Epson 9600 for vinyl banners???

buckeyewta

Well-known member
I just bought an Epson 9600 an started playing around with it. We are currently outsourcing all wide format jobs and were hoping to use this for vinyl banners etc. I am not able to get good color out of it on vinyl or any other type of paper. Is anyone familiar with the paper settings that work best for vinyl on this printer? The only vinyl on the list is adhesive vinyl.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
Buy some scrim blockout vinyl. Try printing on it with the Watercolor Radiant White media setting.
 

buckeyewta

Well-known member
I am printing from the Epson driver. I am trying to print on this vinyl. Would something like this be better? Also will I need a special poster board or photo paper? I am new to wide format printing.
 

Stephen Marsh

Well-known member
The driver settings assume Epson media. If you use 3rd party media, the Epson settings may need to be changed for the best result. The driver setting may or may not be obvious and will take trial and error to find the best settings comparing different printouts.

Caveat emptor!

At least one of those medias is for solvent inks - not aqueous! You need aqueous coated media that is compatible with Epson Stylus Pro and other similar WF printers from Canon, HP etc (sometimes referred to as dye/pigment suitable media, you don’t want to get solvent media).

If you are new to WF printing, then it may become costly for you unless you do your homework.


Stephen Marsh
 
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Castek

Member
The Epson 9600 uses traditional water-based inks. This ink chemistry will require special coatings be present on the banner media or the ink will not adhere properly, as you are experiencing. The costs for the coated media will be significantly higher than equivalent uncoated vinyl (the media that you have been attempting to print on). Solvent, UV, and Latex inks are compatible with these medias, but traditional aqueous inks such as those in your model of Epson are not.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
Also keep in mind that media made for aqueous printers is very absorbent and if you get it dirty, it will be hard, if not impossible to clean, without damaging it. It is also very sensitive to scrapes and scuffs showing in the areas you have printed. You should plan on coating it with a laminant to protect it from scrapes and scratches.

If you don't protect it with a laminant you shouldn't expect it to last very long outside, maybe a 6 months, and it will look pretty grubby, since you can't clean it off.
 

buckeyewta

Well-known member
what laminant do you recommend? Just trying to weigh all the options before we spend a pile of money setting up a printer that may not do a good job of what we want.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Here's the bottom line all these other fine folks are dancing around:

Forget about it.

As others here have said, that machine you've got in an aqueous inkjet. What that means is that it prints with water-based ink. What that also means is that in order to do that, any media you print with it has to have what's called a "receptor coat." With aqueous inkjets, what you're actually doing is not printing onto the media, but into the receptor coat.

These days, most all banners are printed using solvent inkjet. Solvent inkjet ink prints onto and binds directly into the media. For this reason, solvent media is usually about half the price of aqueous media; with solvent you pay only for the media, with aqueous you pay for the media and the receptor coat.

You'll note in the description of the media you posted:

"This material is excellent for either solvent ink digital printing or vinyl letters!"

What that means is that it's solvent media, it has no receptor coat, and you're never going to get it to work in that 9600.

So your first order of business would be to find some aqueous banner material, which may be hard to do because almost no one prints banners aqueous any more. Because first, they're not lightfast at all outdoors, and second, also as someone else pointed out, because aqueous media have a receptor coat, they're always looking to absorb -- anything. So you pretty much would have to laminate them. And no one laminates banners. No one.

But if you persist, and if you do find some aqueous banner material, I guarantee you you'll spend way more just for the media by the square foot than you would to farm banners out. And then you'll find that your machine is just like grandma, old and slow.

With so many people you can farm out banners to, trying to print them on an old, slow aqueous machine is a fool's errand.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
 

kdw75

Well-known member
We use Clear Star liquid laminates and spray them on. Takes about 15 minutes on a 3x8 foot banner.

We have a few Epson 9900s we use for roll up banners. The previous printer was using solvent, but it didn't have the color gamut or quality to satisfy the customer, so now we do them, and they are thrilled with ours. It is a big client that gets them regularly, so we are hesitant to change, but have wondered how the Surecolor S70 would work.

Top speed on the 9900 is over 400 sq. ft. an hour. Not too shabby.
 
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OkiTech

Well-known member
Totally agree with Correct Color, the Epson 9600 is an old printer and it is "for indoor applications only" just because there are some tweaks to stand a chance to hang it outside, it does not make it a proper tool for the job. Newer printers Solvent or Eco-Solvent or UV or Latex utilize 6+ colors and also print nice many would be better than 10+ year old Epson 9600, sure It is hard to beat Epson's color quality but many new Rolands and Mutohs print excellent.

To kdw75...
"We use Clear Star liquid laminates and spray them on. Takes about 15 minutes on a 3x8 foot banner", yeah, on the top of that you have to use crazy expensive vinyl banner media that is designed to work with Epson's inks and then coat it and breathe that smell for how long? VS I just click "print" on my Mutoh, comeback when it is ready, cut it, roll it and hand it over to the customer and all that on cheapest vinyl, sure I have Epson Stylus Pro 11880 for butt kicking photoprints but I don't remember a single customer refused an outside banner because Scrim Vinyl Outdoor isn't match for epson photo printer, ppl worry more about life span of outdoor signage than anything else....
Also, Your Epson 9900 is awesome printer but original poster is looking for advice/solution for his 9600....
 

kdw75

Well-known member
Totally agree with Correct Color, the Epson 9600 is an old printer and it is "for indoor applications only" just because there are some tweaks to stand a chance to hang it outside, it does not make it a proper tool for the job. Newer printers Solvent or Eco-Solvent or UV or Latex utilize 6+ colors and also print nice many would be better than 10+ year old Epson 9600, sure It is hard to beat Epson's color quality but many new Rolands and Mutohs print excellent.

To kdw75...
"We use Clear Star liquid laminates and spray them on. Takes about 15 minutes on a 3x8 foot banner", yeah, on the top of that you have to use crazy expensive vinyl banner media that is designed to work with Epson's inks and then coat it and breathe that smell for how long? VS I just click "print" on my Mutoh, comeback when it is ready, cut it, roll it and hand it over to the customer and all that on cheapest vinyl, sure I have Epson Stylus Pro 11880 for butt kicking photoprints but I don't remember a single customer refused an outside banner because Scrim Vinyl Outdoor isn't match for epson photo printer, ppl worry more about life span of outdoor signage than anything else....
Also, Your Epson 9900 is awesome printer but original poster is looking for advice/solution for his 9600....
Not to get too far off the OPs questions, but from my experience, solvent also needs a coating as it is susceptible to UV fading. Anything is going to work short term though.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
kdw75,

If you've got an Epson 9900, and you're using it to produce banners, the client is happy, and you're making money, then more power to you both.

However, what I do for a living is large-format printer color workflow management -- which obviously includes at its core machine profiling -- I've been in business for nine years, I have clients worldwide, and I've seen just about every combination of printer/RIP/media there is out there.

So I can say with a pretty good amount of certainty a few things:

First is that none of my customers put any kind of a finish on solvent-printed banners. There's no need. True, anything will fade if left outdoors long enough, but laminate won't help that. Typically solvent printers laminate vehicle-wraps and floor graphics and the like to protect the surface from abrasion, not from UV light.

Second is that to say your 9900 has some inherent gamut advantage over solvent just because it's an aqueous machine is inaccurate. Overall gamut is a function of many factors, and your 9900 does have an advantage over most solvent printers in that it has orange and green in its inkset. However, frankly, no one producing banners ever gave a damn about green. That's why Epson took the green out of the inkset of their new solvent Sure Color. They had green in the old GS6000, and it fired so infrequently that the pigment would settle out in the cartridges, and that wound up being a wasted slot.

I used to tell people Epson should replace the green with light black -- which is exactly what they did in the Sure Color, however I'm still waiting on my consultant's fee check.

So, basically, as far as gamut-size goes, yes, you have orange in your inkset, so if you're printing banners for Home Depot, or Garden Ridge, you just might have a gamut advantage over a typical solvent printer. Otherwise, in the real world, you don't. And you do not have any advantage over solvent just by the nature of being aqueous. Also, of course, the 9600 has no green or orange; it's CMYKcm. And comparable material for material, it has no inherent gamut-size advantage over solvent. That's all in the material, and in the profile.

Now that doesn't mean you didn't beat out some competitor that had a solvent printer and just didn't print very well with it. However, unless the "roll-up banners" you're describing need to be very near fine-art quality -- and by which I mean at close-in viewing distance you cannot see dots -- then there's no reason, properly profiled and set up, that any one of several solvent printers currently on the market couldn't do them just as well as you, and probably for about half the cost. And if I was you, I wouldn't just toss that off lightly; one day someone is likely to walk into your client with just such a scenario, and when that day happens, they're going to walk out with the job.

Third is that every machine has a rated top speed of some ridiculous number that yes, it will technically run that fast, but no one ever runs it at that speed because what comes off of it at that speed it not sellable.

The 9900 is no different. I've profiled over a dozen 9900's since the machine came out. I love it. It's a great aqueous printer. But I've never had anyone ask me to profile one at anywhere near the settings that would get 440 square feet/hour. If that kind of quality is all you're after, you hardly need a machine with the 9900's capabilities to get it. And if you want to tell me you're running your machine at anywhere near that speed to get these banners you're selling, well, I'll buy my own plane ticket to come to wherever you are to watch.

Fourth is that what the OP asked is if he can use that ancient Epson to print banners.

And the short answer is that no, he can't. Not and make any money.

You may love aqueous. I do too. But outdoor is not its niche. And to tell the guy he has even a ghost of chance at this, is, I think, a real disservice to him.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
 

OkiTech

Well-known member
Everything is susceptible to UV fading.
Solvent/Ecosolvent should survive 1-2 years or so
If you need really long time exposure may-be printing with UV inks is better choice.
My point is, unless person is doing it as a hobby, occasionally print something and spray it with some coating is OK but if this is to be source of income than there is a reason technology went as far as creating a dedicated ways to print outdoor signage. It cost about 25c per sq. foot to print on Solvent/UV printer on banner that cost about 10c per square foot VS for the Epson suitable banner material will cost X10 of that, Ink do cost more and there is additional time / materials involved, I can't even price the cost of breathing VOC and smell coming out of that Spray Can.
 

kdw75

Well-known member
kdw75,

If you've got an Epson 9900, and you're using it to produce banners, the client is happy, and you're making money, then more power to you both.

However, what I do for a living is large-format printer color workflow management -- which obviously includes at its core machine profiling -- I've been in business for nine years, I have clients worldwide, and I've seen just about every combination of printer/RIP/media there is out there.

So I can say with a pretty good amount of certainty a few things:

First is that none of my customers put any kind of a finish on solvent-printed banners. There's no need. True, anything will fade if left outdoors long enough, but laminate won't help that. Typically solvent printers laminate vehicle-wraps and floor graphics and the like to protect the surface from abrasion, not from UV light.

Second is that to say your 9900 has some inherent gamut advantage over solvent just because it's an aqueous machine is inaccurate. Overall gamut is a function of many factors, and your 9900 does have an advantage over most solvent printers in that it has orange and green in its inkset. However, frankly, no one producing banners ever gave a damn about green. That's why Epson took the green out of the inkset of their new solvent Sure Color. They had green in the old GS6000, and it fired so infrequently that the pigment would settle out in the cartridges, and that wound up being a wasted slot.

I used to tell people Epson should replace the green with light black -- which is exactly what they did in the Sure Color, however I'm still waiting on my consultant's fee check.

So, basically, as far as gamut-size goes, yes, you have orange in your inkset, so if you're printing banners for Home Depot, or Garden Ridge, you just might have a gamut advantage over a typical solvent printer. Otherwise, in the real world, you don't. And you do not have any advantage over solvent just by the nature of being aqueous. Also, of course, the 9600 has no green or orange; it's CMYKcm. And comparable material for material, it has no inherent gamut-size advantage over solvent. That's all in the material, and in the profile.

Now that doesn't mean you didn't beat out some competitor that had a solvent printer and just didn't print very well with it. However, unless the "roll-up banners" you're describing need to be very near fine-art quality -- and by which I mean at close-in viewing distance you cannot see dots -- then there's no reason, properly profiled and set up, that any one of several solvent printers currently on the market couldn't do them just as well as you, and probably for about half the cost. And if I was you, I wouldn't just toss that off lightly; one day someone is likely to walk into your client with just such a scenario, and when that day happens, they're going to walk out with the job.

Third is that every machine has a rated top speed of some ridiculous number that yes, it will technically run that fast, but no one ever runs it at that speed because what comes off of it at that speed it not sellable.

The 9900 is no different. I've profiled over a dozen 9900's since the machine came out. I love it. It's a great aqueous printer. But I've never had anyone ask me to profile one at anywhere near the settings that would get 440 square feet/hour. If that kind of quality is all you're after, you hardly need a machine with the 9900's capabilities to get it. And if you want to tell me you're running your machine at anywhere near that speed to get these banners you're selling, well, I'll buy my own plane ticket to come to wherever you are to watch.

Fourth is that what the OP asked is if he can use that ancient Epson to print banners.

And the short answer is that no, he can't. Not and make any money.

You may love aqueous. I do too. But outdoor is not its niche. And to tell the guy he has even a ghost of chance at this, is, I think, a real disservice to him.


Mike Adams
Correct Color
Matching Pantone Spot colors is what our client is most concerned about. They are a drug company and their 3 mod important colors are green, orange, and purple. The previous printer had printed them on a 4-color solvent printer then had laminated them with a roll laminator. Oh and they were charging them about 25% more than we are, and the colors were much less vibrant. Their clients may not pay attention to the pixel size, but our client gets right up to it and scrutinizes it before signing off on them.

I am toying with the idea of getting one of the Surecolor S70 machines, but I am not sure if it would save enough on materials and look good enough to justify the initial cost. Our client also uses cleaners on the pieces we print, so the laminate we use, which is chemical resistant, is a must. The laminate we apply, on aqueous output, is rated for 7 years of outdoor sunlight. We have some banners that are going on 4 years old that aren't faded noticeably. If they aren't mounted properly though, the wind will do a number on them.

We had a banner that we had printed on a solvent machine and it's main problem was also abrasion resistance, or the lack thereof. Our client hooked it to a fence and one side of it came loose in the wind. That then flopped around hitting the ground and the fence, which managed to wipe the image, almost entirely, off the banner. The only thing that I have seen able to stand up to abrasion very well is silk screening, or maybe UV.

I will admit that you aren't going to make as much with your 9600, but it is possible to get by with it, just not optimal. For someone wanting to do an occasional banner it would get you by with a proper liquid laminate.

The cost is definitely a factor. While the inks cost about the same for aqueous or solvent, the materials are going to be higher. On the aqueous your looking at media costing around a 75 cents per square foot. From what I have seen, the Eco-Solvent banner material is less, but how much would you have to do to pay for the printer cost difference? The Surecolor S70 is around $24,000!
 
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LucasNY

New member
Vinyl banners can also be done for wholesale prices at BrooklynSigns. They always help out those in the industry. I know because they helped me out when my printer was waiting to be repaired. They are one of the most helpful Brooklyn Sign Company NY, I have dealt with a very long time.
 

JamesWood

New member
Hey there,

The short answer is yes. You can print on vinyl. Now for the longer one! Your machine is a water based one and it is likely that your outsourced company use solvent/eco-solvent/latex inks. Water based inks don't last long outside so if you are planning to produce outdoor banners than you will need to laminate.
Epson are not big on vinyl media so you will need to go to a third party. I work for LexJet (LexJet - Inkjet Printers, Media, Ink Cartridges and More | LexJet.com) and we have items that would work, but there are other companies out there too (Grimco, Fellers).
Whatever you choose to do make sure that you get help setting up the correct print profile for the machine and the media.
Hope you find what you are looking for!

Best,

James Wood
LexJet
 

FileJockey

Well-known member
For short-term outdoor banners with aqueous we use Opti-Jet Durable Polybanner. Not as heavy as most vinyls, but is light- and water-fast for surprisingly long periods. We had one hanging in full sun for over a year outside our building. Colors are vibrant, if not perfectly matched to the Epson media we use for proofing. Reinforce it well if grommetting. Sold by Advantage sign supply.
 

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