Suggestions Time to update, Latex or Solvent?

BigfishDM

Merchant Member
Solvent all the way!!! You get cool banding lines, you get to do daily and weekly maintenance, you have to wear gloves when handling the inks, you get really cool fumes from solvent too! The heads are only a few thousands dollars when you need to replace them also. Lots of wasted inks with Solvent which is pretty cool too.
 

Farmboy

New Member
Solvent all the way!!! You get cool banding lines, you get to do daily and weekly maintenance, you have to wear gloves when handling the inks, you get really cool fumes from solvent too! The heads are only a few thousands dollars when you need to replace them also. Lots of wasted inks with Solvent which is pretty cool too.
Don't sugar coat it, tell me what you really think. :-D
 

Andy D

Active Member
I have almost always used solvent roll to roll printers but given a choice I would go latex.
A couple downsides on the HP latex I used (not sure if it applies to all latex printers)
1 I couldn't use saved vinyl off the roll .
2 I couldn't pause the print.
3 It took much longer for the printer to heat up and start printing.
 
C

ColoPrinthead

Guest
I prefer solvent. I have 2 latex machines and while they do some cool stuff, the print quality is not the best, and color consistency is not great. My biggest complaint about the latex machines is the amount of time that is wasted loading, unloading, and waiting for the stupid touch screens to respond.
 

JimMoorePDS

Mimaki Sales & Service Technician
While Josh has some humorous and sometimes valid points - It really boils down to what you are looking to accomplish with your business and which printer will get you there with the best return on investment. It may be an eco-solvent machine, it may be a latex machine. Both have pros and cons. I have a preference myself, but I would approach the decision by asking end users (like you have here), getting a full personal demo using your own files, having all of the costs of ownership (including costs of print heads, inks, cleaning supplies, maintenance contracts, cost of service calls, etc - Not just a cost per square foot that may include print heads and inks). How long is the warranty and what specifically does it cover and what does it NOT cover. Talk directly to a customer who owns the machine to understand what its like to own. How was the quality of the training, what does a service call look like (downtime), what happens when you have a print quality issue, how does phone support work, how does a warranty repair work? Don't just focus on the cost of the machine, or the latest promo going on. Don't rush into a decision.

All of these issues will vary greatly between manufacturers, dealers and even geographic locations.

Best of Luck to you!
 

2B

Member
This has been debated MANY times.
  • What are you printing on?
  • What are you printing for?
  • What does the closest service provider work on?
  • how crisp are you needing imprints?
  • what color range are you needing?
both have pros/cons
get a sample printed, of YOUR design, from both and compare.
better yet, go to them and watch from uploading the file to finished product, Ideally from a cold machine that is empty of media
 

TomK

Member
Solvent all the way!!! You get cool banding lines, you get to do daily and weekly maintenance, you have to wear gloves when handling the inks, you get really cool fumes from solvent too! The heads are only a few thousands dollars when you need to replace them also. Lots of wasted inks with Solvent which is pretty cool too.
Since when do the HP Latex machines not have banding issues?
 

Bly

Member
Feeding media on HP latex is a pain. I guess they were modifed plan printers designed to handle stock as thick as bond paper.
Also that groove just past the platten is surely designed to hook the edge of the media, buckle up and head strike when you wake it up. No problem just reboot and wait 20 minutes!
 

JBurton

Signtologist
My Reece rep is always flinging sh!t at me about going latex. I always tell him, "Guess what I did yesterday?", "huh?", "I printed, laminated, applied, and sold the damn sign in one day"
 

bannertime

Active Member
My Reece rep is always flinging sh!t at me about going latex. I always tell him, "Guess what I did yesterday?", "huh?", "I printed, laminated, applied, and sold the damn sign in one day"

hahaha. That's cause they can't sell it and no one wanted to buy the Mimaki latex.
 

ikarasu

Active Member
I pause my latex all the time. Usually for a few minutes and it'll always resume perfectly.

I like the way the older latex load better than the 560... I love how the 560 doesnt need a spindle, and how the take up is attached... But the huge heating area that always managers to catch media is annoying. I can print with 1" waste on any material on my 110 because I can reach a ruler up there to guide it past the hump... On the 560 I waste 10" on material that's finicky. Usually it's only a few inches... But some material it's just better to extend past.

I hate the lcd. It looks fancy, but it's useless. It lags... And lately our 560 just glitches. I'll tell it to move media.. Fans will come on but nothing happens. So I tell it to move again... And get an error and nothing happens. Takes me three tries to ask it to move the media because it won't pop up the buttons. Restarting it would.likely fix it.... But this happens weekly... Pain in the ***.

I had all fairly new heads in the printer.... Oldest was 1k of ink through it. I decided to let it print overnight.... Came back and one of the magenta heads was dead.. No head strikes or nothing, ink just stopped coming out of it. I looked... 1.1k ink through it.. About 10ft of media wasted. The thought that all 150ft could have ruined scared me though. I'll aways do my best to make sure I don't have to run it unattended.... Even though they tour how good it is unintended.

We have a uv, and a solvent... And I'd still prefer the latex out of them all. They all have downfalls and issues.... The latex has the least, and nothing you can't work around.

I want a new epson because the prints look beautiful... But If I'm being honest with myself, if I had to buy an epson or an hp at the same price... It'd be the latex.

Theres nothing wrong with the epson, and while it'd be nice to have... I feel like the latex is better suited for our business. The epson good if your into super fine digital artwork....but there's other machines that are better at it than that.

The single, most useful advancement in printing to me would be replaceable heads. If solvent had them I'd go back and try solvent.

The idea that you can throw a$100 part into your machine and get back to perfect print quality is amazing. We ran our solvent until it got to the point the prints were so bad we couldn't use it. There was banding in certain colors... But it wasn't too bad. Not bad enough to spend 5k to fix it, anyways.

Now? If there's a slight bit of banding or misting.. Pop the head out and put a $120 head in. Latex has been a godsend in that department, and for that reason alone... Even with any flaws the latex may have, it's still our main machine, and the owners ask why we didn't buy one years ago. If this one broke today Wed have a new one in tomorrow within a heartbeat.... Wouldn't even need to shop around and compare solvent vs latex anymore.
 
Top