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Looking to purchase a Plotter

1240 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SynCyr Sewing
I’m looking to purchase a plotter/cutter. I’m not sure what one to purchase. Looking to spend $500.00 to $1000.00. Any help would be great. Thanks Debra
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What do you want to be able to do with the cutter?
The Expert 24 is a great cutter, and sells for around $399. What are you looking to do with the cutter?
I would like to do t-shirts (heat press), stickers and rhinestone designs. I have an Epson r1900 printer, CorelDRAW X4 and Photoshop CS4. I’m looking to purchase the WinPCsigns Pro 2010 software for the rhinestones.

I've looked at many different types of plotters and bundles but I’m not crazy about what you get in the bundle. I have to make sure what I purchase will be compatible with the software I already have.

I was set on making a purchase through US Cutters (Copam CP series 2500) but after reading some of the forums here I changed my mind. I know Roland is a good cutter but it’s at the higher end of my budget. I still need to purchase a heat press and the rhinestone software. Thanks for any feedback Debra
I use my Expert 24 right from Illustrator CS3......I am sure you can do the same with X4....

Did you view the Expert 24 video on Stahl's website......

Mine was 390.00 inc. shipping, 10 yards of heat press vinyl, 10 yards of sign vinyl & a weeder.....From mike[USER=108410]@Imprintables[/USER].com
I know in this economy money is going to be the first thing you think about when making an equipment purchase. However some things you should also keep in mind are as follows. How long has the equipment been on the market? How long has the company been making the equipment? Where is it made? How easy is it to get parts? What is the warranty? Where is the closest repair center? What is the life span of the units? What kind of support do they offer to get you up and running?
Now having said all that I will tell you I am pro Roland. Yes they are a little more money than some of the new units out there, but it is also a case of you get what you pay for. I know of Roland units that are still working after 15 to 20 years.
As far as bundle packages, make yourself a list of what is in them and what you are actually getting next to just the cost of the unit. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by all the extras.
It sounds like you are off to a good start my doing your home work and finding out information before you purchase. Most of these companies have videos posted showing how the unit works. Watch them several times, pay attention to what they are saying and what they are not saying. I was an add on TV a few months back for a system now sold in the craft stores …cut your own graphics up to 36” lettering… but the cutting area was only 12 x 12 so you had to piece things together.
Be careful of the very low end low price units and make sure they will do what you need, or you will be replacing them in a few months with one of the higher end units. Hope this helps a little.
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Thanks CW...the service is what really pushed me over the top with US Cutters.
SynCyr I am confused by your last post....."pushed me over the top" can go either way in my mind.....So do you like them or not?....
With just getting into the sign/sticker making part of my business I was looking to start in the middle of the price range for equipment. US Cutters has that, but when you start reading about customers not receiving all their parts and dealing with their service I’ve decided not to buy from US Cutters. I personally have not purchased anything from them just going off the things I’ve read. Sorry for the confusion Debra:D
Although I would have love to have bought a "name brand" I needed something quicker than I could save money for a 1,500.00 to 2,000.00 machine....So it was an Expert 24....

It paid for itself on my 1st paid job (10 3 x 10 banners).....All in, my costs of the plotter and banner supplies were less than the cost I would have paid to outsource....So even if it does "crash and burn" I am still ahead of the game....And if it keeps working, it will be a backup to the Summa I want to buy.....Or a nice portable set-up....

I had a couple heat presses sitting in my basement......So with the 10 yards of heat press vinyl that came with my package I was able to make some "thank you" gifts for clients....

And the folks at GCC World were great when I called for support....And it comes with a 27 month warranty....Uses roland blades....And there is a new flat bed/contour cutter model out in a few months (800.00 or so).....
Do you think the Expert 24 would cut rhinestone templates and flock vinyl?
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