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trying to do something unique - please help


New Member
Hi all,

I am a complete newbie, and have no idea what I am doing. In fact, I am not even trying to print out signs. I will describe in detail what I am trying to do, and maybe somebody out there can tell me what setup would work best for me.

I own a cell phon accessories cart at the mall. We only sell the cases and chargers and stuff, no the phones themselves. The newest wave in cell phone accessories is the "Skin". Basically a vinyl decal cut to fit your phone. It allows you to change the color, add photos, or custom designs without taking your phone apart (which the old style face plates required). There are a number of companies selling these on the web, and they can be ordered.

However, we would like to set up a system at our store where somebody can walk in with a cell phone, and on the spot we can print out a custom skin for them.

Here is what I have figured out already -
1. I have played with coreldraw, and figured out how to make the cutting lines we would need to make the decals fit the phones.
2. We have two options - a 2 in 1 printer cutter that does everything at once. or to seperate the to parts. In that case we would make blank vinyl templates on a larger capacity cutter at home, and have them all on file at the store. Then we would need a small eco-solvent or thermal printer so that the approximatly 6X8 templates could be run through to print the design the customer has selected.
3. We definatly need to use the eco-solvent technology, because the print has to be water resistant, hand oil resistant - and scratch resistant.

The product would ideally last 1-2 months.

I have also tracked down digital vinyl media that has the right kind of adhesive for our purposes.

So what am I missing:

The only machine I can find that is small enough for us is the PC-12. However, I have read a lot of negative reviews of this machine as well. And of course, you can really only get them used on ebay at this point.

We had for a short while considered using the ALPS printer, but now that is discontinued as well.

I cannot for the life of me find a small scale vinyl printer anywhere - do they exist. Even if we had to laminate after we printed, that might work. The whole problem though with seperating the different parts of the process is that we would have to cut before we printed - and everything seems aimed at people doing it the other way around - print than cut.

Help - if you have any ideas.

Thanks so much.


New Member
Not all that unique; I have been doing this with my VersaCamm for a while now. A system that would work well for what you described is the Gerber Edge. You should be able to find a good used system at a reasonable price. The only drawback is the resolution for any photos that may be incorporated to the skin; you don't have a lot of 'real estate' to work with. This is an application where it's limited width is actually a bonus; less materials waste.


New Member
Ya, not unique, but I like your approach. The Gerber Edge would be the ideal tool, but it's a fairly hefty investment when your compare the machine cost to the PC 12. But, the good thing with the Edge is that the material savings is considerable.
So, you think you think you could sell enough decals per month to make the payment on a used Gerber Edge or an Edge F/X? Just running some quick numbers, I think its definitely doable. And, if you link it to an online ordering system, similar to Skinit.com, you could actually make money.

Havin' fun,



New Member

I know the concept of a skin is not unique - it is the ability to do it on the spot in person that is novel - at least I don't know of anybody else doing it.

thanks for the help - I will look into it. We are trying to keep cost down as far as possible, but it does seem worth the investment if the product takes off.

Again thanks for the info.


New Member
Does anybody know if there is a cd for sale that has cell phone skins and x-box skins I do comp cases now but would like to do cell phones and x boxes but dont have alot of time to sit down and work out the sizes if anybody could help let me know.
good luck with the cell phone project.:thankyou:


New Member

it never occured to me that there might exist a disk with all the templates already on it - I would be interested in purchasing such a disk as well. Please let me know as well if something like this exists.

If it had ipods to that wouldn't be so bad.