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Thread: Best Printer Cutter for $2,500

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alotta Signs, Pahrump NV
    Posts
    1

    Default Best Printer Cutter for $2,500

    Hi everyone, we are new to the sign business and we are looking for a reliable printer cutter. We currently buy our signs wholesale, from another sign company, but if somebody buys a sign/signs that we don't have in stock, we have to put together an order of at least 20 signs so the shipping doesn't cost more than the profit. We would like to make them exactly like the one's we are currently selling so we don't have to change our pictures or listing descriptions. Our website is: http://alottasigns.com. We would appreciate if you would take a look at the signs we sell on our website and give us suggestions for a starter printer cutter with about a $2,500 to spend. The sign company we use currently uses "High Quality UV Ink." We would be using this as well, but if we get special orders outside of our inventory items, we would probably use the vinyl. I've never used one before, so I don't know the process... at all. If we could just put in the printer the wording we want and print it, maybe that would be more cost effective(?) Thank you for any help! David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    , On
    Posts
    854

    Default

    My printer cutter was about $25,000, and I also have a laminator.

    I could be wrong but I think your budget is a little low.

    RIB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,300

    Default

    Our printer cost about $275,000 and it was only the 18th like it in the world. 16 foot bed and able to print a full bolt of material.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    , Buford Ga.
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Look for trade show companies in your area and in Las Vegas area. Most are dead with no work and would love to get any business in. The cost should be cheaper and they will do smaller orders. Here in Atlanta Ga, I get Direct UV Print on a large flat bed printer for $2.60 a sqft plus material cost or I supply it. For large orders they give me even better. For Die sub I only pay $6 sqft this include material. Hope this helps.

    Don

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    , On
    Posts
    854

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    Hey Jerry! That is one MONSTER PRINTER!!!

    I guess you are not using little ink cartridges?

    You are loading material with a forklift?

    Tip of the hat to you!

    RIB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,300

    Default

    I don't run it. I build the trade show booths and cut their signs. We have a couple other Printers also but that is the companies pride and joy. As for the ink cartridges they come in 2.5 gallon jugs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    canton, ohio
    Posts
    428

    Default

    David, my opionion (and i could be wrong) looking at what you sell and the prices you have retail i do not think it would be profitable for you to try to reproduce what you have on the site yourself. These look screen printed
    like the kind you would get from seton or a company like that. We have had uv printers and solvent ink jet and thermal printers. if you are marking these up 30% you would lose money doing them in house because you could not produce them for 70% of what you are selling them for making them one at a time or even in low volumes by the time you buy the printer, ink substrate, labor.
    one thing to consider is printer maintenance. we bought a hp 9000 designjet and did not realize the maintenance contract was aboout $400.00 per month or pay about $2,000 per service call. then we were locked in to expensive inks to keep the warranty valid. the ink cost surprised us based on full saturation which happens to us alot in our printing. but if servicing your customers is a priority over cost then get a printer but use it to do things way beyond what you sell. more custom. so first learn some software programs and learn about custom signs and estimating then you can use the printer for alot of things. but i would not buy a UV printer again personally. I heard the Geber Ion has good flexiblity and adhesion but i am waiting for more proof. Our last $220,000 zund uv flat bed was a mistake. the UV ink flaked off most hard subtrates and we were using Sericol inks which are good. For $2,500 you will not get far. You may be able to find a small footprint printer that can do small jobs like you have on your site. there are some small sublimination printers being made. Talk to sign supply companies. they can advise you and help you understand what is out there. it almost changes daily this technology so i am not an expert or up to date on what i know but i am telling you what i have learned up to now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Highland, IL
    Posts
    80

    Default

    David,

    I have to agree with Dick, $2500 will only buy a used printer, and then you don't know what you are getting. I work on wide format printers for a living and have also been in the sign business and have to repeat what Dick says about screen printing the type of signs you have on your web site. If you want to produce those signs in house do some research on screen printing equipment and processes. Your $2500 will buy everything you need and then some.

    If you have any questions send me an email using the address in my profile.


    Jay

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    , On
    Posts
    854

    Default

    I think it would be crazy to get into screen printing today. The cost of setting up each order...Your large competitors will be using flat bed printers that print directly to the material. You will be breathing terrible fumes and handling cancerous chemicals.

    I would get the best used vinyl cutter you can get for the money and go that route. At least you could produce the signs on a one off basis and the costs would be fairly low considering your investment.

    If you really wanted to print, then consider leasing and get a decent printer financed, and use the $2500 to pay the lease. I would think you could get a 30" print/cutter for $300 per month. That would give you 8 months of production. With the right order you may even pay the whole thing off.

    PS You will also need a laminator to apply clear vinyl decal material to the surface of the prints.

    RIB

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