The Roland VersaCAMM Vinyl Printer is a high quality vinyl printer with a scoring knife. It can print on many different materials to create large format posters, labels, stickers, car decals, window stickers, signs, banners, and much more.
Requirements for using this machine at Pier 9:
- Take General Workshop Safety Class.
- Read through this Instructable.
- Do your first print with Shop Staff.
- Any print longer than 4 feet should be approved by Shop Staff in advance.
Step 1: Setting up the Printer
Next to the Roland are two rolling storage racks, with a wide variety of paper, sticker materials, spray masks, etc. Each printing material has a laser-cut wooden label with the material name, Head Height , knife setting requirements (high or low), as well as material cost. Please keep materials labeled correctly.
It is important to wear nitrile or cotton gloves when changing material. The oils on your hands can leave marks that affect print quality.
- Unlock the Vinyl printer by pulling up on the black handle found on the front left side of the printer. This will lift up the blue rollers that hold down the material.
- Remove the roll of Vinyl from the back of the printer and unscrew the clear plastic wheels from each end of the roll.
- Place the roll back into the storage racks and tape the ends, so that the roll stays together.
- Take the wooden material label from the front of the machine and place it on top of the roll.
Installing New Material
- Choose your new material, inspect the wooden Label for important information (Head Height, Cut Options) and place it onto the Velcro above the control panel found on the front right of the machine.
- Take the two clear plastic wheels and insert them into the ends of the rolls. Tap the ends, to make sure they are as far into the roll as possible. Next, tighten the black nobs as tight as you can, to secure them to the material roll.
- Take the completed Material-Wheel assembly and place it into the back of the machine. There are two Black rings on the material feed that can be adjusted to accommodate different material sizes. The roll should be as close to the back left of the machine (close to power switch) as possible. If you need to make the black rings smaller or wider adjust the ring on the right.
- Feed the Material through the rollers from the back to the front.
- Move to the front of the machine and while the black handle is still unlocked, you can move the rollers freely. There are 7 rollers and 7 potential spaces for rollers marked by blue rectangles. Rollers will only work if they are under one of these Blue Rectangles. If you are cutting on a material smaller than the 7 roller positions allow, you can remove a roller by sliding it down to the orange exit point. The two outside rollers have an extra blue square. The machine uses this blue mark, to measure how long your material is. So, you will want to have these two rollers on the outside edge of your material.
- Finally, once you have the correct amount of rollers, push the black Lever down to lock your material into place.
Print Head Height
Check the wooden label for your material roll, it should note High or Low. You will have to move the print head up or down depending on this information.
- You can change the height on the Roland printer by pressing the menu button on the machine control panel.
- In the Menu, scroll down to Head Height. Select this and the print head will physically move so that you can inspect it.
- Find the White lever on the print head, shown in the photo above. Pushing it down will move the head to a LOW height setting, moving it up will set it for HIGH. Accept the new height on the screen and you are ready to print.
Check Cut Setting
Next, check the wooden label to see if the material is a "DO NOT CUT" material. The scoring knife is only meant to score the top layer of Vinyl Stickers, so Canvas and other thick materials will damage the blade. You will turn off cut settings for those materials in the software section of this Instructable.
Check Ink Waste Bottle
On the Vinyl Printer, underneath the control panel, there is a plastic bottle for the waste ink. From time to time, this fills up and shop staff needs to replace it. Please check BEFORE you begin your print and make sure that the waste ink level is not above the line on the bottle. If it is above this line, please alert shop staff, so that we can quickly change this out and get your print on it's way.
- Most of the rolls are 54 inches, but I usually make my art board 52 inches to make sure it will fit. Always measure the material yourself as some rolls are smaller than 54 inches.
- Any print longer than 4 feet should be approved by Shop Staff in advance
- The most popular material at Pier 9 is White Vinyl Sticker. This material takes color well and is used to make Vinyl Stickers. It is easy to mix this up with regular white non-sticker vinyl. Check the label and then double check the material to make sure your are actually using what you intended to.
Some of the available materials at Pier 9:
-White Vinyl Sticker
-Black Vinyl Sticker
-Yellow Spray Mask
-Sun-defusing Car Vinyl
-Clear Sticker Vinyl