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The short answer is yes you do, and they are very expensive. Hovering around the $12,000 to $20,000 price range for a (small by sign business standards) 36" vinyl printer.

We of course do not need one that big. Plus, most of them are for printing vinyl that will be used in the sign industry. I don't know if printing on ThermoFlex for t-shirts would work, but I would like to find out.

A lot of sign guys recommend the Gerber Edge, or a Roland VersaCamm. Still, they are a lot of money.
 

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Printing on thermoflex would be hard, since you can only print on the side that is not covered in plastic, yet the side you would need to print on for the imprint to show up on the shirt is the side that is covered by plastic. If you could figuire a way to print on the side with the plastic covering it, than It would probably work if you just cut the paper down to 8.5 x 11 and put in any inkjet printer.
 

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There is a specialty heat applied film that can be printed on and cut around. This film is called, Spectra Color Print and usually comes in 15" wide rolls. This film can run through printers such as the Gerber Edge & needs to be punched on the sides of the material in most instances, so that it can be fed through a sprocket feed machine like the Edge.
 

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Silly question...
When using vynil how do I actually print my desing with that material? Does a cutter (like the name says)/plotter only cuts the design form the inkjet transfer?
 

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There is a specialty heat applied film that can be printed on and cut around. This film is called, Spectra Color Print and usually comes in 15" wide rolls. This film can run through printers such as the Gerber Edge & needs to be punched on the sides of the material in most instances, so that it can be fed through a sprocket feed machine like the Edge.
We use this for a few of our clients....great for low minimum stuff!!
 

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Silly question...
When using vynil how do I actually print my desing with that material? Does a cutter (like the name says)/plotter only cuts the design form the inkjet transfer?
With the Roland Versacamm it prints first, then it cuts after printing. Other workflows involve printing with optical registration marks on a printer and then passing through the vinyl cutter for cutting. You cannot however just use an inkjet printer unless your material calls for that, most vinyl printers use a solvent based ink system. Not all cutters are printers, and vice versa!
 
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