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Discuss the various inks available for direct to garment printers. Wash tests, pictures and comparisons are all welcome.



My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

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Old May 17th, 2014 May 17, 2014 3:06:54 PM -   #31 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by 23spiderman
i really think the key to all of this has been stated regarding the need for FB pretreat to go along with their inks. but i just want to add that, generally, a cracking print (but still on the shirt) is often due to under-curing. 2880x1400 white is a TON of white ink, and it would make sense to me that it would need a longer cure time to fully remove the moisture....
I see what you're saying here, and would fully agree if we were talking about DuPont white. But I am noticing that this FB is a lot thinner in nature, and tends to 'drink' itself onto the shirt surface...

If you look back and see the 1440x1440 (hulk and color bars) Tee posted, they were very cracked, and it didn't seem like there was enough ink to cover the "stretch" I am trying to achieve.. And I slathered all 3 Tees in Image Armor, to the point where it was slight dripping out of the bottom. Am not shy with slightly over PT-ing the IA, as its thin and spreads out fast..

I fully intend on finding the winning combination with IA and Firebird white, and sharing the findings here on TSF... Because Image Armor is the bomb underneath Dupont White, and deserves a 2nd and 3rd chance with FB white. I'm getting closer though, and the speedbumps aren't discouraging my research. I truly love testing the process...
 
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Old May 17th, 2014 May 17, 2014 3:12:38 PM -   #32 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

I will do another 2880x1440 and a 1440x1440 white 'Philly' Tee again since it is an all white T, and to keep the continuity of the thread going. Also so we can refer/compare back to the first pics. Pics will be forthcoming tomorrow...
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Old May 18th, 2014 May 18, 2014 11:17:37 PM -   #33 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Ok - my apologies for saying I would have the wash test results tonight, got preoccupied with life... But I did print 2 fantastic specimens to beat up on tomorrow. I'll give the print/cure specifics now, and to reserve tomorrow for the torture test results only.


Details of tonight's printing process:

Pretreat: Very healthy, even coat of Image Armor (not giving up on the IA yet..)

Printer pass: 1 pass @ 2880x1440 on the Red shirt.
1 pass @ 1440x1440 on the Black. I know 2880 is "a lot"of ink, but I am trying to emulate a real screen print for the sake of the thread... White was "doming" upward until liquid portion evaporated (used small fan during print). I would only ever do this thick of a base for an all white print..

Curing/Heatpress:
Set pressure on GeoKnight to an even 5. Anything above that seems to push the white though the fibers to the inside, no matter how much IA I apply... (*note - you might want to make sure to only cure the top/front of the shirt. Sometimes the 'invisible chems' leach through to the backside of the T-shirt, leaving a 'ghost' imprint of the design on the back of the Tee. Just open the shirt if your press allows, and only press the top.. again this may only apply to a damp 2880x1440 print like the Philly T).

First press duration was for 1 min and 30 secs. Lifted up press and removed parchment (using 'Exopap') to allow vapors to visibly escape. Also to observe how much steam is coming off the white print. @ 2880dpi, there should be a lot of visible steam. I then reapplied the paper and pressed for 30 more seconds to ensure all of the aqueous vapor escaped the print. There was considerably less 'steam' coming off the print this time around, which tells me it's good to go...

...at this point I am following Lazo's advice and letting the shirts air cure for 24 hours, as it seemed to have a positive effect on the lettering portion of last Philly T specimens.

Right now the prints look (and smell) great! Different than DuPont - a little more industrial and "hardcore", if you will... I am predicting that there will be a marked improvement with the wash test this time... Again, I am not trying to step on anyone's toes regarding the claimed "60 second cure", I am specifically trying discover the winning combo with FB and IA. And more specifically, with a hefty 2880x1440 single pass 'All White' print.. I am not too concerned with having to perform a longer cure time, not if the end result is comparable to a tough screen print.

If these shirts wash well, they will advance to phase 2, ei: washing them every time I do a load, for a month.. I am trying give the hardcore "FB White Ink Review" that I wish was already out there...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Crack 2880x1440.jpg (188.4 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg Philly Black.jpg (524.2 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg Philly Red Thick 2880x1440.jpg (660.4 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg The A in Crack.jpg (206.7 KB, 83 views)
File Type: jpg Top of Bell.jpg (747.6 KB, 85 views)

Last edited by ghostofmedusa; May 19th, 2014 at 03:00 AM..
 
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Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 4:13:59 PM -   #34 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Firebird PT will probably help a bit too to make things pop. Something with the PT and ink combo helps out. I have good results with any PT though
 
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Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 4:18:58 PM -   #35 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Anthony has a point. Same brand name products are meant to work well together but people do seem to be getting good results mixing it up.

The prints look great! Can't wait to see the results on washability!
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Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 4:23:47 PM -   #36 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Yeah keep me updated, I'm just as interested.
 
Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 9:31:44 PM -   #37 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

OK - So I washed the Tees with the new PT/Cure time combo. There is absolutely zero cracking this time right out of the washer. 6 shirts total.. I didn't have time to do the little production I had envisioned tonight, but will definitely post the torture test tomorrow afternoon on the Philly Tees. Going to perform the destruction test outside in full sunlight, in HD (photos and Vid) for best clarity

I did take the time to personally destroy one T-shirt pretty badly, to the point where the print actually stretched to accommodate the deformed shirt surface. Still no splitting or cracking. Damn impressive, I must say... And congruent with durability and flexibility of a screen print. So... that's pretty big - lol..
We can all go back and forth showing off our high definition prints right off the presses, there are lots of great machines capable of a hi-def print... but I think a lot of us would agree the one thing that separates the hobbyist from the commercially successful DTG printer, is a lasting durable print.. And that's what I'm after, stupid durability.... for lack of better words

I wanted to add that I do hear everybody's suggestions regarding proprietary products being formulated to work better together. And it wouldn't be fair to conclude this review without testing Image Armor and Fireird PT side by side... So we ordered some Firebird PT to ultimately compare the 2 products here on this thread... I do realize that Firebird never claimed their product to work the same with every PT out there. I am simply trying to test the limits with the current tools at hand: IA and Firebird white.

So, mañana for the beatdown stretch test of the B&W Philly Tees.

So in the mean time, here are some under cured, high def "look what my machine can do!" full color prints we did using the FB White and DP CMYK. I didn't steam the PT "box" out yet, and these haven't been washed either. The 'candy blue' paint job on the car is a camera flash phenomenon, not intended. Hope you like, see you back here tomorrow.

Sorry for these annoyingly descriptive and long-winded updates, but if you can believe these updates are the "short" versions hahaha

-T

*Edit - Apologies, I had some images posted in this reply that were licensed to us for printing, but realized it may have violated forum copyright rules. So I've removed those images
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File Type: jpg SAM_9261.JPG (736.9 KB, 96 views)

Last edited by ghostofmedusa; May 21st, 2014 at 02:12 AM..
 
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Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 10:13:42 PM -   #38 (permalink)
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Default Cliff Notes on Lengthy Update Above

Just to recap, for those who don't enjoy my verbose updates :

  • Philly Tee Destruction Tomorrow Night.
  • Pretty great results with Pilly Shirt #2 wash test
  • Advice regarding FB PT Acknowledged...
  • Firebird PT on it's way
  • Printer Porn Pics Posted as a distraction from my inability to provide wash and torture test in a timely fashion...
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-T
 
Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 10:42:19 PM -   #39 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Lol printer porn
 
Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 10:42:58 PM -   #40 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

You're funny man. My kinda person
 
Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 10:45:15 PM -   #41 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

You will see a difference whether you use image armor or Firebird pretreat with either Dupont or Firebird Inc. I recommend that you do your own testing and see what works best for you you're not going to get the same results with one Inc. with another pretreat because everybody creates there's different.

Each one has there benefit, and have used them all with all possible combinetions
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Old May 19th, 2014 May 19, 2014 10:48:16 PM -   #42 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

I agree... What works for one guy doesn't work for another
 
Old May 20th, 2014 May 20, 2014 12:14:24 AM -   #43 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by g.lupo
You will see a difference whether you use image armor or Firebird pretreat with either Dupont or Firebird Inc. I recommend that you do your own testing and see what works best for you you're not going to get the same results with one Inc. with another pretreat because everybody creates there's different.

Each one has there benefit, and have used them all with all possible combinetions

"Wobble for Jesus" - haha I like that, just visited your store..

Yes I fully understand what you are saying, what works for one might not work for another. But I also know something about recipes, that you need exact ingredients to make the same dish consecutively. The same principle has many applications in life, and it applies well to DTG... for me anyways...

For example: I have been making NY Style Pizza (dough mainly) for 15 years... I know a lot of different recipes for achieving that same hard to imitate crust, that stretchy yet crispy crust that so many West Coasters can't seem to emulate exactly... Then they blame it on the water, stating that NY water has something special in it that wont allow them produce it in their oven, 3000 miles away. I was told that I would have to use "NY Tap water" (lol!) in order to emulate that delicious NY style crust. Well it shouldn't come as a surprise that I dispelled that myth through intense research and tweaking every aspect of the recipe.. and it seemed absurd to think that filthy tap water out the East River was the credit to that special taste... besides, a real NY Pizza shop would shut down in 2 seconds in inspector showed up and witnessed them pouring that garbage into the dough mixture. And after much deliberate research, I am now able to reproduce and achieve those same results in our own home oven... Pizza-snobs don't believe it until they come over and eat some of my homemade Pizza. I also worked in a few authentic joints when I was a kid and learned a few "tricks" from the masters... And they use filtered RO water, by the way.

Similarly, I dove into the DTG world with the same heart and enthusiasm, and learned some important techniques from the masters. So I guess what I am saying is this: there are several ways to arrive at the same destination. But there will always be a way to get there faster. And I am always interested in the latter option. And I will always veer off the beaten path and experiment for myself. Remember too, that this DTG path isn't that old either, so experimentation should be highly encouraged so we can all share info and 'arrive faster' (I felt like AA Peter for sec just now)

Image Armor seems to get me there, but am betting that Firebird PT will get me there faster. FB PT on the way!

-T

Last edited by ghostofmedusa; May 20th, 2014 at 12:48 AM..
 
Old May 20th, 2014 May 20, 2014 12:35:19 AM -   #44 (permalink)
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Default re: My Firebird DTG Ink Review and Experiences

I'll keep this update short and sweet...

Impatience is Virtue only a Greek could fully employ..
I couldn't wait until tomorrow. So here is the wash test/destruction test I promised. Forgive the nonsensical banter, it is late and it was my 5th attempt at making a useful video that shows the strength of the Firebird Ink, post wash. And I wasn't nice to it at all, pretty incredible result.

I'll do a proper video tomorrow to show with a better cam, but watch this vid for now. New Destructo Video Here ----> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwRa_5kYui8
 
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Old May 20th, 2014 May 20, 2014 2:20:43 AM -   #45 (permalink)
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Default Highlight Reel from tonight torture test...

As described in the Title above, these are some closeups of the torture test from tonight's video. Take a look at where the the shirt actual tears apart from extreme pressure, notice how the ink did not split until the shirt exploded underneath it...

To put things in perspective: HD6 T-shirts are 6oz, and very tightly wound cotton, very hard to tear apart. I can easily rip through a Gildan 2000.

This extreme stretch test unnecessarily abusive, but am intentionally going overboard to display remarkable durability with the new Firebird White Ink.. (click on images for extreme closeup of fibers bonding with ink)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140520_030248[1].jpg (1.83 MB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg 20140520_030349[1].jpg (2.19 MB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg 20140520_030358[1].jpg (2.00 MB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg 20140520_030426[1].jpg (2.41 MB, 58 views)
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