The printing and cutting processes have traditionally been viewed as two separate components of the production process, with the initial printing taking place on one machine and the jobs then moving on to be cut and finished.
Nowadays, if you do a lot of photo printing you will want to get a professional type printer that has a cutting system integrated.
These print and cut machines use from four to seven ink cartridges to give you prints as close to true colors as possible and allow you to cut photos to any dimension. Some printer/cutter machines (e.g. Cricut) enable you to print and cut out various shapes or patterns.
If you want to find the best solution for your printing and cutting requirements, you will have to invest time and money in finding the right equipment. Although there are a number of printer-cutter combination systems on the market, the majority of users may find that having a separate printer and cutter setup is more suitable.
Are Print and Cut machines Only for Prefessionals?
The printers with cutters are intended for professionals but are being used by advanced photography amateurs who want to create professional photos suitable for framing. If you print large photos or panoramic shots you will want a printer that you can tell what size you want the pictures to be and it automatically cuts the print to size.
This is particularly helpful when doing several panoramics. You don’t have to stop and cut each one as you work. The cutter and print catcher are mounted on the front of the printer.
You can set the cutter to different settings. You need to go into the printer driver and adjust the cutter properly and to set the cutter to auto, paper saving, or normal cut. The manual cut is done by pressing a button on the front of the printer.
The cutter has a built in cleaner to help keep things moving.
Some folks have had problems with the four-inch rolls, they don’t flatten out even after being under heavy weight for days.
What about the printer/cutter combo price?
These printers are pricey but if you don’t need to send your pictures out for printing it will pay for itself rather quick. If you are a professional photographer it will be well worth the cost.
Not only will you save money it will shorten the time your clients have to wait for their prints. Whether the customer wants a simple passport photo or a large wedding package, you can deliver them in record time. Your customers will recommend you to their friends and family.
If you are an advanced amateur you will have your family and friends asking you to print their pictures for them. You could make a little extra money that way.
Advantages and Disadvantages of printer/cutter Combo systems
Companies that typically print a variety of applications, but don’t need much cutting may be better off investing in an entry-level cutting system but a production printer enhanced to higher specifications.
On the other hand, if a business uses more than one type of printing technology – dye sublimation for textile printing and Latex for signage, for example – then the business would be able to make use of the same cutting system for both workflows.
Apart from what was already said above, printer/cutter machines offer following benefits and downsides:
Printer/cutters save space
Obviously, a single device will take up less space than two, which is an important consideration for smaller businesses with relatively small premises.
Printer/cutter machines accommodate to many paper sizes
Worth mention is that these printers usually have multiple paper trays to accommodate the different sizes of photo papers. The inks that are used in these printers when printed on watercolor paper are light fast for up to 80 years and up to 44 years on Premium Luster when stored or displayed properly.
Separate printers and cut machines can be used simultaneously
Also, with the separation of the printer and the cutter, two tasks can be performed at the same time, which cannot be achieved with an integrated machine. In the fast-paced production room where operators are working on multiple projects at the same time, this is an ideal solution. I think it’s important for every business to have options because every business is different.
If your pictures are of everyday and special events you may want to go with a good quality home photo printer for making prints to share with family and friends, they are cheaper, smaller and easy to use and to transport to different events.