinion Opinion on First Flatbed printer

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Hardware' started by bluehammer, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. bluehammer

    bluehammer Member

    Apr 5, 2014
    Redding CT
    I've been looking to purchase a flatbed printer for a while and need some help and opinions from people who own them. This will be used more for high end short run sign making and corporate branding projects vs. high output cheap signs. I'm looking for something that is not a fortune, can handle 4'x8' sheets of different materials ranging from foam board to acrylic, metal, wood, etc, yet has a small footprint (hybrid?) Reliability is important, as well as support. Thanks In advance.
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    You want pretty much and when you start putting all those conditions on top, you really are limiting yourself and holding yourself back.

    Ya either go big, or go home.... relating to high end quality with a low budget and small footprint.
  3. ProColorGraphics

    ProColorGraphics Very Active Member

    Apr 1, 2009
    I started out, and still have, the Fuji Acuity LED 1600. So far, I love it!! I have ran up to 5' by 10' pieces of coroplast without any problems. Their tech support, my local guy especially, has been awesome!! If you want to do some tweaking yourself, they will gladly tell you how to do it.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Interesting. We just had a Fuji Acuity salesman drop by. I was curious if anyone here had any experience with them.
  5. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    The Mimaki JFX200 is a very good entry level flat bed that is pretty much exactly what you described. It's not the fastest machine but it's not slow by any means. The quality is high and it's easy to do short or long runs. The footprint is about as big as any flat bed which is to say, it takes up a fair amount of space but not much you can do about that when you need 4x8 capability. It uses LED curing lamps which last way longer than the old mercury style ones and don't have to be replaced for years rather than months. If you have a local dealer they may have a tech on staff which is ideal but Mimaki also has field techs that travel the country. You should check it out. A lot of flat bed newbies go with it.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  6. Tom Smith

    Tom Smith New Member

    Sep 5, 2018
    Hi, I'm thinking of getting a flatbed printer and I've had really good luck with Rolands and was wondering if they made a good one or if there is a better option out there thank you for your time.
  7. Robert Gruner

    Robert Gruner Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    houston tx
    A lot of GOOD and BAD information passes on these boards. What is the best Price/Performance UV Flatbed on the market for YOUR applications? You should get a lot of different opinions. My advice...GO to the SGIA Show in Las Vegas next month and look at all of them. Don't make your decision based how well they perform at the trade show as most companies are GENIUS at making their floor demos perform. Pick out the three or four best units in your opinion that meet your requirements in Price and Performance. Then repost at this sight and ask enduser opinions. Make sure you are comfortable with their warranty and service program.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. nate

    nate Active Member

    May 10, 2007
    I've got a Hewlett Packard FB700 for sale.
  9. jagsouthern

    jagsouthern Member

    Apr 21, 2006
    I bought the Roland LEJ 640 hybrid. We like it. Slower than we had hoped but good quality. Keep it maintained and it will serve you well.
  10. Emd2kick

    Emd2kick Member

    Jan 18, 2018
    New Jersey
    Mimaki is slow as hell. We went to the NJ facility in November.
    -Manual media pins that you need to screw in and out to place media
    -Colors are vibrant due to over saturation...you actually lose super fine details in image.
    -Thick ink

    You’re in CT, checkout Agfa. They are in North Jersey. There service contract is sick, I get a tech same or next day always. Likely a little higher then you’d like to spend, but well worth it for productivity/quality. Got ours installed in February.

    Also, don’t buy a flatbed if you don’t have a flat bed cutter/router....it just makes 0 sense.
  11. Glavin_ID

    Glavin_ID Member

    Aug 1, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    I literally just spent the better part of my life for the last 3 months researching the same questions. A lot of what you will be able to do will depend on your budget. I found that unless you have a really high budget, going used was the best route. A website called Global Garage has the best source for used equipment that I could find. We also knew that we couldn’t get a flatbed printer without getting a flatbed cutter/router which is about the same price (if not a little more) than the printer. I scoured the garage for months researching the printers available (lots of great input and conversations in old posts on signs 101). Once I had it nailed down to a few brands/models, I waited until the right machine came up for sale. Obviously, if you can afford new that would be optimal but with the fact that we were committing to both a printer and a cutter we just couldn’t justify a $300,000 investment. We went with a used 2014 HP Scitex FB700 and a 2013 Colex FBC5X10. All in all it was about $85k to get the equipment purchased, inspected, shipped, set up, and the staff trained. We literally just signed the paperwork this week so I am still laying awake at night hoping it all comes together but for the amount of research I did, I am very confident it will be a great investment. Good luck!
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I agree on a used flatbed making sense to get started with.
    Although only if you can find a low mileage unit and can guarantee fast reliable service at a reasonable cost.
  13. clarizeyale

    clarizeyale Member

    Aug 25, 2016
    SF Bay Area
    Our shop has got a HP FB550 for sale! We've got white ink option with the tables as well as roll to roll.

    Please message me for details if you are interested!

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