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Discussion Starter #1
I recently had the opportunity to install 2 of the new Roland BN20 VersaStudio desktop printer / cutters. There have been many inquiries and requests for information and a "real" assessment of how well these units perform and if it is really a viable solution to different problems they have been facing.

I will admit that when I first heard about the VersaStudio, I did not think it would do well and it would not meet the needs of most shops. After getting some time with both the machine and a couple of shops, I can honestly say that I have to eat a bit of crow on my stance. There is a very large need for this type of technology in the apparel industry and the shops that are using right now have had great results.

The machine is pretty small compared to all of the other VersaCAMM units out there and can easily fit onto a standard folding table or a desktop. The unit was easy to unpack and the documentation is very clear on how to install everything. There is a step by step guide similar to most desktop printers that leads the end user through installation of the software first and connecting the printer to your computer second. Once the software is installed, you simply plug the USB cable in and it identifies the printer and installs the drivers. Next the software leads the user through the initial setup of the printer and performs a flushing sequence to ensure it is clean. Next there is an installation of the ink cartridges and a final step of calibrations that is completely software driven and gives the user a visual guide to ensure that everything is easy to follow.

In all it took less than an hour to get the machine unpacked, software installed, and calibrations done. Now on to the fun stuff, printing!

The printing is slow compared to what I am used to at 10 SQFT an hour. Both of the shops I installed for were very pleased with the speed and did not seemed to be concerned at all. We ran through heat transfer and decal media and applied finished products to garments and other items. As I walked each of the shops through the process, they came up with application after application and would tell me of customers that they were going to utilize the versatility of this type of equipment for.

One of the shops was a small at home business that already had embroidery and DTG. They were looking to use the VersaStudio for dark garments, decals, posters, banners and a ton of other applications that they currently had to outsource.

The second shop was a well established business that had embroidery, heat transfer and a CAMMs machine for rhinestones. They were looking to bring their heat transfers in shop and be able to complete low run orders or one offs with the VersaStudio.

Both shops were looking at the VersaStudio as a way to get into the market on these projects and stop outsourcing while having better control on production times, color control and most importantly, profit margin! They both expressed that this could take off for them and in the future they may upgrade to a larger faster unit to handle the bigger jobs. I know that in the short time since i have done the installations, both shops have produced several jobs for customers and are very pleased with the machinery and the results they have gotten.

I will say that I feel this new printer cutter has a great spot in our industry. I am hearing from DTG users that want to add this to their shop to make up for the gaps there and to bring a larger list of products they can offer to their customers in shop. I am very impressed with the VersaStudio and am happy to recommend it to anyone that has been considering it for their shop.

If you would like more information or to see other pictures than the ones in this article, please let me know and I will be happy to send you what I have. I will have one of these at the class I teach this week and hope to have one permanently here for teaching classes in the future.

Thanks!
Steven Jackson
 

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I can't find the cost of the consumables. Do you have a price range for the inks?. I did find any info on Roland's site and I am still waiting for a call back
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ink cost without metallic figured in will be a maximum of $0.32 per square foot. I have calculated this many times and show how to do it in my class. At that coverage you would have an entirely black square though. I have not printed any of those yet! In Versaworks you can go to the job log and it will show you how much ink was used for the particular jobs you have run. Based on the amount of ink and the cost of the cartridges, I can say that my typical usage is around $0.18 per square foot of media. Not too bad if you ask me!
 

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I just re-read your post - If you were asking what the ink cartridges cost, it is typically $67 per cartridge on a 220ml or $229 for the metallic.

Media is all over the place but a quick rundown:
Decal - $0.17 per square foot
Banner (finished with hem tape and grommets) - $1 per square foot
Heat transfer - anywhere from $2 to $5 a square foot depending on type of material used
Wall Graphic media - $0.89 per square foot

That's just a few!
 

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I was interested in the ink costs, but the second post expanded on useful information. I am still on the fence with this one
 

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Steven I hope these pics was taken at your shop or somewhere other then the customer's business, because I see a VP-540 sitting there and wouldn't understand why they would want this when they already have a VP-540.
 

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Steven I hope these pics was taken at your shop or somewhere other then the customer's business, because I see a VP-540 sitting there and wouldn't understand why they would want this when they already have a VP-540.
Good eye! It was taken at my shop. They brought the BN20 here to go over the installation and do some training. It will be back today for the Versacamm class so maybe we can get some more pictures and a few other points of view on it.
 

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Thanks so much for the info Steve.
Can you advise if the bn20 prints to the full 20inch width or is it smaller like 18 inch or something?
 

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ok thanks for clarifying that Steve. i was worried that i will need to start cutting the width of the 20 inch rolls to make it fit haha so thank god i dont have to.

so she prints as good as the larger units but just slower and has a smaller print area. any other disadvantages?
 

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Steve, does this unit print and cut tshirt heat transfer vinyls ok? im thinking of also using it for custom tshirts. if it does, am i right in saying all else i would need is a heat press (thinking of a Hix ht400) , heat transfer material , infrared thermometer and the teflon sheet. is that correct?
 

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I am also trying to figure out if i should go with the studio or the camm. I want the ability to use the metallic inks but i need to keep my costs as low as possible but i'd hate to get the studio and then not be able to do larger projects. My main goal is to do apparel. But I'd like to do wall clings and decals and magnets too. Maybe even some yard signs for my husbands business or political signs. Also, where are you located Steve? I'm in Biloxi MS.
Cilya
 

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I am also trying to figure out if i should go with the studio or the camm. I want the ability to use the metallic inks but i need to keep my costs as low as possible but i'd hate to get the studio and then not be able to do larger projects. My main goal is to do apparel. But I'd like to do wall clings and decals and magnets too. Maybe even some yard signs for my husbands business or political signs. Also, where are you located Steve? I'm in Biloxi MS.
Cilya
Cilya,
I have your email and will send you a response in a few. I am on the road right now and running behind on responses. I am in Albany NY but travel all over. Right now I am in Ohio. The BN20 is great for smaller runs and garments but if you are looking at doing larger projects down the line I would say that the 300 or larger would be a better choice. I will reply to your email here shortly!

Thanks!

Steven
 
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