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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] Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

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Old July 7th, 2013 Jul 7, 2013 10:43:22 AM -   #46 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody



Yes yes I am excited!! Well on the way now. Next I need to buy Dupont inks and mess around with software.

Will refine the machine over time but for now it is in a useable state!!
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Old July 7th, 2013 Jul 7, 2013 12:29:10 PM -   #47 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Good luck!
How many hours of work did it take to build this baby?
What was the main problem if there was one in your build?
 
Old July 7th, 2013 Jul 7, 2013 5:45:19 PM -   #48 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Great!!
Now post a video for us to see your baby in action. I'm going to hook you up with a friend on the forum on your side of the pond who is doing some experiments with an open source software.
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Old July 9th, 2013 Jul 9, 2013 2:27:03 PM -   #49 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Hmmm.. It's the little tricky things that are testing me now.

Both the PE sensor and Manual paper feed sensor had to be relocated. The Manual paper feed sensor was the first to be moved, to save me messing around with triggering it manually. As I am using a long-board platen directly on the rollers I just attached a raised strip to one side and mounted the sensor in the tunnel so it's triggered by the platen. (I'll take and post more pictures fairly soon.)

OK with the PE sensor left in its original location, white t shirt printing production would work reliably enough. But.... when I tested the AcuRip/PartnerRip 8.1 software (set printer as pro4800 point to normal Windows pro 4000 driver/port) in white ink mode (ignoring the fact that I'm still using original inks at this time). The underbase print and second pass colour print have a registration alignment problem. I figured the PE sensor was not reading a sharp enough leading edge and needs something better than just a ruffled t shirt.

Thought I'd get away with making a small forward of t shirt clean-surface, leaving a slot so the top edge of the t shirt could be tucked away... Whoops!! PE sensor decided the slot was the paper end. But the start position looked more promising.

I moved the PE sensor (sorry I lie,, I took the one off the carcass actually, simply disconnected the original just in case it all went horribly wrong and I had to reverse the process). Anyway, I mounted the PE sensor in the tunnel downwind of the manual-paper sensor, spaced so it registered my (for now) manual platen push onto the drive roller. Got a fixed point of reference now so I figured it would register two prints exactly on top each other... nahh... still about 2mm out on the second print registration.

I have just been reading a service manual and I think I have to do more work with my leading edge/slot so the multi-sensor on the head picks up a really clean paper edge. Looks like I need to have a jet black leader before any sensors trigger, then a clean paper-white edge that will define page start very precisely when expected (ie in-line with the white-against black edge I am using to trigger the PE sensor but downwind obviously). Gotta tick all these sensor boxes as close to the original timing the Epson expects, but the printer does seem to allow a little latitude in the timing/spacing of things before it decides it has or has not detected what it is looking for.

I'll try that...

Fiddly little things!!
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Old July 10th, 2013 Jul 10, 2013 9:53:03 AM -   #50 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

What the guys who are well established in the dtg diy arena has been doing with printers that can use roll paper is using roll mode. This way there is no need for pf sensing and such. The platen is moved a given distance the print job starts. That is why I would like to get my hands on a 4880 or any of the 4xxxx series.
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Old July 10th, 2013 Jul 10, 2013 10:54:42 AM -   #51 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

customshirts you have not answered my question.
Here is the question again:
How many hours of work did it take to build this baby?
What was the main problem if there was one in your build?
 
Old July 10th, 2013 Jul 10, 2013 3:54:09 PM -   #52 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by quickflicks
customshirts you have not answered my question.
Here is the question again:
How many hours of work did it take to build this baby?
What was the main problem if there was one in your build?
I dont have an answer for these questions. I simply got stuck in, didn't use a time clock and it is still taking some time. If you read the thread you will see exactly when I started and what stumbling blocks I have dealt with on the way. Currently tinkering with building a circuit so I can run another paper motor alongside the existing one. Also got problems with multi-layer alignment..

I have found the whole thing a challenge, never built a dtg before and admittedly didn't read through the experiences of other pro 4000 builders so I'm learning as I go. But... I am happy that at the moment I have at least got a machine that can do white and light colour t shirts for me. I will improve it from there, regardless of how long it takes. I simply cannot afford to buy an A2 DTG machine for my business, can't borrow as banks are crap these days in the UK, so I have no choice but to build one.
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Old July 10th, 2013 Jul 10, 2013 4:42:10 PM -   #53 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by quickflicks
customshirts you have not answered my question.
Here is the question again:
How many hours of work did it take to build this baby?
What was the main problem if there was one in your build?
Very odd questions. It can take a person any amount of time depending on what other things they are doing and how much time they can spend per day or week.

You can have any amount of problems depending on the condition the printer is in when you begin the project. How capable you are of dismantling equipment without damaging vital parts.
Which all depend on your technical skills.

I don't think these are the questions you really want to ask so spit them out. The real questions.
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Old July 10th, 2013 Jul 10, 2013 8:06:35 PM -   #54 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Well the real question is exactly:"how long it takes to build a printer" because time is money.
I read in the forums for years and know what you mean in respect to capabilities and technical skills. Lots of folks have way too many problems for different reasons but it comes down to: No knowledge of the technical aspects or sloppy work.
So lets form the question a bit different:
If someone has already build 2 or 3 printers and has all the tools at hand how many hours would it take to finish a printer.
 
Old July 11th, 2013 Jul 11, 2013 12:46:37 AM -   #55 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by quickflicks
Well the real question is exactly:"how long it takes to build a printer" because time is money.
I read in the forums for years and know what you mean in respect to capabilities and technical skills. Lots of folks have way too many problems for different reasons but it comes down to: No knowledge of the technical aspects or sloppy work.
So lets form the question a bit different:
If someone has already build 2 or 3 printers and has all the tools at hand how many hours would it take to finish a printer.
Three days to a week if you're on vacation or a month if you're not.

You also have to take into account that time can change if you're building a new concept or different design with a different model printer.

I sense a bit of intimidation if you’re thinking of trying your hand at this. Feel free to talk about it help is here for technical problems. And I’m certain you can find help with the build whether by friend or professional help.
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Old July 11th, 2013 Jul 11, 2013 2:25:27 AM -   #56 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by quickflicks
Well the real question is exactly:"how long it takes to build a printer" because time is money.
I read in the forums for years and know what you mean in respect to capabilities and technical skills. Lots of folks have way too many problems for different reasons but it comes down to: No knowledge of the technical aspects or sloppy work.
So lets form the question a bit different:
If someone has already build 2 or 3 printers and has all the tools at hand how many hours would it take to finish a printer.
I have been following this thread since it started and look forward to reading each instalment has it arrives. Each and every instalment is detailed, it is almost as if you were there while it is being carried out, in fact its a pleasure to read.
Now back to your question, there are so many variables that a exact time period can not be given, especially as the project is still on going and as of yet not completed. This type of question is best asked when the job is done, its like asking how long is a piece of string. Please do not be offended by my reply, but I just think that customshirt should be allowed to concentrate on the problems he is encountering at the moment, and keeping us informed of how he cured these problems and not trying to answer questions.
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Old July 11th, 2013 Jul 11, 2013 3:44:50 AM -   #57 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

You are right from your and many others´ point of view. I am concerned about what is more appropriate under some circumstances, Direct to Garment or Dye sublimation transfer?
For DTG and sublimation a heat press is needed.
Sublimation needs a printer and a heat press but has basically no problems.
Sublimation works out of the box. So it comes down to: what are the pros and cons?
 
Old July 14th, 2013 Jul 14, 2013 3:41:37 PM -   #58 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

White ink, think about it before you use it in your dtg..... it make life much complicated...... you must build something like wims....white ink mixing system....but even than head clogging is reality.....i made a post about using white screen printing water base ink.....that way you will get same maybe better results for dark colored t-shirts...
my expieriance telling me that with white screen printed is much more ressistant and better washabillity.....


sorry for misspelling i hope you understand what i am trying to say... contact me if you are interested i will give you advices how to do and what to make for good registration marks...
 
Old July 15th, 2013 Jul 15, 2013 12:25:48 AM -   #59 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by quickflicks
Well the real question is exactly:"how long it takes to build a printer" because time is money.
I read in the forums for years and know what you mean in respect to capabilities and technical skills. Lots of folks have way too many problems for different reasons but it comes down to: No knowledge of the technical aspects or sloppy work.
So lets form the question a bit different:
If someone has already build 2 or 3 printers and has all the tools at hand how many hours would it take to finish a printer.
My own opinion, if a person has built 2 or 3 printers, it shouldn't take them long at all. Probably a week or two (but those would be solid work days). As a side note, I found that it helps to have a buddy to keep you motivated and assist in the build process.
 
Old July 15th, 2013 Jul 15, 2013 3:25:26 PM -   #60 (permalink)
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Default Re: Epson Pro 4000 DTG - DIY tips anybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrockett
My own opinion, if a person has built 2 or 3 printers, it shouldn't take them long at all. Probably a week or two (but those would be solid work days). As a side note, I found that it helps to have a buddy to keep you motivated and assist in the build process.
I it it very interesting... all this speculation. The time it takes to build a machine definitely depends on your tools, knowledge, background and experience, but most importantly it depends on your motivation.

Motivation is the most important thing. If you happen to want to build machines to sell to others at a profit then of course you will find ways of building to a specific plan and cost within a set number of hours. The only difference between making a DIY machine and a professional machine is the amount of organization involved in the build and consequently the resources and motivation you have available. There are lots of one-man band professional DTG builders in the world who can build machines in days.

I believe if I was so inclined and had previous experience, which I am not, did not... I could have squeezed everything I have done with this build into 2 or 3 days, maybe less.

But the reality of my personal situation is, I didn't have a clue!! I only had motivation! I am a one man band t shirt printer who started off printing t sublimation shirts to sell on a market stall. I progressed to printing-while-u wait vinyls, ink-jet transfers and sublimation out of my van - on markets... Year and half ago I quit the markets as I couldn't make any money, was skint and depressed but refused to give up. I got lucky, found a small place to rent and convert to a workshop, reliant on a few existing customers I had gained while a market trader and also new customers from my website. Got lucky again as my landlord happened to be a really nice guy and loan-sold me some more equipment including a broken versacamm... and then I built a bigger workshop. That sirs forms a very small part of my motivation...

I have wanted a DTG machine for years but the money to get one is simply impossible. Not in my vocabulary... Darm I'm 51 years old, have squandered my life and I'm seeing things as being right serious. Get going and do something with this business or end up in a cardboard box donated by the state without ever getting my kids to bother finally attending their failed dad... That's another part of my motivation..

So.... I do not care how long it takes. I do not care if its really really hard to do. The value in doing it is incalculable to me....

With a tool like a DTG, I can say YES even more often and that sirs is the point. If you want to keep your customers and get more, you have no choice but to keep up with what the big boys are doing, whether you can afford to do so or not. You got to find a way.

So.. In my opinion, I did not see any point in trying to build something smaller that would be cool as a practice and easy to do. I simply wanted to build THE machine that would solve my DTG requirements that suits my business. Hence A2... with the compromise that I do not really really care about white ink as 95% of what I do on black can be done with my versacamm or cad-cut vinyls. And I can have plastisol transfers made if worst comes to expensive worst just like I have been doing and I have colour laser quick print-one-day-rubbish if need be for throw away events.

Now then... perhaps we can stop talking about how long things take... frankly, I don't give a f....!!!! I just want to succeed.
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