TBT: My First Big Purchase

Do you remember your first big purchase?  I remember mine, it was a used (barely) Oyo Techstyler, a thermal imagesetter, and it really was revolutionized my little two-man print shop which was in its infancy.  I bought the machine at a local auction that I attended with a friend/former employer for roughly $4700 dollars.  This was a real steal as the machine ran about $15k brand new.  Now, in all honesty I could not afford the price tag as I was dead broke, but my friend/former employer was good enough to lend me the money and even allowed me to pay him back interest-free over the next six months!  Thanks Steve!  Of course neither of us were aware that the machine did not come with RIP software (truthfully, I didn’t even know what a RIP was).  When I found the appropriate Harlequin RIP I was shocked to discover that it would cost me another $3600, the funds for which I had to borrow off my parents credit card.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

This purchase was a huge risk at the time considering that it cost more than all the equipment I already owned combined, but I believed so strongly that, small as it was, my shop needed the right equipment as a foundation for success and growth.  The trusty Oyo Techstyler did not let me down and it ran like a champ for the next seven years until we moved to CTS technology (a much, much bigger investment).  As a bonus, when I finally sold off the Techstyler I was able to sell it for more than I originally paid.  Score!


The Techstyler was a pretty badass little machine. It was thermal technology, meaning no chemistry. It was easy to work with and never quit.


We did some awesome work with the Techstyler, including some of our first hi-res halftone jobs


This is me in the year 2000, aged 20, scruffy and stinky, showing off the $3,600 RIP software

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