Is the VersaStudio BN-20 right for me?

DHCS12

New Member
Hello Everybody,

First post here. Was hoping I could get a bit of advice on what type of printer/cutter I should purchase.

For about 4 years I've been selling vinyl adhesive decals and art prints using a manufacturer to obtain product. The decals are printed on clear vinyl, full color, rated for indoor and outdoor use, and use a UV ink with a 3-5 year capability. They are also die cut. For the art prints I'm using an HP printer and photo paper. Now I'm looking to break away from my manufacturer and print the decals on my own. I'm not looking to purchase a silkscreen machine so I looked into digital printing. I also do not need to print thousands of decals per day so I'm not looking for a large heavy duty machine.


A long google search lead me to the VersaStudio BN-20. I believe this machine is what I'm looking for but the price is a bit high. I've searched for similar machines but they all seem to be a lot more expensive. I'm ready to purchase the BN-20 but I just want to make sure this IS the printer/cutter I need and to see if I have any other options.

So I have a few questions on the matter...
Is this machine even right for what I'm looking to print?
Is there a similar machine to the BN20 that's cheaper?
Could I purchase both a printer and cutter that would do just as good of a job as the BN20?

:thankyou:
 
J

john1

Guest
The BN20 seems like a nice set up for the money but really for the money you can get a used 30" versacamm which has more standard size medias than the 20" BN20 which you will never find anything in Fellers or most of the suppliers books for something that small.

Now if you must print on clear, the BN20 does have a white and metallic ink option which the versacamms do not. There is a specific model that does i think but it's way out of your price range i am sure if the BN20 is too much. If you don't use the white and or metallic alot i heard they clog up on ya with the BN20
 

DHCS12

New Member
I have not checked out the gerber edge yet. I will google it after work today. As for printing with white ink... All of the decals Ive been printing with the silkscreen method have a layer of white printed first then the image. This way you cant see through the image when stuck to a window. Is this possible with digitial printing onto clear vinyl or will i have to print to white matetial if I dont want my image to be transparent?
 

DHCS12

New Member
The gerber edge looks nice, but its way out of my price range. If I can't find a comparable machine for cheaper I'll end up going with the BN20. Can it print white ink in the way I explained in my previous post?
 

Ditchmiester

Active Member
There are plenty of good Used Gerber Edge2's out there if you look around. I'm sure you could get a nice set up with a plotter for under 10k.
 

booshworks

New Member
We picked up a Mimaki CJV30-60 for a steal, 24". We buy our media from Grimco who slits the wider rolls down for free (54" roll become 24" + 24" + 6" rolls, we use the 6" roll for long decal runs). Absolutely LOVE the printer.

I do like the fact that the BN-20 is so tiny. Our Mimaki takes up as much space as our 60" aqueous printer, but maintenance is a snap and it's fast and prints gorgeous.

You'll probably want a laminator as well, but I'm not sure if the Roland will allow you to print-laminate-cut. Without the laminator the decals can (and will) get scratched.
 

CanuckSigns

Very Active Member
There are plenty of good Used Gerber Edge2's out there if you look around. I'm sure you could get a nice set up with a plotter for under 10k.


We bought our edge 2 used with the printer, plotter and software for $10,000, but it can be had for much cheaper if you know where to look.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/gerber-edge...767?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b0cb5277

also

http://www.signs101.com/pp-classifieds/for-sale/p1119-small-sign-shop-for-sale-in-oklahoma.html
 

DHCS12

New Member
If I were going to just buy a printer and a separate cutting machine, what would you guys recommend I go with? I assume it might be cheaper buying two machines instead of the all in one or am I wrong?
 

DHCS12

New Member
I'm not sure if media size will be an issue. The decals I'm going to print range from 2x3 to 5x6 inches. No huge banners or anything. Maybe this would help narrow down the search?

Checked out that GO EcoMax, found it cheaper HERE but not sure if the site is legit or not. I've been finding a lot of printers on websites located in Indonesia. Some of them even have company building photos in their "about us" section which have obviously been photoshopped with their company name.

Ive added that gerber edge to my watch list on eBay, thanks.
 

Jim Hill

Active Member
SP or VP 300

If I were in your shoes I would look for a used either SP or VP 300

Many sign shops start out with this machine and then move on to something larger for doing banners and things like that.

I purchase a used SP-300 over two years ago for $5,250.00 dollars and it has worked perfectly ever since.

I replace parts from time to time but it is a very easy job to do.

I have changed manifolds, print heads, wipers, pumps, capping stations and it works like a charm.

This site and the many people on it have helped me with tech advice and walked me through many of the changes I have made on the printer.

Everyone would love to have a brand new printer but a good used printer will do the exact same things for a lot less money,

Jim Hill
 

royster13

Very Active Member
Do not worry about what it will not do or how much it will cost.....There will always be machines that do more or are better than anything you buy.....

The only questions you need to answer, are can you develop a niche market for the products this printer will make and can you make money.....Some people can make money with "crap" equipment and others cannot even with the best of the best equipment....You have to decide what you skill level is....
 

Robert M

Very Active Member
sp300V

I have a SP300V for sale. This printer came in on trade from a one man shop, we have checked it out and replaced the usual service parts.
Asking $6500.00


PM me for more info or call 800-328-1306
 

anotherdog

Very Active Member
Provided you can get the finance, the cost of the machine should be less important than the ability to do the job you need. If you need white ink, you need white. Looking at a machine with only CMYK and doing the white with another process will only make for false economy. The only counter I would say is that you can go for a seperate cutter.

If you can't work around the white and can't afford the finance on the right machine you are better with outsource

The BN looks great, it can print laminate and cut. Roland are a very good machine, even the used ones. If you are just starting with this workflow you are much better investing in the easiest learing curve, not the cheapest.

Oh and you really do need a cold laminator.
 
J

john1

Guest
The BN20 may be great for small decals but who's to say someone might not want a banner made. Then your outta luck for doing in house.

Get a 30" or bigger, You will find more media and be alot more happy.
 
As someone who just purchased one, I have to say I'm quite pleased with it.

Im a small shop who outsourced all my printing to some of the bigger dogs in the area, they were great with pricing and not short on advice either. my business picked up enough where I felt it necessary to have something in house. 95% of my business is small runs of <5" decals, and 18X24 lawn signs. I will send out orders over 500 pieces, but, Having something in house is without a doubt, so much nicer than having to send it out and this machine was perfect for me. I went with metallic over white for some of these decal orders. I use this in conjunction with a 25" manual laminator, and could not be happier. It will even read the reg marks on reflective with gloss lam, and still cuts dead on.

Roland has in the past couple months released new print profiles for this machine and its much faster than before.

http://youtu.be/tqg7CjGpE1w

That being said, there are drawbacks, nobody carries 20" media standard. so unless your buying from roland, its has to be cut. PLUS there are certain ranges that it wont accept. like 10". so you cant buy a 30" roll and have it cut to 20" and 10" because the machine cant utilize that size. (learned that one the hard way.) the best bang for your buck is a 54" roll, cut to 20",20",& 14" a bit pricy up front but cheaper than buying smaller quantities more often.

this machine has its place in the industry, its just not for everyone. mine runs pretty much all day, and it keeps up with my work load. If I get any busier, (hopefully) I can see myself outgrowing it.
 

CS-SignSupply-TT

Very Active Member
20" material availability?

As someone who just purchased one, I have to say I'm quite pleased with it.

Im a small shop who outsourced all my printing to some of the bigger dogs in the area, they were great with pricing and not short on advice either. my business picked up enough where I felt it necessary to have something in house. 95% of my business is small runs of <5" decals, and 18X24 lawn signs. I will send out orders over 500 pieces, but, Having something in house is without a doubt, so much nicer than having to send it out and this machine was perfect for me. I went with metallic over white for some of these decal orders. I use this in conjunction with a 25" manual laminator, and could not be happier. It will even read the reg marks on reflective with gloss lam, and still cuts dead on.

Roland has in the past couple months released new print profiles for this machine and its much faster than before.

http://youtu.be/tqg7CjGpE1w

That being said, there are drawbacks, nobody carries 20" media standard. so unless your buying from roland, its has to be cut. PLUS there are certain ranges that it wont accept. like 10". so you cant buy a 30" roll and have it cut to 20" and 10" because the machine cant utilize that size. (learned that one the hard way.) the best bang for your buck is a 54" roll, cut to 20",20",& 14" a bit pricy up front but cheaper than buying smaller quantities more often.

this machine has its place in the industry, its just not for everyone. mine runs pretty much all day, and it keeps up with my work load. If I get any busier, (hopefully) I can see myself outgrowing it.

CiberSupply has a variety of 20" materials for the VersaStudio BN20. We are happy to provide you with a shopping list and samples. Please let me know how I may help.
 
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