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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello T-shirt forum community,

I currently own a Roland GX-24, a Ricoh GX e7700n and a Barudan elite pro embroidery machine. I'm a small home based business and looking provide my customers with full color graphics for t-shirts, stickers and decals.

I've read some reviews on the BN 20 but they seem to be a few years old. I want to invest in a full color Roland print/cut device but not sure if I should purchase the BN 20 vs. a larger VersaCamm machine. I'm nervous about scaling to fast and buying a larger VersaCamm when I can just start with a BN 20 and buy a bigger one later as sales pick up.

What are some of your experiences with use of the BN 20? Would you recommend buying it or would I be better off biting the bullet and getting a larger VersaCamm?

Also, are rhinestone designs still a big hit? I've used Cad Cut Glitter Flake from Stahl's and I love it. Do you see Cad Cut Glitter Flake replacing the rhinestone look?

Thanks,
Tammi
 

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Tammi,

If you are trying to do just t-shirt/garment transfers you could try just using a regualar ink-jet transfer paper. You can use any regular ink-jet printer for that. Most of the solvent transfer media require a dry time of at least two hours before cutting. Therefore it would be more beneficial to have a separate printer and cutter vs. an all-in-one if you are planning on doing solvent transfer.
 

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A BN-20 is a great option for a business at your level. You say you want to start providing your customers with full color graphics for t-shirts, stickers and decals, that's exactly what the BN-20 will do for you!

The only reason you'd want to go with a bigger machine off the bat is if your customer needs call for it. The BN-20 is going to limit you in size (20") and speed. The BN-20 is definitely slower than it's bigger brothers, but it should be more than fast enough for you in the beginning. There are less materials available for a 20" machine than the larger ones, but you're primarily looking at fewer options to do the same thing. For example, at IW, we have probably 8 different Calendered sign vinyls that will do basically the same thing, but in different ways. Only one of those materials is available in a 20" width. You can still produce the stickers, decals, etc. that you would produce with Calendered vinyl, you just don't have as many options to choose from.

Now, if your customers would like to have you produce wide format banners, life size wall graphics and other, larger prints, then you should definitely get the larger machine, probably the VS-540i.

It was mentioned in a previous response that most heat transfer materials need 2 hours to dry before cutting. That's not entirely true. Anyone that has been to trade shows, has watched any videos online or buys materials from a supplier can say without hesitation that it is definitely possible to print and cut immediately. There are a select few materials that don't perform as well when cut immediately, but most all of them will. If you do choose to wait to cut, you already have the cutter - the GX-24 can take images printed off the BN-20 or any of the other Roland printer/cutters and cut out using it's optic eye!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Adam!

I agree. The BN-20 is the right entry point for my business at this time. I plan on purchasing one during the ISS show January 2014 in Long Beach, CA.

Adam, I'm already experienced with using the Hotronix heat press, various materials & my GX-24. I'm debating on whatever it would be worth the money to attend Josh Ellsworth's courses on Jan. 16th & Jan. 19th. I'm looking to learn whats hot for 2014 and new trends in the industry, not how to use the equipment (well with the exception of the BN-20 I plan on buying). Do you think it's worth it to spend the extra cash and enroll in Josh's courses?

Thanks,
Tammi
 

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A couple of months ago I started looking at a vinyl cutter to add onto my screen printing business. After looking at the limitations of the vinyl cutter, I started looking at the BN20 as a good entry level machine. When I meet the dealer he had a used Versacamm300 for around the same price. So I went with that. Now 6 weeks later I'm regretting that I didn't go with a 54 inch machine. The BN20 is a great starting point but very limited in what you can do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You've got a good point. That is a nagging thought in my mind as well, that I will buy the BN 20 only to find out I need a larger one. Currently, my plans for the BN 20 are t-shirts, bags, caps and probably decals.

Logomotive, what are some popular items you sell that were produced with your VersaCamm 300? Are they the same items you had in mind producing with the BN 20?

Thanks,
Tammi
 

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You've got a good point. That is a nagging thought in my mind as well, that I will buy the BN 20 only to find out I need a larger one. Currently, my plans for the BN 20 are t-shirts, bags, caps and probably decals.

Logomotive, what are some popular items you sell that were produced with your VersaCamm 300? Are they the same items you had in mind producing with the BN 20?

Thanks,
Tammi
We are doing a lot of printed heat transfers along with names and numbers. Also decals and banners. The nice part about the 300 over the BN20 is that you can use 30" wide material. You need to realize you can not print the whole width of the material. On the safe side figure you will lose an 1.5" of the width. I find that we have less material waste when using 30" wide material versus 20" wide material. Some of our designs are up to 14" wide. So on 30" material we can put 2 side by side when printing that way we only have 2" of waste. If we printed them on 20" wide material we would have 6" of waste. The other plus is the 300 prints much faster than the BN20.

I'm new at this so these are just my newbie observations.
 

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A BN 20 is a good entry level machine. With that said, do not purchase one, continue to save and purchase the 300 series. My recommendation would be the VS300i. Wait for a show and get a good deal on that and you can come back and thank me later. It is apples and oranges when you look at speed, flexibility, production capabilities and growth. The ideal is a 54".
 

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This is my question, do they make heat transfer material for the 54"?? If all we are planning to do is full color heat transfer, will the 30" be enough or should we shoot for the 54"? I do not plan to make signs or anything.
 

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Hey Guys,

I worked for a print/sign/screenprint/embroidery/decal shop at a previous job mostly running a SolJet. Now I want to go solo in my home town.

Currently, I just have some basic stuff such as a heat press, 50" vinyl cutter and some basic printers. A VersaCamm would be great.

I have my eye on the 54" model.

Since you guys are talking about sizes, I thought I would ask, what is 10 Inches worth? That is the VersCamm 54" vs the 64". What has the larger machine got going for it that the other does not?

I have space restraints, but if there was a compelling reason for getting the 64", i would look at knocking a hole in a wall.

So what is the story with the 64" machines ? Is it just bigger banners, faster output, wrap a semi?

Would I be a happy camper with the 54" model?
 
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