Printing has been around since 3000 BC, and humanity has done a lot to simplify the process since then. The modern printing process requires a lot of knowledge of the assorted cutters, plotters, rolls and other supporting equipment involved, but it is a lot easier than it once was, and the results are crisper and more uniform. With a little skill, modern printing equipment can turn a humble workspace into a printing house, capable of delivering huge volumes of printed content. Depending on the type of printing you want to do and the intended scale of production, different pieces of equipment might be required.
Those who wish to do sheet printing need to start by investing in a printing plotter. The plotter delivers high quality prints. Some plotters have integrated vinyl cutters, which makes them excellent for printing and preparing shirt designs and overlays. The plotters are highly precise and are admirably suited to vector imagery.
Printing Plotter Types
Depending on the size of your workshop, choose advisedly between table-top and free-standing models. The table-top models of plotter are better suited to limited spaces, but generally they are not as powerful as the largest free-standing printing plotters. Take time to check the dimensions of each plotter and to compare them against the measurements of your workspace. Sometimes, depending on the configuration of your space, the free-standing model can be a better choice, even in a small room.
Print shops and print houses have multiple cutters, ranging from a simple precision blade to a fully automated machine. The simple cutters have rulers, fixers, and sometimes even lasers to guide the blade, but they are highly dependent on manual labour. Those interested in investing in machines rather than more employees, should opt for a fully-automated capable of accomplishing a day's worth of manual work within a couple of hours. Note that automated cutters do carry higher price tags, but are extremely efficient for high-volume production.
Stock Up on Rolls
Printing rolls are equally important for everyone interested in providing a high-quality versatile printing service. From simple paper rolls, to transfer paper and vinyl roles, a non-specialized print house has to have a good range in stock. When looking at specific rolls, check that your printing equipment supports them.