View Full Version : Solvent Printers Advice

Kevin L. Waldron
05-01-2008, 9:21 PM
I am interested in solvent printers and need advice. It appears that they run from A to Z in price. Recomendations for price, speed, dependablity, cost to operate and quality. There are specials running on Mimaki JV33-130 now($13,500). Is this just a entry level machine and is the next jump in machines($28,000) worth the cost and profit that the machine could make.

I also would like to be able to do photo quality indoor prints will these machines give the quality that some of the non solvent printers will?



Doug Bergstrom
05-02-2008, 7:50 AM
We run both solvent and dye ink printers. What is the type of work you are looking to produce?

Kevin L. Waldron
05-02-2008, 8:39 AM

Not sure. We are trying to go in a new direction, we have decided to divesify(we are general contractors by trade having done much of our own woodworking and metal needs through the years and we are not going to entirely leave that industry but with age we're tired of the govermental hasel).

We have a 5x12 cnc router, 48x24 laser and large wood and metal shops. Sign business is new to us and we are not sure of the direction that we need to go. We like the looks of some ot the things that they are calling lithography's that have laser work, router work and artwork on them. Thus the need for some kind of a printer. We are familiar with plotters etc. just haven't done a lot of pictures/photo's. Thus our question.

We would like to be the out source for other local shops as well as have a strong presence on the internet and probably not open a retail outlet. We have large amounts of equipment and material due to the nature of our business and think that we can offer capabilities to other shops that they can't get anywhere else. We want a niche were there aren't a lot of other players.



Joe Pelonio
05-02-2008, 10:23 AM
I have not found the need to have my own large format printer since I have a good working relationship with a local digital imaging company that I do laser work and installations for.

They are using 60" HP inkjets now, but have a UV protective film applied (requiring a large laminator). Their products can last 5-6 years outdoors
but if you want to get into vehicle wraps it's not going to work for that.
I have another wholesale customer with a 5'x10' flatbed printer, which can print directly onto sheet material without having to print onto vinyl and transfer it.

Larry Bratton
05-04-2008, 4:22 PM
Wide format printing is somewhat of a market unto itself. I have CNC, laser, plotter, and a wide format Canon 12 color printer. However, my printer's ink is pretty much for interior applications.
I find myself doing subcontract work for companies that don't own anything in their sign shop except a solvent type printer and a plotter. They come to me for CNC work and lasered product. I maintain a good relationship with them and anything I need printed for outdoor use, their glad to help me at a wholesale price. I often trade my work for printing.
A good outdoor printer is a lot of money, $30 to 40k. I wouldn't invest in one unless I just knew I could make it pay for itself. Their is a fairly steep learning curve too. Printing is a lot different from running toolpaths, lasering and wood working.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

Brent Vander Weil
05-04-2008, 7:50 PM
We use a Roland 30" printer with ECOSOL inks... I am confused by the discussion of indoor vs. outdoor printers. We do both.. the big difference is that for outdoor applications we apply a product that seals the print and provides UV protection for the print. It is a spray called Frog Juice. For a more durable longer lasting finish as in vehicle wraping etc. lamination is the way to go. We are currently outsourcing our lamination jobs, but are moving toward the purchase of our own laminator and a larger printer. I too started out in laser and got into large format printing and it is really not too bad to learn as CorelDraw works really well for designing print jobs.