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  1. #1
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    Wide format Sublimation

    Hi all,

    Does anyone on here use a wide format sublimation printer?
    I need to invest in a new sub printer and I'm looking at moving to wide format.
    We print a lot of mugs, plastic cups, water bottles etc so the thing putting me off is how do you cope with cutting them all up before applying to the product.

    At present we have a Ricoh set up with Mug sized paper so we just print them off then apply the paper.

    Is cutting up time consuming. We do quite a high volume of sublimation and the small Ricoh's are taking a battering and they all need replacing soon.

    Another consideration would be printing out on wide format. We have 3 permanent staff who do the design/artwork then print to sub printers.
    Would this cause an issue? Will one person have to layout all the designs before printing to make best use of paper?

    I'm not sure this method would work logistically.

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated

    Andy

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    We dont have wide format sublimation printers, but we did have 3 wide format machines which printed a product 15cm square, which we then cut on our Summa cutters. The workflow is fairly straight forward once its all set up. RIP software prints job with a barcode at the bottom.


    Once jobs have been printed then they are loaded onto the cutters, which then read the various barcodes, find the corresponding file and then cut that particular job.

    It means that you can produce 50 meters of print all with different jobs on and the cutter automatically cuts the full roll without any human intervention.

    Only Summa cutters have this "cut server" capability ( Ive looked at everything out there).

    It worked for us, we, at one stage were producing just short of 2000 square meters a week. Without that production system it would have been a nightmare.

  3. #3
    Administrator Mini KickUps Champion Justin's Avatar
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    I use the Sawgrass VJ628 printer. I wasn't sure when we first got it but have really grown to love it. Having used Ricoh, Epson etc. over the years and also had large format Epsons. I can honestly say I don't know of anyone else that really uses this printer which is a shame. Sure, the initial outlay isn't cheap but such a great workhorse.

    It's very easy to use and inks last forever, in fact we had to replace as they were out of date and we've put a lot through it.

    Its a painless machine to live with, no issues whatsoever so far, touch wood. We did have an initial issue with print quality but as we use the Wasatch RIP it was just a matter of tweaking. The out of date inks made a big difference as well!

    This isn't a cheap option but to us worth every penny. We drop all images into the RIP and it nests them to save paper, make for easy cutting etc. We don't even find the inks that expensive (to say they're SG!) as they last so long. It prints onto 17" or 24" paper and we only use Trupix.

    Let me know if you'd like any further info.
    Membership scheme now available - Just £10 per year - Regular Supplier Discounts and Special Offers!

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    Thanks Froggy,

    Do those cutters cut plain sublimation paper or was it vinyl?

    Justin, We were looking at the VJ628 from Xpres. The ink cartridges are £50 each and are 220ml so that is a lot cheaper than the Desktop printers. It says it is Sublijet HD ink which is the same as we use in the SG400.
    How come they are so much cheaper if it is the same ink.

    I'll give them a call to see if I can nip up and have a look. They are only up the road from us

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andysam26467 View Post
    Thanks Froggy,

    Do those cutters cut plain sublimation paper or was it vinyl?

    Justin, We were looking at the VJ628 from Xpres. The ink cartridges are £50 each and are 220ml so that is a lot cheaper than the Desktop printers. It says it is Sublijet HD ink which is the same as we use in the SG400.
    How come they are so much cheaper if it is the same ink.

    I'll give them a call to see if I can nip up and have a look. They are only up the road from us
    Summas will cut paper ( using a pounce cut function I think, although never used it), its not a cheap solution, but if you are doing big volumes its well worth the effort
    Last edited by froggy; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:23 PM. Reason: add info

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    I don't have wide format, but I do numerous 'volume' jobs a year ( fun run t-shirts with 400+ prints).

    I always work under the asumption that multiple A3+ epson 1500w's were more versatile and more cost effective than a wide format printer. Part of the reasoning involved the need to cut down wide format prints vs the convenience of having one sheet per shirt.

    Now that the 1500w has been discontinued and there is now direct replacement maybe the viability has changed.

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    We use wide format - for little things like mugs and coasters, as well as runs of fabric for cushions, lampshades etc.
    For example, a 44" paper roll, will fit 10 mug transfers across it, and then the printer cuts off that strip, so as long as you nest your designs and make the most of the paper width, you can waste less paper than if using an A4 cut sheet. Rolls of paper and litres of sublimation ink are much more cost effective too, and you have more choice of pro level inks than just Sawgrass desktop inks.
    We just lay out prints in Photoshop, and haven't bothered with a RIP.
    we only tend to lay one row of transfers across the page, so the printer does the horizontal cut after the row, and then staff cut the the transfers out vertically - doesn't take much time really.
    For example if doing runs of mugs, on a set of four presses, then in the workflow, there is time (about 100 seconds IIRC) after the fourth mug goes in the press, to cut the next four transfers, and wrap the 5th mug.

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