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Printer Decision for Entry Level Into Digital Printing

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by SignsNowOH, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. SignsNowOH

    SignsNowOH Member

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    I have my eyes on a couple of printers. One is an HP DesignJet 5500 and the other one is a Roland SolventJet (Older Model Not Sol-Jet). Both are completely refurbished and are very close in price together. I guess the decision is do I go Eco-Solvent or UV? Which would be the better printer?
     
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  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    The HP Designjet is NOT a UV printer.
     
  3. mikefine

    mikefine Member

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    We started with an HP about 7 years ago. It is a great machine for the right application.. It uses water based inks, so no ventilation is needed. The print quality is excellent, but materials are much more expensive than solvent. Not sure about the comment about the UV. We printed UV inks, and did partial wraps and short term signs and banners. By the way, what is the market cost these days for HP 5500?
     
  4. TheProfessor

    TheProfessor Member

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    UV and solvent inks behave very differently. It would depend on what kind of jobs you are looking to do. If you want to wrap cars then you shouldn't get a UV because the ink wont handle the application process or be guaranteed as long as the vinyl you would be using will. If you want to shove out coroplast yard signs or large banners by the million, I would go with the UV printer since the cost per sign is usually lower.

    this really requires a more indepth answer than I just gave you, but I am in the middle of setting up files :)
     
  5. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    HP used to call there pigmented inks UV inks. Athough these inks are water-based, they will hold up outside with proper lamination. Media for the 5500 is coated to accept the inks, which makes the media a lot more expensive compared to the non-coated media that is available for the eco-solvent and solvent printers.

    It all boils down to the type of work you want produce, specifically, indoor or outdoor. If the majority of your work is intended for outside, I would suggest going with solventjet.

    The 5500 is considered a real workhorse and is very reliable. It is very easy to maintain...especially compared to solvent based printers.
     
  6. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    There is a misunderstanding with HP UV inks. HP introduced these inks with 2xxx / 3xxx series and later the 5000 / 5500 printers. These printers used water-based inks (aqueous), either dye or pigment. Pigment is what they called UV. These days a UV printer is one that has inks that are cured with UV lamps.
     
  7. luggnut

    luggnut Very Active Member

    i also think if that's worded correctly a Roland SolventJet was a roland machine altered by someone else and ran true solvent inks.. it had red and blue inks along with CMYK if i remember right
     
  8. gregeagel

    gregeagel New Member

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    I have a Designjet 5500. Get the Roland.
     
  9. wonsngis

    wonsngis Member

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    In that matchup; Roland hands down. But they're not even comparable, really. 2 different types of printers for 2 different purposes.

    For a sign shop, outdoor durability is an absolute necessity. You're not going to print anything on that HP that will go outside and last for very long. On the other hand, you can certainly print indoor signs on the roland. PM or call me if you want more reasons...
     
  10. sjm

    sjm Member

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    Disagree, but please explain what you mean by a long time? If the original thread starter is new to Digital Printing, for ease of use, reliability, quality and performance I would recommend the HP 5500 anytime.
     
  11. wonsngis

    wonsngis Member

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    Have you ever printed a vehicle wrap on a 5500? A pole banner? A real estate sign? A vehicle magnetic?

    When the sign shop down the street is printing 13oz scrim @ 40¢ sq.ft. cost and retailing for $3, what product are you going to offer them to compete in cost and durability?

    Most solvent/eco-solvent prints go at least 2 years outdoors WITHOUT lamination. Can you say the same for the 5500? What about ink costs?

    I'm not saying the HP isn't without it's merits (though I'll NEVER buy another product from HP). I'm saying that if you had to choose only 1 of those, it should be the roland.
     
  12. sjm

    sjm Member

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    Yes to all, your questions ... hence why I recommend the HP5500. Please explain how you print directly to magnetic material on a Roland? Or are you saying print a decal and then apply it magnetic material?
     
  13. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    and to think.. it only took you guys 14 months to find the perfect thread to disagree on :rolleyes::Big Laugh
     
  14. wonsngis

    wonsngis Member

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    :thankyou: ProWraps, do you print YOUR wraps with an aqueas printer?

    It is an old thread, but it is a debate that I still hear. I'm honestly curious; what wrapping cast material is compatible with 5500UV inks? What is the stated warranty of 5500UV inks, outdoors without lamination? Also $300 for 680ml is VERY expensive so you've already lost the ink cost war with most solvent machines.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  15. sjm

    sjm Member

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    Are we using 3M materials? HP's latex ink technology seems to be doing just fine if you stop to consider it's not solvent based.
     
  16. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    HP DesignJet 5500 is not a latex printer.
     
  17. insignia

    insignia Very Active Member

    :ROFLMAO: at this thread...
     
  18. wonsngis

    wonsngis Member

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    :omg2: :banghead: :doh: Yikes. End of discussion.
     
  19. sjm

    sjm Member

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    Didn't say it was but it's not a solvent either. Yet maybe you can answer what is the warranty on a non-laminated Roland print or other solvent or eco-solvent printer, for example?

    Do you consider the wasted purging cycles of a solvent or eco-solvent in your ink costs. Perhaps you just accept that as the norm?

    Mind you it's all relative, of course when you consider all things being equal.
     
  20. wonsngis

    wonsngis Member

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    Honestly, man, give it up. You don't know what you're talking about and you're not even bothering to READ the discussion you're responding to. No flame here, just honesty.
     
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