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Discussion, tips, pictures, reviews and peer to peer support for current and future owners of BelQuette manufactured machines, including the MOD-1 DTG machine and the Flexi-Jet set series of printers.



[MOD-1 DTG] Mod1 Users experience

 
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Old June 30th, 2010 Jun 30, 2010 12:09:24 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mod1 Users experience

We would like to hear feedback from users of the Mod1, we currently run a GT541 machine and have grown enough to invest in a machine that will print onto dark colored tees. We have researched the 782 (too expensive, and ink cost too high) and the DTG brand, but like the closed ink system the Mod1 provides. However, there doesn't seem to be many users are out there so any feedback will be appreciated.

I understand printing onto dark garments is much more difficult than what we are used to with our GT541, but are training classes mandatory like other machines? What is the ease of use with this machine.

Can any user give an estimate on how many prints (12" x 14") this machine can produce in an hour? Please include pretreating by hand. And average cost at that size?

Finally, our GT541 has problems printing great purples and pinks, does this machine have a weakness printing any color? And are there any color changes between the first print and the 50th one?

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Old July 1st, 2010 Jul 1, 2010 7:52:51 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Hi there,
I'm actually in the middle of using the MOD1 to finish up a batch order of 440 Dark shirts. We have 3 printers going on this order, I'll be back soon to address your questions and post some pictures.
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Old July 1st, 2010 Jul 1, 2010 10:17:55 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Thanks Adam,

If I recall correctly you might be the only one who is using both the kiosk and the MOD1. Is there any difficultly getting colors to match between the two printers? Also, did you mention your MOD1 was faster than two kiosks combined? In your opinion would it be better to go with the MOD1 versus a Kiosk with the belquette closed ink system?
 
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Old July 2nd, 2010 Jul 2, 2010 11:52:42 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Hi guys, sorry it took so long to reply to this post. This was one crazy week. We printed just under 700 shirts this week, mostly darks requiring white ink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acca
I understand printing onto dark garments is much more difficult than what we are used to with our GT541, but are training classes mandatory like other machines? What is the ease of use with this machine.
I don't know that classes are mandatory, but I would highly recommend a training class. Not only do you want to be shown in person how to properly pre-treat and press a shirt for white ink, you want to see the ins and outs of using the Rip software for multiple layers.

Now, the MOD1 outshines most other printers I looked at before deciding on it.

For one, the way Belquette designed the machine was for ease of use, and ease of maintenance. It really is a truly Modular system. By that, you can take the actual printer off of the Y and Z axis and replace it with a solvent printer. Or you can take the printer off and store it or do maintenance. It's nice that components are separated. As a user it is so nice to be able to just open the front cover, move the print head and spray the entire thing down with windex without worrying about getting critical components wet.

See my post here with some pics:
https://www.t-shirtforums.com/direct-.../t78753-2.html


Secondly, I haven't seen an easier platen loading system that is on the MOD1. Combined with Rapid Auto 2nd Pass feature, this printer really is fire and forget. Set your platen on the bed, load, come back and it's done.

Some of the older style printers were not smart enough to know when the print was finished. Our kiosk has a green button to Auto Load the bed and begin the next pass. That works great if you are standing right there to prevent it from loading AFTER the 2nd pass. All that time really does add up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by acca
Can any user give an estimate on how many prints (12" x 14") this machine can produce in an hour? Please include pretreating by hand. And average cost at that size?
It seems like most companies advertise the print engine theoretical print times, with us users never coming near that number. Belquette has managed to close the gap on down time by coming up with things like the Rapid 2nd pass (the printer reloads the platen after printing the last white pixel instead of fully ejecting it). Also making it simple to load your next shirt. If you have multiple platens staged and ready to go, your down time in between prints can be as little as 5 - 10 seconds vs something hard to load like the Kiosk which could be 30-45 seconds in between prints.

We recently printed a Wolfpack design which was 12.5 x 14.5. 1440x720 mode took 4 min 15 seconds where the 1440x1440 mode took right around 6 min.
Our Kiosks were taking right around 10 min for 1440x720.

Although 1440x720 was much faster and a great looking print the artwork we had to work with was kind of low resolution which I reworked a bit. Because of that, variations in pre-treat could cause some prints to look good and others to look just 'ok'. At 1440x1440 the print was much more forgiving and the results were amazing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by acca
Finally, our GT541 has problems printing great purples and pinks, does this machine have a weakness printing any color? And are there any color changes between the first print and the 50th one?
Well, first our Kiosk has problems printing blues and grays. We do not like the Dupont color profiles in our Rip Software, we are still using the old R&H profiles from a few years back.

On the MOD, colors seem spot on. Obviously there is going to be a bit of a difference when comparing the image from a monitor vs a t-shirt, but the difference is usually lightness variations not terrible color shifts like we see on the Kiosk where blues like to print purple, and grays like to print blue.

Now, while printing with lots of white ink we did notice a bit of white-base degradation. After about 15 or so prints the white base would become less than perfect and eventually need a head clean. We found that we had the same problem on the Kiosks because they are ejecting so much white ink and the fan in our shop was drying it on the print head eventually covering the nozzles. A simple head clean takes care of this. Once we identified this we removed the fan from that area and the problem is resolved. Like any inkjet, printing that many in a row it's not uncommon to have to do a normal head clean.
Power cleans and initial charges are not needed when printing or in the morning when preparing to print. The closed bag system just works.

Below are some pics - P.S. some of the white halos around the icons are not choke or registration problems. We had to use a 72dpi image from a power point file. I didn't have time to clean it up completely.

Printing the color layer


Wolfpack just printed



















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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 4:30:06 AM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Nice print!
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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 6:27:08 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Agreed! nice job, great looking prints......thanks for the feedback on the MOD-1 please keep us informed when you have the time of your experiences with it.

I for one am looking to upgrade our DTG in the next year and the MOD-1 is at the top of my list, so I've very interested in your real world experiences using it.

Thanks again.
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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 9:56:02 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Hi Jon,
before we decided on the MOD, we also were at a point where we needed something more than just another machine. We have both our Kiosks running problem free now (no more clogging or starvation), but they are just too slow. Especially in production mode.

We kicked around the idea of adding 1-2 more kiosks, but then started looking at newer machines. We looked at the DTG machines, HM1, Viper (I think) the Anajet and also saw various other machines. Most of the above machines were pretty much the same. When I saw the MOD1 it was in a class of it's own. Truly modular, very fast and optimized for production runs. Best of all, it was very close in price if not cheaper than some of the competitors.

We've had this for 6 months now. Love the machine. Looking to phase out our Kiosk and get another MOD1 or possibly the MOD2.
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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 10:15:44 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

It seems to me it's the attention to detail in the little things that end up making the big difference. I really liked how you mentioned how critical components are away from the capping station, so cleaning is easy for the end user.
 
Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 10:43:40 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by acca
It seems to me it's the attention to detail in the little things that end up making the big difference. I really liked how you mentioned how critical components are away from the capping station, so cleaning is easy for the end user.
Agreed, that was the first thing I noticed as well.

I'll try to get a video up soon for the production run mode. Seeing how simple it is to load a shirt also saves down-time in between prints.
Also, the Rapid 2nd pass is very smart. It knows when it prints the last pixel immediately rewinds (most printers eject first) then begins printing the color layer.

The print bed is also so smooth, we never have registration problems or platen shifting.

It's not only attention to detail but simplicity that makes this printer stand apart.
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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 12:00:24 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Hey Tahoe, I hope to see this shirt soon. I am stationed in Iraq and two of your symbols are the unit patches for USF-I and III Corps. These are who my unit is assigned to. Are theses being sent over or for a unit already back?

James
 
Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 1:10:27 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Hi James!
These are all going out today. Just finishing up a few front prints.

It would be great to get a few photos of you guys wearing them.

Take care
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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 1:17:36 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

well I am not part of the unit that ordered but will definitely be on the lookout for them
 
Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 1:34:53 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalk2515
well I am not part of the unit that ordered but will definitely be on the lookout for them
Private message me your address size and I'll send you out a shirt. I only have the graphic for the other Unit but I might be able to work yours into it.
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Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 4:43:31 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

James, I could also send out shirts to you if needed, but of course not the ones Adam printed!

I didn't hear from you, just wanted to make sure you got my email.
 
Old July 3rd, 2010 Jul 3, 2010 11:11:18 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mod1 Users experience

Thanks guys.

Jerid, The guys in my platoon decided that they were too lazy to finish a design so I didnt pursue. The one above was just a giant coincidence. The unit represented isnt my unit but their higher headquarters is my higher headquarters too.
 






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