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  • Printer Advice

    Hi all, just a quick one here,

    To cut a long story short I design posters and sell them online. Until now I've been outsourcing the printing to a print company locally. It's quite difficult getting a good high quality company who will design 20 at a time (Thats all I really need at any print run). It's now getting to the stage where the printer company are getting slack and cutting the bleed wrong and the posters are not level etc or there may be a snag or an ink drop on the prints and I end up getting them done again.

    What I'm asking is how much would it cost to buy a regular printer so I can do this myself. All my posters are A3 size, I usually design them between 200-300 pp resolution.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I really dont know if printers from local stores costing 200/$250 would suffice. Any tips? Any Do's and Dont's? etc
    I did ask the same question elsewhere but it seems basic prices are 1,000 for something very basic. Is this right?

  • #2
    Hi Scotty and welcome to GDF.

    We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
    Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by KitchWitch View Post
      Hi Scotty and welcome to GDF.

      We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
      Yep I had a read of that thanks. Be polite, dont be cocky and dont advertise! Think I have the basics

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      • #4
        A professional print machine usually starts around $7K-10K USD for an aqueous unit or about $15K USD for a ecosol or full solvent.

        What is the current spec on your media (paper) and ink? What does your invoice or quote say?

        What is the end use of your posters? Are they Toss-aways or Fine Art?

        A3 = 11.69 x16.53 so basically an 11" x 17" printer... Or a 13" x 19" for full bleed.

        For aqueous, the inks you use should be pigment based, not dye based. Aqueous inks are water sensitive. Do you get your posters laminated as well? Otherwise they may run if they get wet.

        Any of the printers here would work for aqueous stuff (Epson Surecolor series). The Ultrachrome inks have good staying power. I don't know if the lower end models would qualify as ''Fine Art'' printers for high end sale though... check their ink resolutions. Also, their print speeds. The higher resolution setting you use, and the higher your image resolution is, can make for a really long wait for your single print.
        http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Pro/Home.do

        You are going to pay hellacious overhead in inks with that many cartridges.

        However, if by posters you mean outdoor stuff on vinyl using ecosol or full solvent inks so they are weather proof, that is a whole other issue and a very basic entry level machine starts around $15,000 USD. Roland and Mimaki have some good entry level machinage.


        Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-13-2016, 04:42 PM.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply Printer Driver. To answer what I can. I use 260gsm matte paper and its just basic designs not exactly fine art, stats posters, Tube stations replacing stations with sports stars or Periodic table designs for the sports fan - Nothing heavy duty. The kind of posters for sale on ETSY or Ebay. Ive attached a sample (If this is against the rules please delete sorry) so giving an idea of what Im looking to print

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          • #6
            If you are printing them on normal paper to be framed them then a normal printer will be fine, but 2 things;

            - ink will fade
            All inks fade but there are some that fade slower

            - volume of production
            An A3 should take about 15-20 mins to print depending on settings. If you are printing dozens then multpily it up. At 20 mins it will take 4 hours to print 12. If you are selling hundreds this will be a problem.

            If you want to go for good image quality in terms of colour then check out 6 colour printers.

            If you go for an inkjet printer you must use it every day or the heads dry up and its a doorstop (bitter experience).

            Alternatively look for another digital print shop that can meet your needs.
            Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

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