You could build a 1 color press with a $40 Aluminum screen and spending about $100 on wood. Plus $15 for a quart of black ink, and $5-20 depending on the size of the squeegee. Output can be done at Kinko's with velum paper. That's about as barebones of a start up I can think of.
Now if you have the clients and have great credit, you can purchase a 8 color automatic with all the essentials for about $40k.
Screenprinting is definitely something where you fit the shop to the budget. You could start (with difficulty) with a few hundred, a few thousand is better, ten thousand plus is better still. You just buy what you can afford and get by. $3500 is a decent amount. If you're careful about what you buy, it'll go a good distance.
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