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Hi y'all. Names Kevin and I am from Dallas, Ga. I currently own and operate a custom woodworking business called Outta Mind Creations. My biggest sellers have been wooden American flags, farmhouse-style furniture and epoxy river tables.

Yeah, I know you are asking how this relates, well....I have a Silhouette Cameo 3 that I use for making templates and reverse coloring (sometimes called ghosting - vinyl down, paint over and then remove leaving bare wood shown). I haven't really explored all the options that I can do with this little machine, but I know that I am looking to go bigger.

I also recently purchased one of the Cricut Easy Press 2 units. I only got this because I wanted to make my own company t-shirts and I figured that I had the vinyl cutter already, so....obviously, this whole setup was never intended for, nor capable of, production type numbers. It's craft quality and fit the needs I had to start with.

Now, don't cast me off just yet. Just because I have training wheels on my abilities doesn't mean I am not capable. Over the last couple of days I have been doing research to try and learn more about the Silhouette unit and a lot of my searches sent me down a rabbit hole of information on t-shirt printing and apparel branding. Enough so that I am wanting to gain more and more information so that I can see about incorporating some processes in with my woodworking...and possibly find my way out of my mechanical engineering career and into a full time position doing the things I want to do...to use MY creativity and develop MY name vs. my employer's.

I am already looking into a more production friendly vinyl cutter....would really like a vinyl print/cut machine but I am having trouble finding what I am looking for. Will also be looking for a more commercial use type of heat press.
Then I am thinking that screen printing might be a good place to start from there. I have read that I can use the vinyl cutter to create the designs in the emulsion and I can probably build my own exposure unit (I am an engineer and a woodworker - two dangerous combinations). Would really like some suggestions on what type of equipment to look at..a small one to start and then what to move up to.

I have even started trying to build up a budget that would allow for a Uninet iColor 550 White Toner printer...but that will be further down the road.

Anyway, that's me. I am a total newbie but I am looking to learn. I will make sure that I check out the FAQ section AND do a search before I ask questions...

But for now, I have to go back to engineering before my plan gets found out about....
 

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If you want print/cut the VersaCamm is pretty good. If you have a heat press then you can do plastisol transfers without having to do the screen printing yourself.
 

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If you want print/cut the VersaCamm is pretty good. If you have a heat press then you can do plastisol transfers without having to do the screen printing yourself.
 

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An ink-jet/cutter is very useful for what you are working toward. A Roland BN-20 or SG-300 would probably cover much of what you seem to be wanting to do.
Stahl's has a heat transfer material that you can ink-jet onto the adhesive side, and then hot press that side onto fabric. We are using this material to print bags, etc, where we want to augment with much color, as opposed to single-color vinyl (or several vinyl pieces interlaced). We are using a Roland VG-540, 54" large format printer, so we don't have the 20" limitation of the BN-20. Roland has SG-300 printer cutter, and probably Mimaki or Epson also may have a printer/cutter in that size range.

Just be aware that most ink jet printers do not like to sit around unused. They need to be run daily, if possible, even if small jobs.

A printer cutter needs to have the ability to print crop marks, so you can print, remove the media from the printer, laminate it, and then return it to the machine for the cut step.

Laminate usually only needed in harsh environments, people messing with the face of the print, inside machinery, outdoors, etc, and the lamination may extend the life of the item from 5 years to 15 or 20 years, depending.
 
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