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Discussion, tips, pictures, reviews and peer to peer support for those do it yourselfers who are working on building their own DTG machine.



[DIY DTG] DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

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Old March 27th, 2011 Mar 27, 2011 6:44:20 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

I have tested this method on an Epson 2200 DTG (Fast T-jet and DTG Kiosk). Randy (Spiderx1) has tested it on the R1900 as well. He used it in manual feed to work, standard did not. Please note that while this method works, the underbase printing is not as fast as a commercial Rip. At least not yet.

This method uses 2 Rip applications. One for the underbase, the other for the colors.

Color layer:

For the color layer you need a Rip that accurately prints colors and that lays down enough ink in one pass. For this I found Gutenprint. Gutenprint is a set of hight quality drivers that include support for the 2200 and 1900. It allows you to configure the ink drop size and the ink density for each channel. It also has some very nice color corrections included.

Gutenprint can be used as a plugin for photoshop or as a plugin for GIMP. I haven't tested the photoshop plugin, so in this example we will use the GIMP plugin.

Step 1: Download and install GIMP:

GIMP - Downloads

Installation is simple, just execute the installer.

Step 2: Download Gutenprint for windows:

gutenprint-5.2.5-win32.zip - wingp - Plugin for Gimp based on gutenprint-5.2.5 - Windows printing system based on Gutenprint. - Google Project Hosting

To install the plugin, all you have to do is:
-Extract the zip into a folder
-Copy the extracted content from the "plug-in" folder (an .exe file and an XML folder) to GIMP's "plug-in" folder. This usually is something like: C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins. Path might vary depending where you installed Gimp.

Step 3: Restart Gimp.

For this example, I'm going to use the following image that you can download from:

I'll saturate and increase the contrast the same way I do with any image prior to printing. So, in Photoshop CS4:
Brightness +30, contrast +40. Then saturation +30.
I'll eliminate the background. I always like keeping printable images as transparent PNGs that way it is easy to print in either CMYK alone or with underbase.
Finally I crop the image, resize to 150 dpi and save as a transparent PNG. We now have a 10x11 transparent file.

Open the image in Gimp, then select "File"-> "print with Gutenprint". This is the Gutenprint interface where we can adjust the printer settings. First we have to set up the printer. You can add multiple printers, each with different settings using the "New printer button". Select "Setup printer" and select the 1900 from the list. Then select the "Printer queue" from the list and "Standard command".

For the printer options, the best combination I've found so far is the following:

Print quality: Best
Media type: Photo paper
Media source: Standard (I have only tested this mode)
Inkset: Photo Black
Resolution: 1440x720
Print direction: Bidirectional
Interleave: Standard
Ink Type: Four Color Standard

"Quality enhancement" allows you to do multiple passes, I think it's similar to "ink levels" in EK print, however a single pass is more than enough. So I always leave it unselected as well as the last 3 bars.

When we selected "Four Color Standard" we are telling the Rip only to use the CMYK channels, meaning that you MUST have those colors installed as they are originally intended. Meaning, that seeing the printer from the front, Yellow should be in the 1st slot, Magenta second, Black 6th and Cyan 8th.

Now browse to the "Output" tab, select "color" and click on the "Adjust output" button. In this screen we can select from different color corrections and most importantly, select ink drop sizes and color densities.

A setting that has worked for me is:

Color correction: Bright colors.
Image type: Photograph
Brightness: 1
Contrast:1
Saturation:1.2
Diter algorithm: Default
Cyan density:2
Magenta density:2
Yellow density:2
Black density:2
Density: 8

Leave the rest of the settings unselected, with the exception of "Drop size large", which should have a value of 1.

Now close this window and press "print and save settings".

And that's it, you will be able to print at 720, single pass and full saturation!!

Please note that using this settings, you might get different results than I do, because I believe the ink drop size in the 2200 is bigger than in the 1900. If you fell you need more ink saturation, you can adjust the Saturation and CMYK densities buttons to it's maximum value and see the difference.
__________________________________________________ ___
The process for printing the underbase requires a Rip that allows you to configure which channels to print from. For this I found an excelent product called Quad Tone Rip (QTR):

Welcome to QuadToneRIP

This is an application created for the purpose of printing black and white images. Black ink over a white sheet of paper. Basically what we do is print the inverse, which is white ink over a dark susbstrate. QTR supports several printers including the 2200 and 1900.

Step 1: Download and install the application:
http://www.quadtonerip.com/qtrpc/QTR_Setup_2.7.0.EXE
Step 2: Create the underbase file:

We need to manually create the underbase for the image we are printing. Using the transparent PNG that we printed in Gimp I remove the black from the image:

In photoshop, I select 100% black as my front color. Then, "Selection"->"Color range" . Set "Tolerance" to 40. Finally, remove the selected pixels.

Now we need to transform our image into a black and white file. There are several ways to do this, but the simplest one and the one we will use for this example is:

"Image"->"Adjustements"->"Hue Saturation"
Set Luminosity to -100

We should have a completely black image now. QTR does not support PNGs, so we need to save it as a JPEG. The image is now ready to print. Remember that we are fooling QTR into believe we are printing black ink over a white paper. QTR has no idea we are actually doing the inverse.

Step 3: Configure QTR

Open QTR and select "Tools"->"Curve creation".

Here we can specify which channels to print from. Please refer to the attached images for configuration on the "ink setup" and "Gray Curve" tabs. The rest of the tabs should remain unchanged. I am assuming that you have white ink on the following channels: MK, R, OR and GL. If that's not the case, you should change the configuration to acomodate yours. But remember that this is the configuration needed for Gutenprint CMYK.

Now you can save the new curve: "File" -> "Save as"

Close the curves window and again refer to attached files to configure the print interface.

In the "curve setup" section, your newly created curve should appear in the drop down menu when you select the r1900 from the printer section.

Now all you have to do is open the underbase file and print it!

Using the 1440 dpi setting we are printing at 1440x720, the same as in Gutenprint. However QTR does not currently have a control over the ink drop size, meaning that you should print 2 passes at 1440 dpi or 1 pass at 2880 dpi (2880x1440).

I am attaching a small resolution file for the underbase and colors.

The final step is to adjust the print between both Rips. There is a slight difference in the point of origin between both Rips. There is a difference of about 0.1 mm from the Top and 0.2 mm from the left. When I align the print to the top left corner I use the following in Milimiters:

QTR:
top:39.8
left:20

Gutenprint:
top:39.9
left:19.8

If you want to print from a different location, you might need to do some testing first. I recommend you try the above first. I suggest to always use the same point of origin for all prints, regarless of it's size or position. For example finding a coordinate in the top left corner an always print from that position using an image of the same size everytime. To position the image on a different location or to resize it, you do that in the design software (photoshop, gimp, etc.). For example always using a transparent 13x18 template then simply resize the image and position it. Then save the file as a transparent 13x18 png or Jpeg image.

If you tried to print the colors using the configuration described above, you will get too much ink and it will darken the image too much. So before printing the colors in Gutenprint, browse to the "Output" tab (leave the other tabs unchanged) and click on "Adjust output". Leave the "color correction" as bright colors and "image type" as photograph. Reset all the other controls with the exception of 2:

Leave "drop size large" at 1 and reduce the "density" value to 3. This density value you can play with, between 1 and 4. In 1 you will get brighter colors but less ink, with 4 you get plenty of ink but it darkens the image a bit. I recommend you start at 3 and see if you like it.

That's it! You should be able to achieve the quality print of most commercial Rips for FREE!!!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gray Curve.jpg (64.0 KB, 506 views)
File Type: jpg Ink Setup.jpg (96.8 KB, 476 views)
File Type: jpg Print Configuration.jpg (133.8 KB, 474 views)
File Type: png optimus_4x4.png (424.8 KB, 372 views)
File Type: png optimus_4x4_Black_removed.png (454.9 KB, 363 views)
File Type: jpg optimus_4x4_Underbase.jpg (192.0 KB, 389 views)
File Type: jpg QTR_print.jpg (439.8 KB, 646 views)

Last edited by estrada; March 27th, 2011 at 06:54 PM.. Reason: spelling
 
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Old March 28th, 2011 Mar 28, 2011 6:54:29 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

I'm surprised nobody has commented here... Great effort Luis! I've been hard pressed to figure this out. I know the final product likely looks better than your photo. Could you post another pic with a little less light.

Thanks,

Bob ?;O)
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 9:53:50 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

FYI, Gutenprint for Windows will not run on Windows 7.... Bob
 
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 12:03:31 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Quote:
Originally Posted by colorfinger
FYI, Gutenprint for Windows will not run on Windows 7.... Bob
I ran it fine on Win 7.
Maybe if you select compatability mode XP SP2.
I did not have to do that . Hmmm.
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 12:06:36 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

I thought that gutenprint was a suitable program to use for CMYK only on white or light shirts.
I did think that the second program used for the white underbase to be a bit difficult and slow.
Alignment being the biggest issue. But thanks to Luis for blazing the trail on this issue, I think that it will open many doors for the beginner DTG printer.
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 12:07:21 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Did you run the Gutenprint print option in Gimp on Windows 7? It crashes on me...

Bob ?;O)
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 12:10:41 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

I know what it is... I am running the 64bit version of Gimp... I can correct that pretty quickly.

Thanks,

Bob ?;O)
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 2:26:22 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Quote:
Originally Posted by colorfinger
I know what it is... I am running the 64bit version of Gimp... I can correct that pretty quickly.

Thanks,

Bob ?;O)
I used 32bit with gimp. I tried to interface with photoshop but was unable to get it to work. I also could not get it to work with std mode but roll was fine.
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 3:25:52 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

I have a question for you all. I want to print with standard inks and a white channel using the R1900. I don't have the need to spray heavy as I will be printing on glass and wood. I don't have the need to adjust platen speed as i am using a 1 to 1 ratio. What rip do you recommend?
 
Old April 5th, 2011 Apr 5, 2011 3:48:16 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Quote:
Originally Posted by feclark
I have a question for you all. I want to print with standard inks and a white channel using the R1900. I don't have the need to spray heavy as I will be printing on glass and wood. I don't have the need to adjust platen speed as i am using a 1 to 1 ratio. What rip do you recommend?
Fe, I you are serious then EK Rip is the only way to go... Gimp w/ Gutenprint is only for tinkering.

Bob ?;O)
 
Old April 7th, 2011 Apr 7, 2011 11:00:57 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

An increase in the tutorial given by Gutenprint friend estrada.
GIMP TUTORIAL PRINTING IN CMYK WITH GUTENPRINT PART ONE
 
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Old April 7th, 2011 Apr 7, 2011 11:12:18 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Quote:
Originally Posted by feclark
I have a question for you all. I want to print with standard inks and a white channel using the R1900. I don't have the need to spray heavy as I will be printing on glass and wood. I don't have the need to adjust platen speed as i am using a 1 to 1 ratio. What rip do you recommend?
I believe you will need to coat substrate with a pretreat for non textile products. Or use solvent inks.
 
Old January 19th, 2012 Jan 19, 2012 6:49:07 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Is there a free rip software for printing white ink on epson 1400
 
Old January 20th, 2012 Jan 20, 2012 1:44:41 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

Quote:
Originally Posted by stunningtees
Is there a free rip software for printing white ink on epson 1400
I have been on the lookout for that to but there isnt any that I have found, and on the other hand "QTR" is only about $50 which is relatively and essentially peanuts.
 
Old January 26th, 2012 Jan 26, 2012 12:44:10 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: DTG Printing with Free Rips‏

gutenprint can print a white underbase if correctly setup and hacked

i have done it and will help anyone out if need be

email me [email protected]Hotmail.co.uk


also working on a standalone rip that uses gutenprint to print with all the hacks and no gimp/photoshop needed


Many Thanks

Rob
 
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