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Opinions on the PC600

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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:16 am

Opinions on the PC600

After avoiding the PC50 (thanks guys) i need advice on a Roland PC600 as we have located one not too far away.
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:37 am

What are you intending to do with the machine?
IE what areas do you want to get into.
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:41 am

well at the moment we have a graptec CE3000 which we use to create exhibition stuff, decals, window stickers and whatever we can get people to pay for :)

We feel a printer/cutter would help us get into making static cling, hazard signs,t-shirts and again whatever the printer can do that we can sell.

I guess i would turn the question round and ask - what can the PC600 be used to create?
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:19 am

The PC600 is not really a jobbing machine for what you want. It can do very nice t-shirts , small die cut decals small signage etc. HOWEVER the price to do such is VERY VERY expensive , the low cost of the machine is soon eaten up running costs. Output is somewhat flaky with banding problems etc. The machine has to be run in a clean room type environment and you have to RIGOUROUSLY follow cleaning instructions , like clean heads , clean the media with alcohol and so forth. We do have one so Im speaking from experience.
Im not a slaesperson or a shill for any mnfgr , but a machine like a versacam is MUCH more versatile for a jobbing shop
It can do whatever the PC600 can barring printing gold , silver or white , it prints CMYK much better , faster and a lot cheaper. Its a cutter too.
thats not really the issue , the real issue is the ability to print on MANY materials , not just vinyl.There are tons of papers , banner materials , backlits , most vinyls , meshes , fabric , vellum, t-shart transfers and a whole host of exotic stuff that can be processed. Your price will e more competitve. We even print directly on styrene and ABS
Its gonna cost you more initially , but that will soon be made up if you do a reasonable volume (1-2 sq m a day)
Profitiability is massive , a 2" x 1" die cut sticker will not cost more than 1.5p and can be sold for 10-20x that , a similar sticker on a PC600 (assuming cmyk , no spots) will cost you 8-10 p.
Once you get to bigger stuff , unless you have a captive market etc , you will be way out the ballpark price wise (and unless you are doing real speciality stuff with metal spots etc you will be far worse in terms of quality)
There are tons of products coming out for inkjets and IMHO for a jobbing shop , this is the way to go.
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:11 pm

We have one and its great and it was our first start up machine but I second everything Rodney says ... he is The Man In The Know!! :wink: Small print work fine but you find that you get small work which suddenly leads to larger and larger jobs then you realise you've outgrown it very soon. We are now looking at getting something with a lot more scope.

Carrie :D
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:00 pm

to be honest we wont be using it for large work, it will mainly be for small decals - we could use the graphtec for anything larger i guess.
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:16 pm

What I said about the pc50 also goes for the pc60 and 600 horendous banding problems and high running costs, as rodney suggests I would consider the higher initial outlay of somthing like the versa camm and increase your capability for output at a later stage. By the way welcome to the boards and nice to see your from Gods county.
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 9:53 pm

What about a Gerber Edge 2

We are selling one with all the kit you will ever need to print everything. Check out the for sale forum

REgards Adrian
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:18 pm

PC600 is fine for small print work, I found that printing CMYK photos, .jpegs, .png etc banding doesn't actually affect the quality much, banding is only present with spot colours and assigning these in vector work, logos etc, if you are on a limited budget printers are few and far between so you have little choice on the printing ladder.

Cartridges and printing though is notoriously expensive as with any thermal print machine, hence the huge drop in residual values of the 60 / 600 or the edge, IMHO because of this expense, it's a short matter of time before inkjet kills it off completely as a viable means of cost effective printing, why do you think all these machines have suddenly and mysteriously gone on the market?.

Its called 'Inkjet' and at less than £10K brand new.
Its gotta be the nail in the coffin of thermal.
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:41 pm

Humble opinion here, but it all depends on what you want it for, as others have said. I run a Graphtec 3000CE for vinyl and a PC60 for print, and both machines do really well for me. The Graphtec just plods away, doing its job, the PC60 doubles as a 2nd cutter for quick jobs and does a very good job at one off stickers, some 'small' sign solutions (I recently printed a fish or 2 for a sign, saved 20 minutes of cutting & weeding) and I do the odd decent run of stickers.

As others have said, its expensive, but again it depends how you use it. If you can charge a decent amount for one offs, it pays. If you can sell short run stickers, it pays. As a stop-gap for those last minute sign jobs, saving a few minutes here and there, it pays.

I disagree that inkjets will kill off thermal printers. Unless theres something I'm missing, I haven't seen an inkjet that can print white. One of my customers insists on white on blue, but printing the blue would require me to check the colours every single time. I print mirror silver as well, not something an inkjet can do. Thermal printers have their uses, limited and expensive as they may be, but my little PC60 earns me very good money with very little effort. Just don't try printing huge graphics to wrap your van, you'll need a wheelbarrow of cash and the patience of a blind man in a round room for that one! :wink:

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:49 pm

outline wrote:Its called 'Inkjet' and at less than £10K brand new.
Its gotta be the nail in the coffin of thermal.


nice point outline!!

but like myself and many others here, we started with pen brush & paint..........then pc operated, then digital appeared!! i myself have just bought a pc60 a few months ago and the reason why.. i bought it was quite simple!! paint & vinyl every day thing, so i thought i would take the digital learning curve slowly, by buying a pc60 i use racoon for big stuff, but i wanted to learn from scratch, printer did not cost much £1000 but it lets me be familiarized with the software which runs digital!! i know i will be upgrading in the near future, but i wanted to test it all out first!! and i would recommend anyone else in the same position as myself to buy one simply for the reasons i have stated!! they are costly to run though :roll:

but you have to learn at some point!!

Nik
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:02 pm

With the costing in relationship to a thermal print it's possible far cheaper to print a positive image with a blue flood and leave the white lettering.
You can print a silver, albeit a greyish silver, I print a beautiful gold with inkjet using CYMK LC and LM (or diluteC and diluteM) IMHO hardly a good reason to keep a thermal just for white and silver and spot gold.

The prices of second-user thermal machines have plummeted in the last 6 months for no apparent reason, apart from the grand entrance of machines like the cadet, that is :wink:
As Nik says and I do too, a good starter in digital printing, they are not hard to use and adds a little extra to your business.
I don't knock the 600, I had good prints and experimentation is the best way to get these machine to perform well, but the machine never, ever missed a beat through flexi, signlab though, would it run right, not a chance :wink:
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Post Tue Sep 28, 2004 11:41 pm

I use my birthday card software Rob :wink: :wink:

I agree, spot colours aren't a good enough reason to keep a thermal as opposed to an inkjet. Also agree, the cheap thermals on the market are definately a result of the likes of the cadet and the versacamm becoming widely available. But I do think the thermals still have a place, maybe not forever, but for a while at least.

And when the day comes to thermals do go completely out of the window, at least it'll still be able to be used as a plotter if nothing else.

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Wed Sep 29, 2004 12:03 am

Of 'cause Dewi my mate, I think they're excellent machines, but when the end finally approaches for the edge, what is it gonna do???
At least the Roland is a plotter too, not at bad buy at the price the Rolands are going for, and I'd be buying the Roland which can be useful in two ways and will retain a value as a plotter over a machine which in time may be useless in all.
The only way it maybe revived is if the manufactures say sod it, we'll have to lower the price of the carts. But as Roland (maybe) don't market a thermal printer ( correct me if I'm wrong ) any longer, they won't be interested.
All is just my opinion of course :wink:
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Post Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:36 pm

Dewi wrote:
And when the day comes to thermals do go completely out of the window, at least it'll still be able to be used as a plotter if nothing else.




i forgot about that one!! :oops: yes i will still have a plotter, but i will only use signlab to cut though.........corel still does not do it for me!!! :D :D


Nik

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