Category Archives: Heat Presses

Deduct the Full Purchase Price of Large Equipment with Section 179 of the Tax Code

Write off 100% of the purchase price of large equipment, up to $500,000, on this year’s taxes! USCutter will work with you to finance capital equipment purchases of dye-sublimation, wide-format, and garment decoration printers, as well as laminators and other finishing equipment for sign shops and other craft-oriented businesses!

Section 179 of the US Tax Code allows you to deduct the full purchase price of any qualifying equipment that you purchase or finance during the tax year.

Read more here and here.

Save in our Holiday 100 Sale while Supplies Last!

Save in our Holiday 100 Sale while Supplies Last!

Doing the Math for Expanding into Custom Cap and Dye-Sub Printed Mug Production

There are an array of products one can start making immediately with an enterprising mindset and the basic equipment for this business: a decent vinyl cutter and heat press.

Vinyl graphics and letters for signs and indoor walls, decals for shirts, etc. Not surprisingly, the stuff that’s easiest to do, with the lowest up-front investment in equipment, also presents the greatest barriers to successfully differentiating yourself in a crowded marketplace.

So what’s true for any business, is true for this one. To have success, one has to diversify one’s product offerings, and ideally specialize in a niche with plenty of room to grow. Two products you may not have considered to expand into yet are customized ballcaps and dye-sublimation printed mugs.

We’d like to present the business case here for expanding into both processes. Both processes require an investment in specialized equipment, but the following math will demonstrate you can break even on cap production with sales of only 40 caps, and you can buy all the equipment for dye-sublimation printing (with applications ranging from printed mugs, to photo panels, to shirts, and more) with sales of only about 180 mugs!

CUSTOM CAPS:

Decorate hats with the HTV of your choice, Chemica DuoFlex (pictured) or Siser EasyWeed.

Decorate hats with the HTV of your choice, Chemica DuoFlex (pictured) or Siser EasyWeed.

What you need…

A vinyl cutter, a Transforsa Digital Cap Heat Press, 15″ x 5yd Roll of Siser EasyWeed.

Specialized Cap Heat Press + Free Hats for only $264.99!

Specialized Cap Heat Press + Free Hats for only $264.99!

Assuming you cut a design 4 in wide x 2.5 in high, you can produce 180 heat transfer vinyl decals from a 5 yard roll of EasyWeed ($35.65). This works out to be about 20 cents/hat in vinyl.

The cost of blank hats is going to be your main expense. The cost of hat blanks and vinyl to produce 180 hats is $575.20. 1 hat costs about $3.20 to make. Let’s say you can sell that hat for $12.

Profit/hat = $8.80. The cost of your equipment ($264.99) + the necessary hats (36 more) = $372.90. Divide that by your profit/hat ($8.80), and you’ve almost completely paid for your equipment with sales of about 40 hats!

DYE-SUB PRINTED MUGS:

Put family photos or any image on a mug with vibrant dye-sublimation inks.

Put family photos or any image on a mug with vibrant dye-sublimation inks.

What you need…

A Sawgrass Dye-Sublimation Printer, a mug press or 5-in-1 multi-press, sublimation transfer paper, dye-sublimation inks, and cases of mugs.

The cost of the equipment in this bundle (SG400 printer + 5-in-1 heat press + mug paper) is only $799. It only costs about 10 cents in ink to print 1 5″x7″ mug design. The cost to decorate a case of 36 mugs would be $3.60 in ink, $3.24 in paper, and $56.99 for the cost of the mugs.

All the equipment and supplies you need to get started sublimating mugs for only $799.

All the equipment and supplies you need to get started sublimating mugs for only $799.

Total cost of supplies to decorate 36 mugs = $63.83 –> $1.77/mug. If you sell the mugs at $8/ea, that works out to be $6.23 profit/mug.

At that clip, paying for all the equipment and supplies (printer, heat press, ink, paper, and mugs) you needed to make 180 mugs would cost you about $1118. Divide this by our profit/mug, and with sales of about 180 mugs, you’ve just paid for all your equipment and supplies, and each additional mug sold is almost pure profit! And a dye-sub printer comes in handy for so much more, from shirts, to jerseys, to Wunderboard metal photo panels, to clear vinyl, and beyond!

Layering Projects with Siser EasyWeed and Chemica DuoFlex Heat Transfer Vinyl

Making multi-color designs on shirts and other fabrics with heat transfer vinyl is an inexpensive alternative to printing, whether it’s dye-sublimation or Joto paper, or solvent/latex on printable HTV.

Layer Siser EasyWeed for snazzy intricate multi-color designs.

Layer Siser EasyWeed for snazzy intricate multi-color designs.

It’s pretty easy to do in the software (RazorCut allows you to separate cutting jobs by color in its spooling function) so you don’t have to switch out rolls of different-colored vinyl to do multiple jobs that contain the same color.

Siser EasyWeed (order NOW by the foot!) can be layered in different colors, with 3 or more layers posing no real problem in terms of difficulty or washability. In the first example shown here, we tried to make a hot fudge sundae decal. It works best for ease of registration to layer sequentially with solid-filled colors. First we chose our image, and then added a white outline around it. This solid-filled white outline became the base. Then we added the silver base and streaks (Siser Easyweed is very easy to register due to its see-through plastic backer-careful not to cut through it with too deep a blade setting), followed by the brown chocolate sauce, and lastly a cherry on top.

Lastly, the cherry on top.

Lastly, the cherry on top.

Each layer we pressed for 3 seconds at 320 degrees until the final layer, which received the whole 15 seconds.

For a softer layered look (layers within layers) we also tried the new Chemica DuoFlex (also available NOW by the foot in 4 styles!) which is a two-tone vinyl that shows an accented “outline” when pressed onto a shirt. It is very soft and flexible, making it easy to work with. Like Siser EasyWeed, you cut mirror, into the unfinished colored side. For a cleaner cut, you should choose the “Multi-Cut” feature in your software as it’s thicker and softer than most vinyl. Pressure should be set to light, heat to 320 degrees, for 20 seconds.

Note: If you go with a longer time and lower heat, the material appears to have even more dimensionality and softness of texture.

REMEMBER TO COLD PEEL!

In this other example, we show the results of layering DuoFlex onto a slightly larger blue EasyWeed base.

Positioning is important to get right before the press.

Positioning is important to get right before the press.

It can be a little harder to register, but notice the red and blue layers and the bright white on top that is washable again and again with a very soft hand for a very red-white-and-blue Alaskan experience.

White on top. Like the real Alaska.

White on the surface. Like the real Alaska.

Not a big fan of white on top?

Press on some screenprinting foil for a distressed metallic look

Press on some screenprinting foil for a distressed metallic look

We followed up on the lettering with a strip of screen-printing foil all crinkled up to provide a distressed look, and as you can see that turned out very appealing as well.

These two experiments in heat transfer vinyl show, that if nothing else, there’s no end to the different effects and textures possible once you start piling on the layers.