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Suggestions UV Printer - Logojet, Roland or Mimaki

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Barton Scott, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Barton Scott

    Barton Scott New Member

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    Mar 6, 2020
    Fort Worth
    Hello,

    I am a new member to this forum. I teach high engineering, graphic design and robotics. One of the things we do is run a small micro-business where kids design and then manufacturer products for themselves, parents and the district.

    We already own a Roland SG540 and we have used this to make stickers, banners and t-shirts. We are now about to invest in a UV printer so that we can make full color tumblers on stainless steel cups, coasters and other products.

    We have a budget of around $40,000 that must include the printer, rotary attachment, extra ink and training.

    I have looked at LogoJet UX60, Roland UV LEF series and Mimaki.

    The tumblers are must have so I was unsure if some of the higher end Roland UV printers could do that.

    My biggest concern so far is the life of the "print heads" and how often those need to be replaced. We LOVE our Roland SG540. We have had it for 2 years now and as long as it is maintained and cleaned we really have no issues with it.

    I am looking for something similar in regards to a UV printer that can print of pens, tumblers, golf balls, basketballs, t-shirts, etc...

    Would anyone mind providing me their feedback on the printers above that would fit into our budget and other issues I may not be considering.

    Feel free to check out our micro-business "YMLA Workshop" on Facebook. We do not earn alot but it cover the cost of ink, paper and supplies and the kids learn ALOT out of it!

    Thanks
     
  2. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Sep 3, 2018
    United Kingdom
    Have you looked at sublimation? You might even want to start off with an A3 sublimation printer. Even something like a sawgrass sg800.

    Very cheap (going by your budget) but pretty simple to start making your own mugs, coasters, tumblers etc. I’m talking like £800 for a package in the uk so probably around $1000 for all you need.

    Your current heat press should suffice for anything that you can lie flat and you’d just need either a sublimation oven or a mug press with a few different elements for the rest.

    naturally there are limitations to this sort of stuff and it might be more time consuming in prep but the initial costs and the ease of finding sublimation ready items helps a lot. Also not much of a learning curve.

    I wouldn’t recommend a UV printer for tshirts.

    You’d need a separate DTG printer for that. You’d have to keep your current method (HTV?) or you could try sublimating but there are a few restrictions there also. (Has to have high polyester content, has to be white unless you want colour shift etc)
     
  3. Barton Scott

    Barton Scott New Member

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    Mar 6, 2020
    Fort Worth
    Thanks for the reply! We already have a Sawgrass and tried sublimation. Honestly it is not working well. We have a mug press and t-shirt press from hottronics. It is really tricky to get sublimation done correctly. We have not been able to get a single coffee mug or t-shirt to sublimate correctly yet.

    The sublimation does not work on Stainless Steel Tumblers. We had someone donate over 1,000 stainless steel tumblers to us and right now the only thing I can do is use Cermark and laser engrave on them, but we really would like to use these for full color logoss.
     
  4. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Just to be safe here; you are buying sublimation ready items? They all need a special coating that takes the ink in. You can’t just throw any old mug in there and make it work. (Which I’m assuming is the case with the bottles, they won’t be sublimation ready).

    we did look at buying a small UV flatbed but I think we’re just going to hold out and eventually go for a large one.

    we looked at the mimaki UJF’s with the kebab function, which I believe should be within your budget.
     
  5. Barton Scott

    Barton Scott New Member

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    Mar 6, 2020
    Fort Worth
    Correct. We buy from JDS Industries and the coffee mugs we purchased were for sublimation. The ink is faded and does not hold. I have personally called into their fabrication department several times for advice. Every time we try what they recommend the quality improves but it is still faded colors.
     
  6. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    Had to be sure! Lol. With mugs We crank the pressure pretty high and cook it at 180 Celsius for 3 minutes if I remember right.

    you’ll probably need a UV printer that does white I guess, or printing on aluminium might look a little faded/get colour shift.
     
  7. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    We have a UJF-6042 and 3042 from Mimaki. We have had the 6042 for about 6 years and have not replaced any heads. This machine runs daily and has a lot of prints on it. I will be honest all the smaller cylindrical attachment printers will not print tumblers that great unless you spend the money and get tooling done to hold it perfect. I would contact PDS equipment as I believe they have the tooling that would work. We stopped using ours and got a dedicated rotary printer for tumblers. Golf balls will print but they don't last if the ball gets used.
     
  8. Barton Scott

    Barton Scott New Member

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    Mar 6, 2020
    Fort Worth
    Thanks Adam,

    I will look at the Mimaki for sure.

    What is tooling in regards to tumblers?

    Logojet has some rubber inserts that go around the bottom of the tumbler so that it is level. I will contact PDS. The golf balls I understand. We make trophies for a golf tournament that raises money for our kids and they would love to have branded golf balls used at the event
    Thanks. I hate to sound ignorant but when you refer to tooling for tumblers what specifically do you mean?

    Logojet has specific rings that go around the JDS tumblers that we have which help it with the printer.

    https://www.logojet.com/products/ro...r-use-with-30-oz-tumbler-on-rotary-attachment

    Is this tooling? When you say tooling it makes me think of some sort of jig, clamp down or holding mechanism specific for tumblers.

    This will be our "bread and butter" use for the UV printer so I have to make sure whatever machine we get that it fits within our budget but can produce these with good quality that someone would pay $20 for.
     
  9. JoeDG

    JoeDG Wide format trainer and creative enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2018
    Bristol - UK
    Love the LEF range, easy to use and huge potential...very diverse machines!
     
  10. Kris LNP

    Kris LNP Kris

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    I have the LEF-20 and I agree very easy to use but its so painfully slow especially if your using white. its a few years old now so unsure if they have a new range, not overly impressed by quality either tbh but passable.
     
  11. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    Dec 13, 2017
    Wichita, Kansas
    Yes that would be the tooling. I do not like the Kebab function on any of these machines. Not every tumbler will be the same so the toolgin will be close but not perfect. Registration when using Primer/white/color/clear is going to be your challenge.
     
  12. Barton Scott

    Barton Scott New Member

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    Mar 6, 2020
    Fort Worth
    Thanks Joe, We have an SG540 and love that machine. The Roland UV flatbed is one that is high on our list.

    One of the issues I like with Logojet is that they have trays already done for alot of products like basketballs, pens, golf balls, etc..

    I have not seen that in other models, but it is surprising and concerning me a little that no one on this forum has used or recommending Logojet.

    Maybe I need to stick with the safe choices of Mimaki or Roland.
     
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