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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Mpls Minnesota
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    3M vs. Oracal- calendered vinyl comparison only please

    I use mostly calendered vinyl for our print production. I understand that
    cast is better but for the our mix of printed products we have been using
    Orajet 3165RA ( which I believe would correspond to IJ35C-10) and
    Orajet 3551RA ( which I believe would correspond to IJ40C-10R).

    We had decided to switch from Oracal to 3M as our stock ran out this year. The price is better and 3M is a US (and Minnesota) company.
    I have always used 3M/Gerber cast films for the last 16 years- 15" and 30"
    and some Arlon 24" cast which matches the Gerber colors closely.

    I am getting cold feet now that the time is upon me- I have had absolutely
    *no* problems with the Oracal- I cannot think of a failure that I can attribute to the print calendered vinyl. I get the sweats thinking about
    vinyl failure- we pretty much replace anything our customers are don't like.

    I also believe that Oracal developed the so-called Hi-performance Intermediate (calendered) vinyl market and kind of wonder if 3M is playing
    catchup.

    I have seen the thread about IJ35 failure- it does not seem so much related to the material as the wall- but I guess it planted the germ in
    my already addled brain. Thanks for any thoughts and experiences. Gene

    PS- sorry about the length of this- I don't talk much but keyboard a lot.
    Such a nice day... please don't screw it up.
    Reality has a well-known liberal bias
    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.” A. Lincoln
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. R. Williams



    Director of Creative Retirement
    ABC Sign & Graphic, Inc.
    Blaine, Minnesota

    Edge I, enV, 2- Summa T750s, GX-500
    VP540 (Triangle inks) and R Sov 1400C

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Circleville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,139
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    3M IJ35-C is awesome.

    Just like any other product, you need to use it in the right applications, or you will get failures. But that is true of anything. For calendered air release, all I use is IJ35C.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Dayton, Oh
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    They're both comparable. We switched from 3165RA to IJ35C-10 for one reason: it doesn't edge curl when your print bleeds, Orajet film (all of them actually, not just 3165) tends to curl significantly with ink coverage at the cut. If you wait 48+ hours it won't, but we don't have that luxury most of the time. Switching to IJ35C eliminated it.

    That said, I like Oracal's products, love them in fact. And IMO Oracal is a far superior company, especially if you have problems with their films. They stand behind their warranty and they will be there in a second to help you if you have a problem with their products.

    So while we use IJ35C, we do so for a specific reason, and while I believe it's an excellent product, if you're happy with Oracal products stick with them.

    Oh, and if you were laminating Oracal calendered vinyls with their 210 laminate, go ahead and keep using it. 3M's calendered 8509 laminate is flat out junk. DO NOT use it. We still use 210 because we feel it's the best calendered laminate on the market.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Jonesboro, AR
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    114
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    Until recently I had been using Oracal products almost exclusively for just shy of a decade. I made the decision to switch our shop to 3M products for several reasons, one of the big ones being price. I can get comparable, and most times better, quality 3M material for less money than Oracal.

    I've been using 3M print materials almost exclusively for about 4 months now and couldn't be happier. We primarily used Oracal 3640 for our "day-to-day" prints and had very few issues with it aside from a couple instances of shrinking.

    I switched to IJ35C-10 as our new "daily" vinyl and the results have been great. It makes it easier on our vinyl guys with it being air release and the print quality has been excellent. We pair it with 8508 laminate and have had no issues thus far and have applied it on a wide range of substrates.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Dayton, Oh
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    Oh, on the subject of Oracal vs. 3M, Oracal's 3751RA wrap film is killer, every bit as good as, if not a good bit better than 180C and it's significantly less. Time will tell how durable it really proves to be, but after a couple months of using it we're sold on it so far.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    we just switched from 3165 to ij35c.

    mostly a supplier change but, we will see. ive used it before. not as agressive of a tac as the 3165 which i like.

    as mentioned above DO NOT USE 3m's corrosponding lam. its a 1 year product that i doubt would last 3 months outside.

    stick to oracals 210.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Springfield, IL
    Posts
    319
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    We also switched to all 3M products because of a supplier change. They got bought out, and we now get all of the comparable 3M products for the same price or lower than the Oracal. Our customers are actually happier because of the brand name recognition, and are pleased with the 3M products.

    I don't want to steal this thread, but.....
    I have had a hard time finding 3M ICC profiles for a Roland XC-540. They have some on the web site, but I have to go to the European website so that I can actually download them. The U.S. website will not let me download anything... I don't know why. They so not have profiles for all of there materials like Oracal does. I have been getting by and have started working to create my own. Any suggestions...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    355
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    Gene,
    I went through the same process when we switched from 3165RA to IJ35C-10. The main reason for the change had nothing to do with being unhappy with Oracal, I was just getting away from "the cowboy" moving to a local supplier that carried 3M but not Oracal. For a while I also wondered if I was going to regret it just because this kinda fell into the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" catagory. After a year of using the IJ35C-10 I can say that I don't see any significant difference between the 2 and wouldn't hesitate to use them interchangeably.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Jonesboro, AR
    Posts
    114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill43mx View Post
    Gene,
    I went through the same process when we switched from 3165RA to IJ35C-10. The main reason for the change had nothing to do with being unhappy with Oracal, I was just getting away from "the cowboy" moving to a local supplier that carried 3M but not Oracal. For a while I also wondered if I was going to regret it just because this kinda fell into the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" catagory. After a year of using the IJ35C-10 I can say that I don't see any significant difference between the 2 and wouldn't hesitate to use them interchangeably.
    What laminate are you using with it?

  10. #10
    john1 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ProWraps View Post
    we just switched from 3165 to ij35c.

    mostly a supplier change but, we will see. ive used it before. not as agressive of a tac as the 3165 which i like.

    as mentioned above DO NOT USE 3m's corrosponding lam. its a 1 year product that i doubt would last 3 months outside.

    stick to oracals 210.
    x100 on the laminate, I had the 8509 last under 6 months before the product curled all around, even on rounded edges.

    I have been using General Formulations Concept 203 and 201 with the GF laminate and love it for everyday print/cut jobs. You can get this at Fellers or at Grimco. At Grimco it's labeled under BriteLine.

    Oracals films are great also but i prefer the General Formulations personally.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    3,584
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    for those of you that use Montroy, their MonCor lam is rebranded arlon from what i was told.

    ive used miles of it. love it.

    your welcome montroy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    denver
    Posts
    7,736
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    wtf is Montroy

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    So. Indiana
    Posts
    613
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradosigns
    wtf is Montroy
    +1

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    you would like it better if it was called ManTroy huh?

  15. #15
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    Sep 2010
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    denver
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWraps View Post
    you would like it better if it was called ManTroy huh?

    Do they sell long tubes with stuff on it?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    on it, or in it?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    denver
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProWraps View Post
    on it, or in it?
    .....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Racine, WI
    Posts
    3,796
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    3551RA is gold... i use it for my flat graphics that I don't want to spend the dough on 180C. zero failures in extreme conditions, most times on bare (sanded,cleaned) aluminum but my MDO signage has held up just fine, over the years, as well.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    denver
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    7,736
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikePro View Post
    3551RA is gold
    Have you tried melting it down, and maybe selling it?
























    ok im done.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Racine, WI
    Posts
    3,796
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    shoot, if i could do that, I'd be rich as heck with my 600'+ of 10" cutoff strips. (entire rolls, and matching laminate, no splices. i'm such a packrat, but my scraps in handy)
    p.s. anyone need 10" 3551RA... i'm your man :)

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Mpls Minnesota
    Posts
    1,492
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    I would like to thank you all for your comments before this thread dies
    and falls off the edge of the universe. Especially the comments on 8508/9-
    I spent a lot of time on the vinyl comparisons and had not thought of the
    laminates. In the cowboys catalog they are 'up to one year durability' and
    I got Grimco's happy friday specials and they are listed (also in their catalog)
    as 3 year products- vs. 4 years for 210. I just found this on a 3m brochure-
    ' No durability warranty, Heat and tension cause curling, Excessive stretching
    causes a white appearance. Not for use on applications that must be stretched during application, Not for warranted graphics. Nice
    Such a nice day... please don't screw it up.
    Reality has a well-known liberal bias
    “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.” A. Lincoln
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. R. Williams



    Director of Creative Retirement
    ABC Sign & Graphic, Inc.
    Blaine, Minnesota

    Edge I, enV, 2- Summa T750s, GX-500
    VP540 (Triangle inks) and R Sov 1400C

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,820
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    I have used only Oracal products for production work. Tried a few 3M samples but not real seriously. I have had great success with oracal 3651 and 210 laminate. One of the reasons I started using it was because it didn't shrink very much for a calendared film. The 210 lam will shrink slightly more than the vinyl outdoors. The 3551RA / 290 combo outdoors on flat graphics works great for me. Kinda hard to leave something behind when you have established a track record with it.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindsEyeOpen View Post
    What laminate are you using with it?
    Most recently Grimco's Briteline Shield Gloss. Pretty happy with it so far.

  24. #24
    john1 Guest
    Grimcos briteline is general formulations, the vinyl and lam :)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Thunder Bay
    Posts
    650
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    The timing for this thread could not have been better.
    I was literally just going to pick up the phone and order some 8509 lam (I have only used 210, but I can get the 3m in one day instead of 2 days)
    Now I will wait the extra day and use the 210.
    Signs 101 saved my but again!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    denver
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedsterbeast View Post
    The timing for this thread could not have been better.
    I was literally just going to pick up the phone and order some 8509 lam (I have only used 210, but I can get the 3m in one day instead of 2 days)
    Now I will wait the extra day and use the 210.
    Signs 101 saved my but again!
    8509 is a joke. Barely any uv protection. It's a PVC printable that they just figured to make a lam too.

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