Vote to Buy Printer Cutter

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Brian Chojnowski


  • Mailing List Announcement: 2020-
  • Officially Proposed: 2020-
  • To be Voted on: 2020-


The space currently has a vinyl cutter, but we do not have the ability to print to vinyl or textile transfer material so we can only cut single color pieces. Replacing the cutter with a combination printer/cutter such as the Roland BN-20 or Roland SP-300i would provide the ability to make:

  • Labels - customize the bottles of beer you brew, or put a professional touch one's craft-fair wares.
  • Decals - make your own board game pieces.
  • Textile Transfers - make our own Makerfaire T-shirts next time?
  • Window Signs - those ugly ad-covered cars.
  • Banners - that Hack-the-Planet sign won't rip and melt in the wind and rain.

A combination printer such as the BN-20 provides: - no need to transfer media between printer and cutter and the alignment problems that come with that. - metallic inks ( though the ink set is set at time of purchase ) choice of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, plus Metallic Silver or White. Having white instead of silver is better for printing on non-white media. - total job speed reduction, largely due to print/cut at once. - printing of alignment marks so the project can be laminated between print and cut without sacrificing cut alignment.

The printers support the following media types:

  • Vinyl: Clear, Matte, Reflective, Glossy (static cling, removable and permanent adhesive)
  • Canvas printing
  • Photo/gloss paper
  • Polyester Transfer Mask
  • HeatSoft Transfer Material

This is a proposal to purchase a cut & print printer that will replace the current vinyl cutter.

The two printers noted above are differ in two ways, 20" vs 30" media width, and ink arrangement. The wider media means broader application possibilities (more Power Racing Decals perhaps?) but will be more expensive to run as little projects will waste more media.

The 20" printer uses 2nd generation ink (as compared to the 30" model) and can be purchased with a 5th ink (after CMYK) which can be a metallic ink, or white (set when purchased new). The metallic ink can give a pearlescent effect. The CMYK inks are good for most outdoor applications up to 3yrs without lamination. The metallic ink only 1 year. If we later obtain a laminator, the 20" model has an optical alignment system when printing, then laminating, then reloading to cut. There are more expensive models that combine the features of the 20" model but in a wider form factor, but are very expensive.

List price for the BN-20 is $8,500. List for the SP-300i is $12,000. A used BN-20 printer runs between $3500-$5000. Some Roland models are currently on sale: including the BN-20 for $4995. Buying new means not needing to service a used machine by the vendor. No worries about clogged print heads. Software is free with a new printer. The sale price is competitive with the used prices.

Operating costs

For the Roland devices, the vendor lists $0.30+0.28 / sq-ft for ink+media costs, however this assumes that most of the printable area is used. Less efficient arrangement of decals on the page will result in higher ink costs.

  • Ink cartridges cost $73 for 229ml branded ink cartridges.
  • Most parts are easily user serviceable (head wiper, ink pad, etc)
  • Ink for small volume print supplied from area budget
  • Ink for large volume print and all media supplied by the member


To keep the print heads from clogging a semi-weekly test print will be run. This service can be performed by one or more volunteers, managed by the area host.


Authorize the BoD to:

  • Spend up to $6500 (incl. shipping) on a new 20" Roland print/cut eco solvent CMYK+Mt printer.
  • Sell off the current vinyl cutter
  • Authorization expires 6 months after the vote is accepted.