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Digital Printed Vinyl Graphics. (using home desktop printer)

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ANY SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT COATED VINYL TO USE AND WHERE TO GET IT? THANKS

I have had great luck with papilio waterproof vinyl and have been printing it with pigment ink from my cobra epson 1100 printer and then spraying them with Aerosol UV Laminate Spray 12 Oz .

http://texascraft.com/hps/

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Hey Bill, love what you did with the water-hunter graphic!

Yeah, the 1100 with Cobra Ink System is brilliant...that's what I plan to get as well. I've just ordered the Papilio Waterproof vinyl and hoping it does well outside with some lam-spray. I find the vinyl+laminate sheet to be way too hard to cut. How well does the waterproof vinyl cut...can you cut that with the same settings as regular vinyl?

I even linked Cobra Ink Systems on my Facebook. :) Good advice here.

Dan

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How do you print large prints with the epson w1100? like tile cutting with a vinyl potter (30"x 110"). Is there any software designed for large printing that is needed? Thanks for your help.

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Nice decals man. Did you just use regular ink? that you buy from the store? Also how did you cut the design shape out to put it on the window?

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lol fire,

On this skull I used the Epson RX595.

rx595_216x144.jpg

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=63069457

It's very important you dont just try this with a typical desktop printer. Do your research.

I could not find a printer/brand that could meet all the specs to print to vinyl. If it's not UV issues it's something else. The inks are the most important part and the DPI of Epson printers are above any out there.

If you want to do images to perfection I suggest Epson after all my 3 months of research.

This printer is only $99 and has a slew of things that make it work perfectly for vinyl printing.

This printer can also accept a CIS and print 8.5" x 44"! full bleed (edge to edge)

Though with this printer you can't print 10 foot long bill boards, you can print images that far surpass any wide format vinyl printer on the market for quality DPI prints.

Though I had to have a printer NOW! to completed the job, I meant to (and still plan) get a 1400 or R1900 Epson printer.  If you can do this I highly suggest you do so for the 13" wide prints.

Eric

Eric, what made you choose an all-in-one? They're nice for general purpose stuff, but I would never buy an all-in-one and expect the same quality as a single function inkjet (unless you need the LCD screen, memory-card reader and scanner/copier). I've done a ton of research on printers for contour-cutting and shirts/heat-pressing for 6 months or so and the WF1100 with pigment ink is the by far the favorite for a large-format printer at a great price. The printer you linked is discontinued, but it was replaced by an updated model.

Both your Epson RX595 and the WF1100 have 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi. However, the RX595 in your link has more colors and probably better color reproduction, assuming you need all the other gizmos that come with it. The downside is that there's only one black ink tank.

The Epson RX595 has dye-based ink, but Papilio specifically mentions Epson 'Durabrite' pigment ink for some of their papers such as the waterproof vinyl, which is another reason I went with the WF30 initially and now the WF1100 and the pigment-based CIS system.

Here's a quick comparison between pigment and dye inks from InkGuides.com:

Pigment based inks are generally stronger in the following areas compared to dye based ones:

Water fast on most paper media (dye based inks start to run when wetted if not printed on specially coated paper)

Fast-drying (up to 100 times faster compared to dye based inks)

Non-fading colors

Long life cycle

Low bleeding in the edges of the printed color

Dye based inks are generally stronger in the following areas compared to pigment based ones:

High brilliance and contrast

Wide color gamut (i.e. the range of colors that can be produced)

Less expensive

The Epson WF1100 has two black ink tanks and for me that's a huge benefit (I print a lot of black), and with the Cobra Ink system in place I have 200 Ml of black ink. Also, I like that pigment-based ink is quick drying, especially when contour-cutting printed images on slick vinyl or specialty reflective-metallic vinyls (not as porous as some substrates). Pigment inks are also ideal for t-shirt graphics too when used with heat-presses.

I like your technique of putting the graphic in twice to get the clear vinyl cut over the graphic. Thanks for sharing that.

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Hey NukleoN,

The RX was chosen for the quality and had nothing to do with the bells and whistles. It just so happened for the quality, specs and price I found this to be the best of the choices. I wasn’t concerned about the stock inks as a CIS was always the plain and the head/s on the RX can handle the pico/Pap inks great.

I also have the Work Force 1100 which still comes with a scanner. It does run Durabrite inks as stated but direct to normal vinyl print is not something I was successful at getting accomplished. Thermal printing is best for vinyl IMO. However I use white clay coated vinyl to do my prints to now.

I think both printers are great but I wished I would have not used my best buy rewards points on the WF1100. For me it wasn’t anything I was blown out of the water about.

There’s limitation that can’t be overcome with the WF100. Whereas the RX comes down to ink type which is to be replaced with a CIS.

Btw Since my first post I just this year removed the decal from my car, the decal was printed with the RX and with the RX stock inks. Yellow lasted over 2 years in the Alabama summer sun then other colors faded there afterwards.

The biggest let down for printing vinyl decals is I really need to print on clear vinyl %40 of the time and without a white fill color your SOL on that.

For my product stickers and other needs clay coated vinyl works great!

Thanks for the post NukleoN,

Eric

Yea I think the offset clear helps the decals life expectancy, a lot of cheap stickers get wet and peel, The adhesive stays the paper rips and the clear peels off from the top.

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How are stickers holding up from using this process. Photo samples?

I wish they kept talking about this lol. I read every page and i am very curious on this desktop printing strategy and what new printers will work as well the same way on vinyl and material is needed .WE NEED some final feed back on this topic lol...Please. I have been  trying to steer away from spending  thousands of dollars for just doing small printed decals and this topic is amazing if really true...Anyone? lol

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With uv laminate, they last about 6 months outdoors with my experience. We print hundreds on a weekly basis

6 months thats all ? wow. how does the other guys get theirs to last longer? do you the same printer or ? what brand etc thnx

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Hey PoE;

What kind of UV lam are you using?  I've seen a couple different types from aerosol sprays to stuff that gets brushed on to actual hot/cold laminating machines. 

Are your customers happy with the 6 months they get out of them?  I can definitely see a market for short term usage stickers.

 

For everyone,

I just got an Epson r1800 that has a clogged print head (he thinks...there's also the possibility that there may be other issues beyond the print head), just wondering if i should bother sinking any time/money into it.  It was given to me.

 

I know this thread is super old but also very informative.  TIA for any input.

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With uv laminate, they last about 6 months outdoors with my experience. We print hundreds on a weekly basis

If you're only getting 6 months from your prints. Solvent, Aquos, you name it and its UV laminated. You got other issues.

Eric

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The weak link in aqueous will alwyays be that layer that is applied over the vinyl that allows the water based ink to adhere. Even laminated that is where it will fail. Nothing bites into the vinyl like solvent or latex

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The weak link in aqueous will alwyays be that layer that is applied over the vinyl that allows the water based ink to adhere. Even laminated that is where it will fail. Nothing bites into the vinyl like solvent or latex

If you're saying that solvent adheres better to the vinyl than the absorption layer that is applied to the vinyl via manufacturing process for water based inks, I Disagree. At least from any reputable company i have EVER used.

In all my years I have never seen one issue where the vinyl and absorption layer separation was an issue or have I ever considered this as a basis to make a decision on the best print approach for any job reqs.

Solvent is over rated and Latex is underrated.

Most the people I see talking UP Solvent Printers are one of the two people.

1) Salesman  

2) People that don't own a Solvent Printer.

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If you're saying that solvent adheres better to the vinyl than the absorption layer that is applied to the vinyl via manufacturing process for water based inks, I Disagree. At least from any reputable company i have EVER used.

In all my years I have never seen one issue where the vinyl and absorption layer separation was an issue or have I ever considered this as a basis to make a decision on the best print approach for any job reqs.

Solvent is over rated and Latex is underrated.

Most the people I see talking UP Solvent Printers are one of the two people.

1) Salesman  

2) People that don't own a Solvent Printer.

I have seen it first hand - and with solvent it does get into the vinyl - right after you print it the vinyl is about like wet tissue paper until it outgasses so it does get in the vinyl and not sit on top but that is why they make different kinds of materials - everyone has a different way of doing it - if you watch the pros at s101 you will see 3 types used - solvent, latex and thermo resin like the gerber uses and I think the summa.  for indoor the aqueous may be ok and we have people on here that use it and sell it that have posted pictures of stuff they printed over a year ago - but never saw a professional shop using it.  people use aqueous because the printers are cheaper - not for durability IMHO

you will notice the people on here and VF that have been doing it for any amount of time all own solvent and I know jfought, myself, and fivestar have all replaced our solvents with another solvent printer because of durability and parts availability.  usually those talking up aqueous are those that don't want to invest in the solvent, latex or thermo resin.  I know I have printed products out there 6 years old still holding up . . .

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What I am trying to say is, many people on this site interested in my OP are people trying to get into printing decals from the ground up.

Say what you want but what you are talking about simply doesn't happen with Brands I have used. Hexis and LexJet being two of the many. I simply could not accept this in my business, customers would not allow it.  SImple. 

I don't want the little guy to get discouraged and believe they have to spend a fortune to do decals or to get into the business and when someone is sending out little messages of discouragement based off uncommon occurrences I can't set idle.
 
They all have advantages and disadvantageous.
I wouldn't use a Plane to fly 10 miles no more than I would use a VW to travel 400 thousand miles.


I forgot #3) The ones that feel the need to justify their $10k-30k investment.
How many sticker decals you got to sell to reach 100% ROI on that kind of money?
I'm not going to run the mimaki to make 90% of my sticker decals. It's overkill. Got better paying jobs per Square inch to use it on like any other serious shop.

I have a full understanding of whats achievable and whats out of reach. What makes money and what looks like it makes money.
I'd rather be fast than look fast. Just like your self I didn't start doing this yesterday either.

Thank you for sharing your experience it is one I have never encountered or heard before. I would be highly interested in the product/s that have had this issue you dealt with first hand so I can avoid them at all costs.

 

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I just made my buddy a decal for his VW, just turned 400,000 miles.......................

 

Not looking to ruffle feathers.  Carry on.  

 

BUT, if I could add to this just a little, why not use a quality vinyl sheet and a laser printer?  I have some stickers I printed out about 6 years ago on my car that look like the day I put them on, no laminate at all.  Tried with a few different types of vinyl sheets, full color contour cut, laminated and not laminated.  All are still holding up fine.  I made some window clings when we first got into digital printing that are still being used.  

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I just made my buddy a decal for his VW, just turned 400,000 miles.......................

 

Not looking to ruffle feathers.  Carry on.  

 

BUT, if I could add to this just a little, why not use a quality vinyl sheet and a laser printer?  I have some stickers I printed out about 6 years ago on my car that look like the day I put them on, no laminate at all.  Tried with a few different types of vinyl sheets, full color contour cut, laminated and not laminated.  All are still holding up fine.  I made some window clings when we first got into digital printing that are still being used.  

Where these with the laser printer or inkjet?

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@madhatter, they were done with a color laser printer.

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