You have to be good and creative with design to start a signage/print business but be careful when choosing how to turn thoughts into hard copy with your hard cash.
Having supplied this equipment for over twenty years, there have been triumphs and disasters. The easy/cheap route, you would have thought, was to pick up a second-hand printer on eBay and get cracking, right? No! That path leads to disaster more often than not as the inks won’t work, the printhead will block, the colours will be wrong, the output will look terrible and very slow to output; why do you think it was being sold?
We strongly suggest starting with a Raster Image Processor or RIP and understand how it works and what it can do for you.
In its basic function, a RIP is a turbocharger for Printers. Without a RIP, printers can take 6-8 hours crunching the “1s” and “0s” before it ever starts to print. Some RIPs are free and you can guess how good they are? The more sophisticated RIPs offer much, much more. If you start on the wrong path you will again waste a great deal of time, media and money, so don’t get stuck with a skateboard instead of a Rolls Royce.
Westec suggests starting with the reasonably priced basic Caldera VisualRIP + before you start to think about what printer to put on the other end. The second most important is training – how to use the tools. This will save you not hours but months of wasted time wasted output and most importantly wasted money.
We advise buying new equipment with installation, a warranty and training. Then you will know what you are doing and the money will start to roll in. With a Caldera RIP, you can process (RIP) several jobs all at the same time, create cut marks, step & repeat, cutter controls, tiling….. The list of features is too long to list here.
Mutoh Eco-solvent Printer
Printers: To mix reliability, efficiency, the economy of ink and price, look no further than Mutoh.
The Mutoh VJ1324x is 54” 1361mm wide and can print onto a very wide range of media at 360-720-1080-1440 dpi on to s/a vinyl, vinyl banner, back-lit, canvas, blueback/wallpaper, photo gloss/satin/matt and flag material.
Mutoh is well known for the economy of ink output combining Intelligent Interweaving with Variable drop delivering a stunning 8ml ink usage /m2 at 67% coverage. Speed/Quality performance range from 3.9 – 27.9 m2/hour.
Signage being viewed from 20 metres printed at 1440 dpi is a complete waste of money, time and ink as 360 dpi are more than enough where stickers/Decals or photo images might need 720 or 1440 dpi. Mutoh output will be waterproof and light safe outside for between 3-7 years.
Westec offer a Caldera VisualRIP+/Mutoh bundle
- Caldera RIP + Prepress + Tiling + Cost Estimation + print driver and Cut Server
- ICC Profile to match media/quality output
- Dell/Linux box with 23” screen
- Mutoh VJ1324X printer with starter inks
- Delivery, Installation and 1 day Training