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Rookie questions

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Punisher1, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. Punisher1

    Punisher1 New Member

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    I am looking at purchasing a printer/cutter for producing vinyl graphics for our off road racing truck. I have no idea where to begin! What type is best? What is the best economical software? Can I do this without any formal education in graphics? I am very computer savvy but have no experience in vinyl. If someone can steer my in the right direction it would by greatly appreciated. Also any links to sites that can edumacate me would be great. Thanks a bunch!
     
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  2. 2NinerNiner2

    2NinerNiner2 Very Active Member

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    Firstly, bonjour de Montreal :) and welcome to the forum. Do a search here as this subject has been gone over extensively in the past. Another great resource is printingdigital.net, whose link is at the bottom of the forum pages. Personally, I am a Roland fan but there are many other fine systems available. As we say here in Quebec, 'bonne chance' (good luck! :) :Canada 2:
     
  3. wsteely7

    wsteely7 Member

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    Welcome from KY
     
  4. Whit

    Whit Member

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    Welcome from Texas !!!
     
  5. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

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    Wecome from the great Northwest! There's a wealth of info here.
     
  6. technowolf

    technowolf Member

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    Thats a lot of money just to do graphics for your racing truck......

    welcome
     
  7. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    ...I wouldn't "punish" myself that way!
    Consult a professional. There are a few good sign companies up your way.
    I know a guy named Kurt Gaber from Chippewa Falls, he is a decent man and specializes in race cars.
    You could even (gasp) have someone PAINT something on it, way cooler than anything that ever puked out of a machine!
    :thumb:
    Either way, you will have much less expense than buying a plotter and vynull, and the headache of learning how to cut, weed, mask, and stick it.
    It's not as easy or as fun as it looks.
    love....jill
     
  8. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

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    Welcome Punisher.
    Please follow Jill's advice, you'll thank her for it later.
    Even though I've been in the business for nearly 15 years and been printing for the last 8, I recently ventured out on my own and I still won't invest into digital printing.
    Taking on "print and cut" without any previous experience in the industry is nothing but punishment (pun intended). Not only do you have to invest in a printer/cutter, you'll also need quality design software, color management tools, a computer that has enough horsepower to run it, a clean shop to work in, a laminator, and inventory. Then you need to acquire the knowledge to know how to run it all. This investment can easily set you back $30K. And if you try to take shortcuts you'll have nothing but headaches.
    So, if you got the idea of doing this on your own from a salesperson who is trying sell you equipment, ask them this... "if doing this type of work is so easy, why aren't they doing it for a living" :)

    Checkers
     
  9. raw191

    raw191 Member

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    I know people will bad mouth them, and some have had problems with them, but I've got a Master 540 XY off of ebay. It'll print up to 52" wide letters. I've been running the crap out of mine as a hobby and no troubles so far.! It seems to be good for the money ($800).

    Ross
     
  10. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

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    raw191 - We are trying to stop him from "punishing" himself.:Big Laugh You may be one of the luck ones with the master but many are not.

    Punisher1 - You should follow jills advice, not as easy as they make it sound. Please don't "Punish" your self!!!:Big Laugh

    Sorry, I just had to!!!:thumb:

    Sean
     
  11. Bradster941

    Bradster941 Very Active Member

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    Um, FYI, that is a cutter / plotter, not a Printer / Cutter. :rolleyes:
     
  12. sandblast_dude

    sandblast_dude Member

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    At least consider Jill & Checkers idea of having somebody do it for you...
    It would be less expensive, would almost certainly look better, and would save you a headache. (Unless, that it, you enjoy being punished.)

    Are you planning on doing one or two of these and that is it, or doing them regularly from here on out?

    Wanted to welcome you to the group.
     
  13. technowolf

    technowolf Member

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    like bradster said to Raw 191 ..........dont listen to him he doesnt even know the difference from a printer and a vinyl cutter....:beer
     
  14. Punisher1

    Punisher1 New Member

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    Oct 8, 2006
    Wow! Quite the variety of responses. I guess I wasn't specific enough with my questions in some regards. The bodies our race truck are made of fiberglass and you face the potential of going through 2 or more bodies in one weekend. This is not a small time racing circuit. It is televised on Speed Channel and we are a primary factory backed team by Nissan. We have spent 3-5k this year alone in vinyl. My brother, the owner/driver, thought if I was up to it, I could make all the vinyl for the truck bodies and our tranporter. Right now we have printed vinyl and after some investigation I noticed printers are very expensive. So we thought we could just go with a cutter/plotter and layer them. If I go with a cutter/plotter does it get any easier. Can a "simpleton" like me manage to do that much with a decent amount of computer skill? Or am I getting in over my head? And this will be no short term commitment because we have no intention of quitting racing any time soon. Hopefully this will make it a little clearer what my objectives are. Thanks for your responses and greetings. :unclesam:
     
  15. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Yikes…

    Spending that much in two jobs… I would consider changing sign shops before you go and buy the store. :rolleyes:

    Regardless if you switch shops or go on your own, it sounds like you want high quality graphics, whether they be printed or layered. Don’t be fooled by these guys putting them on for you quickly. They obviously know their job and how to get paid well for it [I might add]. If you want to layer it on, it will be very time consuming and expensive in the long run. Less cost of front, but higher cost down the road and more of your time cutting, weeding taping, applying and removing tape and lines. A digital printer will give you effects you can’t even dream of with a traditional plotter. More upfront cost, but ease of application and actually lower costs per square foot, judging by your enclosed pictures.

    I’d seriously consider getting a small 30” VersaCamm that prints and cuts and will do anything you want or need far beyond your racecar. You’ll probably get to do some of your sponsors trucks or trailers too. You might even want to join our ranks as another sign company eventually. Let me see, Wisconsin… yeah, that’s far enough away from me. LOL Yeah, that’s the ticket… go for it. :thumb:
     
  16. technowolf

    technowolf Member

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    if you spend 3-5k in one year its a good idea to learn and do your own graphic..... if you have the time :)
     
  17. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

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    Hi again Punisher,
    Tell us a little more about yourself. Do you have a design background? What about your mechanical ability, are you good with your hands? If you have a fair amount of design skill and the ability to apply the graphics, I would entertain the investment.
    However, think about this. Spending $3-$5K a year on graphics is chump change when talk about it in terms of auto racing. A good race team can spend that much in one day at the track.
    So, would you rather risk the loss of a major sponsor because you screwed up his graphics while you're learning a new trade? Or, would you rather focus on winning races and getting more sponsors?
    When there's big money on the line, focus on what you do best and figure out how to do it even better. When it comes to something you're less skilled with, hire a professional that will get the job done right the first time.

    Checkers
     
  18. Molson

    Molson Member

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    we bought one to do our own race cars and it WAS the best decision we ever made the money that we put into a printer was around ONE weekend worth of expense with no bigtime breakage it is worth having in house there is nothing worse than picking up a new sponsor on a thursday and not having a reliable printer to have them on the car by friday this is not small time "jims garage" giving you 50 bucks for an entry fee we are talking million dollar sponsor packages and they have to be on not "it will be ok this without this weekend" my thoughts are buy one and never be on someone elses timeframe again
     
  19. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    Welcome from Oklahoma!

    Gee! What a difference a little information makes. :Welcome: to :signs101: ​
     
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