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Trying to decide on a printer size!

Discussion in 'Mutoh' started by Xeon19, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Xeon19

    Xeon19 New Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Crete, IL
    I have a 1 year old vinyl business focusing on commerical business. The bulk of my work is vehicles doing standard cut vinyl and a fare amount of fire and police work. We also do standard banners (2x4 - 2x10), magnets and some heat transfer job shirts. It's now to the point where I am sending out alot of print jobs to a wholesale printer and I want to bring in a printer in house . I have a Graphtec 8000-30 cutter which I love! I also have a line on an older, but never used Apollo 27" laminator. My question is what size printer to look at? I am talking with a couple of different reps and it looks like the Mutoh 1304 54" (their suggestion) and Prismjet VJ 48" are pretty decent. Do I really need a 54" machine? I know Im limitied by the laminator and cutter, but my view is If I do get those couple of jobs that require something bigger, I still can send it out. My past history shows nothing has been printed bigger than 28" as of yet. I'm trying to get the best bang for my buck while still growing my business.

    Also, is a take up roller important? Presently, I have the time and ability to to monitor the print job while it is working. I understand the reason for it, but I guess the question is, do I really need it now or add it later or maybe even upgrade in a few years depending on business?
  2. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    Get as big as you can afford. It is easy to do smaller stuff on a big printer, impossible to do bigger stuff on a small printer.
  3. wildside

    wildside Very Active Member

    Aug 28, 2005
    Get something that is the next size bigger than you need, and always make sure it is something absolutely necessary.

    We have a 54" and wish i would have went with the 60", never sold a tru 5ft banner until the day after the printer got here.

    a take up roller is crucial, you will regret not having one at some pint.

    Plan for the future of you printing needs, not what will get you by for now.
  4. speedmedia

    speedmedia Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    The day you buy a 30" printer you will get a client that order 4x8 banners all the time. I have one and I kick myself in the *** all of the time for not just nutting up and buying the big one off the bat. You will be stuck with it otherwise.

    If you can afford the larger one by all means do it!

  5. Xeon19

    Xeon19 New Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Crete, IL
    Wow that was quick!!! I kinda thought that would be the responses but I wanted to send it out testing the waters!!! Well now I have some great direction to work with!
  6. acothran

    acothran Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Bowling Green, KY
    That's a good point. For wrap graphics we print more 54" media than anything else but we have a 64" printer and laminator. I've also found that having the extended width is good if you are printing 28" posters (common POP display size) or if someone orders a few 2.5' x 8' banners, load up some 60" media and print two at a time. Going bigger than 64" gets into another price range and whole other ball park, but you aren't going to regret going as big as you can afford.

    Our new printer (Epson GS6000) has a take up roll and I don't know how we ever lived without one. Our old Seiko had the take up roll but without an external dryer, the ink didn't dry fast enough to use it. Right after we got the Epson, I needed to work in the office one day and the girl that normally works in the print room was sick. I was able to set up a big job, tape to the take-up roll and leave it for hours. Also with big graphics (i.e. vehicle wrap panels) it makes it SO much easier to go from print to lamination.

  7. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I've never had a need to print anything wider than 54" so my printer has always done what I needed to that extent, as far as vinyl goes. When it comes to banners, I've never had anything much bigger than 4'. I have had WAY bigger though, and I had to sub that to Merritt anyway. I'd go for the 54" again if I had to, but it's your decision.

    However, since everyone is offering printing at almost cost (including retail places) if I could do it ALL over again, I wouldn't buy one at all. I don't need the maintenance and responsibility of one, when someone else will do that for me, and cost me the same.
  8. "Deposit Please"

    "Deposit Please" Active Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    54" is where you wanna be. Make money with it, and down the road you can get bigger if you choose. but personally i don't think it's necessary. A 30" on the other hand , is a good starter if your new to digital printing. That will allow you to learn the world of digital printing At a fraction of the cost. That's where i started, with a 30" printer/cutter. Jobs were done in more managable pieces & material was much cheaper. Now i'm running a 54" printer/cutter doing banners, poster, wall murals, vehicle wraps etc.. gotta learn how to crawl before you can run !!! my 2 cents :)
  9. Stealth Ryder

    Stealth Ryder Very Active Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    If your gonna go, GO BIG!!!!

    VJ-1614, 64" all the way, easier to maintain in my opinion... Not that much more cost, kinda like buying used car for one of the kiddos...
  10. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I sometimes get customers ring up and say "what's the biggest you can print??"
    So I got a 74" Roland. I hardly ever use the full width but it's great for those "biggest banner" jobs.
    I wouldn't go less than 54".
  11. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    I wouldn't go less than 54". You can make alot of money on 4' banners, site signs and is the perfect size for most wraps.

    30" printers tend to be a limitation for most.
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    48" would be the smallest size I would consider.

    You can fudge all kinds of signs around 48". Bigger would be better, but I would not consider a 30" unless your room size dictates that size. In that case, I would farm out until you find a bigger room or can make one.
  13. Jim Doggett

    Jim Doggett Very Active Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    ^^^^ +1 ^^^^

    :U Rock:
  14. Xeon19

    Xeon19 New Member

    Apr 30, 2009
    Crete, IL
    Thanks to everyone that posted. I recieved several quote Im still torn. I have an oportunity for a 2007 model year 48" which includes a 54" graphtec cutter and a rip software for both units plus a 2 year extended warranty for about $13ish. But on the other hand i can get a new 48" plus flexi pro (another user would be nice) for about the same. I currently have a 30" graphtec(less than 6 months old). Both companys seem good. The 54" machine are all with in $100 of each other but there still is a worry about the $$$$. I could pay for either 48" in about 1 year or less. The 54"s would take about 3-4 years. Is there really that size business out there now days to support that much of a captial outlay?? I about fell over when I heard the going financerate is about 14%.
  15. D3G

    D3G Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Spring, TX
    I'm with Mosh, get the biggest printer you can afford.
  16. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    I have a 60" printer
    I used the full 60 only once or twoce.
    I print some at 54...but, print at 48" all the time. 54 in material is great for hemming and grommets etc..
    36" would have been too small no matter what. I had a 36" printer for a while and was always finding it too short.
  17. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    I have a 54" Roland, don't use much anymore, and a 98" HP flatbed, which we use constantly for 4'x8' coroplex and big banners. We started small and business demands made us go bigger. My advice? go with a 54" and you can stay with that for years.
  18. vinvin creation

    vinvin creation New Member

    Dec 24, 2009
    It is advisable to get a 64" valuejet printer if you want. the 1614 is great. Go for a bigger ones , u will have no regrets..

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