Having a small business is about making things easier for yourself. One way to do that is by using the latest technology. Vinyl printers are an excellent example of how far the world has come regarding ease of use. They’re affordable and easy to use while still giving you high-quality results. However, before purchasing a vinyl printer for your small business, there are several features that you should consider first:
The ink capacity of a printer refers to the amount of ink the printer can hold. It can be measured in milliliters (ml) or cubic centimeters (cc). The more ink capacity a vinyl printer has, the less often you need to refill it and the more prints you can get before refilling it again.
The print area is another essential factor when choosing a vinyl printer for your small business. It is the maximum size your paper can go through without jamming up or causing other problems with the machine. If you plan to make large banners, it may be worth keeping in mind.
Another factor that should be considered when purchasing your new machine is how many colors are available for printing with each unit. You don’t want something too basic since it might not match your needs and wants in terms of customization options available through different types of materials.
It would require another type altogether due to its durability requirements vs. paper itself being used most commonly these days. Additionally, most people want their designs printed onto something other than paper.
Ink Type and Availability
According to Future Market Insights, the market for ink cartridges is anticipated to be worth USD 17,972.2 million in 2022 and USD 34,270.6 million in 2032. During the projection period of 2022–2032, the market will grow at an expectation at a CAGR of 6.7%.
Thus, looking at its market growth, when it comes to ink type and availability, your options are ample. In general, water-based inks are more eco-friendly than solvent-based ones and can be less suitable for use.
Polyester (polyethylene terephthalate) is a common substrate for both kinds of inks. However, solvent-based inks are typically better suited if you use your vinyl printer to print on other substrates like glass or metal. It is because they will bond better with those materials.
You may also consider the viscosity of the ink that’s right for you. Viscosity refers to how flowable the material is. A thicker consistency means it won’t seep into nooks and crannies easily and may require a coating before it adheres to its surface.
Printing Resolution is the number of dots per inch. It is a measure of the amount of detail on a printed image. The higher the resolution, the better quality your prints will be. If you have small text, it’s essential to have high resolution so you can identify each letter even when viewed from close up. A lower resolution might make your text blurry and hard to read.
Higher resolutions are generally better for smaller text sizes because they allow more detail in each character. However, if you need large printouts, it can cause problems with print speed and cost due to wasted paper space and ink costs.
Additionally, there may be issues with smudging or bleeding between colors if printing on uncoated papers such as newsprint or bond paper, where ink tends not to stay very well. Therefore, it needs proper prep work beforehand, such as using an alcohol-based solution before applying colors that would cause smudging.
Cutting Capacity and Precision
According to Research and Markets, in 2021, the size of the worldwide printer market was USD 44.82 billion. The publication projects that the market will grow at a CAGR of 5.53% from 2021 to 2027, bringing it to USD 61.9 billion.
Some of these elements influencing its growth include the emergence of more small and medium-sized businesses, the expansion of e-commerce platforms, and the booming packaging sector.
Thus, the cutting capacity of a vinyl printer is essential for the best results and refers to the maximum size of items that can be printed on it. Ideally, it will be larger than the items you intend to print on it if your products are small. If not, then your machine may need additional equipment or software upgrades.
Regarding precision, there are two aspects to consider: accuracy and resolution. Accuracy refers to how close together dots are aligned when printing. The lower this number is, the greater its precision will be. Resolution refers to how many pixels per inch (PPI) a printer can produce. The higher this number is, the greater its precision.
If you need very precise cuts for smaller items but don’t care about large cuts for larger ones, look for a high PPI but low accuracy rating. If vice versa applies instead, e.g., if large cuts are needed but small ones aren’t, look for a low PPI with a high accuracy rating instead.
Several factors will influence your ability to produce good quality prints at a reasonable speed when deciding which vinyl printer to purchase.
The printer speed is the most obvious factor as it determines how many prints per hour can be produced by each machine. The number of print heads and their operating temperature are crucial in determining how fast a machine can print, but this isn’t always reflected in advertised specifications.
Many machines use more than one print head, and some allow two or three heads to be used at once, which doubles or triples their output speed.
Whether you need color or black and white only will affect your choice of printer since some models offer both options while others are available only with full-color capability built-in from the start. If you don’t require color but want to make large banners fast, then upgrading later may not be cost-effective. It is because switching between different-sized nozzles means buying new hardware too.
The printing technology used by your printer is also vital. Inkjet printers are best for small runs, but a thermal printer may be better suited for your needs if you’re looking to run large quantities of prints at once.
According to Verified Market Research, the market for thermal printing was estimated at USD 46.33 billion in 2022, and it is anticipated to expand to USD 66.79 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 4.79%.
Therefore, the thermal printing market is expanding due to the rising demand for automated identification and data capture technologies. In addition, it boosts productivity and raises thermal printer use in on-demand applications.
Thermal printers use heat and pressure to transfer ink onto the sheets of paper that pass through them. It means they can print up to 30 pages per minute (ppm) in full color or up to 60 ppm black-and-white, much faster than inkjet models.
They’re also known as continuous feed printers because they don’t need you to manually load each sheet. Instead, they automatically pull sheets from the internal tray and deliver them directly into their slots on top of the machine, where they melt ink onto them as they pass underneath.
Because thermal printing uses heat rather than adhesive labels like an inkjet unit does, it’s generally considered more durable and less susceptible to smudging or tearing. In addition, you can remove labels from items like clothing tags or signs easily. These would typically require wet cleaning methods such as washing machines or dishwashers, which would damage regular sticker labels.
There are a Lot of Features to Consider When Buying a Vinyl Printer
When purchasing a vinyl printer for your small business, there are several things to remember. While you may be drawn to the price, there are other things you should consider.
It is essential to find out how much ink capacity it has and what type of ink cartridges can be used with it. You also must consider printing resolution, cutting precision, productivity, and printing technology to get the right machine for your needs.