tomk

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About tomk

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  1. tomk

    Workflow questions

    So you design in Illustrator, and bring it into Flexi for rip/print/cut functionality? No way to go from Illustrator to rip/print/cut?
  2. tomk

    Workflow questions

    Thanks for the reply @Wildgoose. It is the full blown Flexi, and same for the design stations. The main issue is flexi isn't good at handling textures and patterns, plus the software is just flat out buggy. At least the newest release is. On the Flexi facebook group there are many of us having 4 to 12 crashes a day. Illustrator can handle the patterns, textures, layers, etc so much better than flexi, and for what she is doing that will work out better using another tool like Illustrator. Just not sure how to go from designing in Illustrator to rip'ing/printing and cutting on our other equipment.
  3. tomk

    Workflow questions

    Hey All, Today, we use Flexi for all of our sign and decal designs and for production manager, which we print to HP Latex and cut on Summa and Graphtec plotters. My wife is wanting to learn Adobe Illustrator to start making stickers. How would the workflow change if she created things in Illustrator and we wanted to print and cut to the HP's and Summa plotter? Can Illustrator send to Flexi for rip and cut? Such a basic question I know, but having never used Illustrator I'm trying to figure out the easiest workflow here and what else we would need to have her stickers print and cut on the wide format equipment we already have. Thanks in advance!
  4. tomk

    Moving Up

    I moved from Gerber thermals to HP Latex, and wish I had done it years ago! I was seriously looking at the newer Summa thermals, but decided against it quickly after seeing the HP and Roland printers in action. I was also looking for a single print and cut machine, and after buying the HP and Graphtec and Summa cutters, I am sooooo glad I didn't get a single print/cut machine. The HP 110 54" latex NEW is down to $7K, which is a steal if you ask me. The downside of the HP machines, is you need a 208v circuit installed, which is just a one-time cost of about $500-700 bucks or less depending where you live, home vs commercial, etc. No odors, no waiting on prints for a day to laminate, etc, a happy HP latex owner considering a 2nd one already! Our workload is decals, signs, and high qty of small things. Example, last night we printed off 5k hard hat stickers for a repeat customer, and I did it in batches and was able to utilize both of our cutters to speed things along, so depending on your volume, you may want to consider separate print/cut devices. We don't do auto wraps, banners, coro signs, etc. Lots of smaller signs and cut-only decal work. To be fair, we went and saw a demo of the Roland printers, and loved em and most likely would have bought one except for two things: (1) odor was bad and we run out of our home, and (2) the delay from print to laminate to cut was a day or two, and we like to print/cut/ship the same day if we can.
  5. Hey! Just curious, do you print directly on your mag material and then cut it, or print on vinyl and then mount on mag and trim it by hand? Thanks.
  6. Been using Oracal 5300, no problems so far.
  7. tomk

    Plastic material

    PVC, I normally use .040 alum sign blanks and mount vinyl on them, customer wants to have me do a run on plastic instead of alum, so looking for that, pre-cut with corner mounting holes, radius corners, etc. Just like the the alum blanks you can buy from Grimco.
  8. tomk

    Plastic material

    Folks, Looking for a supplier of 10 x 14, 7 x 10, 18 x 24 sizes of plastic sign substrates. I use Grimco for my alum plates, but they don't carry pre-cut plastic ones. Any advice on who does carry them? And no, I am not interested in buying bigger sheets and cutting them down. Thanks!
  9. Also sure your depth matches where the other blade was? I use CC in my Fc8600 and Summa's, and while I didn't reduce it 50%, I did reduce it 20 to 30% than the stock blades.
  10. tomk

    Solvent or Latex Printer ?

    Oh can you share more on new HP release?
  11. tomk

    Solvent or Latex Printer ?

    It actually cost me double the cost for the power we ran to our hot tub, I had to run a 208v/60a circuit outside, they hit me for $1500 bucks when I had that done. My entire basement is converted over and used for our 'shop', so I've got lots of room, which drives the wife crazy since I keep wanting to buy more equipment. I ordered the 5x10 rhino table, but had to send it back because we couldn't get it downstairs, wife wasn't a fan of mine for a couple of weeks after that screw-up.
  12. tomk

    Solvent or Latex Printer ?

    Oh, also, I was heavily looking at the rolands, and wanted a single machine that would print and cut for me. To get a Latex, I had to go separate print and cut devices. I am sooooooooo glad now that I have them separate. I was getting so backed up with cutting, I bought a new Summa S2T (for flex cutting), and I have enough print material a few times a week to keep both cutters working. Point being, if I went with a single unit, it wouldn't be as fast as the work flow I now have, I'd be backed up waiting for the print/cut machine. Also, we don't do wraps or large commercial signs, etc. We mainly do stickers, decals, lots of etsy stuff, and commercial safety signs, mainly 10x14 with lam.
  13. tomk

    Solvent or Latex Printer ?

    I had 2 208v/20a circuits installed, it would fit on one circuit according to the electrician that was here, but the cost to run 2 circuits vs 1 was minimal. I had 2 circuits run, installed in a sub-breaker box, and heavy duty lightning protection put on both circuits. The cost was $750 for the work, and I'm in a super expensive part of the country (Northern VA, outside of Wash, DC). I use the printer daily between 1 and 5 hours, 5 days a week. My electric bill went up about $25-30 bucks a month since I've had the printer installed. I hope other folks get into Latex, I'd like a 30" latex print/cut machine for some of the work we do, and I'd buy one tomorrow if I could.
  14. tomk

    Solvent or Latex Printer ?

    I haven't seen refill inks for them yet, but I would only use HP ink anyhow, it is cheap, like 125 a color for 750ml. Tom
  15. tomk

    Solvent or Latex Printer ?

    Never owned a solvent, have been using Gerber thermal's for a bit, wanted to upgrade to something new last year. Spent time looking at new thermals (Summa), Solvents (Roland), and Latex (HP). I went Latex, for a few key reasons. 1. Can lam and cut immediately, no waiting for the print to outgas. 2. Fumes of the solvents were bad at the demo's I sat through, which for our small shop space would have been even worse. 3. The HP is virtually maintenance free, and I can leave it off for 2 weeks or so when we vaca and not worry about anything really, and print immediately when I return. Not saying solvents are bad, just what was a better fit for us.