T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I currently run my own website and offer screen printing and embroidery on any of my products, I currently outsource that part of the business which has worked great. I am considering the purchase of a heat press and vinyl plotter/cutter to try to do some of the small orders in house. Would appreciate any feed back regarding what size and brand of heat press and plotter would be recommended and would it be worth it? I have a budget of $1,500.00-2,000.00. also when buying a plotter/cutter which software to start out with, Is the sofware you get with the plotter good enough to start out with?

Thank in advance for all the help.
Bob:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
950 Posts
Welcome Bob.

If you have the time to learn something new than yes it will be worth it.
A quick answer to your questions would be to get a 15" x 15" or larger Hix or Stahl's heat press. I would suggest the Heat Master that I own, but to be honest, they are currently having some problems with a few of them and some bugs need to be worked out, so hold off on a Heat Master press until further notice, even though they are very well made.

For a cutter, also known as a plotter, you will want to get a 24" wide model.
Smaller models are not as good or practical even though they will do the job. It's like buying a smaller press, they work but they are not the best choice.

The Summa D60 has always received great reviews from everybody in the industry. Others to look at would be Graphtek and Roland. Both are well respected brands. I'd stay away from the sign supply store private label type cutters. They are usually re-branded cheap cutters. They work, but they are noisy and don't track very well, and tech support is usually terrible. Also I would not recommend the Stika cutters either. They are very good, but very small and geared toward the hobbyist in my opinion.

You just might be able to squeeze a top quality 24" cutter and heat press into the high end of your budget, maybe add another $500.

As far as software, most of the time the software that comes with a cutter is what they call a bridge program. In other words it is the program that is in between your design software and the cutter. You design in your software, like Illustrator of CorelDraw for example, and then you send the design to the "bridge" program. The bridge program converts your design into something the cutter can understand. It also gives you more options for working with the layout of the cut, the quantity, the blade pressure, the material size, weeding borders, color cut, registration marks etc. There are many of these programs out there that are bundled with a new cutter purchase. I wish I could tell you which one is best. CoCut is highly recommended, but not always necessary.
Visit www.signs101.com to learn a lot more about cutters/plotters and bridge software.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Great advice, very thorough. You should be able to get top quality refurbished units for your price range. Some companies offer full warranties on refurbished or trade show units. I think it is definitely a worthy investment. If you are looking at doing mostly text based designs and scanned in logos, the start-up software should be sufficient.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top