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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Direct to Garment (DTG) Inkjet Printing > DIY DTG
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] Made my own DTG Printer for $150

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Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 11:42:35 AM -   #76 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by makemygraphix
I'm NOT making these to sell, just to help so everyone can have an affordable DTG solution, and the agreement is that your discoveries can also be shared with me and everyone and not to be sold.
Does that mean you won't be selling the plans?

Just sharing them here with everyone so they can try them out and share tips on improving the process?
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Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 12:26:26 PM -   #77 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

One question I have in watching the video is about the saturation in the print. I know the video is of low quality, but it looks a little heavy and dark. Is this how it printed? Or is the original image like this as well? It would be nice to maybe see a scan as well.
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Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 2:35:05 PM -   #78 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

The print is actually a little light in person. I took the video at a low quality so it would be easy to upload.

I feel that the print will turn out pretty good when the dtg inks get here.

I will be contatcing a few guys on the RIP software and I think that will help too.

Please remember that it will take some time and refining -mak the printer usable on a daily basis for the average home user. I feel that the screen printing shops may lose some small jobs, but not go out of business.....I'm in the screen printing business also and I see it as an alternative to the qty of 10- T-shirt orders to become more profitable and easier to produce without spending $10,000 on a printer. Not everyone can design their own T-s and have the computer knowledge to produce them.

I will keep everyone posted on the progress.
 
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 2:53:59 PM -   #79 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

T, Great Job. I Noticed a few of the people who sell machines have more to say than just telling you to keep going. Until James Dobson came along amature astronomy was out of the relm of all but the rich. He found a way to make large scopes for a small price and they are now found everywhere. You working on this could be like his contribution, a low cost way to do the same thing as the big boys. Just like Edison with the light bulb he just kept going and now we could not do without them.

This is the best thing I've seen in along time and it did not stop in the middle of the shirt.

Will be intresting if you get a larger format printer.
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 3:40:26 PM -   #80 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeridHill
This is so true. Being in the retail/manufacturing end of things, I can honestly say, if you underprice anything, you make it too affordable for people. If something like this was on the market for $300 - $500, it would literally put so many screen printing shops out of business.
If something like this were to be manufactured and made available to the public, it would never be as cheap as $500. The large format printer it would be based on is that or more. They would have to be selling millions to get the cost that low. 15K is ridiculous, but I don't see why a decent DTG machine can't be manufactured and sold for $3k give or take. That's still high enough to keep the average joe from rolling down to Staples and buying one.

I'd bet money that the main reasons for the 15K price tag are (1) Because people are paying it and (2) Because sales volume is very low. Manufacturing costs go WAY down as volume goes up.

A commercially available conversion kit for a large format printer would be cool. I'll bet the kit alone would need to be more than $500.
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Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 3:49:07 PM -   #81 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by makemygraphix
Now I have question for the ones who have purchased the high dollar ones if they care to help.
I have read you need to pre-treat the shirts....1- Why? and what does it do? 2 - What is the pre-treatment made from?

I have only washed a couple of shirts that I printed and they look as good as they time I printed them.
I am heat pressing them with my t-shirt press to "set" the ink.

Next thing is the colors do look slightly fadded from a printed piece of paper.
I wonder if I could purchase the ink from a maunfacture of a DTG to improve the fadding or would the pre-treatment fix it?

Maybe someone could be nice and help with this.
Thanks!
As Mark already mentioned...pretreatment is usually only used for printing white ink. However, there are a couple pretreatments that USSPI sells to improve the vibrancy and washability of the ink on lighter colors.

U.S. Screen Print and Inkjet Technology - FastBRIGHT™ White Ink / Light Garment Pretreatment

I don't know if this will work with the particular inks you are using but it may be worth a try. Also, it looks like you are using basic ink cartridges for the C88...which would be pigment inks which are better than dye inks. Now..you can by the inks by the bottle (8oz, 16oz, or 1 liter) for the DTG printers but you may need to hook up a bulk ink system to use them. That may be possible as all you do is replace the stock cartridges with cartridges that have the tubes feeding from the bottles. Again, you can get these from various DTG suppliers.

U.S. Screen Print and Inkjet Technology - T-Jet White Upgrade Kit

Just some thoughts and feedback.....

John
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Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 3:55:09 PM -   #82 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrc62
If something like this were to be manufactured and made available to the public, it would never be a cheap as $500. The large format printer it would be based on is that or more. They would have to be selling millions to get the cost that low. 15K is ridiculous, but I don't see why a decent DTG machine can't be manufactured and sold for $3k give or take. That's still high enough to keep the average joe from rolling down to Staples and buying one.

I'd bet money that the main reasons for the 15K price tag are (1) Because people are paying it and (2) Because sales volume is very low. Manufacturing costs go WAY down as volume goes up.

A commercially available conversion kit for a large format printer would be cool. I'll bet the kit alone would need to be more than $500.
I agree with this, my point was an extreme and it was meant to be. The thought of mass producing at a low cost would destroy the market. Even $3K would probably break even. Then you have support issues and nightmares to contend with. The number one cost in these machines is support, guaranteed.

After the sale, the support still needs to be there. $15K really isn't ridiculous if you knew all that had to go into it. Now if you want to pay over $100K (cough cough, Justin), those are in my opinion over the top. But the reality is, you will pay what the value is to you. Not to start a Mac/PC debate, but I buy Macs. They used to cost 3 to 4 times as much, but I never have problems with my computers that can't be taken care of quickly. On the other hand, I own a couple of PC's and they have more downtime and take more of my time to contend with. Why do I buy Macs? Because they have value to me since time is money.

$15K for a tshirt printer will stop the average person from purchasing a machine. $3K, like you said, will but not for companies who get shirts all the time. Belquette created the Imaginail (fingernail) printer. I think it sells for $4K. When I was at SGIA, I was surprised to see how many people were willing or considering buying that machine because it was only $4K. They would say, we could start a business doing this, or my wife could, etc.

If someone came out with a printer that inexpensive and it worked well, they would literally destroy the tshirt printing market, at least as we know it today.

Last edited by JeridHill; November 13th, 2007 at 04:02 PM..
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 4:10:10 PM -   #83 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Oh yeah, and look at this month's Impressions magazine:

Online mass customization, this changes everything.

Anyone and everyone can now have their own tshirt business and only design the shirts. This is just one more way of insuring this can happen. You think this industry has competition now, think of what would happen if people who never thought about starting a business can afford to now.

It's not doom and gloom, but it's reality.
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 4:15:39 PM -   #84 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

If you can make $15 profit per shirt, I guess you would have to thank the manufacturers for taking profit on the first 1000 shirts sold, and thereby protecting the market.
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 4:28:15 PM -   #85 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by FredP
Three Volkswagen Rabbits don't equal one Ferrari.
I guess some people "need" Ferrari's, but for me, a couple of Volkswagens is more than enough.
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Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 4:55:58 PM -   #86 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tagger
If you can make $15 profit per shirt, I guess you would have to thank the manufacturers for taking profit on the first 1000 shirts sold, and thereby protecting the market.
I know of people who print $15K - $20K per week using dtg, so it's all relative to your marketing strategies.
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 5:08:49 PM -   #87 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by makemygraphix
here is the link....
YouTube - $150.00 T shirt Printer

Let me know what you think!
Great Job.

I do want to know about the conversion process. Have you had the idea of using fiberglass and resin?

Good Luck,

Alain
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 5:17:01 PM -   #88 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeridHill
Now if you want to pay over $100K (cough cough, Justin), those are in my opinion over the top.
Well, we could go round and round all day on this one, but we all know that I have saved nearly as much as I paid for my machine, in ink cost alone. And that is only in a few short months. Imagine when I have had this "expensive" machine for as long as I had my Flexi..... I will be so far under anyone else's costs with initial startup and consumables factored in.

There is also the issue of longevity. If I had printed even a portion of the number of prints I have done thus far on my Kornit, on any other machine, I already would have needed a makeover on the unit. ie, new heads, new dampers, possible new encoder strip. That is time and money. My higher-investment machine may have been more on day 1, but on day 180, I was already way ahead. We'll see where I am after day 365...

Aside from all of that - I am VERY interested in seeing where this thread goes. I have been waiting for some DTG MacGyver to build a DTG printer out of duct tape and paper clips, and now we're finally getting somewhere! As Jerid pointed out, alot of the cost is in support. However, look at all the Flexi owners who will never ever call support or deal with the distributors - they provide their OWN support. Where did the extra $12,000 that THOSE people spent go? Then there are people out there like me, who would rather have a database of problems / solutions, and simply reference it whenever I have a problem, and add to it whenever I find something new (cough cough - open source support project for homemade DTG's.....). Keep us all posted!!!!
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 5:32:02 PM -   #89 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tagger
If you can make $15 profit per shirt, I guess you would have to thank the manufacturers for taking profit on the first 1000 shirts sold, and thereby protecting the market.
There is an interesting point here. It really is a good question- concerning what exactly are we paying for- and what is the return?

What is the ROI? If the heavier duty well made machine is of commercial quality- keeps you up and running and building your business- then it really isn't pricey equipment protecting THE market but protecting YOUR market that matters.

The home built printer certainly has it's place- and may even lead to a commercial printer - as some of the manufacturers started there also. I would guess by the time you pay for labor, parts , tech and warranty support, engineer in the durability, dependability, planned marketing, and the finishing touches that make it look like a professional unit for sale purposes- you might approach the current dtg prices even on a small format printer.

But there is ALWAYS a welcome place for the home built printer where your savings are because of your own ingenuity and labor of love. Not everyone can or will, but it is just as exciting as a car rebuilt for racing, or a restoration, or an intricate woodworking project-any other labor of love where it would not be cost effective to hire someone to do it- but is a joy to experiment on yourself.

Go for it!
 
Old November 13th, 2007 Nov 13, 2007 5:40:09 PM -   #90 (permalink)
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Default Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Well said!
 






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