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please help the newbie choose a plotter

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by trickitravesty, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. trickitravesty

    trickitravesty New Member

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    Hello, dear Pro's
    I am new to this industry, and i am in a toss up between which plotter to buy. I am interested in the Panther Pro 24" by signwarehouse OR the Graphtec CE3000 MK2. I not sure which is the better? the panther has 600 grams of downforce and the graphtec has 300. How important is downforce, and should i base my choice on this......... please, anyone that knows these machines..please offer an opinon of what you think. thanks for time..
    ~travis[​IMG]
     
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  2. Just Me

    Just Me Active Member

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  3. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Don't waste your time getting any animal cutters. They great for making stickers and short 3 ft. runs. But when you start running 12 ft. banners and sign panels then you will surely suffer.

    Get a Summa, or a Graphtec or a Roland. Its that simple.

    Sure there are machines that have huge numbers of down force,, and high speed cuttng speeds. All of those big numbers mean nothing. Vinyl dont need 600 grams and it dont need 40 inches per second speed. Sheesh, the material cannot get out of its own way at that speed.
     
  4. LedderHed

    LedderHed Member

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    I agree with Outlaw, if the machine on ebay is satifactory, it will make a good starter machine. The price is right! The Summas, Graphtecs or Rolands can always come later. I started out with one of the earliest PNC110 (used Roland 24") and it finally gave up the ghost and I bought a Graphtec FC7000-75. Don't go over-board when you are just getting started in the biz. Go easy and then if you are sucessful, then do your upgrades later. Remeber old equipment can be sold later on. Put it up for sale and they will come.
     
  5. nxtremesign

    nxtremesign Member

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    I can only speak about PantherPro, the others I don't know, but I have had one for 8 years and it stills tracks 35' to 50' easy and can cut long runs with watching over it very little. the table top modles like the JSI are good , but require very careful alignment.

    The downfroce is for cutting heavey material like sand blast material, but for cutting vinyl any plotter will work.
     
  6. Mike Paul

    Mike Paul Major Contributor

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    Any entry plotter will work. I wouldn't be concerned about the down force unless you are cutting sandblast mask.
    Buy the cheap one and spend the extra money on sign related publications.
    Educating yourself on design, layout, proper material usage, pricing, etc. etc. is the best advise you can get.
     
  7. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I am goona fall outa my chair.. AHAHAHAAHAHAHAH
    You would make a good stand up comedian. 50' runs????? AHAHAHAAH!!

    35 - 50 FT.. No way....
    --techman
     
  8. jimdes

    jimdes Active Member

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    The Sign Warehouse plotters have a learning curve to the alignment process that takes half a lifetime. Get the Summa, the most feature rich product for the money.

    As for tracking, why the need to cut anything longer than a car? Anything longer than 12' and there probably isn't a panel that long anyways. Just my 2¢
     
  9. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    I bought Roland pnc960 & its done everything I've asked of it
     
  10. nxtremesign

    nxtremesign Member

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    Laugh all you want. I just laugh all the way to bank!
    Has to long runs when you do copy on a 48' trailer, is nice to put one decal.
    P.S. come see for your self
     
  11. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    I too own a Panther Pro without any problems. I have also owned a Roland. There was NO learning curve with this machine. Possibly a learning curve with the Lynx that jimdes owns don't know never owned/used one. But I tell ya it is a great machine no doubt. The only issue I have with it is it is sold only through SW. I do not like them one bit. Just way too much problems with them to ever want to use them again. So parts/tech help is only through SW. With that being said I will purchase another Roland or possibly give the Graphtec a try in the future.

    Its also funny to hear lots say these "cheap chinese plotters" of these people who are stating such has actually owned or even used "cheap chinese plotters such as Desay or Panthers for that matter? I have owned both and can tell you nothing about desay but can tell you the Panthers are work horses and are very reliable. No tracking problems with mine.
     
  12. Barry

    Barry Active Member

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    The Summa and Panther are priced about the same. I would take the Summa just for the support. Summa has awesome tech support.
     
  13. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Nice try,, You can deny it all you want. But, if you do runs in the 48 foot range you will be doing some exacto blade work. And, you will never convince me or any other experinced technician that you can run 50 feet straight tracking on a pressure foot cutter. You simply cannot load it straight enough to run within 1/2 of an inch for 50 feet repeatedly.

    Think about it. Just .003 of an inch out of square ,, (thats thinner than paper or a hair) at 40 ft totals into 1/8 of an inch out of square. And thats running in a perfect environment. No one here has the eye or the machine or the ability to set up a roll of flexible material such as vinyl so that it will run true and straight through a cutter.
     
  14. nxtremesign

    nxtremesign Member

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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  15. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    You're right Will. I have a "cheap chinese printer" - 24" Masters from desay and I haven't had a bit of problem with it that wasn't from my lack of knowledge. It gave us an entry-level machine that has performed very well - even though we were clueless when we started on how to even run it!! I haven't tried to run 40 or 50 feet through it, but Tia has run some very long pieces (she's better at the long ones than I am!!) with no problem and I wouldn't hesitate for her to give it a try.
     
  16. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    The only advice I can give you is if you plan on doing this for a living and have a job with a deadline you will want to have a plotter that you can get local support or parts for so when and if you have a problem it dosen't cost you a customer/s.



    :Coffee:
     
  17. steady eddie

    steady eddie New Member

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    steady eddie

    get at least a 610mm plotter to start with i find graphtecs slightly

    better than rolands (22 years in the trade) :thumb:
     
  18. animenick65

    animenick65 Very Active Member

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    The shop I work at has a graphtec too. We do a good 50-60% of all the sign work in southern MA and northern RI and we do 50' runs all the time. Loaded correctly, it does the 50' run and tracks within 1/4 of an inch. I'll vouch for the 50' runs.
     
  19. Driving Force

    Driving Force Member

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    I've Had several plotters and I would have to say that the Summa is the best, with graphtec coming in a close second. Why waste your time on cheap plotters? does anyone ever get rid of a plotter?
    Buy a good one right off the bat and you will never be disappointed.
     
  20. Scott Reynolds

    Scott Reynolds Active Member

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    Next time I do a 50' run for a trailer, I'll have to film it start to finish, I know a trick............ :)
     
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