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Author Topic: Direct Print vs Vinyl  (Read 964 times)

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Tragically Geek

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Direct Print vs Vinyl
« on: January 22, 2018, 05:15:02 pm »
Hey guys, I have been in the planning stage for building a custom cabinet for home for a long time.  Finally things are progressing, I have commited to parts, ordered and am in the final design stages.

While I haven't created the artwork for my cabinet yet, I visited the local print shop to get a rough idea on printing cost for vinyl for sides, control panel and marquee.  While I was there, I saw an amazing copy of 'Han Solo in Carbonite' which they printed directly to a standard wooden door from a home.  It looked great.  I asked them about it and they informed me that can print directly onto wood, so long as it has a flat edge to feed through the printer.  The inks they use are commercial and rated for outdoor use even in our.. fun? Canadian climate.

All they would require would be my artwork.  If I don't want the wood grain to show through, they (or I) can pre-apply a white primer.  This process is almost half the cost of having the vinyl printed.

Has anyone heard of this before, and had any experiences, good or bad?

Thanks in advance,

Scott
From Canada, eh.

PS I attached an image of the Han Solo door to this post for reference.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 10:05:52 pm by Tragically Geek »
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Le Chuck

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 08:21:06 pm »
No experience with it, but I say give it a try. At best you've got a baller cabinet, at worst you have to vinyl over it.

Drnick

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 02:57:11 am »
I second just going for it.   :applaud:

Ramakers

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 09:27:58 am »
Can you tell me? Is this an Agfa printer? I made the first prototype 3 years ago, It can print up to 7cm (about 3 inch) high and 2.5m (1000 inch) wide.
Now I'm prototyping the new 3.3m (1300 inch) version.
They both can print primer, white , full collor, and clear coat. that way they can print even onto glass. And since they use UV hardening ink it's very durable.

Mike A

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 09:56:33 am »
I looked a buying a small direct to substrate printer for mu business a few years ago. They were very expensive, but very cool. The one I looked at printed on wood and metal equally well. It could even print raised areas so it had a 3 dimensional look. It was too expensive for what we needed it for so we passed.

smass

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 12:08:08 pm »
So this option is much cheaper than printing on vinyl and applying yourself?  If thats the case I think its a no brainer.  You won't have to stress about applying the vinyl properly and its cheaper?  Assuming it looks good, whats the downside? 

Tragically Geek

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 10:02:49 pm »
So this option is much cheaper than printing on vinyl and applying yourself?  If thats the case I think its a no brainer.  You won't have to stress about applying the vinyl properly and its cheaper?  Assuming it looks good, whats the downside?

Pretty much the stance I am at now.  My only worry is it not looking great, and having to pay for the vinyl anyway. :)

I just updated the OP with a picture of the Han Solo door, comments welcome, even though it isn't a close up or anything.
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Mike A

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 03:21:53 am »
I am pretty shocked that the process I saw  a couple years ago is cheaper than printing on vinyl. That technology must have come a long way. It was obscenely expensive. How much were you quoted for side art per side.

smass

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 09:13:38 am »
I just updated the OP with a picture of the Han Solo door, comments welcome, even though it isn't a close up or anything.

That looks killer - my only reservation would be that there is very little color in that print.  Most likely you want bright colors to pop, not sure if the would be duller in this application.  Silly idea - but maybe you could have them print on a small 1x1 piece of wood with a sample of your artwork to see how it comes out?  Or maybe they have some more colorful samples to show you?

The reason its cheaper by the way is they don't have the cost of the vinyl.  This application probably uses the same amount of ink as a vinyl print, but they are cutting out the cost of the vinyl.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 09:18:27 am by smass »

Mike A

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 09:29:51 am »
It uses way more ink. It lays down a layer of white so the wood doesn't show through. Then there is a clear UV layer over the top. At least the ones I looked at several years ago. Not to mention that the printer I looked at was 50,000 dollars. It also had more maintenance costs than a traditional printer. There were cheaper Chinese printers, but their print quality was bad.

smass

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Re: Direct Print vs Vinyl
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 11:08:54 am »
It uses way more ink. It lays down a layer of white so the wood doesn't show through. Then there is a clear UV layer over the top. At least the ones I looked at several years ago. Not to mention that the printer I looked at was 50,000 dollars. It also had more maintenance costs than a traditional printer. There were cheaper Chinese printers, but their print quality was bad.

It all comes down to economies of scale.  If they are using the process more and more then fixed cost of equipment, maintenance, and raw materials is spread out over more volume of print jobs.  Not to mention, I am sure the cost of the equipment has dropped quite a bit in a few years like all technology does.  Bottom line, the price they are offering to do the job must cover their cost plus have profit margin built in, or they are running a business that will fail. :)

  
 

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