First of all let me say hello to everyone. I have been looking for a vinyl cutter and printer for the last couple weeks. I was wondering what you guys would recommend for me. I am looking for something good quality that can cut at least 24in, I also need something that can print onto vinyl. I dont really no how vinyl printing works, but I would need something would be weather proof (ie. would not run when it gets wet). Also I use a macbook pro, so what software would be the best to use with my mac?
Let me know what you all think.
you're better off asking question here
I just got myself a used graphtec FC3100-100 got for $100 off ebay,
but I spent additional $200 to pick up in Toronto, it's huge. I got
lucky with it, the auction just mentioned that it powers up. Except for
the sheet feed sensor it's fully operational. I just made a 6'x2' vinyl sign,
(sort of pro bono) I'm new to vinyl thingy too tho,
so I'm spending some time reading thru signs101.
"This is intentionally left blank."
Typically vinyl cutters are inexpensive. The machines to print on vinyl are another story. You have to look at the print and cut machines. Printing on vinyl for exterior usage requires a machine that uses either epoxy ribbons or solvent based inks....not your standard desktop inkjet technology. Not easy to find in smaller formats since in the sign industry 24" is "Small". They are all pretty expensive.
Hang out on Ebay and look for the PC12 PC60 or PC600 Rolands. Most others are very big and VERY expensive. The print heads are normally the first thing to go. Buying used is always a crap shoot.
Probably not what you wanted to hear but it's a grim fact.
Will the PC600 work fine with a mac? What software is good for mac?
Sunni has a 24" print /cut for 13 grand uses ribbons.( thermal )
Roland I think stopped making the ribbon type and went to solvent 24" I think the same price.
The ribbon type can do metals and other cool stuff but their resolution doesnt go as high as the inkjets.
OH and the ribbon type can print on crap vinyl
Where the inkjets mostly dont.
Thats what Ive learned so far FWIW
Thats why I only have a cutter ,so far it paid for itself in a few yrs at random side job use.
Wound love to have the print cut, but new $$$$$
Used the old rolands , Ive read about problems with the heads getting clogged easy.
But I keep checking EBAY anyway
Is the Roland CJ-500 any good? What would be the pros and cons of the CJ-500 over the PC-600?
At $18k the Roland SP-300 ended up being a work horse for my company.
I have owned a Mimaki, Roland 48", Roland 24", Ioline (Shudder), HP 5500, and an Encad (Shudder Twice). My next dream purchase would be a Roland 54" with bulk ink. Reliable / Cost effective / Excellent product.
1. Make sure you keep your warranty up to date and take the extended warranty. Solvent ink - keyword Solvent. Eats the internals up and the pumps have to be replaced every 12 months. The cables fray up after about 2 years and are hard to self replace.
2. Do not get sucked into buying special matched vinyls. I use FDC regular Intermediate & Premium vinyl. Intermediate will always print better than premium as it has a deeper pore and more regular ridges. This is because its the same vinyl just stretched more and ironically costs more. Eco Solvent ink does not penetrate as deeply as a full solvent ink would - about 15% less.
3. Excellent color wear. Scratch resistance is good - but you will need to sheet laminate anything going on cars or that will be cleaned repeatedly. Do not fall for the liquid laminates claims.
Worry about success, failure takes care of itself.
Whats sheet laminate? Is it a clear layer that you must put over the regular cut and/or printed vinyl? Also what do you all think of the PC-60? Is $1800 a good deal for a PC-60, that has just been serviced and had the mainboard replaced?
Sorry - I should have said roll laminates. Yes its a roll of clear material that you put overtop the printed vinyl. You then feed the laminated vinyl back into the machine to be contour cut using the registration marks.
You can purchase a wide range of laminates from a dozen different suppliers but you have to be somewhat carefull to use a matched system. When we print on FDC premium vinyl - we use FDC premium clear vinyl as a laminate to protect prints that might be abraided. A matched system simply put are a vinyl and laminate that have the same production methods so that they have the same heat / shrink rates and will not crack or delam prematurely.
We used to use 3m lam on Roland vinyl and would get wrinkling effects and air pockets when the two layers would not move together. Most vinyls have a clear in the same mil as the vinyl you would want. There are specialty laminates for any weather or use you can come up with.
The only major bonus for me when I looked at the Colorcamm was the true metallic colors. The deal breaker for me was the cost per foot. Now keep in mind this was 3 years ago and I have slept since then but I remember my cost would have been $2.50 per foot (I was told a lot of different costs but this one was from an actual user.) My cost on the SP300 is around .90 cents a foot. I have weeks where I blow through 50 yards rolls so that's a huge cost difference for my needs.
Before I decided to grab the SP300 I was doing print and cut on a $1500 system that needed a good bit of tweaking but worked for my po'boy budget at the time. I got hold of a 11x17 Epson printer and would cut down Inkjet receptive vinyl rolls into sheet sizes. I would setup a series of decals to print from Corel with alignment marks for my 2nd hand Roland cutter. Took a good bit of work but I was able to print, laminate and contour cut decals for pennies.
Don't ask me about durability - its epson ink - and they were short term decals & bumper stickers.
Edit - I know the colorcam looks juicy but whats the repair policy ? can you get replacement parts ? Can you easily get new media ?
Worry about success, failure takes care of itself.