Printed Gel??

Discussion in 'Industry Announcements & Press Releases' started by ApolloDesign, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. ApolloDesign

    ApolloDesign Member

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    We'd love to hear your opinion.
     
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  2. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Wow. Needless to say if you did that you would corner the market and prolly put Lee and Rosco divisions on their toes for a bit.

    I would totally use this as it would eliminate waste and overspending on gels that we’re bought and didn’t use.
    Would also save storage space, no Long would you need to keep a flat file or totes with a bunch of precut or sheets. If a gel starts to go bad trash it and make a new one from the stock clear gel.

    This is also a great response to the growing of LEDs and less of a need for gels.

    Definitely would love to see how the saturated colors would hold up without affecting beam and brightness.

    Also would be curious to see some pictures of what a bad printed vs a good printed would look like.

    As well as what kind of printers are able to be used ink/laser/toner and brands cannon/hp.

    Would be curious to see the GUI and software designed for this to work properly since you are showing off things.
     
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  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    @ApolloDesign will this be on display in your booth at LDI? I look forward to learning more about it.

    I love the idea of printing fades and color blends. I imagine a leaf gobo and a printed gel that's a breakup blend of various colors. Kudos on a really fascinating idea.
     
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  4. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    Sounds intriguing - but I have a number of questions.
    1 - what are you selling? A machine that prints gel, sheets of material I can put in my epson printer, special inks I can put in my printer or what? If selling a machine whats the footprint?
    2 - Whats the price point and cost per sheet?
    3 - What is the anticipated time to print a sheet of 'pastel' color ( like R02) How about an intense color ( R80)
    4 - What is the cost difference in an R80 vs a R02 ( ink costs).

    For me I would have to know:
    What is my cost per sheet using your product?
    What is the upfront costs for setting things up .
    How quickly does it print?

    If the answers are favorable - yes I would be interested. If it costs $20000 for the machine - and a sheet of acetate is $8.00 and it takes 10 minutes - probably not.
    ( Assuming of course that the gel it produces is good color, does not quickly fade, etc);

    John Chenault
     
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  5. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @ApolloDesign @JohnChenault
    All of the above questions AND can I print multiple cuts in multiple colors on one sheet in one pass; two cuts of R08 and two cuts of R59? [And one of Gam and one of Lee plus a couple of Cinemoid, some Furse and one cut of Brigham for @derekleffew ?]
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
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  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Can I print a label on the gel while printing the gel?

    I'm not sure I would buy the device.We don't use a lot of gel any more since switching to LED, mostly pastels for conventional front lighting. Perhaps the market would be a local print shop or rental house, or a bigger venue looking for a little side business supplying other local venues.
     
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  7. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Would that cut of Brigham be that very strange one with the many speckles of different colors. Could you print a Tom Skelton color donut?

    EDIT: Could you print color gobos for LED fixtures?
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I mean... its cheaper for them to ship ink, printers, and software to their vendors then color media. If the cost was right I'd probably consider it... but the second a designer asks for "real gel" all bets are off. I'd also be interested in whatever testing mechanisms there are to ensure the printer is printing properly.
     
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  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I assume that there would be an initial price to buy the system. For example a special printer or a special ink that works in a certain brand of off the shelf printer. Then after that there is a special plastic and ink we have to keep buying from you.

    To get me seriously interested in buying this I see three keys:

    1) Initially the system cost needs to be not that much more than the cost of buying a printer and ink... So say about $400-$500.

    2) Long term, the cost of plastic and ink needs to work to be not that more than the cost of buying gel. A sheet of 20x24 gel costs about $7-$8 depending on tax and shipping. You get nine 6.25" cuts per sheet at a cost of about $0.90 per cut. To keep me interested in these long term I think the cost needs to be less than $1.50 per 6.25" cut of gel. I've got 60 S4's in my rep plot. It currently costs around $50 to replace them all. If I suddenly have to pay $100, it gets really hard to justify the convenience being worth the extra $50. My time driving across town to the theater supply store is worth something. The convenience of being able to print something really cool is great, but to make it really worth it, it has to not break the budget for regular gel replacement.

    3) Most importantly, it needs to be as durable as the real thing. If I have to change gel more often, the convenience of not having to order and stock gel is wiped out by the extra labor of replacing them more often.

    This is an interesting twist on what I was thinking. What if there's no setup cost to me because my local dealer has the printer gear. I can email them a special color blend that I want and they print it our and sell it to me for like $3 or $4 per 6.25" cut, that's very interesting. Doesn't change the game for normal use, but is very intriguing for special color needs.
     
  10. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @gafftaper @ApolloDesign @JChenault What if it arrives with R59 or L153 already printed on it and possibly a small date code as well for keeping track of how many years ago you ordered / received it?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Wait... most important question will it come with gum!?!?
     
  12. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I still see this as an inventory play for local distributors... not a play for a theatre itself. I have a feeling this is going to be like having a paint mixer in house in your scene shop... great if you do but not really worth the cost. I'm sure apollo is sitting there with a warehouse full of inventory they are not moving as fast as they want simply because they have to have every color in place at all times. Every local shop also has to have that. So, why have inventory you don't need when you can make what you want "just in time".

    Its basically the 3D printer model. Distribute the manufacturing locally and go from there. Being a person who has a 3D printer and does a lot of printing I'll be the first to say that this will be stupid expensive to be done right. You can get the cheap printer and deal with it but if you want a solid product its going to REALLY cost you... and I'd really like to see something optically check each sheet to ensure that it hits the spec right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  13. GreyWyvern

    GreyWyvern Apollo Staff

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    Good feedback everyone. This is exactly what we are looking for right now, conversation to help us decide if we should continue to pursue this. If you tell us you don't really want it or aren't interested, we will likely pull the plug on it (but we don't want to, we're excited about it). However, it seems that many are getting a wrong idea about it. Let me address a few specific things that have been said and hopefully things will be clearer so the conversation can continue in the right direction. Here we go:
    First and foremost, this isn't something the end user can do. We are talking professional large format printers. Not something you could have in your home.

    Yes! We will have some available for you to hold and see! (But not take.) If you are at LDI, please stop by booth 1431 to check it out.

    We are selling gel, through our dealers, just as we have always done. Nothing will be changing in how you get your gel.

    We can get a small one that can only handle a 24" x 24" sheet of material that only costs that much (before the needed modifications). Our printer that can handle 4' x 4' material is around 3 times that and the one that can handle 8' x 4' material is 5 or 6 times that. These are very large printers.
    The sheet actually gets printed more than once with different processes by the same printer. While I am quite impressed the the speed capability of these printers, it does take some time.
    The gel would be indistinguishable from any other in a light.

    Yes, that would be a possibility. You can see such a sheet in the video.

    Excellent question. I don't know why not. I will bring that up to be sure it is being thought about.

    Oh, come on man! You're killing me right now! We've been doing that for years!
    PrintScenic* gobos for LED Profiles
    What's the Deal with Apollo PrintScenic® Gobos?

    It would be just as durable, possibly moreso, as what you already use.

    To reiterate, you will still need to order and stock your gel. The goal here is to lower costs for everyone. As mentioned in the video, gel manufacturing cost has gone up, so your price has gone up some. Inventory. Inventory costs money. The more inventory we have, the more it costs us to store, maintain, count, etc., which drives the MSRP up. So, and this is the big idea here, if we can eliminate the need to stock a large inventory of gel, our costs drop and we can possibly offer you a lower price for your gel, or at least keep it the same. It would be printed when we get the order.
    Other advantages are fades (gradients), one piece splits, reappearance of (sales driven) discontinued colors, and yes, custom colors. Think about the possibility of not having to look through a swatch book to find the color you want. You tell us the exact color you want and you get it.

    This is why it would all be done in house and not even at dealers.

    Alright, now that you have more information, albeit possibly somewhat disappointing, keep the questions coming and the discussion going please. We want your thoughts on it. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  14. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    And here I thought I could just pop a sheet in my 100$ printer with some souped up software and goto town.

    I guess my last question would be how much would we really save?

    As I feel y’all are not doing much besides slapping a fancy new sticker on something you guys can already do and handing it to the middle man to do for you. I mean don’t get me wrong rebranding and innovation is great in the advancement of any product and your video shows that but I think very few will buy into it if like others have said spending 10-20k plus to save pennies on the dollar for a possible future return.
     
  15. GreyWyvern

    GreyWyvern Apollo Staff

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    We have been working on this for around two years now. It has just been fairly recently that the breakthrough came to the point that we said this works.

    Let me put it this way, if the price didn't change at all, would you be willing to use printed gel? Or would you rather continue to use traditional gel as the price continues to rise and the available colors continue to decrease? Gel use has dropped drastically in the last several years. However, it is still very widely used and it will still be some time before it goes away completely, if ever. We are not trying to keep it from going away at all, but rather make it easier for everyone as time goes by. As I said, inventory costs money just to have. If we don't have to have inventory, our bottom line is better, which allows us to not raise prices. So, even if the price is the same, it is better for everyone. We are continually working on gobo production as well. If we can improve processes, we can get better gobos and/or better throughput and at the very least, we don't have to raise prices. Once again, better for everyone.

    Money isn't everything though. One thing we are wanting to find out is how it might be used. Is there interest in gradient gels, designs in the gel, custom colors, etc.? If there is enough, we will continue to work toward improving the process even more. As the video demonstrates, we have done it. We can print gel. That alone is huge. Add in all the possibilities, and it is even bigger. The truth is, we will be doing some colors of printed gel. Instead of discontinuing a color because sales are too low to justify getting more, we can continue to offer it by printing the color to order.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  16. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Money aside I would use the gels for the sheer fact that I could create anything I wanted design/color/fades on a single/sheet of gel.

    Like I said the innovation is amazing but I would like to see you push the envelop even further to have at my finger tips.

    With the way LED is moving how much longer will it be before gels are obsolete and forcing people to chose between a fixture that will last 5-10 years vs a gel that last a season.

    Now a combo gel/gobo/color control is the newest answer to combat that choice but everything does come down to the Money factor and “bang for your buck”.

    Final thought would be this will get used if it is something that is followed through with hands down. For how long is the real question.
     
  17. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Having watched this creative technology here at Apollo for the past several years, I'll re-emphasize the long range goals and advantages of this unique product. Backorders are zilch, obscure colors are very available, costs move in a downward direction.

    We welcome you to stop and visit us at the Apollo booth @ LDI and have a look for yourself. This is a breakthrough in high def, high heat resistant printing- in a very large format!

    :clap:
     
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  18. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    If I wasnt playing catch up here because of the move I totally would of just to see this. Unfortunately I took gigs next week in advance before I knew about this.

    I’m going to attempt to be at Clearwing Expo though if y’all will present it there to I would love to see it.
     
  19. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    So let me see if I have got this right.

    Apollo has a new way of creating gell. They think their just in time processing will save them money in inventory, etc. They want to know if the industry ( us) would be interested in some of the possible techniques this new technology affords.

    As a designer, my first concern would be ' is the color really the same as current methods'. Assuming you are using some form of CMY mixing, can you really get the same spectral colors at all frequencies you can with traditional gell as a lamp dims, etc.

    What features are we talking about. Custom colors, gradient gels, labeling on the gel.

    I see the issue with custom colors as ' how do you describe the color you want'. There is no simple way that I am aware of to fully define a new color. ( unless you are simply using CMY values).

    Gradient colors. Not sure how useful this is. You can get a bit of color difference in a beam by using very different colors, but I don't see how anything unsubtle would be useful. That said, some standard designs would be useful.

    Labels on gel. This I actually like. ( assuming we're talking about we are labeling the color). Would save me time, etc

    Multiple colors on a sheet. I don't see the utility.

    Just my thoughts. Sounds like an interesting project. Which I could see it at LDI but I can't be there this year
     
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  20. GreyWyvern

    GreyWyvern Apollo Staff

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    One of the savings you could see is this exactly. You have a special that is one light and the only place that color will be used. You get get just a cut or two of that color at a fraction of the cost of a full sheet and you aren't stuck with extra unneeded or unwanted inventory.
    We've thought about many of the possibilities, but we want to see if there are any others that we might not have thought of yet.
     
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