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Is there a formula for calculating ink costs? I'm using 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. The image that I'm going to be printing on the sheet is 9.5" x 8". That's roughly about 90% or so. How would I calculate the ink price per sheet?


Any help would be wonderful?
 

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I put brand new ink cartridges in and then kept track or everything I printed until the ink ran out. Amazingly the CMY all ran out within a day of each other but the black was another week. I was very meticulous and calculated everything to the square inch (all my work is square)

The final result was 1 cent a sq inch.

I was very surprised that it was exactly what Conde told me it was, I figured it was more.
 

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Ink cost is negligable, licensed or unlicensed. Almost Everyone, as I did when first looking at Dye Sub, thought ink cost was important and a big factor in the costs as they are so expensive. I have been an analyst for over 30 years and have tracked and analyzed (licensed and unlicensed) ink costs. It is such a small factor in the overall cost of the product you are sublimating, I have determined it's a waste of time to even care about it. Unlicensed is of course cheaper but certainly does not create much of a gap in pricing from those who would use licensed inks on desktop printers-At least for those in "non-production" environments. Just my conclusions.
 

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Depends what you print. I do alot of state police license plates, key tags, mugs for the troopers and their color is blue so I use the blue up first. I'd say my first go around, I did about 60 mugs, 60 license plates, 100 plaques of varying size, and a bunch of other products that were sold, samples or test products. I was surprised how much I got out of the ink. I would not even get a spare set of ink until you come close to running out since they are dated and they last a pretty long time.
 

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I put brand new ink cartridges in and then kept track or everything I printed until the ink ran out. Amazingly the CMY all ran out within a day of each other but the black was another week. I was very meticulous and calculated everything to the square inch (all my work is square)

The final result was 1 cent a sq inch.

I was very surprised that it was exactly what Conde told me it was, I figured it was more.
Wow that is $1.44 for ink cost a square foot. Almost 3 times what was just stated from Sawgrass.
 

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Ink cost is negligable, licensed or unlicensed. Almost Everyone, as I did when first looking at Dye Sub, thought ink cost was important and a big factor in the costs as they are so expensive. I have been an analyst for over 30 years and have tracked and analyzed (licensed and unlicensed) ink costs. It is such a small factor in the overall cost of the product you are sublimating, I have determined it's a waste of time to even care about it. Unlicensed is of course cheaper but certainly does not create much of a gap in pricing from those who would use licensed inks on desktop printers-At least for those in "non-production" environments. Just my conclusions.
Kevin,
Either I'm missing, some huge numbers or your "conclusions" are way OFF.
.56- $1.44 a square foot for Sawgrass ink cost is HUGE compared to what I spent on wide format ink, which was confirmed this afternoon buy the Coastal TECH. during a service call on my Mutoh 1628. Much less than the reported .25 a square foot. I could never sell 16"x 20" transfers for my advertised price of .99 with Sawgrass ink.
 

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Kevin,
Either I'm missing, some huge numbers or your "conclusions" are way OFF.
.56- $1.44 a square foot for Sawgrass ink cost is HUGE compared to what I spent on wide format ink, which was confirmed this afternoon buy the Coastal TECH. during a service call on my Mutoh 1628. Much less than the reported .25 a square foot. I could never sell 16"x 20" transfers for my advertised price of .99 with Sawgrass ink.
yes - but you are not doing desktop printing - I am reffering to those who do a few things here and a few things there (not production). For example my 3110 ink came to .57/sq ft and my brand X ink for my Epson 1400 came to .32/sq ft. My point was a .25 difference is not a competition breaker because of the ink prices for those who are doing non-production desktop printing sales. I specifically mentioned desktop because there is no way the desktop market can compete with the wideformat market cost wise. Most here are desktop users and in summary the difference in price for these users using licensed ink vs brand x unlicensed ink is not a real big deal. If you do a license plate and sell it for $20 and your ink cost is 20 cents with brand x ink or 45 cents with sawgrass ink - it's not a big deal to the small desktop printer guy not doing production.

Additionally, selling transers is a whole other ballgame as that would be production work where the only two ingredients is ink and paper so ink prices become extrtemely important in that case. The desktop burner is going to buy small amounts of ink at higher prices than can be had by wideformat guys who buy by the quart or gallon. I am sure I could rival your ink costs using sawgrass inks - I'd just have to buy 3000 liters in each color to do it but my cost per sq. inch would be the same (provided I could use it all) but I'd have 2999.75 liters of each color sitting around until I did.

so again my point was for the desktop non-production guy. The difference in price between licensed and unlicensed ink is nothing to worry about and does not leave you in left field with another desktop competitor.
 

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Kevin I now understand your point. Thank you.
I need 9 shirts I can't get them from Monag for 3 weeks or more - you have them? could you print 6 xl, 3 2xl. Normally I don't send small orders out to print or don't know if you even do small orders. Have sent you a larger order before but don't like to bother production guys with small ones.

if so message me with a price

thanks
 

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In the begining when I started I worried about ink costs - that's why I wrote a program when I got my secon printer that uses brand x inks. The program calculated all production costs and determined which printer of the 2 to use based on quantity of substrates needed, paper size, print time (Epson took longer to print),% of ink coverage, and a host of other things. It summarized all costs ie paper, ink, labor,etc. that's how I came to the conclusion I did and was sorry I wasted all the time writing the program lol. I lost it when my computer crashed but was an interesting exercise none the less. On a brighter note, It doesn't make much of a difference which one I print it on-less thinking. As a smart cost accountant I should use the cheaper printer but I am lazy and like the speed of the 3110. Sublimation is not my main business but more of an upsale for me - altho it is growing, am still not at a production level with it.
 

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yes - but you are not doing desktop printing - I am reffering to those who do a few things here and a few things there (not production). For example my 3110 ink came to .57/sq ft and my brand X ink for my Epson 1400 came to .32/sq ft. My point was a .25 difference is not a competition breaker because of the ink prices for those who are doing non-production desktop printing sales. I specifically mentioned desktop because there is no way the desktop market can compete with the wideformat market cost wise. Most here are desktop users and in summary the difference in price for these users using licensed ink vs brand x unlicensed ink is not a real big deal. If you do a license plate and sell it for $20 and your ink cost is 20 cents with brand x ink or 45 cents with sawgrass ink - it's not a big deal to the small desktop printer guy not doing production.

Additionally, selling transers is a whole other ballgame as that would be production work where the only two ingredients is ink and paper so ink prices become extrtemely important in that case. The desktop burner is going to buy small amounts of ink at higher prices than can be had by wideformat guys who buy by the quart or gallon. I am sure I could rival your ink costs using sawgrass inks - I'd just have to buy 3000 liters in each color to do it but my cost per sq. inch would be the same (provided I could use it all) but I'd have 2999.75 liters of each color sitting around until I did.

so again my point was for the desktop non-production guy. The difference in price between licensed and unlicensed ink is nothing to worry about and does not leave you in left field with another desktop competitor.
My brand "X" inks with full support and profiles are 1/5 the cost of SG inks for the same volume. Saves me 2 bucks per 13 x 19 print on a tshirt. Sorry but that is a big deal for me, especially if a am doing a decent volume order. Your economics are only valid if you are doing really small stuff.

If you claim 57 cents per sq ft at what % coverage? That's 144 sq inches. SG is claiming about that same price but for 80 sq inches at 50% coverage.
 

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In the begining when I started I worried about ink costs - that's why I wrote a program when I got my secon printer that uses brand x inks. The program calculated all production costs and determined which printer of the 2 to use based on quantity of substrates needed, paper size, print time (Epson took longer to print),% of ink coverage, and a host of other things. It summarized all costs ie paper, ink, labor,etc. that's how I came to the conclusion I did and was sorry I wasted all the time writing the program lol. I lost it when my computer crashed but was an interesting exercise none the less. On a brighter note, It doesn't make much of a difference which one I print it on-less thinking. As a smart cost accountant I should use the cheaper printer but I am lazy and like the speed of the 3110. Sublimation is not my main business but more of an upsale for me - altho it is growing, am still not at a production level with it.
Print times mean nothing on most small items, a mug dwell is 3 - 5 minutes but on any Epson I have had a mug size print happens in less than 30 seconds. An 8 x 10 tile takes about 2 minutes to print and then about 8 minutes dwell. While I am waiting on dwell my printer is typically going faster than I can press. So once my dwell is done I already have transfers waiting.

A 13 x 19 tshirt on a WF1100 I don't need the 2880 DPI mode since the tshirt fabric doesn't give the same resolution as a hard substrate. I can print that in 2 minutes at 1440 dpi but the dwell is 60 seconds on the heat press, the time to pull the tshirt out of the bag, link roller it, fix the shirt on the press, place "blow paper" and place a cushion inside, align the transfer, I'm at about 3 minutes per shirt.

I typically get a few transfers head start then start pressing.

All other things being equal I'll take speed, but the real factor in production time is your dwell and handling time.
 

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My brand "X" inks with full support and profiles are 1/5 the cost of SG inks for the same volume. Saves me 2 bucks per 13 x 19 print on a tshirt. Sorry but that is a big deal for me, especially if a am doing a decent volume order. Your economics are only valid if you are doing really small stuff.

If you claim 57 cents per sq ft at what % coverage? That's 144 sq inches. SG is claiming about that same price but for 80 sq inches at 50% coverage.
I did mention "non production" and the guy who does a "few things here and there" like I imagine most do here. I'm not sure what a decent volume order is for you but am sure it encompasses more than a "few things here and there" which is why I specifically mentioned non-production. Example guy sells 20 licence plates for $20 each or $400. For ease of math plates cost $5, paper costs $1, everything else but ink is free. For ink we will use sawgrass estimates of .60 (ease of math) for 80sq" @50% (Lic plate is 72sq" + a border for bleed - close enough to 80sq"). So a sawgrass plate would cost $6.60 20 would cost $132. A non sawgrass plate would cost $6.12 (20% of sawgrass ink cost) or $122.40 a diff. of $9.6. So the gross profit on a sawgrass plate is $268 non sawgrass $277.40 NOT a big deal. Now if I were doing 6000 of these a year it becomes important, but I would bet my bottom dollar most people here using sub systems don't do $1000 per year in all they do using desktop printers. I run 2 as you know (you helped me with one) and prob do about 5K in sub work a year - no where near production or approaching it so just using that estimateof $400 in sales which is approx 12 times the example or $4,800 (close enough to $5K) 12 x $10 difference is $120 over the course of $5K in sales - Not a big deal to me but it could be added to the bottom line which is why I said as a smart accountant I should use the cheaper one but don't because the other is faster. How much $'s does speed count for? Additionally, with my program, I didn't have that large of a discrepancy .57 vs .12 mine was roughly half which would reduce the savings to only $60 over the course of $5K in sales - even less of a big deal for me.

If you run large order runs for large graphics like you talk about 13x19 - I would consider those production runs and not fall under the category of doing a few things here and there. It is of my opinion that most here don't operate in a production mode, including myself. If or when I get to that point, Larger volumes of paper, substrates, and ink will all become cheaper due to volume purchasing and would gravitate in that direction but for most I think the difference of roughly $10 on a $400 order doesn't amount to a hill of beans for us low volume people. It certainly shouldn't be enough to scare anyone off about the price of ink and prevent a start-up.

that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

PS I'm not sure what the coverage was as I lost the program when my pc crashed last sept. The only thing i have is license plate .57 vs .32 for ink costs for the 2 printers so that's what I am going by.
 

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Print times mean nothing on most small items, a mug dwell is 3 - 5 minutes but on any Epson I have had a mug size print happens in less than 30 seconds. An 8 x 10 tile takes about 2 minutes to print and then about 8 minutes dwell. While I am waiting on dwell my printer is typically going faster than I can press. So once my dwell is done I already have transfers waiting.

A 13 x 19 tshirt on a WF1100 I don't need the 2880 DPI mode since the tshirt fabric doesn't give the same resolution as a hard substrate. I can print that in 2 minutes at 1440 dpi but the dwell is 60 seconds on the heat press, the time to pull the tshirt out of the bag, link roller it, fix the shirt on the press, place "blow paper" and place a cushion inside, align the transfer, I'm at about 3 minutes per shirt.

I typically get a few transfers head start then start pressing.

All other things being equal I'll take speed, but the real factor in production time is your dwell and handling time.
yea see your talking production while i'm talking about the rest of us slubs that will do 20 plates here, a dozen shirts there, 10 tiles here, 15 plaques there, some key tags here, some bag tags there - you know those of us who give our machines big breaks and lots of time off (my case - not my main business), others are those starting out, those without business licenses, those that just do certain things. These little here and theres add up but don't constitute production and keeping the machines running.

but your right when doing production and relying on it the bottom line becomes the one to achieve for.
 

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I did mention "non production" and the guy who does a "few things here and there" like I imagine most do here. I'm not sure what a decent volume order is for you but am sure it encompasses more than a "few things here and there" which is why I specifically mentioned non-production. Example guy sells 20 licence plates for $20 each or $400. For ease of math plates cost $5, paper costs $1, everything else but ink is free. For ink we will use sawgrass estimates of .60 (ease of math) for 80sq" @50% (Lic plate is 72sq" + a border for bleed - close enough to 80sq"). So a sawgrass plate would cost $6.60 20 would cost $132. A non sawgrass plate would cost $6.12 (20% of sawgrass ink cost) or $122.40 a diff. of $9.6. So the gross profit on a sawgrass plate is $268 non sawgrass $277.40 NOT a big deal. Now if I were doing 6000 of these a year it becomes important, but I would bet my bottom dollar most people here using sub systems don't do $1000 per year in all they do using desktop printers. I run 2 as you know (you helped me with one) and prob do about 5K in sub work a year - no where near production or approaching it so just using that estimateof $400 in sales which is approx 12 times the example or $4,800 (close enough to $5K) 12 x $10 difference is $120 over the course of $5K in sales - Not a big deal to me but it could be added to the bottom line which is why I said as a smart accountant I should use the cheaper one but don't because the other is faster. How much $'s does speed count for? Additionally, with my program, I didn't have that large of a discrepancy .57 vs .12 mine was roughly half which would reduce the savings to only $60 over the course of $5K in sales - even less of a big deal for me.

If you run large order runs for large graphics like you talk about 13x19 - I would consider those production runs and not fall under the category of doing a few things here and there. It is of my opinion that most here don't operate in a production mode, including myself. If or when I get to that point, Larger volumes of paper, substrates, and ink will all become cheaper due to volume purchasing and would gravitate in that direction but for most I think the difference of roughly $10 on a $400 order doesn't amount to a hill of beans for us low volume people. It certainly shouldn't be enough to scare anyone off about the price of ink and prevent a start-up.

that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

PS I'm not sure what the coverage was as I lost the program when my pc crashed last sept. The only thing i have is license plate .57 vs .32 for ink costs for the 2 printers so that's what I am going by.
I'm home based and dye sub on the side. Most of my items are large enough where ink costs matters. My ink cost savings are around $200 a month give or take. I prefer to put that in my pocket.

$1000 per year in sales is not my idea of success, why even bother making $20 a week.:confused: Many come and go in this business, most fail to make back even their initial startup costs as the printer will fail printing so infrequently. If you look at the Ricoh graveyard posts here those became doorstops mainly due to the users not using them enough to keep the ink from expiring in 6 months and killing the printer beyond recovery.

Most successful desktop dyesubbers are either using dye sub in an existing established imprinting related business as adjunct sales, typically this isn't home based. Or they are home based and pretty hard to make money just on very small items only, your ink cost matters if a significant amount of your items are 6 x 8 or larger and you are doing any decent amount of business.

The small trinket stuff alone you cannot do these home based in most cases and make it. I do know a couple of home based people that only do mugs, but they specialize in those and offer them wholesale in volume.

I do some mugs but most of my stuff is tiles, t-shirts, mousepads, murals, and chromalux panels. A few totes here and there.

I suspect you are basing your perceptions of others business models based on your own, but without an existing sales base of other imprinting products then those looking at starting a business from scratch starting out with dye sub will likely fail to make it unless they are doing tshirts and some other larger photo novelty products where the demand is. Many photo novelty items the ink coverage is more like 75 - 80%.

If you get an entry level SG system like the smaller Ricoh, heat press, and a few items and accessories you are at a $1000 investment and if you only print a $20 item once a week your printer is dead before you get a chance to make your money back.

You can't really make much of a t-shirt business home based with the smaller printers so you are looking at $2000-$2500 for a larger Ricoh and a 16 x 20 heat press. Then even with that you are taking $2 per shirt out of your pocket and giving to Sawgrass.

While you mention "non-production" volumes then unless you are only needing adjunct sales for an existing business then your thinking is wrong, if you are home based and wanting to make any decent amount of money you need to quickly get from doing a "few items here and there" to production volumes as part of your business plan. Otherwise be like so many that start out here from scratch and fail and the only winner is Sawgrass and Ricoh or Sawgrass and Epson.
 
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