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Opinions wanted!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bill43mx, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. Bill43mx

    Bill43mx Member

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    Oct 19, 2004
    Hello Everyone,
    I've been absorbing info from this site for the past few weeks and have learned enough (hopefully) to ask a few questions. First a bit about my situation. I'm not intersted in going into the sign business but rather using sign making equipment (vinyl cutters and print & cut systems) to make personalized items(both vinyl and apparel) for motocross racers such as Name & Number the back of racing jerseys, sponsor transfers and stickers, bike graphics, ect. I have a friend in the sign business who is willing to let me use his equipment (Gerber Edge and cutter) but, unfortunately he lives nearly 2 hours away from me. For the past few weeks I've been getting up at 5am on saturday morning and driving over there to spend the day "apprentencing" so that I can learn a little about how things work. Last week he left me the keys when he went home at 5:00pm and I ended up staying until midnight....now that's a long day but I'm really enjoying the experience. I own a machine shop and run NC equipment all day long so this is a welcome diversion. So far I've experimented with contour cutting and applying hot split plastisol as well as color printing and contour cutting COLORPRINT thermal heat transfer media and have been pleased with the results. So here are a few of my questions! First of all, understand that my only experience so far is with Gerber products. It seems to me, based on what I'm seeing on the internet, the Gerber is the only one using punched media with a sprocket drive and all the others are using friction drives. It would seem to me that a friction drive would be much less accurate yet, since the majority of manufacturers use that method I'm apparently wrong in that assumption.....any comments would be appreciated. Also it seems that most plotter/cutters use some form of swiveling cutter knife whereas the Gerber unit I'm working with servo drives the knife to point it in the direction of cut. Again the Gerber method seems superior but is the swiveling knife method acceptable for most applications? I did use a swivel knife once in the Gerber unit cutting small text from vinyl and wasn't at all impressed with the results but for all I know it may have been something as simple as a dull knife! I had been considering a Roland Colorcamm for what I want to do but the only people who seem to have anything good to say about them are the dealers who sell them.....are they really that problematic??? And if indeed I should steer clear of them then what, if anything, is in between a Colorcamm and an EDGE (which is out of my price range for the volume of work I'm antisipating)? Would an ink jet printer work for the things I want to produce??? And lastly, for now, why is it that almost every "package deal" with a printer and plotter/cutter pairs a much wider printer with a smaller cutter? If you can print 36" wide but can only fit 24" media into your cutter that just doesn't make much sense to me! Okay....any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    Bill
     
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  2. jimdes

    jimdes Active Member

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    Dec 10, 2003
    That's a big can of worms you opened there . . .

    Bill,
    Much of what you have mentioned is a matter of opinion that will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and user to user depending upon their loyalty to the products they use.

    Sprockets versus friction versus 2 rollers versus 3 rollers . . . hmmm, there sure are a lot more three roller friction systems out there compared to any other system.

    Drag knife versus Tangentinal knife . . . $$$ . . . and from five feet away, kinda hard to tell the difference if at all.

    As far as small text, for the most part, it won't matter what type of plotter you use, it will always be a pain in the keister.

    If you're going to do a lot of appearal, consider screen print, embroidery or direct print to fabric and find a sub contractor either locally or one that you can e-mail files to. Depending on quantity, you might be able to sub-out all your production work and still make a decent profit.

    Look online for advertising specialties, wholesale screen printing, flag manufacturers and label printers for starters. There are also several members of this forum that offer wholesale goods to the industry but you would need to be a business in most cases.

    Get ready for a lot of opinions on this one.
     
  3. Bill43mx

    Bill43mx Member

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    Oct 19, 2004
    Thanks for your input. Regarding the other options for apparel most aren't cost effective at the very low (one or two units) quantities that we'll be dealing with. The EDGE to vinyl to heat press is working out really well....I have much better results than I had hoped for. And so far the test prints have withstood the washer to dryer to washer cycle they've been going through for the past week. It's just going to be hard to justify buying a Gerber EDGE and plotter with the antisipated profits of this venture. The Roland PC-12 seemed to be the solution to my problems but, as I said, no one seems to have anything good to say about them. I'd love to hear from some Colorcamm users regarding real world experiences.

    Bill
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
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    Why not look into a used system then. Most Gerber dealers have them that they've taken in on trade .... or if you're comfortable dealing with a private seller there are typically two or three a month that get advertisied at 4EdgeTalk.com which is a forum for Gerber Edge users.

    You have to register to view the forum but they have a fairly active classified section. This one was posted on Tuesday:

    I wouldn't plan on using the SuperSprint but at $6,700 you could then look for a used Envision or GSX plotter. The SuperSprint would probably sell used for $400 to $500.
     
  5. Bob Gilliland

    Bob Gilliland Member

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    May 23, 2003
    Bill,

    Not wanting to slant or bias you in a particular direction, but there have been some very attractive used/pre-owned deals on various sites.

    This was one I watched with great interest on ebay recently. If everything is on the up and up, what a nice deal! My main interest in this particular sale was what I thought to be a very low “reserve” price (don’t know the exact price but cought this auction early and know the general range).

    Recent Edge2/envision/Flexi ebay auction
     
  6. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    Nov 29, 2003
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    it's interesting to look at the bid history. most who bid on that item bid at least a few times, but the winner only bid once, 45 seconds before the bid closed but using proxy bidding, he probably bid a bit higher then the $10,900 he ended up winning the item for. The 2nd place bidder was also a seasoned ebayer, & he upped the bid $700 when he came in with his bid 10 seconds before close... but the proxy bidding feature automatically upped the winner to $100 more then the highest price the runner up had committed to spend.

    High drama :)

    4 other people also bid in the last 6 minutes bringing the price up from $8750
     
  7. signsandsuch

    signsandsuch Member

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    Nov 28, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    Try using sublimation process, it can only be done on white subtrates but is great for 1 or 2 items. try conde.com Joe
     
  8. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    or make a mistake in bidding like i did....pnc-1100 roland plotter i bid $960.00................I THOUGHT!!! it really went in at $9600.00!!!!!!!!!! and no mater who bid what it automatically bid for me from that 9600.00 bid. luckly it only went to $1100 and i got to talkin to the seller..and we know each other from 5 flags racetrack, hes a HOOTER CUP driver....and i did some work on his car here at the snowball derby in 99-or 2000. so i trusted him on the condition of the plotter so i paid the $1100. but watch whe you post a price on ebay....look for conformation as to what you posted....not like dummy me.
    i also bid $1 over what the posted price was....AND I WON THE ITEM!!!!!! it was when i 1st looked at ebay and figured some one would over bif me....but they didnt so i backed out on buying a wood stove......because the shiping woulda been $100 and the chimney pipes to hook it woulda been close to $1000!!!!! dont bid on things you dont have full knowledge of what it goan be when freight, and installation is added!!!
     
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