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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good afternoon,

I stumbled across these forums in an attempt to find help with purchasing a vinyl plotter. I have been a Graphic Designer and Art Director for about 15 years and have always wanted to break into doing my own vinyl decals. I am obviously very familiar with vector and vector art, so I don't think the learning curve would be tough to get around.

Basically I have budgeted myself up to about $1k to try to find a plotter, and a wide variety of vinyl colors, transfer paper, squeegies etc to get started.

The thing I need help with is what should I be shopping for? For what I want to do, would mainly be vinyl decals up to 15", however I would love the ability to do 24"+ if needed.

I don't need a machine that is necessarily built to run 10 hours a day, but if I were to take various freelance gigs where I did need it to run longer and be okay. Basically I don't want to buy so cheap that I outgrow it in 6 months.

Needs to be Mac compatible, and ideally the software that comes with it, being compatible with Illustrator CS5.

I know absolutely nothing about which brands are supposed to be better than others, and the closest I have gotten to getting info is talking with a guy on the phone at USCutters about the Copam CP series. My hesitation about the Copam CP, is the guy there told me that it comes with no manual whatsoever, that you can call them and they walk you through setting it up. Seems strange to not have a booklet or manual that teaches you how to fully use your plotter. I have heard names like Roland etc, also but again, have no idea.

Any advice, tips or links would be appreciated!

Regards
 

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Roland and Graphtech will be the best bet for heavy use. I dont know about the Mac compatibility. You will have to do some research on that. I run a Roland GX-24. Works Great.
I hear of lots of people having good luck with the cheaper brands as well. You can do some research hear and find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think after reading a few PMs and doing some deeper independent research, I think Im going to spend a little more than I had planned and go with the Graphtech CE5000 24" and I run Mac.

Thanks for the help all!
 
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