my invisible text

The old digital story?


1 Star Contributor

Posts: 55

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:09 pm

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 2:57 pm

The old digital story?

Hi ya all,

I have a good topic to bring up. I know there has been a lot of talk on the Verssacam and all but lets bring up the subject, that I am sure will cause some interest, 'What digital plotter?' (?)
Now I hear everyone shouting out 'eer that depends on what you want to use it for?' :x So let us say we need one plotter that will deliver what most sign companies vehicle signage, shop frontage (and internal), banners, display stands, etc... It would be good if people who have already taken this step into the digital world to get involved in this obviously as they have the experience. :o Now we DO NOT have to mention product names we could just discuss 'requirements'. For example -what width; what ink type; print and cut or print only....It would be very interesting to hear if people who have taken the plunge into digital to see if they did it again what would they consider the most important factors to consider before making the decision to purchase a digital 'machine.'
You all have a lovely day. :D :D

Trade Supplier
Trade Supplier

Posts: 125

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 1:00 am

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 7:33 pm

hi there shiver,

i think this subject gets flogged to death, but here goes

solvent inkjet, i.e converted rolands etc was the only way to buy an affordable solvent printer, this means buying a machine from a company that has converted the original machine so there is potential for problems and there have been a few,

over the last 12 months we have seen solvent printers that have come into the market already made for solvent inks, but this is only a short period of time in the scheme of things and the market in my view is just starting to settle down.

as for making a buying chioce, its depends on your own needs and pocket and space.

from the new encad to the mimaki jv3, for wide format, then you got small grand format machines over 1524mm wide.

do you want to invest in a laminating machine? or will you produce more banners than vinyl graphics?

so many things to consider i think and so many variables

2 Star Contributor

Posts: 171

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:43 pm

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 8:57 pm


I'll have been using a Roland Cammjet CJ-70 since 1998 and do a lot of paper printing with it. I also have the First vinyl Polermeric unit and print direct to the First vinyl media. However at £11 or £12 per metre (915mm roll) it is a bit pricey although it has some advantages over solvents, which incidently when I bought the kit I was told they were going to be banned by the EEC. The ink is odourless and cheap, and the finish is total scratch resistant even without lamination.

However it is expensive on vinyl, which is one reason why I have ordered a Versacamm. I want to print onto uncoated vinyl and also to do high quality prints on paper and backlit (my Roland CJ-70 is only 380dpi), which is why I think the Versacamm will suit my particular needs. If I wanted it purely for outdoor onto vinyl use I may well choice a more aggresive solvent machine. Only problem there is I have a retail shop with a flat above and I think the smell would be an issue not just to me but my tenants in the flat.

What I am getting at is the other guy is right you pay your money and make your choice to suit your setup. Incidently when I bought my Cammjet the B & P rep told me I would need a laminator, which after shelling out £15000 I could not afford, so I run without one for a couple of years. Big mistake he was right and I really did need one and eventually got bought a Ultra 44, bit quirky and takes a bit of getting used to but by and large a sound machine for the money. I use the laminator every day for encapsulating, laminating, mounting, applying vinyl graphics to board
even making car number plates, so my advise is get one with your printer from day one.


1 Star Contributor

Posts: 15

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:22 pm

Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:40 pm

Digital printing is a world of half truth and no truth. I have been printing for eight or so years and have looked at all the options over this time. The company started with vinyl cutters and out sourced the digital work, this built up to such an extent we took the plunge and bought a Roland Camjet. This was sent home because it did't do what they said it would. We replaced with and Encad and all was OK. Since then we have had a number of Encads as they were good production work horses. All the machines were for the indoor market, still out sourcing the exterior.The market has now changed and the exterior market is a massive growth area for us.We now have Encads (dye base), Xerox x2 (oil base), Grenadier (solvent base) and a Zund (direct print UV base). This gives us every solution for digital printing. On average it took us aleast 2 months before we were happy with any one of them. Its not just the printer its the rip that runs the printer and all the finishing products that go with them as well. If any one has any specific questions about digital printing I will be happy to try and help.


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