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Suggestions Your Opinion - HP Latex 115 Print & Cut vs Separates

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by Creighton, May 16, 2018.

  1. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Newb here to large format (screen print background) but we're putting together an innercity middle school print shop afterschool program. 100% committed to HP 115, but I'm wondering about opinions on the Print & Cut solution, and I'm not seeing any in the forum (and I'm betting somebody will point out 100 threads I'm missing that show up in search, ha).

    Any opinions on the P&C package versus buying separates and going with a 48" Graphtec CE6000 or Mimaki or something? The package deal price seems really attractive right now. I don't expect any real complex projects, probably mostly banners and laminated foam/coroplast using a big squeegee, etc. But later in the year we might also do some vinyl transfer, decals, and partial car wraps (passenger van windows, bus banners cut to shapes).

    Benefit of the Graphtec is I could delay that purchase for a while, but the Print & Cut 115 package seems like it is even cheaper than a separate CE6000.
     
  2. AF

    AF Active Member

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    All eggs, one basket.

    All in one units have their place, but in a production environment separate units are the way to go.

    Laminated decals with an all in one could be a headache. Paint mask, thick viny where you want to use feed tables, etc could be impossible on an all in one.
     
  3. ChrisN

    ChrisN Member

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    • Like Like x 1
  4. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    I know plenty of people love their "all in one" machines, but there's no way I'd have one. If one component or the other quits working, you're in a pickle.
     
  5. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Yes, I think that's the case it appears to be a Summa cutter (saw a reference in the forum somewhere) and I believe the only integration is Flexi software support for both. So essentially you get a 54" Summa cutter for about $3k more, which seems pretty high value. But welcome any thoughts, and especially any opinion on integration and capability. Otherwise, I wonder if I can put a dollar figure into my cost/benefit analysis for being the forum guinea pig... :)
     
  6. unclebun

    unclebun Member

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    Here is HP's web page about the 155 print/cut solution: HP Latex 115 Print and Cut Solution | HP® Official Site
    You can tell, just by looking at the pictures that it consists of two machines, a printer and a cutter. The cutter is specified as the "HP Latex 54 Basic Cutter". That cutter may well be made by someone else, since HP has no line of cutters.

    The included software is called
    • HP FlexiPrint and Cut RIP
    • HP Cutter Control software
    Which is likely a distilled down version made especially for HP to bundle. It will probably be missing features compared to the retail version of Flexi, but will be functional, and for a beginner will probably have everything you will need.

    It's probably too late since the program has already been greenlighted, but it's unfortunate that schools have decided that this kind of coursework is appropriate for middle schoolers. And the view that it's a way to have slave labor (students) do the school's sign work is repugnant. Around here the high school/tech schools have been doing that, and it's clear that the instructors in these classes have no clue about what it really takes to do sign work, and it shows in the horrible work that you see when you visit one of the schools or go to a game. Although I am all for moving away from the mistaken notion that everyone needs a college education and back towards learning about trades, the approach taken by most of these programs I have had contact with is all wrong. It ends up being a waste of time. Through various programs, I've had students job-shadow with us for an afternoon, or even intern with us for a month, as well as students that did "work experience" classes for a quarter or semester where they came every day for an hour and a half to the sign shop. Universally the students tell me they learn more here in a few hours than they have all year at the school's graphics arts/sign class, and with the students we've had longer contact with, I find I have to "unteach" all the mistaken ideas they've been given at school about making signs.

    The instruction they've been given has been all about the software and machines, and nothing about design, layout, use of signs, choice of colors, choice of fonts, choice of materials or media. You don't have to learn so much about the software and machines except perhaps to be able to try making something at school, but schools could really save the expense of owning printers and other things if they would spend the class time teaching how to work with the hands to do sign design more manually, to physically craft signs, etc. I want employees that can read a tape measure, figure materials in their head or on scratch paper, cut a board and sand and finish the edges. I want employees that understand what makes a pleasing layout and how to make a sign compelling, readable and clear.
     
  7. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Hi Unclebun,

    Thanks. Just to make sure you don't shoebox us too completely, I generally agree with you about 90% of our educational system's use of technology and CTE in middleschool and even K-12. We do a lot of "creation" without foundations, spanning the spectrum from coding (reduced to scripting) to engineering (reduced to 3D rendering a mimicked object). But to clarify, this is for a service club and afterschool program, and the District itself maintains an entirely separate large scale production print shop, so this is not production. This is just for whatever the kids want it to be - they are effectively their own youth advisory board, and they'll print some of their own banners and such for community events and wherever they decide to go with. Possibly they'll sell some stuff, or fundraise for excursions, but they're pretty community oriented, so more than likely it will be banners at foodbanks, neighborhood associations, and neighborhood cleanups, etc. Foodbank:

    That being said, we've worked with screen printing in different adult inner-city communities for a long time. Moving the highly downtrodden to a place with basic manual production skills is a tremendous hurdle. In these demographics, we generally see about a 50% chance of high school graduation, and a 4% chance of a college degree. We have one little census block with 38% of the 18 to 24 year olds having not completed 9th grade. There are lots of other influences at play there, including Phoenix being #1 in the US for human trafficking, transitional facilities, a strange hodge podge mix of every variety of school system sitting next to each other (public, private, charter, K-2, K-3, K-5, K-6, K-8, K-12, HS, all sitting next to each other). But it's a tough hood. That's all to say the point of printing is to partially spark an interest, maybe, with the potential that it leads to longer term engagement in school, but it is more to create adult connections and "adult supportive relationships" from interactions with surrounding community, as that's the only thing we see providing enough support (expectations, guidance, safety net) to make long term outcome differences in kids. TCO of maintaining a printer and cut station for this use yet to be determined (how much material do we kill...), but it's a field with lots of interest, so a great field in which to make some of those adult connections. And frankly, HP's now created a unique level of accessibility with the Latex stuff, and there's a large variety of fairly low cost material out there. I wouldn't be able to run screen printing with kids, but we can run latex.

    So if anyone's in Phoenix, and in the sign industry, and interested in engaging with some kids, send me a message.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    I have taught high school commercial art. Go with separates, that way you can have more than one group working at a time if your lessons are organized as modules. You can have four or five groups working at one time and also the ability for a new student to drop in at any time during year and not be behind the entire group. Obviously there is a common starting point but you get my drift. Also if one machine goes down you can still use the other while repairs are being done. Get your software vendor to hook you up with a multi user package as well.
     
  9. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Hi d, that in particular is an excellent point. I think the P&C package from HP has a basic version of FlexiRIP, but also largely single user oriented. I have no idea what I'm really getting myself into there, and have a few concerns. You've led me to do a little additional digging though, and discovered one issue. I think our kids are going to be highly interested in heatpress vinyl too, and it looks like to vinyl cut I have to throw $495 at upgrading from FlexiPrint & Cut to FlexiSign & Print. Hmmm.
     
  10. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    D, don't happen to have any old curriculum around that you were really pleased with do you? Or suggestions of practices that resonated particularly well with your students?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  11. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    I will look. I left my course there when I left teaching. RIF, reduction in force. Didn't have a teacher in the budget the next year. Bang, unemployed with highest of recommendations because I was last hired by 90 days. Funny thing schools. I loved the job though. Had to write the course as the class I took over had becoming a babysitting room for athletes looking to help out their GPA and ese students needing to learn a trade. I had 21 modules covering vinyl graphics, screen printing and design. Was writing business course modules and general business practices, etc when the axe fell. We used corel and signlab, I had them both donated. Had to fund the whole building of the class that way, private donations and spaghetti dinners. Got a local church to let us use a room and kitchen for a dinner, kids sold tickets at school and home, when done we could usually buy some equipment for class. Noodles and sauce are cheap and you have free labor (students). Because we raised the money privately we could use the money as we wished for the class.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Sounds like you had a great adventure, sorry to hear about it ending in a RIF. Wish you were in Phoenix to collaborate.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. FrankW

    FrankW Active Member

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    The HP Latex 115 Print & Cut Bundle contains a HP Latex 115 Printer and a separate SummaCUT D140FX-Cutter labelled as HP Latex Basic Cutter 54. The Software is no basic SAi-RIP, but an OEM-Version of what is sold als FlexiSIGN-PRO or (since version 12) FlexiSIGN & PRINT. What means the top of the line-version of Flexi with integrated RIP and vinyl cutting abilities, complete set of design- and Editing-Tools, only limited to specific printers and the HP Latex Cutters only. Even the ICC-Profiler-Option is included in this sale.

    The OPOS-System of Summa is one of the best contour cutting systems on the market. With the price you pay for the upgrade from the single printer to the bundle, you would never get a comparable cutter and a similar kind of software.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. ikarasu

    ikarasu Active Member

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    You can cut vinyl with the flexi thats included. But if your cutting HTV, just know youll likelly need a heat press... A good one can cost close to $500! You'll want a decently built one, since lots of new hands will be touching it.

    The HP Latex print and cut is perfect. You probably wouldnt be allowed eco-solvent since your in a school.. which doesn't leave many options. But IMO, latex is especially better for learning... no offgassing, no wet ink... It just... works. Great for people who are testing stuff out, or learning on. That and a headcrash on an eco-solvent can cost you 5K... while on a latex your replacing $100 parts.

    LAtex arent buillt as well as solvent... but theyre generally cheaper to repair. So when you have 20-30 people learning the machine every year... I'd go with the one with the least cost for replacement parts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. BigfishDM

    BigfishDM Merchant Member

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    Let be the one to take care of you on this, I have dealt this unit to multiple schools already with great success. I can help you with all your applications.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    This is all correct...it is pretty much full version of Flexi. And with this setup, cutting is WAY easier and pretty much automated. Your prints will have a barcode printed with each batch of decals that the plotter reads and cuts, more precise than any I have seen. You can have a full roll of printed decals, say 10 different batches of jobs, and when you set it to start, it will go job by job, reading the corresponding barcode and pulling the cut file from the queue. Excellent setup from what I have seen.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Absolutely. If not for being riffed I would still be there. Still looking for old modules, so far nothing. I have my old computer from back then, I will throw a monitor and keyboard at it this weekend see if I can find old files.
     
  18. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    I just saw that you are in Phx, we are in Mesa. If you want to come see our equipment, rip, workflow, collaborate on projects etc we would love to help!
    We are in process to get accredited as a learning/training center with ASU Poly and attempting to build a program to present to Avery Graphics NA to collaborate with the School.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    Thanks 2CT. I'll DM you and see if we can catch up after printer comes in. We also have some non-profit partners out of ASU colleges doing community based CTE and workforce programs, and maybe there are some other connections to make there (parts of the leftover / UMOM acquired Tumbleweed operation).
     
  20. Creighton

    Creighton Member

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    You guys are amazing - thought this thread was dying off when all these posts came in. FrankW and EAHicks, that was just what I needed - especially the recommendation on the cutter being far superior to what I could more generally get.
     
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