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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Thanks for a great forum, just getting into DTG printing and I've found a lot of information here so respect due to all who´s putting in their time and effort.

Anyways, I'm trying to do a budget and see what my approx print cost per t-shirt could be with a Epson F2000. I realize that there´s a lot of variables that goes into to calculating such thing but their must be some kinda rough estimate to work with?

I see a lot of people posting about the prices per liter ink, but that dont really tell me nothing more than.. well the price per liter ink. How many prints or sq ft or whatever can I expect to get from a liter?

Im a newbie to this so Im sure there is something I'm missing but I googled back and forth and checked Epsons and retailers websites without finding any answers..

Thanks again!
 

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It is very difficult to compare one printer to another, because the ink cost per shirt is just one measure of many.

Remember the following things matter in the price per shirt:

1. Labor to order blank shirts, receive blanks and sort into orders
2. Labor to apply pretreatment to shirts (manual? automatic?)
3. Labor to set up artwork and RIP artwork before printing
4. Printing labor (mounting platens, dismounting and curing shirts, etc)
5. Cost of maintaining the printer daily (wasted ink, cleaning fluids, swabs, labor to maintain), weekly and monthly
6. Consumables (printhead, capping station, wiper assembly, etc)
7. Rent overhead (how much space does your layout take?) + utilities (humidifier, heater, air conditioner, etc)
8. Insurance
9. Area-specific labor (minimum wage? professional wage? union?)
10. Area size of print and saturation of ink (heavy single color? photographic? heavy white highlights?)

If you want an answer, do this: post an image. Ask someone to estimate based on that.
 

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Thanks for you quick reply, understand what your saying, there is a lot of stuff that goes into the price..

But lets try keep it as simple as possible and exclude all costs for labor, rents, insurance etc here since that will vary a lot between different businesses/people/countries.

Consumables and maintaining costs is important of course, would be great to get a picture of how big or small the costs will be but I understand it depends a lot on the amount of usage etc.

But for example, lets say i print 50 prints per day, 5 days per week. What could I be expecting in weekly (or monthly) cost for consumables lite wasted ink, and materials for cleaning? I understand that there is no way to give a correct answer hence all the unknown variables but just to get some idea would be a great step forward.

Here is a example of the same print on white and black, if somebody could give me a rough estimate on each print I would be very thankful!

Example 1


Example 2



Thanks again!
 

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Very good question.:)
There are so many different way to answer to you.
Dpi and 1 squire white with CYMK 1/4 squires will be the most accurate answer. Light color 4 x 1/4" squires.
I am not sure there are ink usage on Garment Creator software yet but every RIP has this option to figure out. You will know exactly how much ink you will use before print.
Cheers! Inks are on me always.
 

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Thanks... I understand its complex to say..

So nobody want to give it a guess at least, "It wouldn't be more than $2,50 to print that tee" or anything?
Or what would you expect the maximum consumption on a complex print on dark color t-shirt for example to be?

Trying to figure out a business and it seems a bit risky to buy a 20.000$ piece of gear just to find out that "oh, that won't work.. ".

Again, I never printed a t-shirt (or any other garment for that matter) in my life, but i worked in the clothing industry for years. This printer seems reasonably easy to get started with, only thing that´s holding me back right now is that I have NO idea what to expect in ink costs .. that make´s budgeting kinda hard..

Thanks really appreciate the answers so far!
 

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If ink cost is most your concern Epson or Brother will be bottom of totem pole. However, less maintenance and superb quality(all RIP and Garment Creator will deliver different quality) is your priority then Epson is highly recommend. Best luck for your research.
Cheers! Inks are on me always.
 

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It's definitely near impossible to get a good estimate on the DTG market, because it's different for everyone. For example, someone with the same DTG as I have (not the Epson) asked me before buying how much a certain piece of artwork would cost me. So I pulled open the artwork, ran it through my tweak algorithm, printed a sample for him, and told him it was $4.85 plus about 8 minutes in labor total.

After he bought the printer, he yelled at me because it cost me over $8 plus 30 minutes in labor, and the quality of his print was inferior to mine. Why is that? Because I know my printer, have spent hundreds of hours coming up with the right way artwork should look, and created a lot of presets to perfect the process.

10 people with 10 identical printers will likely end up with 10 different costs -- especially if they're using different RIPs and using different ways to prep the file for RIP processing.

That being said, your best bet at the moment is to probably send the artwork to your Epson reseller and ask if they can print it using their RIP, and ask for an ink cost. I'm not sure there are enough Epson owners right now who have it down well enough to give you an estimate.

Also, you have to ask yourself: who is your market? Are you selling retail shirts out of a store located near a busy beach, or are you hoping to do contract fulfillment for people who want 1000 of the same design?

Getting into DTG is scary for most, but it's profitable for a good percentage. Even so, I don't know anyone who made a profit on DTG right off the bat. We lost money for 3-4 months consistently before we made a profit. Worse, the money we lost for 3-4 months was costlier than our printer. I do know a few people who outsourced DTG for a year to build a customer base, and when they finally bought their printer, they were able to cash flow positive MUCH quicker than us.
 
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