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  • Summa chrome DC3 Thermal printer

    Posted by Tim Shaw on December 2, 2002 at 5:04 pm

    As anyone any experience with Summagraphics Summachrome DC3.

    Got some liturature throught he door today, 19k cutter/ printer – 5 year, unlaminated outdoor life, uncoated vinyl, 915mm print, resin transfer so no inks.

    Looks good on paper, so, as anyone seen one printing or seen output from one of these machines?

    Mike Antrum replied 20 years, 6 months ago 10 Members · 21 Replies
  • 21 Replies
  • Henry Barker

    December 2, 2002 at 6:38 pm

    I have read posts on it, and seen the ads, sounds interesting….but why 915mm???

    610mm or full width or 750mm but 915 must give vinyl suppliers a headache and alot of spill, or am I missing something.

    We have saved loads here buying full width and splitting a log 750+rest which is about 450 usable, covers most jobs well, since buying Summa SignPro Plotter, just thibk it would be harder to think about yet another width.

  • Bob Gilliland

    December 2, 2002 at 9:03 pm


    I’m getting ready to head off to a trade show here in the States at the end of this week. Summa will be there with their “wares”, including, I suspect, the DC3. Anything specific you would like me to inquire about? Maybe I can snag a sample print or two and forward it to the UK. Not sure if I’ll have my choice, but maybe something with spot and another with process?

    Hope to exchange pleasantries with Jim Doggett, the VP of Summa at the show. He stopped in here a few months ago about the DC2, maybe we can request a return visit of him if your interested.

  • Robert Lambie

    December 2, 2002 at 9:32 pm

    yep i would be interested in it too bob…
    size is a bit odd henry… 😉

    ive been looking at it for some time. for nearly the same money as the edge you get a wider model that can also kiss cut all in one…
    the running costs is a concern though… is it like the pc600 you get a lower costing model with high running costs…

    will be interesting to find out anything you can bob thanks… 😀

  • Tim Shaw

    December 2, 2002 at 10:08 pm

    In the Summa brochure I received this morning it lists a spot colour at £109 per cartridge, this sounds expensive but the cartridge is 350 metres long!!!.

    I could’nt tell the width of the foil, looks to be about 300mm.

    Bob, can you have a look and see if there is any banding on the print.

    If it is printing at 300mm widths there as to be an accurate butt join or overlap or something.

    Interesting to see what you think.

  • Phill Fenton

    December 3, 2002 at 12:06 am

    That works out at 6.5p per 250mm sq print – pretty cheap I’d say (Roland print costs for the Colorcam ar 94p per 250mm sq).

    Are you sure the cartidge is 350M long ?

  • Phill Fenton

    December 3, 2002 at 12:46 am

    I’ve just looked at their website They claim a process colour cartridge is 350m long and sells for 88 pounds + VAT. They also claim "Low Output Cost Print process colour images onto premium 3M® vinyl for just £19.3 a square meter finished and ready-to-install". However, if you do the sums – a 350M process colour cartridge at say 305mm wide would cost just 3.30 pounds per sq. metre to print 4 colour process colour. If you add on the cost of the vinyl (say £4.00 per sq. metre – being generous!) the total would be £7.30!!?. I’m sorry but I can’t get the figures to agree. Could someone else check this out, please?

    Tim – I’m not having a dig at you – I’m questioning Summadirects own figures and specifications here – one seems to contradict the other:-? Running costs are critical figures – and it’s essential we have the right information about running costs to make a correct judgement. (I’m not nitpicking this really does need to be clarified). 😀

  • Henry Barker

    December 3, 2002 at 7:40 am

    I am abit confused…..if the machine is 915mm why all the talk about 305mm??, thats only 6mm wider than the edge? Wouldn’t it be better to cost it out at it max capability or is that it?

    Ok I just checked out their UK site, that’s the foil width… interested to see the print results with the butt joints.

  • Tim Shaw

    December 3, 2002 at 9:38 am

    These prices are stright from the Summadirect catalouge.

    DC3 Process Colours ( 350 metres ) £ 84
    DC3 Spot Colours ( 350 metres ) £109
    DC3 Metallic Colours ( 350 metres ) £189

    According to the brochure, there isn.t a great deal of colours available
    yet for the DC3. Obviously all the process colours are there,but only 6 spot colours and a mirror gold & silver.

  • Phill Fenton

    December 3, 2002 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks for that – My assumption that the cartidge is 305mm wide must be wrong. Based on the information above I would say the cartidges must be about 100mm wide if the ribbon is 350M long 😀

  • Robert Lambie

    December 3, 2002 at 12:46 pm

    yeh i think your right phill… 4-6 inches wide im sure

  • Martin Pearson

    December 3, 2002 at 1:56 pm

    Probably a silly question but the vinyl price seems a little dear, is this on a coated vinyl same as you are suppose to use for the edge?
    Phill does your colorcam use a coated paper or do you print straight onto regular vinyl?

  • Robert Lambie

    December 3, 2002 at 2:33 pm

    straight onto regular vinyl martin 😉

  • Robert Lambie

    December 3, 2002 at 7:59 pm

    thanks for taking the time to stop by jim… its always good to see suppliers stop by to back up there products.. even if you are biased. it helps to chat about stuff.. happy or unhappy…

    thanks 😀

    p.s. look forword to hearing how things went bob… keep us all posted mate.

  • Bob Gilliland

    April 5, 2003 at 3:54 pm

    I was just reviewing this thread before responding to a similar one posted by Phill. I just realized I was to report back my findings from the show and never did such. 😮 Simply put, I didn’t get a chance to talk to Jim or anyone else at length during the show.

    I said a quick “Hello” (I think anyway) to Jim during setup Wednesday afternoon or sometime Thursday, and then a brief “Hi” as he passed the booth one evening one the way out, and other then that, we didn’t see on another. Combine that with the fact that I was busy during the show with my obligations, I never had an opportunity to go over to the Summa booth. So, sorry for no report and even more sorry that it took so long to “report back” that there is no report. 😥

  • Robert Lambie

    April 6, 2003 at 2:11 pm

    😆 😆 😆 not a problem bob! busy busy busy, its a good thing, but somtmes has us all chasing our tails in the process.. well i do anyway 😆 😆
    thanks for the reply mate.. 😉

  • Neil Kelly

    September 16, 2003 at 1:10 am

    Doing some research on DC3 and see there has been a few board members showing interest has anyone taken the plunge or does anyone else on the boards use a DC3 at the moment any working feedback would be great to hear.


  • Dave Standen

    September 16, 2003 at 9:54 am

    Hi Neil
    I’ve had experience of the ealier machine DC1. This was just a printer rather than a printer/cutter. DC1 could take 3rd party ribbons. DC2 & DC3 are security chipped to prevent this. So you can’t (at the moment) make a saving on ribbons by this avenue.
    If your thinking of buying – have a look also at the Naulius. There are previous postings on that machine from the supplier.
    Dave Standen

  • Dave Standen

    September 22, 2003 at 1:20 pm

    Hi All
    So here he is – trunddling along with his bit:
    Colour range is small for Durachrome – that’s because their OEM ribbon manufacturer only has a small range (sound familiar – Roland? – It’s not the manufacturer guys – but it is Japan!) They also security chip their ribbon refill to stop 3rd party supplies. Now if I work hard enough – I might crack the security – and then there would be 40 plus spot colours, 6 metallics, and a choice of CMYK formulations!
    We’re working on it! Anyone out there with a DC2 or DC3 want to have economic ribbons? – You’ll have to help me! There’s not many in UK.
    Regards Dave Standen

  • Andrew Fleming

    September 22, 2003 at 3:24 pm

    I use the Maxx which so far prints excellent, including direct to PVC banners. The only problem is the little chip in the foils, (watch this space)!!!!!.

    I looked at the DC3 and was not that impressed compared to the maxx2, originally the dc3 could only take 3M 225/100 materials which here in the UK is rather expensive compared to the USA, the maxx prints onto Ultramark and Metamark vinyls with ease. Also the speed of print, the DC3 prints one stripe of Y then changes and prints each other colour before moving to the next stripe and starts all over again.
    The Maxx prints all the yellow in the job first then changes foil and prints the magenta on the rewind etc etc etc. Also if you are interested in getting some printed samples make sure that they give you a large solid spot colour and not just a process one.

  • Dave Standen

    September 22, 2003 at 4:11 pm

    Hi to everyone.
    I’m trunddling in my little bit to add to all yours.
    Bits of info – salt & pepper for the the stew:
    Only a few spot colours – 5 or 7
    Print bands start and finish at graphic edge rather than in the middle of a graphic – to avoid the joint.
    Security chipped refills to bar 3rd party refills.
    Expensive all round compared to Nautillus.
    Regards Dave Standen

  • Mike Antrum

    October 14, 2003 at 10:47 pm

    Hi Guys,

    I am not trying to get all commercial on you or anything, but there seems to be some confusion about the DC3.

    The DC3 takes 1m wide vinyl only. It’s printing width is narrower because of the pinch wheels. In addition the DC3 print marks (called Optitrack) to help it align each band accurately with the one before. When you take off the pinch wheel width and the space required for these marks you are left with with this slightly odd looking print width.

    The machine has 4 process and 15 spot colours available. The ribbons are 350m long and the print head is 100mm wide. There are six cartridge bays, and the carriage picks up and returns the cartridges as and when it requires them. The ribbons are supplied with a chip which does three things:

    – It prevents using non Summa ribbons (though if you beat this one Dave, please let me know as have a few units out there)
    – It counts down the amount of ribbon used. (This is important so a ribbon doesn’t run out in the middle of a job. You can then change the ribbon and continue the print)
    – It tells the machine which colour is in what bay.

    If you are printing a single colour job, print speed is just over 9 sq/m per hour (excl cutting time), or a three colour job is just over 3 sq/m per hour (excl cutting time).

    The DC3 has an internal 20 Gb hard disk whch is used for storing jobs. If you have a repeat job, you can simply re-print it from the machines control panel.

    In the box is a dedicated Postscript RIP (which is PC only). Flexi are supposed to be releasing a driver for it at the back end of this year, SignLab are thinking about it, and I think Easy sign has got a driver, but I don’t know if it works very well. All the ones we have put in operate with the bundled RIP and Corel or similar.

    You can do some neat tricks with the DC3. You can print ‘one way vision’ images onto clear vinyl, and print tints and tones onto coloured by putting down a white primer pass first.

    The DC3 is built like Mike Tyson, I once had to put one upstairs (never again). There is a three year warranty as standard (excl head) and powered media feed and take up system.

    i hope that this info is useful, and that you take this post in the non-commercial spirit intended !

    Mike A.

    (post edited by admin)

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