Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Suggestions Time to update, Latex or Solvent?

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Farmboy, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Trenton NJ
    Solvent printing is brutal.Got the latest 300 something hp less than a year ago.Does what I tell to do as far as print quality. Love it for the obvious.I don't print much but still need a printer on board.To me the good outweighs the the bad here. And yes the hp can be a PIA to load. Need to have extra rod thing with the gear on it so you just leave it on... And oh yeah for 10 large delivered and set up with warranty. I'd call it a disposable tool.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    If youre running the same material and printing more bulk, like wraps, than i can possibly see a latex. Aside from that, the solvent wins in my book. Disposable heads, wonderful. Its a wash cost wise because you replace them more frequently. To me, hp designed these things to sell parts.
    The new epsons seem to be the cats a*s.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. RPM

    RPM Member

    Nov 23, 2015
    Rogers MN
    Ive never had a banding issue, I had to reset head life counters on every printhead on my several eco-solo machines without missing a single nozzle. I have a ton of print work so rarely do I have a chance to print and laminate same day anyway. These machines run 5-6 days a week a 6-8hrs a day. I will have anywhere from 10 to 30 jobs going at a time so I try to stay way ahead on the print side. Epson has the ability to laminate 6hrs after print. I also like the color gamuts and I personally am much more proficient at hitting PMS colors with my solvents.....

    That being said, there is a huge market for all three and you have to figure your criteria and see what machine checks off the most boxes....
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I've ran them all, started with solvent, tried latex, went back to solvent.
    We're currently running a couple Epson eco-solvents and plan on our next purchase to be another Epson S60600.
    I do not recommend the 10-color printers, the 4-color dual head printers are much better.
    Find a vendor to outsource the very rare white ink prints you'll possibly have to deal with.

    FWIW, every single nozzle on both our solvent machines is still firing perfectly after multiple years of very hard print use. Epson also has a program where you receive points for the inks you use that lead to free service contracts. We only maintain (clean) our S70675 weekly and the S60600 bi-weekly (really we usually go 3 weeks), and both services take less than 10 minutes each.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
  5. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    I don't know what the big deal is about cleaning an eco-solvent printer. I hit mine every few weeks if even that. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but 2-3 mins tops? Hit the wiper, captop and bottom of the carriage, such an ordeal. Its more effort to dust the thing off. Change caps once a year, 5 mins.
    The heads are not expensive relatively speaking. Older pair of DX4s 1200, if they go 4 years that's $1 per working day. Say a DX7 is about 3k? 4 years its $3/day, dual heads $6/day. If you're using the machine, that shouldn't hurt you. Unless you're running the snot out of them, I'd expect them to go longer than 4 years. It's strange how people's thinking goes but HP figured it out. People don't add up cumulative spending and only focus on the right now price.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Auburn, NY
    Thanks for all the replies. Throwing this out there for discussion, why even bother with owning when 365 can have these in my hand the next day at a very reasonable price?
  7. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    I got an HP 315 20 months ago.

    65K sq feet printed, about 43 carts later, haven't replaced a head, zero issues.

    $9999 with free take up unit, install took 4 hours because i helped the guy

    can't say enough on how much this thing rocks
    • Like Like x 1
  8. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Control over quality, convenience, flexibility plus it looks like their pricing is about 2x cost or better so there is margin in it depending on your volume to cover your depreciation..
  9. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    It comes down to control. Do you want to control your quality? Do you want to control your costs? Do you want to control your production output and efficiency? Do you want to control if you can do rush jobs?

    There is good money in Brokering, but most times there is better money in controlling the entire process.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. We bought a 365 to replace a 25500 and have had it in operation about 2 months, it seems slightly better probably because the screen is still clean. I have cleaned the touch screen on our 360 with hydrophobic screen cleaner and it still lags and doesn't recognize presses; as a former production guy who's job was running 9 printers off of 3 RIPs with my goal being quality and color first and keeping those 9 printers operating as much as possible second, it drives me nuts. Having a st00pid plastic printer tell me my media is not straight enough sends me over the edge. The delay is is so annoying that I started to fall in love with the 25500 simply for its LCD. I waste so much time doing trivial crap with these HPs, and sadly I have too much going on to get my helper trained on the them and the RIP/s so I can fully wash my hands of dealing with them (trying to putt off 50-60 hour weeks until Fall).

    I reached out to Mimaki about their latex and got no response before going with HP. My shop is half way between a showroom floor and the corporate offices, after having to spend $14k to prove eco-sols were safe at my first situation similar to this one back in 2011 I decided to stick with latex, though I truly don't have any love for them. Printing fabric is nice, I'll give them that.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    i never have any problems with the touch screen or loading, i had three 25500's before this one, i liked them, but this is an upgrade for sure. the kinks have been worked out in my book.
  12. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    you had to do it....

    merchant members can, you can't
    • Like Like x 2
  13. WideImageSolutions

    WideImageSolutions New Member

    Jul 1, 2019
    Didn't know I couldn't but I'll take it off
  14. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Buy the printer from the dealer in your town or the next town over. Can't stress service enough. My new printer came from a dealer within 30 minutes of my shop.

    Could have bought a latex, heck I wired my office for a latex, but the closest tech charges $400 to show up. My new tech only charges when he's on site. I'm a DIY for repair and solvent parts are readily available from any number of sources.

    Besides having a dealer nearby I'm comfortable with solvent technology and its operation.
    • Agree Agree x 1


    Jul 12, 2019
    Panama city, Panama
    I suggested Eco solvent
  16. hand851

    hand851 Roland Mutoh & Mimaki inks digiprint-parts.com

    Nov 22, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Compare the two and pick the one that suits your preferences.
    Solvent I have never had to wear gloves to print or perform standard maintenance (Mutoh, Mimaki, Roland and Vanguard certified repairman).
    Solvent heads cost more per head, but over the life of a Latex Printer you replace heads every 4 to 6 cartridges at 125 per head.
    Solvent runs on 110 volt power (one or two 20 amp circuits based on single head or multi head printer).
    Latex use 2 220v circuits.

    Look at print speeds if production should be one consideration.

    Also look at the new UV roll printers, Roland and Mimaki have them.

    I guess what I saying is make a list of your requirements. List everything you can think of, cost of operation, print speed, maintenance (is there a tech close), also under maintenance, consumable costs (print heads dampers, cap, pump, encoder, etc..), print quality (ability to match if needed prior printing).

    Don't let others tell you one is better than the other, THEY ARE DIFFERENT, each has it's own set of issues, pick the one that best suits your requirements.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    We went from solvent to UV gel (oce Colorado) gotta say it’s got a few good points from either of the main ink types.

    As far as the prints go, we have awesome speeds, can laminate right away. Ink costs are very low, maintenance once a week - once a month, scratch proof inks etc etc. I get that the Colorado isn’t exactly entry level, but I wouldn’t rule out UV, especially some of the ones with the white ink like the mimaki.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. FactorDesign

    FactorDesign Member

    Feb 1, 2018
    Raleigh, NC
    I've been working at shops that used either solvent or eco solvent for about 15 years. Earlier this year we got an HP Latex 560. It's been a bit of an adjustment, but I've been thrilled with the speed and consistency. A few of our materials aren't compatible, but it's fairly easy to find alternatives.
  19. Jun Lanon

    Jun Lanon Member

    Oct 9, 2018
    I use a Stratojet Hawk eco solvent roll to roll. I don't have any issues. No banding or whatsoever, can pause prints if there's an issue. Very easy on my wallet.
  20. Yeahgor

    Yeahgor Born to be The Designer.

    Sep 18, 2020
    San Diego, CA
    What inks use this printer?

Share This Page