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stickchick

im sure this is new topic.... help deciding on machine

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So my brain is about to explode.  But i think i narrowed it down to a few machines.  Im a total newb but ive been watching a friend for a few weeks and this is something that compliments my husbands boat biz.  He uses massive amounts of decals for registration numbers and boat names.  So i'm going for it.  I think i want a bigger machine, like 53".  perhaps thats unreasonable?  I just feel like i should go for it up front instead of wishing i had a bigger machine.  My friend has a 34" and says buy as big as i can.  So i almost purchased the LP3 53" ARMS today.  Then i start researching a bit more.  Do i need this contour cutting?  i'd rather have it and not need it a lot, than not have it and wish i did.  I read the laser doesnt work good on the LP3?  I suspect my main biz will be boat graphics and maybe signs.  I would like to keep it around $1500 to start.   I intend to pursue this hard as a real biz.  I have a 14x32 office space (she-shed), computers, desk, tables, and anything else i will need can be obtained.  I just dont want to skip some option and kick myself for not getting it.  So i think i have it narrowed down to these machines:

A.  53" Titan 3 w servo motor + ARMS.  pressure  750g https://www.uscutter.com/TITAN-3-Vinyl-Cutter-ARMS-28-53-68-inch   $1595 & still need consumables.  

B.  LP3 53" ARMS cutter .  pressure 350g https://www.uscutter.com/SC-Vinyl-Cutter-Starter-Kit-Contour-Cut  (confused, is SC2 and LP3 the same?  bc this link is for a SC2 machine, but under upgrade, the option for LP3 is there.  Are these same brand or something? And I believe its out of stock in 53" if u go directly to LP3 page, but under this link it allows me to add 53" to my cart)  $885 plus consumables

C.  or skip the ARMS and go for Titan 2.  pressure 750g  https://www.uscutter.com/TITAN-2-Vinyl-Cutter-28-53-68-inch  $1295 and add the sign shop in a box kit for $199  

D.  or this 53" SC2  https://www.uscutter.com/SC-Vinyl-Cutter-Starter-Kit-Contour-Cut  $705.99 plus consumables

Warranty, support, etc are also considerations.  and what about plugins for Adobe Illustrator (i own)?  Please help me decide, my eyes are so tired i cant read anymore... im ready to click buy any time.

thanks.

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personally I have had several 24" machines after selling my 52" years ago - almost all projects can be broken into segment that are easier to handle and apply app tape to so the bigger plotter isn't needed unless you are doing huge numbers like race cars.   imagine yourself weeding a 50" + graphic and trying to apply app tape to it without wrinkles and you get the idea - just my take on it.   as for machine I would go with a servo cutter if you can swing it - most of the old timers on here have worked up to the graphtecs over the years

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Do you have the work for a 52" machine or do you want it because it's big and within your budget, or for the wow factor? Do you have the space for it and a work area big enough to weed and apply the transfer tape, much less laying it down in one pass? I would get a higher end machine, and save yourself a lot of aggravation in the long run. Plus the fact that those big rolls of vinyl can get expensive, not to mention the waste (and shrinkage from laying around because of not being used) if you only need a much smaller decal. Just my 2 cents...

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thanks guys.  Yes,  i dont know the difference i guess, my friend just said the bigger the better.   I'm going to check out 34" servo machines.  but i think i have the space for anything within reason. its a brand new , empty, 14x32 shed.  I think thats plenty of room for office equipment and the cutter and workspace.  

but what are some examples of what a bigger machine is capable of?  besides racecar numbers.  And just bc I have a bigger machine, cant I still run small 'everyday' vinyl?

thanks.

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23 minutes ago, stickchick said:

thanks guys.  Yes,  i dont know the difference i guess, my friend just said the bigger the better.   I'm going to check out 34" servo machines.  but i think i have the space for anything within reason. its a brand new , empty, 14x32 shed.  I think thats plenty of room for office equipment and the cutter and workspace.  

but what are some examples of what a bigger machine is capable of?  besides racecar numbers.  And just bc I have a bigger machine, cant I still run small 'everyday' vinyl?

thanks.

yes you can run smaller items on a big machine - wondering how do you plan on climate controlling the shed?  heat, air, dehumidifying, humidifying in the winter etc.   taking care of a plotter is different than just putting a lawn mower in hot, damp areas etc - vinyl storage is important and part of the reason I operate out of my basement where I can keep the temp and humidity carefully controlled.  
As far as what else you can do with a big plotter - big signs but as I said earlier I can do very big signs by doing them in manageable segments - very very few times have I needed to cut an element bigger than my 24" will do.   look at your target market and go with what fits that.   wish we had a video of newbies trying to put app tape on a 48" wide by 8 ft graphic just for entertainment.   

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14 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

yes you can run smaller items on a big machine - wondering how do you plan on climate controlling the shed?  heat, air, dehumidifying, humidifying in the winter etc.   taking care of a plotter is different than just putting a lawn mower in hot, damp areas etc - vinyl storage is important and part of the reason I operate out of my basement where I can keep the temp and humidity carefully controlled.  
As far as what else you can do with a big plotter - big signs but as I said earlier I can do very big signs by doing them in manageable segments - very very few times have I needed to cut an element bigger than my 24" will do.   look at your target market and go with what fits that.   wish we had a video of newbies trying to put app tape on a 48" wide by 8 ft graphic just for entertainment.   

okay, u convinced me i dont need bigger.  im looking at the Titan3 28".  I think i like....

as far as the "shed", its spray foam insulated.  window unit a/c and strip heat.  I will be conditioning it year round.  probably 65 in the winter, 75 in the summer.  will that be ok?  I hadnt thought about humididity.  i guess i need a machince for that too...  what is ideal condition for vinyl?  i would think the cooler the better?  how about storing it in an old fridge we have?  bad idea?

thx.

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mine stays 65-75 degrees and 35-40 percent humidity year round

fridge would be too cold and hold humidity 

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ok, im sold on the Titan 3 for now.   I will make some money and upgrade to the graphtec later!!

the only thing.... I can get the 53" Titan 3 for only $100 more than the 24" (its a $600 uprade option under the titan2).  and the 53" comes w an upgrade to vinylmaster ltr.   It just seems like a no-brainer to go w the 53".  I probably wouldnt even buy the stock vinyl for that size unless it was called for.  But for $100 extra isnt it worth it to have the future capacity?  I can just run 24" on a daily basis, and even 30" if needed.  Is there some other reason besides space and environmental concerns that i should stay away from the bigger unit?  is it difficult for some reason to run smaller material through the bigger machine?

Titan Design Starter Package - Titan 2 + VinylMaster Upgrade + FREE Media 
Add Vinyl Cutter53in TITAN 3 w/ Servo Motor + ARMSAdd SoftwareVinylMaster Ltr OEM - (PC Software)
TITDSGNVMLPRO
delete.gif
$1,599.95
(You Saved: $250.04)

$1,599.95

                                                                                                 OR

USCutter TITAN 3 ARMS Contour Cutting Vinyl Cutter - 28" | 53" | 68" 
ModelTITAN-3 (ARMS) - 28 in w/ Stand & BasketAdd Starter KitSign Shop in a Box >>See Add-ons tabAdd SoftwareVinylMaster Cut OEM - (PC Software)
USCTITAN-3-VMC
delete.gif
$1,494.99 $1,494.99

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If you're willing to spend that kind of money. One word - Graphtec.

But, whatever you decide, three words - Clean Cut Blades.

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I just never understood the logic of USCUTTER skipping the 34" size on the servo machines.

870mm units are offered for their stepper model lineup, but not in the Titan2 or 3.

 

 

 

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On 7/5/2019 at 1:53 AM, haumana said:

If you're willing to spend that kind of money. One word - Graphtec.

But, whatever you decide, three words - Clean Cut Blades.

ok, this proves my newbie ignorance-- clean my cutting blades?  or a type of blade called 'Clean Cut'?

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On 7/4/2019 at 10:20 PM, stickchick said:

ok, im sold on the Titan 3 for now.   I will make some money and upgrade to the graphtec later!!

the only thing.... I can get the 53" Titan 3 for only $100 more than the 24" (its a $600 uprade option under the titan2).  and the 53" comes w an upgrade to vinylmaster ltr.   It just seems like a no-brainer to go w the 53".  I probably wouldnt even buy the stock vinyl for that size unless it was called for.  But for $100 extra isnt it worth it to have the future capacity?  I can just run 24" on a daily basis, and even 30" if needed.  Is there some other reason besides space and environmental concerns that i should stay away from the bigger unit?  is it difficult for some reason to run smaller material through the bigger machine?

Titan Design Starter Package - Titan 2 + VinylMaster Upgrade + FREE Media 
Add Vinyl Cutter53in TITAN 3 w/ Servo Motor + ARMSAdd SoftwareVinylMaster Ltr OEM - (PC Software)
TITDSGNVMLPRO
  delete.gif
$1,599.95
(You Saved: $250.04)

$1,599.95

                                                                                                 OR

USCutter TITAN 3 ARMS Contour Cutting Vinyl Cutter - 28" | 53" | 68" 
ModelTITAN-3 (ARMS) - 28 in w/ Stand & BasketAdd Starter KitSign Shop in a Box >>See Add-ons tabAdd SoftwareVinylMaster Cut OEM - (PC Software)
USCTITAN-3-VMC
  delete.gif
$1,494.99 $1,494.99

wow this seems sketchy.  they changed the package on me.  i will go to a competitor if they are shady like that!  bs

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26 minutes ago, stickchick said:

wow this seems sketchy.  they changed the package on me.  i will go to a competitor if they are shady like that!  bs

 

packages are seldom deals and are fluid like sales at your local store - they change all the time to lure people in and as stock changes - personally I am a bargain vacation shopper and know that what I see today may be totally different than what I see tomorrow and prices fluctuate a lot - same when we just shopped for kitchen appliances etc

package deals are seldom really good deals in the end - you end up with some stuff you will never use which negates any deal

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You should have been looking at competitor's products and offerings from the beginning. That is how 'comparison shopping' is done.

 

 

 

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When I look at cars I check several lots . . . And chose the best deal.  And also know the deal today could be different than the deal next week, just sayin that when I find the deal that fits my needs I jump on it.  But I only know if that is the right deal after comparing, product, price and service

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I agree, UScutter has sales all the time.  You posted that on Thursday, 4th of July Sale. You either jump on it or loose it. Just like any other retail business. We jump on vinyl sales. when they have them Or any other consumables.  Most of us old timers are on the email list for sales. Usually get them every week, or more often than that.   They have thousands of items, they can't keep everything on sale.  I can't think of another competitor, who can match a cutter to a Titan, or even close plus give you the service that UScutter does. Or on any other vinyl cutter being sold by USCUTTER. Certainly not Signwarehouse.  Those buyers come here for help. 

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another thing to consider on the graphtecs - is they new ones come with graphtec pro studio software - which is a rebranded flexi pro with a couple of feature removed - the software is worth as much as they sell the plotter for so a huge bargain.  SW sells the ve- qe-6000 plotter and an option to upgrade the ve-lxi software (which is also rebranded flexi) - to get the same level of software, by the time you upgrade it you end up paying MORE than just buying a graphtec ce-6000  AND the qe-6000 has a proprietary chipset that will not allow it to work with graphtec software or other companies graphtec plug ins.

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I also think you will find out that a 53" vinyl cutter is overkill. I own a 30" Graphtec and I have NEVER in 13 years ever needed a cutter any larger than 30"  Most anything can be broken down in smaller sections.  I have a 30" wide x 8ft L table and I cannot imagine trying to weed or tape any design that would be larger than 30" wide. Plus trying to handle the vinyl that wide. Even though my cutter is only 30" wide the cutter itself is 49.5" wide and takes up a lot of room.  Any roll of vinyl to fit that cutter would be expensive. Plus needing help to lift a roll that heavy onto the rollers..  But do as you want.  I am talking from experience that you don't have. 

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"So my brain is about to explode ..."

Welcome to the world of vinyl cutting. Getting a machine is only STEP ONE of a long and arduous journey ahead. Hope you've got plenty of Advil around!

By the way, there is a 28" Titan2 refurbished unit available, for under $900. -- which is a very attractive offer.
https://www.uscutter.com/Refurbished-28-inch-TITAN-2-Vinyl-Cutter

 

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4 hours ago, MZ SKEETER said:

I agree, UScutter has sales all the time.  You posted that on Thursday, 4th of July Sale. You either jump on it or loose it. Just like any other retail business. We jump on vinyl sales. when they have them Or any other consumables.  Most of us old timers are on the email list for sales. Usually get them every week, or more often than that.   They have thousands of items, they can't keep everything on sale.  I can't think of another competitor, who can match a cutter to a Titan, or even close plus give you the service that UScutter does. Or on any other vinyl cutter being sold by USCUTTER. Certainly not Signwarehouse.  Those buyers come here for help. 

Ok maybe i jumped the gun.  But i didnt see anything that said 'sale'.  Just package deal.  Then i save to my cart and its changed.  Just feels like i got it yanked away after i posted it.  

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So wouldnt a bigger machine be useful if i got into car wraps? 

Seems like the consensus is 24" graphtec?  I just feel like im losing potential! 

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18 minutes ago, stickchick said:

So wouldnt a bigger machine be useful if i got into car wraps? 

Seems like the consensus is 24" graphtec?  I just feel like im losing potential! 

wraps are generally placed on the car and trimmed there - and will require a solvent or latex printer and laminator - around $20,000 - - if you go that route just get the roland printer cutter all in one even though you probably won't be cutting any wrap material printed on it

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