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New or Used printer? Any thoughts?


New Member
Hey guys,

Is anyone using an older (a few years old) large format printer that they'd concider a real work-horse that I might find somewhere used?

I'm looking to purchase a large format printer. There are a few sign shops in my area and I'm trying to find more of a nitch in the market by doing wraps. So far, I've subbed the printing/laminating out. I'm moving into my first office space this week and now have room for a setup of my own.

Any suggestions or thoughts on this?



New Member
Few thoughts on the subject....

1. Most manufactures wont transfer a warrenty if the machine even still has one left. I know you can buy a warrenty/Service Contract for a Roland machine for about $1,500 a year.

2. Have a tech run a service report on any used machine so you can find out how much its been used. A service report will have information like the number of hours used, how many times the Nossles have been fired on the print heads, etc. This can give you a good idea of the condition of the machine.

A used machine can save you money if purchased properly, but your generally buying into a year or two old technology in which your machine is already almost outdated.


Deluded Artist
Workhorse printer, Well...

I use a Roland CJ 600, It's a workhorse for sure, because I make it do all the cutting as well as some printing. But the parts are EXPENSIVE! I try to do most of my printing on my ENCAD 700 42" 600dpi. (I paid $1250.00 for this printer new!) It uses a bulk ink system and has cheap and easy to replace print heads.

All things considered, If you'll be doing body wraps you'll need a solvent printer.
Eco-sol and UV cure (Even with laminate) just won't keep the customer happy any length of time.

Buy a new VersaCamm or Mimaki Print/cut system for your "workhorse" and sub out the wrap jobs that need a solvent ink.

Used printers are great for the pocketbook initially.... but repair costs and obsolesence will take their toll, quickly. I speak from personal experience.

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
If a 30" Versacamm will do, I'd be on the lookout for one of those as guys start trading up to wider units or leave the business like R Santos has done. He has an ad running in our classified here for a lightly used Versacamm under $9000 with extra supplies.

If you get a used unit, I would look for only those that use solvent or ecosolvent inks.


New Member
EXACTLY the type of info I'm looking for. keep it comin!!!

i'm thinking a bulk ink system is the thing to look for specifically. am i correct or have you had good luck with others?

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
Other than my desktop inkjet (which has a bulk ink system) I don't have an inkjet. I get it all done with my Edge and occasional outsourcing. Most wide format inkjets don't come with bulk systems but a third party bulk system has got Barry and Master Sign Wizard all abuzz. Supposedly has superior ink to Roland and they pick up the warranty on anything the ink touches while dropping your ink cost significantly.

You might want to do a little reading over at printingdigital.net which is a new forum run by Barry and MSW.


New Member
I bought 2 used encads (KodaK now) . A 736 and 600E. They work great. Both of them are making me money. I use the 36" for most sticker work. The 600E is great for sign panels.
The warranty was fully transferable. Iam sold on the encad mostly because their service people are really good, and the tech support is bar none one of the best i have ever had the pleasure to do bizz with.

I would never be afraid to buy used again especaiiyl knowing Encad tech support is right there ready and able.

Most likely I will be buying a new machine from kodak because of it.