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Good day folks,
After much consideration I believe the Kiosk II is what I'm lookgin for. Now I have a few questions I'm hoping you guys can answer.

Is DTG printing (lights/darks) in general sufficent for most jobs?
I've seen pics etc. but I haven't had access to actual prints. Some posters also don't seem satisfied with the quality after a few washes. Whether this is from bad pretreatments or what I can't say. I'm waiting for a sample from DTG.

Will I need to do double passes with the Kiosk II in order to get nice prints?

A rep said that the max print size is 13"x18" is this correct?

I've seen posts about the state of white ink in general and that it's not up to the standard of screen printing. Is it because of the ink itself, or the technology of the printers?

From what I have seen, the current style trend is simple spot colors with "filigree" style artwork going from top to bottom of the garment which i feel is more suited for screen printing. Is this worthwhile with DTG printing?

TIA for your input!
 

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Hi, Jeff-

Welcome to the forum (from one newbie to another!)

I've had a demo on both the Kiosk II and the HM1 and we're going with the Kiosk II for a couple of reasons, but regarding your questions, we took half a dozen of our designs for the distributor to print for us.

The color prints on white shirts look OUTSTANDING. Two of them are five color designs (green, yellow, red, blue & black) and they look great on white shirts. These were spot color designs.

Interestingly the one design that I had printed on both printers required 3 passes on the HM1, but only 2 on the Kiosk II. I would say the design looks as good as if it had been screen printed...maybe better because the DTG has a soft feel, unlike plastisol.

Another thing that is nice about dtg is the registration is not an issue. One of my designs has a pretty tight registration which would be a real pain to set up on our manual press (no micro reggie)! This five color design really sold me on the DTG.

As for dark shirts I had two designs to print on black: one was a simple slogan and the other was actually a graphic designed for a white shirt.

The graphic shirt looks really crummy but I think that's partly (or mostly) because my artwork is set up for a white shirt, not a dark shirt. When we get our printer (soon!) I will redo my artwork and try it again.

The slogan design that was printed in white on a black shirt doesn't look that great. I don't remember how many passes were made on this shirt. I think it was two and I wonder if a third would improve it, something else I will be playing with. Honestly for any sizable quantity of white on black shirts I would just have a screen burned and print them manually...the white plastisol just looks so good on a black shirt and one color is easy enough.

At any rate, if you're unhappy with how saturated a print looks, you can always do another pass or two (so long as you haven't taken it off the platen of course). My simple 5 color design literally takes about 6 seconds for each pass, but it's a pretty small design. I'm sure a larger, more complicated design would take longer per pass. At any rate I think you can expect to be making multiple passes on most, if not all, of your designs.

One thing I did notice on the HM1 is that it takes about 20 seconds to start printing for each pass. I didn't notice if the Kiosk is the same way or not, perhaps someone else here can address this. At any rate that 20 seconds seems a long time to wait for a 6 second print.

As for washability I only have a few samples and I haven't tried washing them as I'm showing them around, trying to get some feedback. I'm taking it on faith that so long as I print and cure correctly and use the right shirts (which appears to be 100% cotton) I will be able to print products that are durable. :eek:

Per the DTG flyer I was given, the Max. Image size on the Kiosk II is 12" x 21".

As far as using white ink, one of the designs we printed would be done using four color process on a screen printing press. We printed this design twice on a light tan shirt and it really popped with a white mask behind it. The print w/out the white mask is rather drab. I'm guessing that this is where the white will really come in handy, unless I can figure out a way to print white on black and make it look really good. From what I've seen, and my experience is very limited here, the white dtg ink is NOT up to the standard of screen printing.

As for your simple spot colors with "filigree" style shirts I suspect this design would look AWESOME printed on a dtg printer, although I'll bet they would be slow to print. Every time I look at those shirts my mind boggles at the thought of trying to screen print something so complex. It's probably not too difficult after you've done a few, but still.

Hope this helps and I would strongly urge you to go to your local distributor to see these machines in action, or come to ISS Long Beach in January!

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Chris!
Your post answered a lot of questions I was wondering about. I'm on Oahu so there are no local dealers here, so I mostly rely on the boards to get my info. It's not really in my budget to fly out to the mainland, though one day I'll get out to a show.
 

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Chris,

That is so strange that you have that experience with kiosk II and the HM1. When I bought my hm1 I had the exact opposite experience :) The hm1 print was so much more vibrant then the kiosk print. It was probably the way the ripped the file to each machine that made the difference. The hm1 actually puts down more ink, then the kiosk. I can easily put down a single layer of white and get full coverage with my machine on a black shirt, actually I get too much ink depending on the density level I print at. With printing at medium density, I get complete coverage with the white ink.

Another thing to take into consideration is that dtg is not really a replacement or comparable type of printing, to screen printing as it actually fills a total different market, which is mostly high color designs and short runs although you can do some longer runs on light garments. Once you get into to high of number of garments on darks, the profit is not worth it compared to the time and ink cost.

Jeff,

A while back I was helping a guy named Mike that is in hawaii, I dont remember what island he is on but he went thru mesa westcoast to buy his machine and had it shipped over. If I were you I would contact Amy Benson at mesa west, she is super helpful as a rep. The print quality is going to depend on the printer who is running the machine, how they are pretreating, are they doing it correctly and what rip settings they are using. Oh also inkset has a lot to do with it also, especially since there are alot of new inksets becoming available now. These are all things to learn and research before you start printing with a dtg.

Hope this info helps some, and gives some further ideas of what to look into :)
 

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Chris,

...When I bought my hm1 I had the exact opposite experience :) The hm1 print was so much more vibrant then the kiosk print. It was probably the way the ripped the file to each machine that made the difference.

It's very possible that they were ripped differently. The two shirts were printed on different days and I'm not familiar enough (at all, actually) with the Rip software to be able to say either way. (That will change next week!) :)

The two shirts both look good. The colors are vibrant on both. I think the one printed on the Kiosk looks a little better because it is printed a bit larger than the one done on the HM-1. Also the Kiosk shirt is a Hanes Tagless 6.1 and the fabric is brighter than the FOTL shirt we used on the HM-1. I think the brighter fabric makes the Kiosk shirt look a little better.


Another thing to take into consideration is that dtg is not really a replacement or comparable type of printing, to screen printing...
Yes, we're looking to complement our screen printing press with a DTG. The plan is to use the Kiosk II for prototyping, contract work and to print our high definition designs (not sure if high def is the right term, but it sounds good).

Hopefully it will work out for prototyping our white on black designs also...

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bobbie, Amy is the one who had contacted me after I had sent an inquiry to DTG. I've been waiting over 3 weeks for the sample to come. I don't know if it's because I'm in Hawaii.
 

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I'm pretty sure the Kiosk (2200 print head) can lay down a higher droplet size then the HM-1, especially when it comes to white ink at the same resolution. The HM-1 just lays it down faster.
I am under the same impression as well. We only ever do a single pass at 1440 for white and a under base setting of 220 not 255 and this is quite sufficent on the kiosk11. Ive seen both machines in action and my experience was the hm1 is faster but can have white ink issues more frequently than the kiosk. A lot of this is the user
A good operator will always do a good job and have concesntant high quality prints no matter which machine they have i it is running properly.
 

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Hey has anyone posted their own prints using a Kiosk II? I finally got my samples and the white ink looks real thin. I recall people saying that a actual user might do a better job than the samples from a rep. I'll try and get some pics of the shirts I got.
 

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There is a little flash reflection there but they actually look better in real life. The prints are very good and if your art work is good also then you have a recipe for sucess. The old story is garbage in garbage out. Bad graphic desings will equal bad prints and good will equal excellent prints along with some experience on the machine. It is not that hard and will become second nature when you do it day in and day out. Just remember I too learned and made mistakes too when i started so expect a few when you start and then it will all click into place and yo uwill be away, and trust me I made a few mistakes as well. But know we have around 99.5% sellable print rate and on big runs hardly ever have a miss print. So it can be done. THey are a very reliable machine if looked after and worked hard. I reckon the more they are worked the better they go.
 

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This post is as a user, not a vendor.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I worked an event that we volunteer at every year. For the second year in a row we were asked to make the "event shirts". We (my wife and I) came into the office on a Saturday to print the shirts (light blue shirts, 8" tall by 11" wide full color image that would be a bear to screen print, no white ink). We printed them on our showroom HM-1 using 720 x 1440 resolution and normal ink settings. We printed 105 shirts, pre-pressed for 15 seconds to remove moisture and "iron" the wrinkles out, cured them at 348' for two minutes (two at a time by folding garment just below the graphic) and were done and out of here in 3 hours. We had one shirt spoiled (I dropped it on the way to the heat press) and had to do one head cleaning as I forgot to check the ink levels in the bottles and the cyan got a bit low - so I refilled and did a head cleaning. While not as good as Grant's 99.5% success, still better than 99%. The group had been quoted at about $8 per shirt for these, the blanks cost an average of $2.50 delivered each and we used about 18 cents of ink on each one. Call it $3 per shirt costs, figure 3 hours x 2 people labor. $8 x 105 = $840 - less the lost shirt = $836. $836 - $315 for the shirts = $521, $521 / 6 hours labor = $86.83 per hour for our time (unfortunately, we did them for cost, but you get the idea). I think most folks would work for $86.83 per hour. (Even at $6 per shirt our labor was worth over $52 per hour).

Make note to self - don't drop a shirt that is printed and not cured - they smear a bit!
 

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Good post Don. I am going on my Christmas break tomorrow I have one small little job to do, then a clean a pack up and we are off for a bit of a trip. I will see you all in the new year so Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year.
 
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