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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, this post is directed to current Versacamm owners who use their printer for apparel (either alone, or in addition to sign/label/decal work.) What I, and I believe a number of other users, would really like to know is specific to apparel. We know there are some wonderful members who own Versacamms where their primary business is sign graphics or wraps, who've offered great info on their experiences with the Versacamm, but I'm trying to focus here on the apparel end.

So...here's the question(s). Please feel free to answer any or all, whatever you feel comfortable with:

1. How happy are you with your apparel produced on the Versacamm, either lights or opaque?

2. How well have your customers received products printed on the Versacamm and heat pressed to garments?

3. What have your experiences been with reliability, service and maintenance?

4. If you purchased the SP/VP300, do you wish you went with the 540? If so, why?

5. Are you doing things you hadn't anticipated doing? For example, did you purchase for apparel and now find yourself doing stickers, posters, signs, etc.?

6. Did you once use transfer paper, and if so how would you compare the quality of the paper versus Versacamm?

7. Like the standard, "If I knew then what I know now," how would you apply that to your Versacamm experiences? And, would you do it all over again?

Many, many thanks, in advance, for the great advise and experiences I know many of you will share!
 

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Ken I am with you I am looking to buy one first next year and I would love to here from any one to !
 

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I am assuming your talking about running the versacamm with solvent inks rather than dye sub inks.

It all depends on the design. If its just a rectangular block its perfect for either lights or darks. If the area covered by the design is large, versacamm is not really suitable unless your customer doesnt mind the heavy hand. The transfer is just too thick. You want to minimise the surface printed as much as possible.

Its great for multicoloured pocket logos, Caps etcs. Gradients and colours are very good. Colours will last almost as long as the shirt provided the customer follows the washing instructions to the point. If its ironed on or tumbled dried, say goodbye to the print. On the other hand you can say the same for all inkjet or laser transfers, even plastisol transfers.

I have been using Colourprint New. Thats what its sold as in Australia. Its thicker and heavier than transfer papers that work only on white garments. The hand is roughly equivalent to other opaque transfer papers. Its quite elastic and retains its colour well provided its washed in cold water and hung dry.

Versacammns are workhorses which are built to last. I have a 10 year old vinyl cutter thats still working to this day. Roland build quality is second to none. Cant beat Made in Japan. They are all hand assembled in Japan by females. Each machine is built from the ground up by a single person. If **** happens they know exactly who to question.

Versacamm comes with a RIP so you will save a few K on that. But you will still need to purchase and learn how to use Illustrator. You need to sketch out the die cut line in vector programs and saving as eps before Versaworks (the RIP) will recognise the job.

Its certainly an expensive piece of equipment but it can do heaps of things besides tshirt transfers. If your considering it just for tshirts, its overkill for sure. The heavy hand will mean it cant be retailed. Its good for full colour one offs and not much more. The transfer paper is quite expensive and the process is slow compared to screen printing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am assuming your talking about running the versacamm with solvent inks rather than dye sub inks.

It all depends on the design. If its just a rectangular block its perfect for either lights or darks. If the area covered by the design is large, versacamm is not really suitable unless your customer doesnt mind the heavy hand. The transfer is just too thick. You want to minimise the surface printed as much as possible.

Its great for multicoloured pocket logos, Caps etcs. Gradients and colours are very good. Colours will last almost as long as the shirt provided the customer follows the washing instructions to the point. If its ironed on or tumbled dried, say goodbye to the print. On the other hand you can say the same for all inkjet or laser transfers, even plastisol transfers.

I have been using Colourprint New. Thats what its sold as in Australia. Its thicker and heavier than transfer papers that work only on white garments. The hand is roughly equivalent to other opaque transfer papers. Its quite elastic and retains its colour well provided its washed in cold water and hung dry.

Versacammns are workhorses which are built to last. I have a 10 year old vinyl cutter thats still working to this day. Roland build quality is second to none. Cant beat Made in Japan. They are all hand assembled in Japan by females. Each machine is built from the ground up by a single person. If **** happens they know exactly who to question.

Versacamm comes with a RIP so you will save a few K on that. But you will still need to purchase and learn how to use Illustrator. You need to sketch out the die cut line in vector programs and saving as eps before Versaworks (the RIP) will recognise the job.

Its certainly an expensive piece of equipment but it can do heaps of things besides tshirt transfers. If your considering it just for tshirts, its overkill for sure. The heavy hand will mean it cant be retailed. Its good for full colour one offs and not much more. The transfer paper is quite expensive and the process is slow compared to screen printing.
I've actually seen and felt the transfers at a Great Garment Graphics seminar. They were using SolutionsOpaque and Solutions Clear. I didn't find the hand that offensive, though I could see a large area being uncomfortable (for me) in warm weather. I know there are people out there that are using them for commercial apparel. I'm just wondering what the customer response has been.

What do you use your Versacamm for? Not apparel I'm assuming since you said said they can't be used for retail. I like the fact I can do decals/stickers as I have a demand for that as well.

I own and know Illustrator and Photoshop fairly well. But I really need something that is capable of full color printing on dark garments. Screen printing has not proven to be cost effective unless I price my shirts much higher than the market in this area and my customer base will accept.

But, that being said, if this won't produce an acceptable product it's a moot point.

Thanks for the input!
 

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When I said they couldnt really be used for retail I meant for mass production and then resold in retail shops. For small quantities and one offs its great. I personally use it a lot for this purpose. Better than any other opaque transfer system out there that I know of, inkjet or laser, with regards to durability (when washed according to instructions) and colour fastness. Just not for mass production. The heavy hand (in relation to waterbase and plastisol screen printing), the cost of raw materials and the labour involved would handicap you serverely.

Remember it also doubles up as a vinyl cutter. With the new textile vinyl out there which has great hand and durability (hand is almost indistinguisable from plastisol and durability is better) you can do one off single tone tshirts. On the other hand any other vinyl cutter will get you the same result.

I would not advise getting the versacamm solely to do the one off tshirts. You may not get your money back. You will need to generate other sources of income such as stickers, banners, signage etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I said they couldnt really be used for retail I meant for mass production and then resold in retail shops. For small quantities and one offs its great. I personally use it a lot for this purpose. Better than any other opaque transfer system out there that I know of, inkjet or laser, with regards to durability (when washed according to instructions) and colour fastness. Just not for mass production. The heavy hand (in relation to waterbase and plastisol screen printing), the cost of raw materials and the labour involved would handicap you serverely.

Remember it also doubles up as a vinyl cutter. With the new textile vinyl out there which has great hand and durability (hand is almost indistinguisable from plastisol and durability is better) you can do one off single tone tshirts. On the other hand any other vinyl cutter will get you the same result.

I would not advise getting the versacamm solely to do the one off tshirts. You may not get your money back. You will need to generate other sources of income such as stickers, banners, signage etc.
I follow you completely. I currently own a GX-24 and do a fair amount of vinyl, however I'm getting lots of requests for full-color. Large quantities is not an issue. I have a customer that stocks my motorcycle related t-shirts and generally purchases in small volume, 10-15 at a time. I also get about 5 requests a week for one-offs, but I'm not happy with the quality I'm getting off of standard inkjet transfers, let alone durability.
 

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1. How happy are you with your apparel produced on the Versacamm, either lights or opaque?
I've only done a few small orders, however I have had no complaints. I primarily use Solution's Opaque for dark garments (I have a Brother for lights/whites). I also use EcoFilm for simple wording.

2. How well have your customers received products printed on the Versacamm and heat pressed to garments?
A lot of people shun at the thought of heat applied vinyl, however I have some samples that show the hand in our shop. Most people have some vision/recollection of a cotton shirt that felt like it had a piece of leather glued to it. Just recently I decided to have a wash test sample with all our different methods in comparison to a replica "original", so that way they'll know what to expect.

3. What have your experiences been with reliability, service and maintenance?
Very little issue whatsoever. There was a problem with the early SP300's pumps I believe and ours failed, but was covered under warranty and replaced with a new one, no issues within the past 7-8 months. They claim the newer pumps hold up much better.

4. If you purchased the SP/VP300, do you wish you went with the 540? If so, why?
I kind of inherited it from my former employer who is now 3rd partner in our company. I wish we had the 540, mainly for banners and wide signage. 4'x8' banners are quite common, and I have to seam.

5. Are you doing things you hadn't anticipated doing? For example, did you purchase for apparel and now find yourself doing stickers, posters, signs, etc.?
I primarily had signage in mind. I actually shunned the heat press vinyls because the first type I used was quite craptastic. When I kept hearing praises of EcoFilm and Solutions Opaque, I decided to give it another shot and had Josh send me out some samples.

6. Did you once use transfer paper, and if so how would you compare the quality of the paper versus Versacamm?
N/A for me.

7. Like the standard, "If I knew then what I know now," how would you apply that to your Versacamm experiences? And, would you do it all over again?
Bigger, would've gotten bigger. There's so many awesome things you can do with it, including huge posters, Donald Trump always says to think BIG, and sometimes 2.5' isn't big enough :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
1. How happy are you with your apparel produced on the Versacamm, either lights or opaque?
I've only done a few small orders, however I have had no complaints. I primarily use Solution's Opaque for dark garments (I have a Brother for lights/whites). I also use EcoFilm for simple wording.

2. How well have your customers received products printed on the Versacamm and heat pressed to garments?
A lot of people shun at the thought of heat applied vinyl, however I have some samples that show the hand in our shop. Most people have some vision/recollection of a cotton shirt that felt like it had a piece of leather glued to it. Just recently I decided to have a wash test sample with all our different methods in comparison to a replica "original", so that way they'll know what to expect.

3. What have your experiences been with reliability, service and maintenance?
Very little issue whatsoever. There was a problem with the early SP300's pumps I believe and ours failed, but was covered under warranty and replaced with a new one, no issues within the past 7-8 months. They claim the newer pumps hold up much better.

4. If you purchased the SP/VP300, do you wish you went with the 540? If so, why?
I kind of inherited it from my former employer who is now 3rd partner in our company. I wish we had the 540, mainly for banners and wide signage. 4'x8' banners are quite common, and I have to seam.

5. Are you doing things you hadn't anticipated doing? For example, did you purchase for apparel and now find yourself doing stickers, posters, signs, etc.?
I primarily had signage in mind. I actually shunned the heat press vinyls because the first type I used was quite craptastic. When I kept hearing praises of EcoFilm and Solutions Opaque, I decided to give it another shot and had Josh send me out some samples.

6. Did you once use transfer paper, and if so how would you compare the quality of the paper versus Versacamm?
N/A for me.

7. Like the standard, "If I knew then what I know now," how would you apply that to your Versacamm experiences? And, would you do it all over again?
Bigger, would've gotten bigger. There's so many awesome things you can do with it, including huge posters, Donald Trump always says to think BIG, and sometimes 2.5' isn't big enough :)
Excellent Joe! Very helpful! Thanks!
 

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How about printing on vinyl?

Now I was told you could do car wraps and signs on cars, tucks any of you tried this ? As will as banners and shirts.

This is why I have been looking at them.
 

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How about printing on vinyl?

Now I was told you could do car wraps and signs on cars, tucks any of you tried this ? As will as banners and shirts.

This is why I have been looking at them.
Yeah, I do printed vinyl most commonly with it, it's great for all kinds of signage, but I've also done vehicle decals for folks too.

Wraps require some training and experience. I've got some sample rolls from 3m on the way to take another stab (my first attempt was pretty bad). If it still turns out crappy, I'll probably go to a wrap seminar, although the 54" printer is also quite a bit more ideal for wraps (less seams).

I use a solvent printable banner material, so there's no real need for vinyl on the banners at all, just print directly on the banner, hem it, grommet it, and it's done.
 

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Ok guys so just make sure in this! So what u said is versacam then is not the machine to do apparel ? Because i got a embroidery bussines but im thiink in get a dgt printer or versacam but just to heard about the lines cloth and all them problems with dgt white ink. I was just think in buy a versacam so what u guy think about this u think is not a good to buy for apparel i will became a banner and stickers also but right know i want keep doing in apparel where i got most all my customers, that they been ask me for printer desings that why im interesting in a printer machine.? Thanks for your help . Robert.
 

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1. How happy are you with your apparel produced on the Versacamm, either lights or opaque?
- Very pleased! We use mostly opaque solutions and clear solutions from Imprintables and have had tremendous results from both!

2. How well have your customers received products printed on the Versacamm and heat pressed to garments?
-While some customers initially balk at the idea of a "Heat transfer" we have samples that are displayed in our shop that let them feel and see how it really works. They like the material overall and are very pleased with the types of prints we can get from it.

3. What have your experiences been with reliability, service and maintenance?
-The machine is a true workhorse! The few problems I have had were solved via forums or calling my roland rep and getting a quick solution. Service is transparent as the machine mostly takes care of itself. I do a manual cleaning every few weeks and have had to replace consumables on it which was very easy to do.

4. If you purchased the SP/VP300, do you wish you went with the 540? If so, why?
-ABSOLUTLY!!! I am still trying to find a great way to get a 540VP to allow me to manufacture larger banners and seamless wraps!

5. Are you doing things you hadn't anticipated doing? For example, did you purchase for apparel and now find yourself doing stickers, posters, signs, etc.?
-We originally puchased the unit for apparel, banners and decals. Now I find myself running MANY banners (Awesome money makers) and a few vehicle wraps along with alot of apparel. I would say that the apparel end is about 30 to 35% of its use on the machine with banners, decals etc being the rest. I have done a few wraps and have a few more lined up. Once you work with the material and get a feel for it, it is not too hard to do and has a great profit margin on it.

6. Did you once use transfer paper, and if so how would you compare the quality of the paper versus Versacamm?
- We used transfer paper when we first got into business and I will NEVER go back to it. I have even tried the JPSS that everyone seems to love and compared to the ease of use on solutions material, I will use my versacamm every time! The transfer material is the biggest part that will change from garment to garment. You have to match the correct material to the job. If I am doing a sweatshirt where a heavier material is acceptable (heavier hand) then I will use colorprint. If I am looking for a soft feel and strechability, I wil go with solutions. There are a lot of specialty materials that can be used also like metallic and puff materials that open alot of fashion applications. I have been told of some very cool materials that are in the works right now and cannot wait for them to come out.

7. Like the standard, "If I knew then what I know now," how would you apply that to your Versacamm experiences? And, would you do it all over again?
-I would have gotten a Versacamm alot earlier in our business! We first looked at the Versacamm as an alternative to a DTG as when you are not printing garments, what is the DTG doing for you? I could not stomach $15,000 for a machine thta I would not constantly be running. I beat the crap out of my versacamm and run it 60% of the workweek and it consistantly brings money into our business.


on another note, I have been working on a few tests and info clips on the Versacamm that I hope to have out by the end of next month. We are making a shirt that has all of the different materials on it with the same design so our customers can get a feel for all of the different processes side by side and make good decisions on what to use. I will try to post all of the info on the forums. I hope all this helps and as always, feel free to contact me with any questions!
 

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I can't wait into i sale my custom chopper and my jet-skies or traing to find same one who can trade for a versacam i wish josh from versacam can take me toys for exchange hahahaha and i will love to taae a versacam .:d
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1. How happy are you with your apparel produced on the Versacamm, either lights or opaque?
- Very pleased! We use mostly opaque solutions and clear solutions from Imprintables and have had tremendous results from both!

2. How well have your customers received products printed on the Versacamm and heat pressed to garments?
-While some customers initially balk at the idea of a "Heat transfer" we have samples that are displayed in our shop that let them feel and see how it really works. They like the material overall and are very pleased with the types of prints we can get from it.

3. What have your experiences been with reliability, service and maintenance?
-The machine is a true workhorse! The few problems I have had were solved via forums or calling my roland rep and getting a quick solution. Service is transparent as the machine mostly takes care of itself. I do a manual cleaning every few weeks and have had to replace consumables on it which was very easy to do.

4. If you purchased the SP/VP300, do you wish you went with the 540? If so, why?
-ABSOLUTLY!!! I am still trying to find a great way to get a 540VP to allow me to manufacture larger banners and seamless wraps!

5. Are you doing things you hadn't anticipated doing? For example, did you purchase for apparel and now find yourself doing stickers, posters, signs, etc.?
-We originally puchased the unit for apparel, banners and decals. Now I find myself running MANY banners (Awesome money makers) and a few vehicle wraps along with alot of apparel. I would say that the apparel end is about 30 to 35% of its use on the machine with banners, decals etc being the rest. I have done a few wraps and have a few more lined up. Once you work with the material and get a feel for it, it is not too hard to do and has a great profit margin on it.

6. Did you once use transfer paper, and if so how would you compare the quality of the paper versus Versacamm?
- We used transfer paper when we first got into business and I will NEVER go back to it. I have even tried the JPSS that everyone seems to love and compared to the ease of use on solutions material, I will use my versacamm every time! The transfer material is the biggest part that will change from garment to garment. You have to match the correct material to the job. If I am doing a sweatshirt where a heavier material is acceptable (heavier hand) then I will use colorprint. If I am looking for a soft feel and strechability, I wil go with solutions. There are a lot of specialty materials that can be used also like metallic and puff materials that open alot of fashion applications. I have been told of some very cool materials that are in the works right now and cannot wait for them to come out.

7. Like the standard, "If I knew then what I know now," how would you apply that to your Versacamm experiences? And, would you do it all over again?
-I would have gotten a Versacamm alot earlier in our business! We first looked at the Versacamm as an alternative to a DTG as when you are not printing garments, what is the DTG doing for you? I could not stomach $15,000 for a machine thta I would not constantly be running. I beat the crap out of my versacamm and run it 60% of the workweek and it consistantly brings money into our business.


on another note, I have been working on a few tests and info clips on the Versacamm that I hope to have out by the end of next month. We are making a shirt that has all of the different materials on it with the same design so our customers can get a feel for all of the different processes side by side and make good decisions on what to use. I will try to post all of the info on the forums. I hope all this helps and as always, feel free to contact me with any questions!
Thanks Steven. I've been waiting for you to chime in. I've read through everything you've written relative to the Versacamm. I knew you'd have some great info. Thank you for helping me make up my mind!
 

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Hey steven can u pos some pictures from the apparel that u been making special i would like see the big prints if u dont mind? Thanks a lot. Beto.
 

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Some companies such as Transfer Express and Universal are using Versacamms to print their full color transfers. I was considering buying some of the Versacamm printed transfers because of their low cost relative to process printing but there seems to be a difference of opinion as to their durability and hand. When I used to print vinyl banners with HP's, the UV/waterproof inks were very tough and we hung a sample banner outside for a year or more and it didn't fade so I know there are durable inks available but are the apparel inks that durable?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Some companies such as Transfer Express and Universal are using Versacamms to print their full color transfers. I was considering buying some of the Versacamm printed transfers because of their low cost relative to process printing but there seems to be a difference of opinion as to their durability and hand. When I used to print vinyl banners with HP's, the UV/waterproof inks were very tough and we hung a sample banner outside for a year or more and it didn't fade so I know there are durable inks available but are the apparel inks that durable?
Rick, the eco-solvent inks used on the Versacamm for signs are the same used for the apparel. So if it holds up outdoors the only question would be how they'd hold up to machine washing. I'd actually be less worried about the ink on an opaque transfer than to how well the adhesive holds up to washing. I've read "50 washings," which, if true, would certainly say a lot. I've had a standard inkjet opaque transfer start to come up at the edge after 15 washings...very frustrating. I'd expect some fading, but hopefully not a horrible amount. I received a sample (actually for my wife) of the solutions clear (at a show) and it's been washed about 20 times and there is some fading, but a bit less than I've seen on JPSS. Certainly acceptable to my clients.
 
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