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How do i manufacture my automatic printer?

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Creep

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Looking to make/buy a printer for some niche print on demand items. Any ideas where to get custom machines for this?
 

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Creep

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Need more info...

We're not mind readers.
Sure :)
Was hoping for a general point in the right direction.

My idea is to set up a no-touch print on demand system for cd printing.
If i can get a printer, assembler, and packaging automated - thats huge. No one in the market is doing this, and would let local bands and artists order small quantaties or single cds, but i realize i probably have to engineer a madman machine to get it working.
 

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If i can get a printer, assembler, and packaging automated - thats huge. No one in the market is doing this, and would let local bands and artists order small quantaties or single cds, but i realize i probably have to engineer a madman machine to get it working.
No one's doing it for a reason - because it doesn't make sense.

There's printers that will spit out thousands of CD's for you an hour without a problem. They'll print the CD's, and create the packaging.

Now what it seems like you want is a system to take the CD's, put it in the package, and shrink wrap it. The reason that's not automated yet is because it makes not sense to automate.

The labor cost to pick up a CD, place it in a case, and shrink wrap it is probably 30 seconds.

So 60 minutes / 30 seconds = 120 CD's per hour * 80% efficiency = 96 CD's per hour that an employee can package.

Your cost for an employee depends on where you set up your distribution location. Want to go ultra cheap? Set up in Mexico across the border from San Diego if your intent is U.S. distribution. Pay $4 per hour. Therefore $0.04 per CD in terms of packaging. If your market can't sustain a $0.04 packaging cost, then you need to find a different market.

Now, if you're hellbent on your idea, then go to a show like this: PACK EXPO International | Packaging Trade Show Chicago 2018. Find someone that will sell you a robot that will grab your CD, put it in a case, and send it on the assembly line for shrink wrapping. Your cost to get that automated (if the technology exists), will be around $100k. That's 2,500,000 CD's you have to sell for it to be worth it. If the technology doesn't exist yet, then add a zero to that number.
 

jesseissorude

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My idea is to set up a no-touch print on demand system for cd printing.
Hey there! I've actually gotten a bunch of CDs printed for my bands in the past.

Unfortunately, the places that manufacture the CDs also do the printing on the CD and the packaging. They even put the CDs in the packaging and shrinkwrap everything for me.

I just searched my email history and it cost me $139 for 100 CDs with full color print on top, and a full color sleeve. At $1.39 /unit (plus putting everything in a package and shrinkwrapping it), I don't think you'll be able to compete.
Even if you did smaller runs of 20 or a single CD like you suggested, you'd have to charge $50ish to make it worth your time.

The company I used was Music City Replication if you want to do any more research on the service, but if someone is already getting discs made, then printing on the disc is just a few pennies upsell.

Sorry!
 
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Creep

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Thanks for the perspectives. Obviously the main market would be low volume 1-50 orders where i could charge 5+ dollars for a jewelcase.
I refuse to believe i have to pay 100k+ for that machine, but i do understand it will be costly.

Maybe its too much effort for too little gain. I like the idea, but it definetly has some issues regarding profitability. Low scale and magnitude isnt a great starting point when i have to invent the machines. Maybe that should be my focus in stead..
 

jesseissorude

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low volume 1-50 orders where i could charge 5+ dollars for a jewelcase
at that volume, you'd be able to competitively fill orders of
$139/$5 = 27 units (just for the jewel case)

If I was considering getting just 20 units at 20*$5=$100, I'd just pony up the extra $40 to get 5x more CDs and full service printing/packaging.

Plus, how much are the artists charging for the CDs? In my experience, small artists are selling EPs for $5-7, and larger artists are selling for $10-20. If the unit cost is $5 per unit, it won't make sense for the artist put in the effort to clear $2

I think you're thinking along the right lines though. Trying to sell shovels to miners. There's gotta be a service that smaller musical artists are looking for. Try taking a few of them out to coffee and peppering them with questions (ask about your low-run printing idea and see what they think)
 

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