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Race car wraps

Discussion in 'Vehicle Wraps' started by Impact fabs, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Impact fabs

    Impact fabs New Member

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    We are wanting to add a 48" printer to our buisness. We operate Cnc plasma and Cnc rotary machines. We also do custom fabrication for racing and off road. We had a sponsor for our race car wraps but they have gone out of buisness. They also had a large group of cars they did. We are planning on picking up where they left off. This will be a small part of our buisness but a money making side for sure. We have been looking at printers the Roland 540 is what we want because who wouldn't. Unsure if we need to drop 12k for a used one is the bigger question. Plans at this point are wraps for dirt track cars and stickers, possibly back window wraps also. We have thought long and hard about outsourcing the printing also. After long discussions we will move forward with a printer in house. Any suggestions on a printer in the 5-6k range that will start us in the right direction? Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    Welcome to Signs 101

    You might want to consider outsourcing first, 5 to 6k will get you good rip software then you will need a fast computer, graphic software, color management software to build your own profiles, and then a good printer/cutter or a stand alone cutter. So for about 35k you can have a pretty good setup.

    On a side note don't think your going to become rich over night doing race car graphics.
     
  3. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

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    Start off with outsourcing the decals/wraps & if the justification (money) is there, then it would make sense to bring it in-house. Many here do wholesale work & would be glad to provide the service for a reasonable rate.

    Also, you are going to have to have staff with all of the different skills needed in this industry; someone who can design effective wraps, someone who can operate/maintain a wide format printer, someone who can install graphics. Those skills are not learned overnight & just buying a printer will not "give" them those skills. In addition to the printer expense; be prepared to purchase an additional $5,000+ in basic vinyl materials to stock to get started, $5,000 in a quality laminator, $500-$1000+ for tables, tools, cleaning supplies.

    I have found personally, that even though the dirt track racers spend money on parts; the graphics/wraps they want for as cheap as possible. It may just be around here, but whenever I see a request come across for pricing; I know the response I will receive.
     
  4. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Don't forget $6K-$7K for a laminator! You know how many racers have tryed and FAILED doing what you think you are ging to do. BTW do you have any graphic design experience, or do you tink you can just "copy and paste it off the internet"??? LOL

    Good luck, let me know when you have a printer for sale!
     
  5. p3

    p3 Member

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    very true. hardest thing to make money at...that is what I started out with was race cars...now I never want to do another one. While you are figuring out how to get by and eating ramen noodles..they are out racing and tell you they can't pay because they have no money.

    Also, there has to be a reason the other company went out of business...that happened to me all the time when people would complain about pricing...

    "oh this shop said they would do it for half that."

    then i would have to ask why they didn't go with them...

    "oh they went out of business."

    :doh:
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Welcome from PA.............................
     
  7. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Three customers I have pretty much ran off are Bars, Political Signs and RACE CARS. All three are PITA customers. Unloyal and never have any money....but always seem to have enough to race each week, or to buy the booze, or whatever. Mostly sumbags!!!
     
  8. Si Allen

    Si Allen Very Active Member

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    Racers!

    Always have money for "go fast" parts ... BUT ... never enough for graphics and lettering!

    Always need it tomorrow morning!
     
  9. Mikeifg

    Mikeifg Active Member

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    Stick with what you do best. Just because it looks cool doesn't mean you can or should try it. I have a welder but I dont build racecars. I let the small shops deal with the racers they'll run you broke wanting something for nothing. Like it was said before there's a reason they went belly up. Probably because their racer customers wanted it cheap.
     
  10. Mikeifg

    Mikeifg Active Member

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    Money making side for sure? Have you priced material etc.. you dont know squat. Not hating just saying.
     
  11. Graphics2u

    Graphics2u Very Active Member

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    They give you til morning??? You're lucky! :Big Laugh
     
  12. Mikeifg

    Mikeifg Active Member

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    Do you even know how to design?

    oh well have fun i need to get in the a/C
     
  13. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!1 All the stuff you will need would be $24K-$30K plus knowledge of design. Can't just "buy" that, it has to be learned over years and years.
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    I started out with a few quills and some cans of 1-shot. No more than about $45.oo worth of tools and I turned that into some real good money over the next few weeks, when starting out on my own.

    So, I'm sure he can do it for under 10k and become an overnight success. Heck, I'll bet he even has a computer already. :wink:
     
  15. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

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    I started out with a $7500 printer and Corel X5 ,still not a sign maker yet.
    :banghead:
    I thought if I had the printer I could be a sign maker real easy.
    Whats is so hard about hitting the print button ?

    /just kidding
    I was giving myself 2 years to learn how to design and make bumper stickers.
    And 4 months are already gone.
     
  16. Impact fabs

    Impact fabs New Member

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    First let me say thanks to those who have helped I thank you. If out sourcing is the better choice i take constructive advice to heart and am more than willing to gove it a try so pm me and we can talk. If you read my initial post I own Cnc machines. If you believe these machines run or maintain themselves your sadly mistaken. I married a graphic designer and this is who does all the vector work for the custom pieces clients want. If there is any doubt to this I have no problem providing pics.
    Do I think I will get rich from this no. There are graphic company's on every corner. Buisness is the same in all aspects that someone will do it cheaper. That's why being honest and helping has built our buisness to where it is. If you are loosing buisness because someone is cheaper maybe it's time to look at why. This equipment is an extension to our buisness.
    To mosh and mike. I am more than willing to contribute a little cash for some therapy. I am not sure if y'all were loved enough as kids. My father told me never think your above anyone because it's a long hard fall. If you believe that you can talk to people the way you do and get away with it your sadly mistaken. I will be more than happy to provide you with my address and you can come and talk to me face to face instead of typing it out on a forums. But I am sure that you will continue to try to prove how weak minded you are and continue to talk here. Looking at the number of times you posted today I would think maybe you should be working. And by the post count y'all have I see you really have no life outside. Just sayin
     
  17. WCSign

    WCSign Member

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    Heres my honest advice.. Buy a small plotter, let your wife design.. Set up
    Accounts with local suppliers, outsource print jobs via merchants on here. This way you can do some things in house without a huge investment.

    After a year of that, then you can decide if you want to spend 20k on a printer/cutter

    5-6k will get you squat
     
  18. jasonx

    jasonx Very Active Member

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    Looks like you are looking in the right direction and have done a bit of research.

    If your total budget is 5-6k then start by outsourcing. You will learn all the other skills such as design, and installation.

    As has been mentioned you will also need a laminator.

    There will be a learning curve as there was with your CNC equipment but your actual real costs of printing your own materials versus outsourcing on your scale won't be a huge contributing factor to your pricing.

    A print will need maintenance unlike your CNC equipment. I am not saying that CNC equipment doesn't need maintenance but you can't let a printer sit idle and do nothing assuming its solvent. Equipment out of warranty can start to add up very quickly if you need to start replacing heads and so forth.

    Once you have enough work you will easily be able to work out at which point you will make a bigger return on investment by having your own equipment.

    It would be no different to myself purchasing CNC equipment to get letters cut out for signs. Our volume doesn't justify it so we outsource it.

    Our limited budget for this type of work is better spent on marketing the product then purchasing a cheap second hand piece of equipment to do the work ourselves.

    All the best.
     
  19. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

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    To the OP. I started out with a $5000 printer if you have the work or can afford to pay for the printer and learning curve (which I assume you can as cnc stuff is not cheap) then look for a Mimaki JV3 you can find them on ebay all the time for your price range. You will need a rip (hopefully they have rasterlink which comes with the printer so you dont have to buy a rip) Now I have done some cnc stuff myself so whoever does your design work should be able to learn the graphics side reasonably quick its not much different just adding color really.

    So if you really want a printer look on ebay for a JV3 a JV33 is better but they are 10K plus JV3 allday long for 3000-6000 you need a rip if it doesnt come with one roughlly 1000 you will need photshop and iilustrator or corel equivelant and you really need a laminator look on ebay the chinese ones from us tech in orlando florida are not to bad I started with one and it served me well they run about 2000 for 65" you will need a plotter for the cut vinyl lettering stuff again chinese will get you started but be for warned you get what you pay for in this industry when it comes to equipment but again I started out years ago with a 500 cutter and then bought a 5000 printer 1700 laminator and alot of time and lost money but it can be done.

    If you really want to do it in house you can but there is a learning curve to operating the printer and the design stuff.

    Heres some food for thought these printers have to stay on all the time and they cycle on and off when not in use sucking ink down the drain the more you use it the less it has to cycle and the less waste and more profit you make they can be expenssive to keep running well especially if it doesnt get much use. If you can find someone local to out source to I would try that first see if you can get enough work to keep the printer printing at least every couple a days if you can then get a used machine and let it make you money to buy a new one later.

    If you decide to buy a printer used please ask questions to the forum about what to look for and check etc be for you buy. if you want you can pm me and I would me more than happy to talk on the phone with you about any and all information that you may need and what I have learned through the years.

    Good Luck.
    Oh and P.S. Please dont produce cheap junk and dont price your stuff so low that you lose money and ruine the market for the other guys in town. You can be lower just dont give it away.

    Thanks from the wrap and graphics community.
     
  20. Impact fabs

    Impact fabs New Member

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    I apreciate this and we are going to use a local guy I talked to this morning for the printing. We will do this for a yeAr and see where it takes us. We have had great success in our Cnc plasma work. Mainly because the graphic eye of my better half. I am like most men in that I like new toys. I joined the site for information and most of it was useful. Thanks.
     
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