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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am thinking of buying the Roland BN-20 but have a few questions that I would like know before I buy any help from owners would be greatly appreciated.

- How easy is the maintenance on this machine and what is the cost of the maintenance per year?

- On my old cutter I can use small bits of vinyl and cut designs into it to save money and reduce waste, is this possible with this machine or do I have always cut of the roll due to the sensors?

- When printing images is the colour matching as simple as a normal desktop printer?

- I watched a demo of a roll being loaded into the unit and noticed that the unit had a sensor in the front witch the vinyl had to hit in order for the unit to recognise a roll had been loaded how much does this waste of the roll and is there any way round this?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Personally, I prefer to have a separate print and cut set up. A good valujet solvent printer and a graphtec plotter make a great combo.

Reason being, small flakes from cutting may clog the print heads in the machine.

Its much faster to print on one machine and cut on another while working on both.

It also helps to have two machines so when one goes down the other still works.
 

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"Personally, I prefer to have a separate print and cut set up. A good valujet solvent printer and a graphtec plotter make a great combo.

Reason being, small flakes from cutting may clog the print heads in the machine.

Its much faster to print on one machine and cut on another while working on both.

It also helps to have two machines so when one goes down the other still works."

^^^Totally Agree^^^ This was a HUGE selling point on our Mutoh.
 

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This is a pretty bulletproof machine as long as you're using it. Consumables are pretty inexpensive and cleanings aren't bad. The most expensive consumables are the blades. If you're using it for perf cutting the blades wear out much faster than for contour cutting. It is slow, but gets the job done and will print/cut on just about any media. It is difficult to find some roll media the correct width so you'll need to cut it down. The rip software is Roland Versa Works and it is pretty easy to use. Roland has their own spot colors plus a lot of Pantone colors so there are a lot of spot colors you can match. If the color is outside the assign spot color in RVW you'll need to build the color. The output may not match and if you're doing a lot of color matching for colors that aren't in RVW you'll need to invest in a color management system.

You can use smaller bits of vinyl but there is a min width and length (for the pinch rollers). The width should be specified on the website.

Opinion are on the CMMYK machine, if you're using metallic or white ink maintenance and consumables will be more expensive.
 

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Hi,

I am thinking of buying the Roland BN-20 but have a few questions that I would like know before I buy any help from owners would be greatly appreciated.

- How easy is the maintenance on this machine and what is the cost of the maintenance per year?

- On my old cutter I can use small bits of vinyl and cut designs into it to save money and reduce waste, is this possible with this machine or do I have always cut of the roll due to the sensors?

- When printing images is the colour matching as simple as a normal desktop printer?

- I watched a demo of a roll being loaded into the unit and noticed that the unit had a sensor in the front witch the vinyl had to hit in order for the unit to recognise a roll had been loaded how much does this waste of the roll and is there any way round this?

Thanks in advance.
If you are only doing shirts with this printer then dont listen to the other people saying a separate cutter is better.
Shirt materials (HTV) dont get laminated..so the time savings is not true. If you print something you can have it cut right after and be done. Adding a separate plotter (cutter) will just complicate things (besides it will have to have an optical eye to read the registration marks, which cost more).
Now I will say this thing prints SLOW...the 30" or 54" printers print MUCH faster.
Roland makes GREAT printers.
 
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Well if you are printing on T-shirts you can also choose other options.

Purchase an Epson surecolor p6000 or similar.$3.000
and a GCC Expert II 24LX. $700~

nobody said you had to print and cut on a single machine.
Under $4k for print and cut set up for shirts with separate machines. They make inkjet transfer paper rolls.
With the right paper and inks you can have long lasting shirts. Transfer paper has came a very long way if applied properly it will outlast the garment.
You can always just use a single machine instead of powering on both. If you are limiting your self to shirts and other clothing then stick to an inkjet setup.
If you want to print signs and vinyl then get a solvent printer. That roland bn-20 is the best solvent printer all in one so if you really want it go for it.
Some prefer separate machines to handle 2 separate tasks simultaneously . Some prefer an all in one. It's personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the great advice!!

At this point in time I only do clothing (t-shirts, jumpers, shirts and zip hoodies) and the reason I wanted to go for the BN-20 is because the vinyl can be applied to all four without any change in the process cut/print process. The BN-20 is quite a big investment for so I want to be sure I am getting a machine that will last.

At the moment I am using a Liyu vinyl cutter and I run it at a speed of 100mm/s how does the BN-20 compare to this? If it as fast or faster is will be perfect for what I need.
@tony: I have tried transfer papers in the past such as Jet-Pro SofStretch and found the results to be decent but not something I would want to sell with my company name on it. Are there any inkjet based papers that are better?

Thanks again!
 

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I use a separate printer/cutter arrangement. Because, unlike a BN-20, my Silver Bullet cutter can use a mat, then very small pieces can be placed anywhere on the mat for cutting. It's also a very quick, powerful and accurate cutter, that can be used for many other jobs than vinyl cutting. Much more versatile, and a lot cheaper, in my opinion, than a BN-20.
 

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I'm considering a BN-20 and would prefer the CMYKW set up so I could do window clings. Does anyone know if the addition of white ink to the system will cause maintenance issues down the line (that wouldn't be there with a second magenta or metallic instead of white)? White ink seems to cause problems with all the different printing technologies (DTG especially, I even notice it is more difficult than other colors to screen print with) and I would hate to ruin a machine or cause maintenance headaches just to do window clings.

lordhelmet also mentioned color matching issues. Is that only a problem when trying to match a spot color perfectly (maybe a school is looking for the exact shade of green they use or some designer needs the exact shade blue for a logo)? With screen printing I do mainly spot color printing and I'm not too crazily concerned with exact color reproduction, as long as its pretty close I'm happy and I've never had a complaint from a customer. Will spot color prints be way off on a bn-20 without careful consideration or can I just hit print and expect it to look pretty close if not the same as what I see on my computer? Also, If I'm printing photorealistic images, will every picture need correcting (outside of what I would normally do to upload a picture to my website or something similar) or can I just hit print and expect a pretty close reproduction to what I see on my computer?

I see a lot of people are frustrated with the speed of print.. is that due to the high resolution prints (1440x1080)? Does it print just as fast as the others if you lower the resolution? I got a sample from the bn-20 at a trade show and was really impressed with the quality of print. Can any other similarly priced eco-solvent printer match the resolution of the bn-20?

I really like the idea of being able to print stickers, window clings etc... it seems the bn-20 is one of the best machines to do that, and likely worth the investment just for those offerings. But coming from a screen printing background where all I really do is tshirts, I'd like to replace a lot of my screen printing (at least for short runs) with the bn-20. I haven't yet seen many tshirts printed by this sort of technology in person and I'm a bit worried a large front print will have that "sticker" look slapped on a shirt. Without factoring in the limitation of having to cut the design (because of that screen printing, dtg and white toner printing seem to have an advantage) how does this sort of technology stack up to others for printing shirts? Any recommendations for good transfer papers that will give a nice look and feel (hopefully avoid that sticker look on a shirt)? I'd like to contact a few supplier and get some samples sent before I make a purchase.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Its not slow if you know how to manage your jobs but yes you cannot print jobs straight away when customer walks in and want stuff done urgently. We give our customers one day time and put the jobs in que for overnight machine run and we heatpress them next day.

Its a fantastic machine and can go on for next 20 years if properly taken care of, we just had a head replaced last week for about 3kusd after 5years with the machine and now it can go on for next 5+ years.

Our technician said that this bn20 has been their most successful machine of all time and I totally agree with him, we do over 95% jobs on this machine and it has never disappointed.
 
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