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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello y'all!

I really need some input from you pro's out there..

My story:
I'am runnig my own clothing brand. Design by myself and friends/collabs and so far also printed by myself in my little (30²m) studio.
My gear at this time includes one 1-color screen press, one graphtec ce-5000 cutter and one bigass transferpress. That's it. No flash dryer, no owen.

So far I've done pretty well, doing just 1-color designs. But now to the dilemma..

From the beginning I've been interested in a DTG, also looked very much on the print&cut a few years ago, but ended up with screenprinting because of the costs.. But now I want to do multicolor jobs! My own designs of course, but also custom orders. I get 4-5 requests per week on custom prints.

The thing is, that I live in sweden and there is no market for big screenprinters. Due research the maximum orders for custom shirts is max 2-300 pieces in general. Therefor I see no reason to invest in more screen printing equipent. (Multicolor press, owen, bigger screens, bigger exposure unit, wash booth, new screens, flach dryer and so on)

Ok, that was the story, now to the questions.
I'm Very Very interested in the versacamm sp-300, but have some questions about it.
I understand that the CAD-Color Solutions is the way to go..? I have contacted the EU-dealer and got the price for the media:
5m - 82,50€ = 16,5€/m
10m - 145€ = 14,5€/m
30m - 362€ = 12€/m

Since I do pretty big designs, I calculate i get between 3-4 designs per meter, wich gives 4€ /design in maximum mediacost..
But; what would the ink costs be with a design of 15" x 11" in full color?

I would also like some more inputs from you Cad-color users; How is the print qulity, wash, fading over time, the feel ands so on!

I hope my post wasn't to messy, and forgive me for the english.

I'm very thankful for your inputs and support!

/Mikael
 

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Hello Mikael. I can answer a couple questions for you. The ink cost should be around $0.00138 per square inch, making your cost of ink on your 15" x 11" design around $0.23. All of this pricing is USD.

As far as the look and feel goes, it is really dependent on the types of materials you have available. In the US, there are many different options. Most of which are going to offer a soft hand and very durable print offering 75+ washings.
 

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Hello y'all!

I really need some input from you pro's out there....!

/Mikael

Bud, screen printing is going to be the only way for your clothing line to look professional with other lines out there. Print and cut comes out cheesy, and DTG is seriously a lot more expensive than you will think (consider time of labor and machine running, some shirts take 20+ minutes)

Look into process color screen printing man. That versacamm is designed for signs, NOT SHIRTS. 3rd party companys later implemented the shirts. Maybe dye-sublimation is your thing, which I believe the versacamm IS NOT capable of, but does look pretty good. The thing here is quality, screen printing on a 240 mesh screen is unbeatable as far as durability and quality (feel/touch, comfort, look, lifespan).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
ayukish, Allright! Thanks for your reply! That was alot cheaper than I tought! I guess the film is the "expensive" part of this printing technique, other the machine itself.

Are you a versacamm user yourself? If so, would you recommend it for a low quantity t-shirt printing? I do also make signs and other graphics, so a versacamm would be handy..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Look into process color screen printing man.
Thanks for your input, but i'm not sure of screen printing. I have not enough of space for a 6+ color press, and a heat owen. I have no warm water, because of a failure in the heatsystem, wich the owner of the facility refuses to fix. That makes it hard to clean the screens. And I'm sensitive to chemicals, wich make it even harder to clean screens.

Plus it feels pretty bad to set up screens, messing with ink, cleaning and so on for say just 10 t-shirts at the time..

Hope you understand my dilemma here..
 

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I have 2 DTGs and a VersaCamm SP300V. It is a lot cheaper and more reliable to do a graphic with a versacamm than a DTG. However ink cost or not the issue, cheap, but material cost for the good stuff is fairly expensive, which you have to have to get a soft hand, versacamm is awesome for small areas like above a breast pocket and if the graphic lends itself to contour cutting a larger area. But it is a little "cheesey" when doing a very large graphic. Actually the best large area graphic for shirts is Dye Sublimation, last forever, intermediate cost, Looks great and has no hand. But you are limited to polyester shirts of very light color. DTG is great for short runs but is very expensive to operate, more so than you think and when doing dark shirts you need white ink, which makes the DTG like a small child, you have to clean it, feed it, play with it everyday. Screen Printing is cheaper more durable, aside from the time of burning screens it is probably the most economical however somewhat limited on colors.
 

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I forgot to add my VersaCamm runs like a champ, I have had to replace one head because I left it off for 1 month due to illness. Keep it clean, I clean mine once a week. It just runs and runs. I have had mine for over 5 years now. I make a lot of money off of it. Just depends on what direction you want to go. with the versacamm I do cut and press lettering, print and cut designs, rhinestones, cut vinyl and car wraps. A lot of banners, easy money just print, punch the gromets and out the door. I do wish I had a 540 for the banners and the wraps though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
. But it is a little "cheesey" when doing a very large graphic.
Thanks for your inputs, spiderman! What do you mean by "cheesey"?... Do you mean that the print would be "hard" and unflexible like cutted foil?, If so I don't really have a problem with it.

I really think it would be a good option for me with the versacamm, but I'm just little worried about the print quality. will the print last?, will it peel or fade? I have heard a lot of good words about the Cad-color solutions...

I WILL make flyers, stickers, decals and other graphics aswell IF i ger a versacamm, but I have to be convinced that it will work well with t-shirts aswell.
 

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Thanks for your inputs, spiderman! What do you mean by "cheesey"?... Do you mean that the print would be "hard" and unflexible like cutted foil?, If so I don't really have a problem with it.

I really think it would be a good option for me with the versacamm, but I'm just little worried about the print quality. will the print last?, will it peel or fade? I have heard a lot of good words about the Cad-color solutions...

I WILL make flyers, stickers, decals and other graphics aswell IF i ger a versacamm, but I have to be convinced that it will work well with t-shirts aswell.
The feel or hand when covering a large area that is not contour cut into smaller sections, to me, still feels like paper. The better materials help but when you plaster a 13 x 19" piece on the shirt I don't like the feel. And that is using Solutions Opaque, check the price on that one. Cad Color Solutions is too heavy handed for me. There are several out there, Now when putting on a small area or doing lettering it is as soft as screen printing or softer, the drawback for some is that it is actually so clear and perfect that it looks like someone stuck a piece of paper on, almost to perfect. Its so easy and fast it almost like stealing. I use the DTG, I don;t have screen setup, for large area and the versacamm for the over the pocket area, mixing both on the same shirt. I am going to add screen printing for the 1-4 color stuff, use the DTG and versacamm for the million color things. I have had zero peel fade or cracking, if I have a shirt that has been around a long time and I stretch it really far out it may crack. but the Solutions Opaque material is made to go on stretchable material like lycra. The shirt will fall to pieces before the graphic is gone. During the world cup football /soccer championship I ran the versacamm 14 hours a day making custom tees for different parties etc, they came out great. Allowed me to make custom numbers and names with minimal effort.
 

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Our versacamm rusn like a champ and comparing the down time compared to my competitors using a Kornit, its is a no brainer. I get referrals all the time when my competitors DTG machines are broken.
DTG while is the better for fashion wear with a retro faded look, it looses its appeal at 51 units. That point the effeicincies of screenprinting take over and surpass all the print methods. Screenprinting lasts way longer than DTG.
We do jobs of 3000 units at a time for both print and cut and cut vinyl, especailly mettalics.
If you are doing fashion, I would go DTG!
If you are doing business logos and decals, versacamm is the best thing around. I would look at the new versacam that prints metallic inks.
We have done wash testing of the same designs printed in different print methods: Screen printing was way ahead with the versacamm second and DTG last.
Print and cut offers versatility!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you guys! This forum is awesome! It sounds like I will go for a versacamm anyway for this reasons:

* DTG is to expesive running, And I will not print everyday and that could be a problem for the printer..
* Multicolor screen printing is no option, because of lack of space, and it's not suitable for my small orders. And it's too messy with ink and cleaning.
* Sublimation is no option, because I print on 100% orcanic cotton ONLY. And mostly dark garments.

* Versacamm can print on "everything". Tees, hoods, bags, umbrellas, jackets and so on. AND, I can use it for more things like signs, decals, flyers, posters rollups.

The choice is pretty easy IF I can live with "cheesey" prints on the tees, right? ;)


Thanks folks! :)
 

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I never heard of a person who regretted buying a verscamm if there is now is the time to whine.
 

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The Versacamm is very multi-functional. But as stated before, to use it for printable heatpress vinyl it's not near as professional as silk screened. But you will make $$$$$$ with a Versacamm, there's no worries there. Why not use a plastisol transfer company for your shirts? That's what I do, I use my Roland for one-offs but let the client know that the vinyl is fairly thick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why not use a plastisol transfer company for your shirts? .
I have thought of that. Problem is that there are no plastisol transfer printers in sweden. And in my clothing line I dont know how many shirts I will sell. I have a design online 3 months, and then take it offline.. and sell between 10 and 300 pieces. This makes it unnessesary to order (and pay) say 500 transfers from a printer in EU, if I maybe only will use 100 of them..
 

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Really if you have a problem thats the first thing they ask. You could call and say my carriage motor caught on fire and burned the machine up. And they would ask were u using OEM inks.?
 

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Hi,

Just throw I would through my 2-cents in.

The versacamm will allow you to print a wide array of items. I have printed really nice quality designs for t-shirts on my versacamm the print quality is awesome for t-shirt designs.

Here's an example of an actual t-shirt I printed off the versacamm (with plans for my own kiddy line). I don't think it look cheesy or unrprofessional. I've seen vinyl type designs in stores also so I think it's a matter of preference. For this design I spiced it up by cutter small circles in difference color glitter vinyl. I pressed the colors in the center of each star and it gives the appearance of sparkling. You can spice up things to make it look nice. You'll learn how to be creative.

Princess Crown Slipper T-shirt : Zen Cart!, The Art of E-commerce

The most challenging thing about the versacamm is getting down the contour cutting.

In addition to printing t-shirts you can do banners, stickers, decals, etc. I bought mine with the plans to be able to print on dark shirts since my brother dtg printer could only print on light colors. However, i rarely print "t-shirts" at all on the versacamm these days instead I am doing Wall Decals, stickers and banners.

My only regret is that I don't have a 54" as I got the sp300 versacamm. If a 30" is all you can get then I don't think you will be disappointed.

Much success to you in whatever you decided.

Signed,
Printchic
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's an example of an actual t-shirt I printed off the versacamm (with plans for my own kiddy line). I don't think it look cheesy or unrprofessional. I've seen vinyl type designs in stores also so I think it's a matter of preference.

Hi, and thanks for your input! I think the print of your princess design looks sweet! What film are you printing on? Cad-color solutions?
About the "cheesey" prints, I have looked up ONE t-shirt printed with Cad-color IRL and I had no problems with it. It looked fine. Not thicker than a 10 spot color screen job with plastisol inks..

Yeah I would love a 54", but I do not have so much money. I am saving for a sp-300, and hopefully I can buy one in december/januari. :) I guess the sp-300 is a pretty good start anyway. :D
 

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Hi,

I printed the design on Solutions Opaque sold by Imprintables Warehouse. I then cut out very round circles in blue and pink glitter vinyl (can't remember where I got the vinyl). I pressed the round dots on the center of the stars on the shirt to give a sparkle effect.

The material opaque solutions does have a bit of stretch to it on fabrics and thin but weeding can be a pain if there is too much detail in the design. Fortunately this one was a simple one. :)

One problems some do complain about is a raisin effect which is when you wash the shirt the design looks wrinkle-ly like a raisin. I have found if I let the print sit for 24 hours and then press it to the shirt it helps. Also I think the type of shirt may play a factor. I use Anvil 979 and it doesn't seem to give me the raisin effect people talk about.

Signed,
Printchic
 
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