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itsmejojo

????s about a printer

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HI my name is James.  Im extremely new to the printing side of vinyl.  I am looking at buying a printer.  its a hp designjet 1055cm plus printer.  great shape and low use.  Im curious to know if it is compatible with windows 8 and can I use SCAL Pro to print from?  Any answers would be helpful. Thanks

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do lots of research - for outdoor vinyl you want a solvent or latex printer not a aqeous based ink.    you will have to use special vinyl that has a coating to accept the ink and laminate everything for a product that will have a relatively short life anyways,  the weak link is the coating that accepts the ink will delaminate (taking any laminate with it) it is only sprayed on the vinyl - 2 things with that you have to use a special vinyl that cost much more and nothing really bites into the vinyl like a solvent or latex ink.  there is a third option of a thermo  resin like gerber and I believe summa makes one but again way more expensive to print with

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yes that uses a water based ink, read and educate yourself on printers and RIP programs before jumping in so you are prepared - personally I drove 4 hrs each way to spend time with a friend and learn before I plunked down the cash on my first one.  plan on at least 6K to start for a used printer and laminator for a cheap older one.  then research it well making sure all is in working order before you buy a boat anchor - solvent printers do not like to sit any length of time unused unlike a water based desktop and if you don't use them it gets real expensive real quick to get them going again

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I would guess 90 percent plus of the used solvent printers I have looked at that states "prints great" actually need print heads ($900-$2400 each head) when you get a nozzle check printed and check for yourself.  research will save you a lot of expense and problems down the road.  do it just know what you are getting into.  see a lot of units that have not had the proper care out there

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im starting out real small.  got a smaller cutter.  pretty happy with it so far.  Not really trying to make any money right now  more of a hobby.  but I was thinking about trying out the printing.  didn't realize it would take that large/expensive of a machine.  not sure im in it for that kind of cash.  just kind of do it ou of the sake of learning right now I guess.

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research is your friend - and it helps a lot if you have someone near you with a printer that can help educate you. . .  lots more to it than a desktop printer or a plotter - had to spend quality time with mine today cleaning it up for the week.  they like more attention than a wife to stay in good working order

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you can learn on the hp - just any product you produce with it won't hold up like a true vinyl printer with solvent or latex and the cost per sq ft will be much higher - so learning good - selling and making money not so good.  also the hp doesn't use a RIP program like the vinyl printer so that part you won't get any experience with.  people on here like mopar are exceptional with creating profiles for the rip programs - another critter entirely

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research is your friend - and it helps a lot if you have someone near you with a printer that can help educate you. . .  lots more to it than a desktop printer or a plotter - had to spend quality time with mine today cleaning it up for the week.  they like more attention than a wife to stay in good working order

+10000000000

 

Get your feet wet and stick to cut vinyl for now and learn all the in's and out's of cast vs. calendared, when and where to use each, application techniques, etc. . . . become a master of your craft before jumping to the next thing. Start out doing the cut vinyl in house. Outsource everything else and mark it up. There are plenty of us here that you can sub work out to. Then you can provide more products to your customers without having to buy every machine to do every different type of sign imaginable.

 

Build up a customer base, and once the work is steady and it would be more cost effective to buy a printer and print in house vs. outsourcing, that's when you take the plunge and get a good solvent printer.

 

I made the mistake in the beginning of turning work away because I couldn't do it in house. Always tell your customer " Yes, we can do that." then sub it out to a professional if its something out of your league, and mark up your costs. simple as that.

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Can someone start me in the right direction about a decent size printer. I would like to print bannners, signs and all other type of medias. Working out of my house. I have a cutter its a us cutter entry level 24". Sc series. Might also looking at vetting another cutter. Basicly looking to get some decent model types of cutters and printers to make this happen. Dont need the complete high end models but the cost effective ones would be fine.

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the rolands are the best in my book -  the sp series is the most cost effective and the 54" is the most popular - just remember that 54" printer is actually 9 ft long and will need at least 3 ft of space front to back - more to actually load vinyl into it.  I believe there is one posted in oh from a member here for slightly under 10K with perfect nozzle pattern.  remember to keep money in your budget for quick repairs as needed, as this is not like your cutter and will need attention.  you will want to keep on hand cleaning swabs, fluid for the weekly cleanings, I keep dampers, wipers, wiper scrapers, cap tops on hand for the occasional replacement needed.  heads WILL go out so check the replacement price before buying you printer the sp series uses a dx-4 solvent head that is around $900 each and I have seen several people try to replace them themselves and fry $2K boards - I have replaced 3 successfully myself with lots of patience.  I usually plan 1/2 day for replacement and calibration.  I have seen people by a vp series reasonably cheap then realize they needed to replace all 4 heads - $3600 + dampers, etc will get your attention.  and if it isn't running it isn't making money.  sitting unused why you wait for funds to replace parts will just cause more clogs and expenses.  

 

planning and educating yourself first is your best way to ready yourself for this step.  do the research first and don't rely on the person selling the unit to educate you!

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a "cost effective machine" usually ends up being more expensive in the end. If you're dead set on printing, do it right the first time, you WILL save money in the end over bargain shopping and trying to save money in the short-term.

 

Aqueous inks don't really last. period. Steer toward Solvent/UV/Latex.

 

Roland makes a solvent desktop model, the BN-20.  I had one and it was a great starter. you are limited to 18.9" at its widest print width tho. you could pick one up used on the net, they usually go for about 4-5K.

 

Do your research. If you come across a model or brand that you havent seen anywhere else or heard anyone talking about on this and other message boards, just think about how hard it will be to find parts when it DOES break down. You say you don't need a high-end model, but the brand name printers have lots of support and parts are usually easy to get.

 

If you eventually find one that you like and are convinced you want to buy, go see it in person if you can, get test print, and if it cuts too, get the test cut as well. Your best bet is one that needs no work done to it. You don't want to open that can of worms because someone selling a non-functioning printer is looking to offload it, no matter what it takes. Next thing you know you get it home and all the boards are fried, and the ink has dried up through the entire system. I've been there, and thought I could bring Mutoh Falcon back from the dead. That was a $3000 mistake I learned the hard way.

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on the uv there is a huge difference between the uv cured ink that roland uses and the hp uv satabilized - all the hp is - is ink that will not fade quite as quick as regular dye ink not like the uv cured ink that bites into the vinyl at all.  seen several fall for that one too

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Well its def a bit more then what I was hoping for. Im not doing a full on biz. Just small stuff out of my house trying to learn. Guess I will hold off for now. Def to expensive for me. There is no market here for a return large enough to warrant spending that kind of money. Thanks for all the info.

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Yes, its definitely an investment. just for round numbers, be prepared to spend around $10K on a decent used printer and laminator and material if/when you decide to take that plunge.

 

until then, just get in contact with one of us here and we will be happy to get you any printed items you need at a good price you can mark up and still make a profit on.

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