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  1. #1
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    Ricoh Aficio SG 3110DN & SubMeta ST-3042

    Hi all,

    Was hoping for some advice.

    Would the Ricoh Aficio SG 3110DN & SubMeta ST-3042 be suitable for starting off? My wife has decided she wants to begin doing custom mugs, tshirts, phone cases, tablet cases, chopping boards, water bottles and pretty much everything else as a new business venture this year. Originally the plan is to work from the garage at home and we have first refusal in one of Ireland's largest shopping centres when their new kiosk section is ready in June.

    I picked up the printer from a contact just before Christmas for the pricely sum of 50 euros (and I know for a fact its only ever ran a print of 30 mugs then went straight into storage a few years ago) I know we'll likely need to pump some ink through it to clean out the pipes but outwith that it's likely as close to brand new as you can get.

    Looking at heat press, the submeta 3d vacuum seems to tick all the boxes and we're close to ordering this but I was slightly put off when I notice it marketed as an all in one unit, yet never came with the moulds etc that they demo'd. So the cost price rises somewhat there.Can the moulds and jigs etc be bought pre owned?

    Should we bypass both and opt for a more intensive setup? We're both relatively technically minded and sure we will be flying process wise after a few weeks of usage so the last thing I want to do is have to upgrade when I could have just got a better setup now.

    Any suggestions for European based blank suppliers would be highly appreciated, we'll be imported a lot from the far east as we have a number of contacts in the manufacturing industry out there with our other businesses, but it's always good to have a backup.

  2. #2
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    I'm far from the best person to address most of your post, but a few things immediately spring to mind:-

    1/ I'd be surprised if that printer isn't scrap - they're supposed to be left in standby so that they can self-maintain, would think that the printhead will be full of solidified ink.

    2/ You can't press garments in a vacuum press.

    3/ It seems that you're rather over confident - best to get the kit and become accustomed to it, rather than anticipating that it'll all fall into place, it's generally never quite that straightforward. A one person enterprise going from no experience to servicing the demands of a busy shopping centre kiosk in a few months is heading for trouble of one sort or another...

    4/ If you looked through the historic forum posts for even a few minutes a good proportion of your questions would be answered.

    Will.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response Will.

    If the printer does end up scrap, I'll certainly be happy we only parted with 50e for it so it could have been worse on that front.

    On the 3d press model I mentioned above, there's definitely videos on YouTube of it pressing TShirts.

    I wouldn't disagree on the confidence piece, we have several businesses and none of which were in industries we were natively accustomed to and they're all very successful, I wouldn't be as ambitious as I am if it wasn't for confidence but I'm very conscious of the borderline between confidence and arrogance, which I'm happy to say we're on the former side of so I'd respectfully disagree on the heading for trouble aspect.

    I did look through historical posts for those in startup mode but I'm consciously aware of technology moving quickly and a lot of the posts are somewhat aged.

    Appreciate the response, thanks Will.

  4. #4
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    The 3042 machine is a good machine, but there are disadvantages to it...

    Firstly it is not the best built machine, you will find that over time, parts will need replacing and that can be difficult. Keep your eyes peeled for secondhand non working machines, they are useful to have in the shed.

    On a bad one the temperature can vary a little too much and so you may need to replace the thermometer, it should not vary more than 20 degrees C or 40 F

    They can be noisy depending on which pump they fit. I have had quiet and bloomin loud....

    I would never even attempt to press a t-shirt in these, if you are going in to business properly then get yourself a decent heatpress and be done with it....

    I am not sure that you will be able to print water bottles in this machine either. I attempted one once by placing it on its side. The image was very blurred on the side that was touching the base, you may need to get a mug press for that item

    Get a couple of silicon sheets for the vacuum, they split easily, but are quick to replace.

    In general they are very good at what they do, no other option I currently print mugs from can even get close to the quality, production time and print area. Some mugs I have printed are as close as 8mm to the handle with full coverage top and bottom bleed.

    Everything else seems pretty straight forward and is doable with that machine


    I do think you are stupid to even risk that printer though. The only way you are going to find out if it is blocked is by running a few deep cleans. By then you will have spunked a load of very expensive ink with the risk of it not working. It might seem expensive now, but in the long run you will be much better off getting a new machine.
    USING: Whatever it takes to get the job done...

  5. #5
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    SG, thank you so much for such an informative and in depth post. That's really helped me gauge where we are and what direction we should be going in.

    On the printer side of thing,s, looks like I'm best to put that down to experience and look at something else.

    I've had a few pms from people recommending an eBay seller that's selling 60 quid Epsons with custom sub dye ink and profiles that claim to be close to Saw grass in quality, but their selling price is double the printers rrp.

    Can't help but feel that's another risk.

    Would you be able to make a recommendation on a printer I don't think A4 is a bad thing for now but if it made sense to go A3 from the outset, I would.

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