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Thread: canvas printing equipment?

  1. #1

    canvas printing equipment?

    Hi all

    I wonder if anyone can help me, i am looking to set up a canvas printing operation and wondered what equipment i need, i have seen many Large format printers, it seems the epsom 7800 seems a good bet, any suggestions please

    also is there some software that is used for large format printing?

    i would appreciate all input

    thanks in advance

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    HI
    This is how i make my living, i use an epson 9800 44in wide printer, all my work is prep'd in photoshop cs2 and then sent to the printer, 7800 is just as nice but the size will be limiting, i get quite a lot of of prints bigger than 36in. anything that you print on canvas will need a protective lacquer and the cheapest but also the best is breathingcolor lacquer, i also use there canvas to which is the brillance chromata white, the colours are fantastic once you get the gloss finish on them and there wrapped

    hope this helps

  3. #3
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    I second in getting the larger printer. You lose 4" off your dimension for the wrap.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
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  4. #4

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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by tracksource26 View Post
    Hi all

    I wonder if anyone can help me, i am looking to set up a canvas printing operation and wondered what equipment i need, i have seen many Large format printers, it seems the epsom 7800 seems a good bet, any suggestions please

    also is there some software that is used for large format printing?

    i would appreciate all input

    thanks in advance
    It depends on what level of operation you want to engage in. If you want a small operation, possibly out of you home or studio, then an Epson might be it. If you want a larger operation, a little more of a real business (not that home businesses aren't real), then a Roland is a better bet. They are a more expensive, but you pay for the quality. They are built to last - and print every day, all day.

    I use one with a dVinci setup, which is 12 colors, a mixture of 8 colors and 4 blacks. It's a great system...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios.com

  5. #5
    Greg Lockrey's Avatar
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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    It depends on what level of operation you want to engage in. If you want a small operation, possibly out of you home or studio, then an Epson might be it. If you want a larger operation, a little more of a real business (not that home businesses aren't real), then a Roland is a better bet. They are a more expensive, but you pay for the quality. They are built to last - and print every day, all day.

    I use one with a dVinci setup, which is 12 colors, a mixture of 8 colors and 4 blacks. It's a great system...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios.com

    It would all depend if you could fill that Roland with 400 square feet an hour in order to pay for it. Most of us are lucky just to get to do 200 square feet in a day.
    Greg Lockrey

    Wealth is a state of mind.
    Money is just a tool.
    Happiness is pedaling +25mph on a smooth road.



  6. #6

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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Lockrey View Post
    It would all depend if you could fill that Roland with 400 square feet an hour in order to pay for it. Most of us are lucky just to get to do 200 square feet in a day.
    I pay about $700 a month for my lease on my Pro2. That included a lot for software, warranty on the machine, a set of ink, etc. Is it reasonable? I don't know. I just look at it as rent... It's my main machine, printed all night long last night...

    I just picked up another one, an older one, an FJ-500, 54 inch wide, 8 slot machine for 3K.

    Lenny

  7. #7
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Hmmm ...... 700 a month, that is more per year than the purchase price of any 44" printer from Canon, Epson or HP. Sure it is the best and sure it is worth it if you can justify it on the basis of production volume. Otherwise I don't think you can tell the difference in output between the Roland and the others if you are looking at anything from a few feet away. For art repro even if you stick your nose in the print.

    Lenny, "just rent" ... do you do the volume to justify that rent? Does it pay for itself or run at a loss?

  8. #8

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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Harris View Post
    Hmmm ...... 700 a month, that is more per year than the purchase price of any 44" printer from Canon, Epson or HP. Sure it is the best and sure it is worth it if you can justify it on the basis of production volume. Otherwise I don't think you can tell the difference in output between the Roland and the others if you are looking at anything from a few feet away. For art repro even if you stick your nose in the print.

    Lenny, "just rent" ... do you do the volume to justify that rent? Does it pay for itself or run at a loss?
    I actually have a business that does a lot of printing for others. We focus on the highest quality, our idea is that this is the place you come when you want to absolute best. Sorry for the unabashed plug...

    I can tell you that I have had so much trouble with Epson's, we finally unplugged the last one. Constant cleaning, it always wants to take another 5 inches before a cut, and when you do clean, it takes ink from all channels. The Epson's print well, not quite as good as a dVinci system, but very good. The heads aren't the problem.

    However, they are made for casual use, not business use, and they are made to break. Engineered for it, I have concluded after using them for years and years. For example., the paper lever works by virtue of nylon soft plastic gears that are installed with a pin that is inserted into a hole in sheet metal. There is no metal collar on the plastic pin, nor washers, etc. The hole in the metal is not perfectly round and so every time you pull the lever you will wear it down a little more. It's just a matter of time. This one I just unplugged was a 9600 and pulling a cartridge out, the contact pin for the chip caught on the lip and came out. We had to take the whole thing apart, over 100 screws. The guys that engineered this thing are either totally incompetent or deliberately trying to make life difficult and expensive. For this simple repair, it cost almost $1000.

    If you open up a Roland, it is all laid out so that you can take care of it. You can access the heads and look at the surface. Changing a damper takes about a minute, and you don't get ink all over you. Further, it cuts where you ask it - and that alone saves me enough paper in a year to take care of a payment or two. You clean one of three channels - that's a third of the ink for a cleaning cycle, which it needs about 1/4 of the time the Epson did (yes, same ink type). Installing and realigning a head takes about an hour vs as bad as 6 hours for an Epson. Techs cost about $175 per hour - the math is compelling. As well as what happens when you are down and you need to get the work out for a customer with a show coming up this weekend...

    As I stated, I don't complain about the print quality. While I have a much wider gamut than an Epson, and a smoother looking print (from better UCR), what you really pay for in a Roland is a well built machine that you can depend on.

    Finally, with regard to viewing distance - I don't believe in it. I have large prints here in the studio. The first thing every single person does is go right up to it, as close as they can focus. Unless you have a definable distance, with a rope to keep people away from it, that's what they do. When we reproduce a painting, we actually do our best to match every single color. Much of the time we get there. This is what makes us happy - doing our best vs what is good enough. If you want to do work that is good enough, then you probably ought not to work with artists and possibly work for corporate clients, in which case the equipment set is quite different, usually more expensive... and the business model is different as well.

    I understand that some folks have to start "in the garage" and build up a business. I still consider myself to be in the garage in many ways. Cheaper printers can really help one get started. That's a business decision, however. When you can, move up to a more stable platform, something you can depend on, and make your life a lot easier.

    That's my 2 cents...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios

  9. #9
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    Further, it cuts where you ask it - and that alone saves me enough paper in a year to take care of a payment or two.
    Agree with waste in cutting, but I thought you couldn't use the built-in cutter for canvas on the Epson, and had to do a manual cut ? When you do so, you certainly cut where you want too.

  10. #10

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    Re: canvas printing equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by QT Luong View Post
    Agree with waste in cutting, but I thought you couldn't use the built-in cutter for canvas on the Epson, and had to do a manual cut ? When you do so, you certainly cut where you want too.
    QT,

    You are correct, of course. Canvas is a small part of what we do... so I wasn't thinking about this specifically... it's a major cost (and annoyance) factor for our operation.

    Lenny

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