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Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:15 pm

Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Hi All,

I've partly asked this under the general printer topic but thought it better here, so apologies if you've already read it.

Looking for a bit of advice from anyone who has experience using both of these.

I am new into Large format printing having just bought 2 used HP26500s. I have yet to buy both PC station & RIP so advice on both would be handy.

If I keep both HP's (only intended to buy one but good deal for 2) I will not be running simultaneously.

I have no experience of RIP software other than seeing it on Flexi 8.1 & using the cut/plot in Flexi which I presume is a similar interface.

I am intending to go for the new Flexi monthly rental which includes RIP & from the brief research I have done over the last day or so its seems to be user friendly enough. It may also be an advantage being familiar with Flexi, albeit an older version. I also understand Flexi is now tied up with HP latex so this must be a good sign I presume?

I have alternatively been advised that Onyx Thrive 211 would be suitable for a newbie to the fray.

How would the two compare? I have read that Onyx has better colour adjustments which is something I am keen to have control over as it's been a constant issue when outsourcing for the past 13 years.

Obviously a big draw to Flexi is the low monthly cost which includes Design & RIP + all future updates etc. v large outlay for Onyx with costly future upgrades, additional functionality & updates.

It's kind of looking a bit of a no brainer, but I may be missing important points.

PC & network wise, anything unusual I need to think about? Our set up is probably going to be roughly as follows:
Flexi on main design station downstairs (working from home & don't really want customers traipsing upstairs) hardwired upstairs into 5 port switch in upstairs production suite (converted bedroom :smiles: ) printers, plotter (yet to purchase) & RIP station PC all connected to switch. Is that it? Do I need anything else?
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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Hi Myles

My first question has to be are you MAD?

It took 4 of us to get my 26500 off the lorry and into the premises and I thought that was hard work but how the heck you plan on getting it upstairs I really don't know. Assuming you get that bit sorted you also need to understand just how much heat this printer kicks out, Ive had all doors open in the middle of winter just trying to cool the place down so its going to get really hot if you only have the bedroom window to open.

Anyway hope your not Mad and have worked out how your going to achieve the above, having had both rips I think you have already made you mind up and made the right choice with flexi. I didn't get either of these new with my printer I got Caldera as I was mac based but because of looking to upgrade I started using Flexi and have now got Onyx with my new 310 Latex. The thing you need to be wary of is the 26500 needs a lot more tweaking of profiles than the later series and the basic version of Onyx does not give you that facility plus without paying more you don't get any of the eyelets and bleeds and extras you need from day to day as I found out when I stated using it.

Most media companies do put profiles out for Onyx first though and thats very handy if you don't have the time to customise a generic one or maybe copy the settings across but apart from that I would say thats the only advantage other than its very simple to use.

Flexi is also extremely good as a design software whilst I don't use it full time its very often got me out of a hole when illustrator struggled with something and once I've had the time to sit down and learn more about it I hope to use it as the default app for design, not to mention the ability to use it on my cutters saving a lot of time switching between apps.

I'm not sure what the upgrade prices are on Onyx but Caldera was £500 to jump up a version for 1 machine, where as flexi lets you run 3 as standard with no upgrade fees. If you work it out im sure it will work out the best option unless you plan on not upgrading for a number of years.

So long as you make sure you have a minimum 1gig network then everything you mention should work fine, Ive even ran mine totally wireless but the engineers always have a seizure and point to that as the result of any problem LOL

Hope it goes well and if you need any help (apart from lifting the 26500 upstairs :bigsmile: ) just give me a shout.

Kev
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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:53 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

:lol: :yikes: Completely barking Kevin.

Thanks for all that & for swapping posts with me.

I am still in the process of working out exactly how we are getting them upstairs :shocked: but the general plan so far is to get them off the lorry & into the kitchen by wheeling them over boards (gravel drive :yikes: ) Then remove them from the stands & man handle them upstairs!! Eldest son is a personal fitness trainer into power lifting :smiles: So hoping this will help, along with neighbour who's a 6ft something ex Dutch policeman!! So I'll be standing by giving useful direction :thumbsup: Considering removal of banister & rails up stairs but not sure it'll be necessary. I'm actually going to mock up the approx shape at least to make sure it'll fit round corners etc. Mainly though I'm working on the good ol' adage "where there's a will..." Yes... bonkers I know! I'll keep you all posted for a laugh :lol:

If we manage to overcome that small issue (or perhaps endup with a production kitchen!!!) I think Flexi looks like the way to go. It's always been my main design software so at least it's one thing less to have to learn too much about during the imminent mayhem that's going to hit.

The heat was mentioned but I could do to loose a little weight to be honest, so sweat shop it is :cool: We also have the advantage of being located in the West of Ireland which very handily tends to be windy as F*** or at least pretty breezy & cool 90% of the time, & hope they are waterproof as we spend most of the year underwater!! Lucky if the temperature gets over 20 * in the peak of summer!! :sad: one window south west facing & the other North, so should hopefully blow through.

Presume you've had no colour issues then using Flexi RIP?
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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:33 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

We have 2 Latex360's & a HP Z6200 all running from Onyx - its great! No issues with colour etc, but we do create our own profiles as the machines have built-in spectrometers.
Onyx is also linked to our Summa cutters - so in terms of work flow, everything is printed with barcodes, loaded straight onto the cutter & the PDF's have been created with cut lines named, onyx does the rest. No need to open in illustrator and send as a separate job etc.


Sorry no experience of Flexi :awkward:
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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:22 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Myles
word of caution years ago i worked from home and too a laminator upstairs wjich was a 1650mm wide heavy thing, 4 guys to lift plus the weight of the laminator we nearly all went through the staircase. We didn't but the staircase was wrecked creeked and groaned with even the lightest person on it.

Has i said just a word of caution,

Always been a Flexi user myself on the design side and don't think you can beat it for everyday vector and some bitmap work

Kev
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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:11 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Kevin Flowers wrote:Myles
word of caution years ago i worked from home and too a laminator upstairs wjich was a 1650mm wide heavy thing, 4 guys to lift plus the weight of the laminator we nearly all went through the staircase. We didn't but the staircase was wrecked creeked and groaned with even the lightest person on it.

Has i said just a word of caution,

Always been a Flexi user myself on the design side and don't think you can beat it for everyday vector and some bitmap work

Kev


It's an interesting point Kevin. I had wondered if we could rig up some sort of pulley system to help take the weight on the way up the stairs, but not sure what I'd attach to without going through the ceiling into an attic joist. The other option may be something like a scissor lift & go straight through the upstairs window, which may be JUST wide enough. That may actually be the easiest solution all round & save a lot of manual lifting, turning & swearing!!! :shocked:

I think one of the only things to let Flexi down from my point of view was the lack of soft shadows, which I think they now have on the newer versions. I think you can also use a lot of Photoshop & Illustrator effects if you import the effect files into the Flexi program effects file. You also don't end up with millions of masks on everything like you get with Illustrator created artwork!!
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Post Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:14 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Myles
yeah Flexi has soft shadows now creates a bitmap though its not a vector and yes your right with the Photoshop stuff don't know how much of it. I have used Alien Skin plugin for PS within Flexi for years just need to let Flexi know where to find them. Sounds like scissor lift would be better, something else to consider if you are having to machine in the same room is the floor loading, 6" joists and 1" flooring is only designed for certain amount of weight

Kev
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Post Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:53 am

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Kevin Flowers wrote:Myles
yeah Flexi has soft shadows now creates a bitmap though its not a vector and yes your right with the Photoshop stuff don't know how much of it. I have used Alien Skin plugin for PS within Flexi for years just need to let Flexi know where to find them. Sounds like scissor lift would be better, something else to consider if you are having to machine in the same room is the floor loading, 6" joists and 1" flooring is only designed for certain amount of weight

Kev


Yes I'm rapidly thinking that I may have to part with the 2nd, or at least maybe put into storage for now, but will have to rule out putting it upstairs I think. Will probably have to look for a fairly light weight laminator too with that in mind.

Might even just give the local engineer a quick call before we go ahead, just to be on the safe side.
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Post Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:17 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Hi Myles,
For context, I'm a Structural Engineer, I wouldn't recommend putting the printers (one or both) upstairs, the loading will be too high for a domestic floor. While it probably won't collapse, you will have issues with deflections & creep over time with cracks appearing in the ceiling, creaky floors etc...

In addition, it's not just the weight of the printer, it's the paper, finishing equipment etc.

Also, if your downstairs floors are suspended timber then you will have the same issues.

Chris.
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Post Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:24 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Chris Ranner wrote:Hi Myles,
For context, I'm a Structural Engineer, I wouldn't recommend putting the printers (one or both) upstairs, the loading will be too high for a domestic floor. While it probably won't collapse, you will have issues with deflections & creep over time with cracks appearing in the ceiling, creaky floors etc...

In addition, it's not just the weight of the printer, it's the paper, finishing equipment etc.

Also, if your downstairs floors are suspended timber then you will have the same issues.

Chris.


Oh dear :yikes: that doesn't sound good. Downstairs are concrete, It's actually a timber framed house, which I'm thinking now you'll say is probably even worse? I'm wondering if there are ways to add strength/support to the floors? We have fairly good access to the floor joists from the eaves.

I've just called the architects we used to build & they will be getting back to me.
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Post Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:23 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Hi Myles,

If you are looking at selling the second printer, I might be interested. I'm in Dublin but down in your neck of the woods regularly.

Drop me a mail with details n1signsandgraphics@gmail.com

Neil
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Post Tue Sep 27, 2016 9:55 am

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Just to add, don't forget the L26500 needs two 15 amp power supplies. I can also confirm it's flipping heavy!

Cheers

Mark
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Post Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:02 am

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Just checked. 290 Kg unboxed or over 400 Kg as delivered to us as new.

Mark
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Post Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:49 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Mark Oughton wrote:Just checked. 290 Kg unboxed or over 400 Kg as delivered to us as new.

Mark


The spec sheet states printer 202kg & 291kg shipping. Still pretty heavy either way. I have electrician organised for 16 amp sockets, just need to know where to tell him to fit them!! :smiles:
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Post Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:52 pm

Re: Onyx or flexi RIP for 1st time printer

Neil Somers wrote:Hi Myles,

If you are looking at selling the second printer, I might be interested. I'm in Dublin but down in your neck of the woods regularly.

Drop me a mail with details n1signsandgraphics@gmail.com

Neil


Hi Neil, Did you get email?

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