I just bought a VG 540i a month ago. So far very disappointed. This is the 4th VersaCamm I have owned plus 2 plotters. I have always been very happy with the product. A friend of mine kinda warned me about it, I did not listen. I should have done more research as to my applications. Thought I had, not so much.
First off if you are primarily doing Heat Transfer Material for your own applications or to print patterns for others this is not the machine for you. The durability of the TruVis inks on HTM is very very dependent on the brand of material you use. Some may wash out the inks in as little as 5 washes other last around 20-25 then begin to fail, this is washing with your jeans not the gentle cold water inside out wash. Stick with EcoSol inks for best results all the way around.
Secondly if you use the machine sporadically, Design print, edit the design, print etc. This is not the machine for you. It is an INK HOG. I am approximately 1,000ml of waste ink in 28 days. Every time you touch the machine, if asleep, it will do a cleaning. Design print, edit design it sleeps, then touch the function button to do a sheet cut and it cleans, open the ink bay door it cleans. Close a material lever it cleans, jog the home position it cleans. IMHO if I just want to do a sheet cut it should not clean, or I want to shake the white ink, yes I know white ink has issues, and open the ink bay it should not clean. I realize that due to the rapid drying characteristics of TruVis ink and white ink it is going to do more cleanings, but really, to do a sheet cut or open a ink bay door. Ok increase the incremental cleaning, the ones you cannot control that happen even when the cleaning is set to never, but don't do additional cleanings just for a sheet cut or opening an ink bay door. If Roland would redo their logic on cleaning they, me, could save a ton of ink on unnecessary cleaning. Seems that their response to print head issues has been, we will just clean clean clean. I am running Firmware 3.1, latest as of 10/31/2018.
Thirdly White Ink, If you are looking for opaque white you will not get it with this machine, unless you do 4 layers with drying between. 2 Layers in High quality still is very translucent. I print CMYK then white in reverse for inside windows and it looks pretty good, if done in HQ and a lighted background, such as the room light is on behind the sticker, applied to entry way with lit room behind.
I have spoken with Roland, their answer was get a tech to look at it. I did, he took videos and reports. Roland answer is functions as designed.So much for cheaper to run as far as ink cost. Not in my case. If you want to print white on clear, especially white only or thinking of printing white on a colored vinyl for some reason this probably will not work for you, at least have test prints run by a dealer.
Maybe we will get a new ink that works better for HTM and a new Firmware that reduces the excessive cleaning and allow you to do everyday functions other than print without a cleaning, after all it was happy sleeping, let a sleeping dog lie.
Still waiting on answers or suggestions from Roland, nothing yet. Dealer cannot get a response either. I have cranked up all the sleep times, etc. Helps a little but not much. Still at 100 ml in 36 hours with maybe 30 minutes of printing.
Have you tried Express Print from Stahls?
yeah, not great, although Stahls has great products and awesome support. Just did not work well for me.
The true-vis ink is finding it hard to adhere. Best results with Eco Print or Express Print. If those do not work well, I am out of suggestions.