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  • Need help to start print activity

    Hi all,

    i'm a new member here and i'm web developper/designer. I want to launch a small business related to led boxes decals and tshirt printing.

    Any suggestions for the printer / cutter / vinyl to purchase? max size is A3, and can the printer be good for backlite and t-shirts? what do you think about the Canon pixma p100?

    Any help plzzzz!!!

  • #2
    Hi Webivore 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
      What is an LED box? I know what it is, but...
      What is your intended purpose of said light box? Advertising or photographic?

      Why an A3 size limit?

      Any backlit media you get for an aqueous inkjet printer (standard desktop or high end wide format) will be a very fragile print. Not only does the ink scrape off very easily, it can be damaged by simply touching it or sneezing on it. I've also had cases of ink stickage to the front plexi sheet when slipsheeted. Therefore this type of print really should be laminated.

      Solvent-type machines tend to be more high-end (read $$$$$) and will take roll media more readily than single sheet.
      You have a large assortment of media to choose from and more ways to mount it. If slipsheeting, I'd still recommend lamming to avoid ruining the face lens of the light box.

      Just an FYI, a lot of small scale backlit advertising is being replaced by programmable touch screens and even those lock and load photo-frames like this thing. (Just a random internet link for illustration purposes, not an endorsement)
      https://shop.nixplay.com/products/ni...q8vD_BwE#black

      The trend is toward more dynamic content in a lot of instances.

      As for decals, you need a solvent printer. End of Story there. Lamming will help with longevity of your decals but not necessarily required, depending on your inkset and media.

      T-shirts? You planning on direct printing?
      That's a whole different machine and inkset.
      You may need a heat setter too.

      Good luck.
      Last edited by PrintDriver; 10-09-2017, 09:57 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Quite honestly?
        I wouldn't buy any of this product from you printed on a home-consumer aqueous inkjet.
        Not a T-shirt (no longevity in the wash)
        Not a decal (not an exterior product and will most likely delaminate eventually if long term interior use.)
        Certainly not an exterior lightbox (washed out backlighting and again, not an exterior product.)

        If you are selling this stuff to unsuspecting clients, keep an eye out for damage to your professional reputation as a print source.

        I learned my lesson 13 years ago (I can recall the exact project to this date, it was early spring 2004...) where I learned all about aqueous inkjets and where not to use them, not to mention the differences between dye base and pigmented inksets.......

        The lowest end machine I would suggest is a Roland or Mimacki light solvent. Either would run you near $10k.
        or a Gerber Edge, which is a smaller more persnickety machine with some limitations, that uses fused color, but it's also expensive. Or a Summa. Same thing.

        Plus at least a light duty industrial grade cutter, not a tabletop crikcut thing. You can get those for fairly short money.

        I'm sure you can find hobbyist media in A3 out there, but most of the stuff used for realsies is solvent/latex/UV ink receptive and comes in 54" wide rolls (sometimes in 30" but that stock is very limited.) I suppose you could pay to have it slit to fit a smaller machine...except your machine there isn't rated for it.

        The aqueous stuff has to have an integrated coating to accept the inks, especially the vinyl, and it is that coating that could potentially fail you. If it sucks up ink, It also sucks up water. If you get my drift.

        Don't get me wrong, I do use aqueous prints. Often. But only if certain parameters are met. And never, ever outdoors. I don't care what the media label says.

        Have you considered outsourcing your needs? Get the right product without having to buy all the right equipment. At least until you have the throughput to go pro.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 10-09-2017, 01:03 PM.

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