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I run a tee shirt shop , with a 4 colour 4 station press. What do i need to start making vinyl stickers?
Thanks!
ink?
New screens?{higher mesh count i imagine}
How does the ink cure?
Plattens?
 

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Sticker shop is completely different, compare to a screen printing shop. Basically, a plotter cuts the image on a sheet of vinyl, you weed out all the unwanted areas leaving the image showing, then put an application tape over. So, you need to buy a plotter and stockup on vinyl rolls in different colors.
 

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I think he may be inquiring about screen printed stickers.

You might want to go to the forums at screenprinters.net to find out more. They have a non-textile forum over there.
 

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You definitely can, but I'm not sure how you'd cure the ink. Most vinyl will only last up to about 200 degrees; you need about 350 degrees to cure plastisol ink. You can try water-based ink, but I'm not sure if the accelerate-agent will damage the vinyl. On top of that, the viny itself is very glossy and may reduce the adhesiveness of the ink onto the vinyl. Of course, I'm talking about standard vinyl decal, and not your thermal press vinyl. :)
 

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If you rather use a printer, you can invest in a print/cut system like the one from Print Tech Solvent printer. That will print directly onto a sheet of vinyl, then cut around it. If I remember it correctly, the ink itself is rated 3-year outdoor life.
 

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Vtec44 said:
If you rather use a printer, you can invest in a print/cut system like the one from Print Tech Solvent printer. That will print directly onto a sheet of vinyl, then cut around it. If I remember it correctly, the ink itself is rated 3-year outdoor life.
I agree...this is the way to go if printing full color graphics on vinyl. A print and cut sustem can be found on any sign vinyl internet site. You can look at Beacon Graphics or Sign warehouse. There are some inks that last longer than others and for extended life lamination.
 

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Yup. I wouldnt go with screen printed stickers anymore with the print/cut systems avilable these days. With a base level set-up, you can print and contour cut for roughly .34 cents a square foot. The equipment is a bit steep to start with but if you thought the T-shirt business had plenty of room for everyone, get into stickers with good designs. I spent a little over $2000 on my machine and software and in just about a year of goofing around, paid for it and was in the green. And I just do die-cut stickers. Just a suggestion. Stay away from the older Roland PC series line. They use a resin base print system and are expensive to run. Great for small orders on short notice but at a little over $1.50 a square foot it cuts into the profits.

EDIT: Oh and with the new inks you can get 5 years and with a film, spray or liquid laminet, you can get even more ODL
 

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I think with a machine that wont sell you short in the long run and some real killer softwear the introduction price is much steeper than two grand!!! My cut softwear alone was more than that...could run you for a proffessional set up around 5 times that amount me thinks...with the ability to do full auto wraps etc!!!!
 

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Between my Graphtec and Cibercut I spent just at $2000. Its a nice machine. I just wish Id had saved awhile longer to get a print/cut machine instead of just a plotter. The nice thing about the Cibercut, is it very easy to use and exports to very clean EPS files. Intuitve radius' make life alot easier. Its my understanding that RIP software has a huge learning curve though. Any truth to that?
 

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Hi all,

I agree with the general consensus about using a print/cut system. However, it depends if you want to specialize in full color, short run jobs (under 100 pieces),with the smaller decals/stickers (under 12x12 as an example), OR if you want to do long production runs or have the capability to do large signs, car wraps, etc...

I myself use a Roland PC-12 as I only do short runs - usually under 50 pieces. The resin inks is superb BUT the cost to produce is more expensive than the larger Roland or other brand printers/cutters.

Fortunately with the PC-12, I can print and contour cut and the only labor is really weeding the vinyl when done.

For my needs, I find the PC-12 comfortable, profitable and easy to maintain and operate. Right now I have just started working with local screenprinters who have a need for this type of service and my minimum is one piece. My base price is $20 a square foot so I do a lot of gang printing or other jobs to fill in the free space.

Oh yes. As this is short run custom work, customers are charged accordingly.

Comments from screenprinters here in FL - they don't bother to screenprint labels, stickers, etc. for under 100 pieces and most only offer one or two ink colors. The PC-12 helps them to offer a new product line with bare minimums.

Hope this helps.

Toonsign
 
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