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Solvent or Latex Printer ?

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I'm looking for some insight on which is a better choice of printers Solvent or Latex ?

 

What are your experiences with either type ?

 

 

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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.

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only owned 3 roland solvents here - like the print and cut in one in my small space working from home, no special power requirements, availability of parts 8-10 years down the road on the rolands 

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only owned 3 roland solvents here - like the print and cut in one in my small space working from home, no special power requirements, availability of parts 8-10 years down the road on the rolands 

Dang it Dakota lol, why did you have to post that,i was all set on a printer and i just had to go look at that Spi300 and 540i lol... Now i am going to have some questions coming your way buddy thru pm so i dont clog up this topic here... .. thanks lol

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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.

 

 

Can you refill the cartridges on the Latex or are you locked into the factory cartridges ?

I like the low maintenance aspect. 

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only owned 3 roland solvents here - like the print and cut in one in my small space working from home, no special power requirements, availability of parts 8-10 years down the road on the rolands 

 

Do the roland's have much smell involved and is there anything special you need to do to them if you plan on leaving them idle for a few days ?

One more question do you need some type of dryer for printed product ?

I do like the idea of print and cut.

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Do the roland's have much smell involved and is there anything special you need to do to them if you plan on leaving them idle for a few days ?

One more question do you need some type of dryer for printed product ?

I do like the idea of print and cut.

they turn themselves on 3-4 times a day and pull ink thru the heads into a waste tank to minimize the problems but they do not like to sit unused for long periods of time.  I go on 2 week vacations and don't have a problem because of the self maint. but found on my first printer when I got going I had more issues from non use - now I print almost every day at times it goes maybe 3 days without printing when not on vacation and I find it is much happier being used.  also the first one used aftermarket inks ( came that way when I got it) and the ink smelled much worse than oem and had a higher tendency to clog nozzles - I have stayed oem ink since - lower odor (there still is some) less problems and the best durability from what I have read .

 

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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.

tom - what was the power requirement on the latex to get an answer from someone that owns one?

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Can you refill the cartridges on the Latex or are you locked into the factory cartridges ?

I like the low maintenance aspect. 

 

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

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tom - what was the power requirement on the latex to get an answer from someone that owns one?

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.

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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.

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thanks for the info right from the horses mouth so to speak - thought that special power had to be run for them and didn't think the cost would be that much - about the same as my hot tub . . . 

for me the all in one is important due to space - if I had a store front or the entire basement to set up it wouldn't be a problem.

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thanks for the info right from the horses mouth so to speak - thought that special power had to be run for them and didn't think the cost would be that much - about the same as my hot tub . . . 

for me the all in one is important due to space - if I had a store front or the entire basement to set up it wouldn't be a problem.

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.

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they turn themselves on 3-4 times a day and pull ink thru the heads into a waste tank to minimize the problems but they do not like to sit unused for long periods of time.  I go on 2 week vacations and don't have a problem because of the self maint. but found on my first printer when I got going I had more issues from non use - now I print almost every day at times it goes maybe 3 days without printing when not on vacation and I find it is much happier being used.  also the first one used aftermarket inks ( came that way when I got it) and the ink smelled much worse than oem and had a higher tendency to clog nozzles - I have stayed oem ink since - lower odor (there still is some) less problems and the best durability from what I have read .

 

 

Where do they sell the Roland sp-300i ?

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My personal take from running solvents for 6 years then owning all 3 generations of latex since 2010. I would never ever go back to Solvent.

The are many benefits listed already, but latex has a future and will only get better, Solvent has seen every iteration possible at this point to the admission of all the major manufacturers. Latex in this current generation is darn near scratch proof, solvent even full/heavy solvent can't offer that.

Another big benefit is universal print capability, HP will be releasing a hybrid printer soon that will really accelerate latex adoption. I have also been told that they are developing a white and metallic Ink that can print at full speed and be stable link other inks. If that happens UV will have something to fear because more adoption means lower ink costs.

Take it for what it's worth, but I'll champion this ink format any day.

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Remember about 3 years ago when Roland came out with the UV cured ink and everyone said that or the cheap knock off Chinese printers coming out then would eliminate the eco solvents in a short time . . .  Just sayin

if it was dying then Roland wouldn't be rolling out the new generation or printers in eco solvent

now not saying latex isn't going strong but anyone running an 8 year old HP latex?

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The Latex isn't 8 years old on the commercial side but I work with 2 huge print houses that have 10 year old latexs on the industrial side. The problem with UV is it isn't a universal inkset yet, up until about 5 years ago you could not wrap a vehicle with UV. Now with flex uv being a real thing and more and more manufacturers adoptioning it to fight latex it could and will replace solvent. Roland is doing it, Mimaki is doing it, Mutoh and Epson are doing it... It's coming.

As for the HP info, I don't have a press release this was shared with us and other business owners at a HP open house.

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