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What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

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Old December 6th, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 2:54:57 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

Hello my name Is Zander for months I've been quietly watching/ researching this website to find the best DTG printer on the market for an entry-level start up business unfortunately even based on all the research I've done and all the customer testimonials I still feel no closer to purchase than I did when I started my research. These printers are very expensive and for somebody new to this business it can be very intimidating to take on a financial responsibility with unproven technology.
I am a tech savvy person and I do realize these machines require a certain level of maintenance and dedicated attention to operate at maximum potential but I have an incredibly hard time deciphering between companies. A little bit of a background on myself I'm a tattoo artist and I'm incredibly talented with digital art renderings and tattoo style of art for traditional with Neo traditional art styles. I need a machine that will print a large size image I'm really looking for something that will print at a reasonable cost from neck to hem. I will be selling artwork so it's most important that artwork is displayed at maximum capacity but will this cost me too much ink I'm hearing very different mixed reviews on peoples in costed consumption when it comes to larger printed artworks. Secondly I need a machine that will be able to power down for days at a time and will not clog a head or need serious after initiating a start up only a short few days later. Can anyone out there personally recommend a machine that has been very helpful in their start up business. The printers I have been looking into are Omniprint freejet, Neoflex by AA, Belquette Mod 1, Anajet M5
 
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Old December 6th, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 7:30:41 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

If your just starting out. I would suggest finding a wholesale printer to print your shirts. You can build up experience and not be pressured to make monthly payment on equipment. Attend a trade show and compare manufacturers on show floor. They will have equipment running and can answer all your questions.
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Old December 12th, 2016 Dec 12, 2016 10:36:43 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

Hi Zander, welcome to the forums.

A common single platen machine maxes out at 16 x 23 on the large side which is still too small to go from neck to hem on a Hanes 5250 tagless t-shirt adult size small. Going from the industry standard of a 16x20 heat press to cure the print/pretreat increases the cost from $1800 plus shipping to $2600 plus shipping (20x25 swing away) or you can aim for a conveyor dryer that will start around $6000 (forced air) and will need a dedicated electrical circuit.

To answer your question more to the point what is the best entry level DTG printer in my opinion?

If you truly have the technical chops to attempt it, buy a Spectra P600 and pretreater for around $8-9k and add in at least 1 additional print module at $2000 to give yourself a safety net while you learn how to feed and care for the machine. Most of your learning will have to come from forums like this one and YouTube where you can find a lot of information on how to make a Epson 3000 or P600 print some amazing work 12.5 inches x 17.5 inches.

The most user friendly DTG in my experience are the CMYK only printers from Brother (GT-541, GT-341) followed by the white ink printers (GT-782, GT-361, GT-381). Brother has extensive documentation telling you how to manage and maintain their machines and how to get the best prints out of the machine. If you can't get something locally, you can most likely order it online from Brother be it parts, ink, pretreatment or consumables. All of the ease comes at a significant price though, a real dollar one as Brother ink prices are up to 4 times more than other industry standard inks like Dupont and Image Armor. 220cc of Brother black ink is around $210, 250cc of Image Armor is $45. Replacing a damaged or worn print head is around $1200 per head (4 color heads CMYK, 2-4 white ink heads) compared to $422 for a complete 8 channel Epson head for the P600.

For the record as I have mentioned in other posts, I do own Spectra P600s and a GT-782 and a GT-541. All 4 of these machines run in my shop (well the GT-541 is currently undergoing a tube replacement) but all of my advice is based on my day to day operation of these machines.
 
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Old December 13th, 2016 Dec 13, 2016 4:12:16 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

Quote:
Originally Posted by raise
Hi Zander, welcome to the forums.

A common single platen machine maxes out at 16 x 23 on the large side which is still too small to go from neck to hem on a Hanes 5250 tagless t-shirt adult size small. Going from the industry standard of a 16x20 heat press to cure the print/pretreat increases the cost from $1800 plus shipping to $2600 plus shipping (20x25 swing away) or you can aim for a conveyor dryer that will start around $6000 (forced air) and will need a dedicated electrical circuit.

To answer your question more to the point what is the best entry level DTG printer in my opinion?

If you truly have the technical chops to attempt it, buy a Spectra P600 and pretreater for around $8-9k and add in at least 1 additional print module at $2000 to give yourself a safety net while you learn how to feed and care for the machine. Most of your learning will have to come from forums like this one and YouTube where you can find a lot of information on how to make a Epson 3000 or P600 print some amazing work 12.5 inches x 17.5 inches.

The most user friendly DTG in my experience are the CMYK only printers from Brother (GT-541, GT-341) followed by the white ink printers (GT-782, GT-361, GT-381). Brother has extensive documentation telling you how to manage and maintain their machines and how to get the best prints out of the machine. If you can't get something locally, you can most likely order it online from Brother be it parts, ink, pretreatment or consumables. All of the ease comes at a significant price though, a real dollar one as Brother ink prices are up to 4 times more than other industry standard inks like Dupont and Image Armor. 220cc of Brother black ink is around $210, 250cc of Image Armor is $45. Replacing a damaged or worn print head is around $1200 per head (4 color heads CMYK, 2-4 white ink heads) compared to $422 for a complete 8 channel Epson head for the P600.

For the record as I have mentioned in other posts, I do own Spectra P600s and a GT-782 and a GT-541. All 4 of these machines run in my shop (well the GT-541 is currently undergoing a tube replacement) but all of my advice is based on my day to day operation of these machines.
Nice, thoughtful answer !
 
Old January 7th, 2017 Jan 7, 2017 7:25:18 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

This may be a loaded question but...is there an industry, or Forum consensus about which is the LEADING, most respected brand/model of DTG printer?
Not the "best". That kind of question would just start an argument. Best is often a matter of opinion. Who's number one in sales and reputation?
 
Old January 7th, 2017 Jan 7, 2017 8:01:44 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

There is not. There are loyal and not-so-loyal followings for all DTG printer manufacturers.

I have been watching DTG for years and never pulling the trigger because the more I learned, the less I wanted the hassle, time involved, and continual maintenance needed to keep the machines working. Due to the nature of what it is; ALL DTG printers require this.

Ford, Chevy, Toyota
F150, Ranger, Focus
Impala, Malibu, Volt
Camry, Corolla, Tacoma

They all have their merits and their place in the pecking order; and for each different person, it's a different set of criteria.

You can go crazy reading all the reviews. You can go crazier when you go to the trade shows and watch the vendors show you "just how easy it is", when they leave out 3/4's of the process.

Anyhow, this might not have answered your question,but gives you more to think about and consider.

Cheers.
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Old January 7th, 2017 Jan 7, 2017 8:42:00 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

Well said, Tim.
 
Old March 7th, 2017 Mar 7, 2017 12:30:32 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

At least in my case, I decided to go with Brother due to them having the best support in my country compared to others.

I think it is the best investment under my circumstances, where we don't have every other company established around us, which I consider an important step towards maintaining our business.
 
Old May 19th, 2017 May 19, 2017 10:45:13 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanderthorn
A little bit of a background on myself I'm a tattoo artist and I'm incredibly talented with digital art renderings and tattoo style of art for traditional with Neo traditional art styles. I need a machine that will print a large size image I'm really looking for something that will print at a reasonable cost from neck to hem. I will be selling artwork so it's most important that artwork is displayed at maximum capacity but will this cost me too much ink I'm hearing very different mixed reviews on peoples in costed consumption when it comes to larger printed artworks. Secondly I need a machine that will be able to power down for days at a time and will not clog a head or need serious after initiating a start up only a short few days later.
The artwork you're describing sounds best suited to screen printing. Their ink costs are negligible compared with DtG, and their print times are going to be in seconds vs. minutes for a full front. Costs are more about how many colors (screens) are used, and you're already used to thinking of each color as a separate unit anyway.

You could just outsource to a screen printer, they'll probably be stoked to get to print your artwork, and you will save a bucket of cash and get a better product for your customers.
 
Old February 22nd, 2018 Feb 22, 2018 1:09:11 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

I'm sorry but I am new to this. I use a laser printer to do my printing for the t-shirts then you use a press to attach it to the t-shirt. But my question is I'm lost on the different machines. I have a heat press I use to attach the product. I haven't heard of DTG printing and was wondering if someone would explain this to me. I have someone wanting DTG print on a shirt. What is the difference between the way I adhere my product and the DTG way? I would really appreciate an answer because she is wanting an answer from me and I don't know what to tell her!

Thanks so much!!
 
Old February 23rd, 2018 Feb 23, 2018 6:23:46 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

DTG, or "direct to garment," is a process by which the printer prints directly onto the garment instead of using "heat transfer" which is the method you're using.

That being said, there are other steps to take when printing DTG which include pretreating the garment, curing that pretreat, printing, then curing the print. So, you're going to (probably) be paying over $20,000 for the printer. There are more economical ways to pretreat rather than buying a pretreat machine, but they are a bit labor-intensive and use up a lot of room since you don't want any of the pretreat getting into the printer. So you probably need a separate well-ventilated room.

So here is a video of one of the newest and fastest DTG machines. You can find this one on sale for $22,000.

Brother GTX
 
Old February 23rd, 2018 Feb 23, 2018 11:52:24 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

I also believe this is a hard question to answer but I will give my experience. I have been in Vinyl for a long time then moved into inkjet transfers then into sublimation. Each style has advantages and disadvantages. I now wanted to get into DTG. I read an easy 500+ reviews and some brands I stayed away from companies because you could only find a good review as a needle in a haystack.

Every manufacture will have a lemon now and again. So because I also consider myself pretty technical, I dont mind a used piece of equipment for someone who just cant handle the maint. and save myself thousands. obviously there is a risk in this but factor that into your cost. These things cost more than a car and explaining that to the wife is not ever a winning convo unless you compare the costs of what a new one cost and how you got in at a fraction of the price .

I almost bought a epson F2000 but when I called tech support they wanted my warranty info or to spend cash to ask questions seems like they want to be the only option to service. Then I looked at a brother gt541 to start so I called brother and they called me back to walk me through what could be wrong and how to fix it.. WOW!! Only problem was the heads are$1100 each plus the ink is pretty expensive so I passed. I then was on a love kick with Omniprint freejet but used prices were sky high. So I chose a fair priced DTG that had less than 500 prints. The owner gave up on the maint so it needed a capping station, head, wims filter, motor for wims and new ink and dampers. Flushed lines, new carts, new ink , and replaced all the parts total cost including the printer,stand and parts was about 3k and im off and running with up to 16x20 prints . I think I got a good deal but thats just me.

Most ppl say to contract out work but that just doesnt work for me. I have to trust in someone elses work, not get to see the finished product before customers and lose the ability to say hey ... I have an idea lets see what this shirt would look like. Now i just print it! No waiting ... Instant gratification!! Plus I like the actual production process so I took the risk and im not afraid to get my hands dirty... I think you have to have the same mentality or you will just complain about the maint. and how much you spent without having the clients. Ill take my time and learn how to make great products and have fun while doing it. If it fail's... so what! atleast I tried there is no way I can lose!!! on my way to print now

PS I have seen that Belquette sells a reman Mod 1 for less than 6k (didn't know this until after). They have great service as I have been chatting with Jerid and Matt and they have helped with every question that I have had about their T-Treater and are willing to help get your up and going no matter if your are first or second hand buyer.

Most companies frown on second hand buyers but what they don't understand is that good support on a second hand provides a confident first hand on new items when the time comes and increased revenue on consumables.

*eyeing out the Belquette Genesis

Thats my short reply LoL
 
Old February 24th, 2018 Feb 24, 2018 2:43:33 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

Check out Katana dtg
this is made by Justin Walker
the price point and quality are amazing
 
Old February 24th, 2018 Feb 24, 2018 5:47:47 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the best Entry level DTG Printer???

I have bought sold and used Epson, Anajet and Omni brand DTG printers. I got lucky with all provided great service. So zero complaints.
I since graduated to regular screen printer since my volume has picked up dramatically.
 
Old February 24th, 2018 Feb 24, 2018 6:57:47 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Really? I heard nothing but horror stories with anajet. Can you elaborate on your Omni experience, any different than the others?
 






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