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That is very true, and certainly how I am trying to structure my business; more machines = redundant capabilities! However, if you have a target hourly profit ("X" dollars per hour), and you are getting by with a single machine, all is well. If you get really busy, you buy another machine, and double your hourly production. If ever a machine goes down, you are making LOTS of money per hour, so you can afford to be down on one machine for maintenance.

However, what if you lower your prices to get some big accounts (in my experience, the bigger accounts seem to always need their stuff done, yesterday), due to the fact that you are counting on double production capability, but then you have problems with one machine? Suddenly you have to shift the entire workload over to a single machine, and you will only be making HALF of your target profit, or less (because you lowered your prices, counting on the double production capabilities to make up the difference).

Will this happen? Probably, on a long enough time frame. And, from my experience, things like this like to happen right when you absolutely need everything to work. Plan for Murphey's Law, and you will stay in business a lot longer! Again, although I definitely see the benefit of having multiple machines to leverage my costs down, and in turn, pass the savings on to the customer, I do not think it is the most ideal way. I still think that true savings are found in seeking out lower consumables costs, so you are putting more money back in your pocket at all scales or business (whether you have 1 machine, or 100), rather than increasing the required investment cost to "lower" my costs.

Heck, 2 Brother machines and a tunnel dryer is starting to creep closer to the Kornit price point.... Let's see: (2) Brother GT-541 = about $45,000? Save up about twice that for your initial investment, and your long-term consumables costs will be around 30% by buying a Kornit. I know what you might say.... "But the Brother is so much more reliable than the Kornit!" True; however, I think you could eliminate a good portion of your troubles with the Kornit, if you were only printing light garments (which is all you can do with the 541's you might buy, so you are already limited).

As always, just my .02 - taking a look at these things from a slightly different angle than most. :rolleyes:
 

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Let’s take this one step at a time and start with the number side of the business first.* The cost of a 500 cc of color ink is $350.00.* This means that the cost per a cc is $0.70.* Since you used 2 cc of CMYK, you have $1.40 in CMYK ink cost.
*
1.****** Low Volume – price per cartridge is $300.00 for 500 cc.* This means that you are paying $0.60 a cc.* This means the white underbase would be $5.40.* (Total print cost would be $7.10.)
2.****** Medium Volume – price per cartridge is $225.00 for 500 cc when you purchase a 10 pack of cartridges.* This means you are paying $0.45 a cc.* This means the white underbase would cost $4.05.* (Total print cost would be $5.45.)
3.****** High Volume – you are paying $0.36 a cc.* This means the white underbase would cost $3.24.* (Total print cost would be $4.64.)
*
So not sure where you came up with the $9.00 print cost based on the numbers you posted.* In fact, my cost would be half of what you posted.* There are also a couple of different ways where you can cut the down the amount of ink you use.* You should contact your distributor for how to do this.
*
The next thing that you need to consider is how much comparable ink you would be putting down on a shirt using another inkset.* From someone that has experience printing with Dupont ink using Epson-based printers in the past for several years, I can tell you that the hand on the Brother GT CMYK+W prints is less than with the Dupont ink.* Part of the reason is because Brother uses less ink than compared to the Epson-based printers.* So try to imagine how thick the print would feel like if you printed it with an Epson-based printer.* If you want to post the artwork in the same size / resolution that you printed, someone can tell you exactly how much ink would be used using their RIP.
*
In the end, there are definitely trade-offs with every dtg printer.* I choose to go with a better hand, improved washability and faster production speed - so I was willing to pay more cost per print, However at bulk ink pricing it is cheaper to print with my 782, than on my Epson based machines.

Zilla
 

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Great breakdown!

Thanks!

Eric :cool:

Let’s take this one step at a time and start with the number side of the business first.* The cost of a 500 cc of color ink is $350.00.* This means that the cost per a cc is $0.70.* Since you used 2 cc of CMYK, you have $1.40 in CMYK ink cost.
*
1.****** Low Volume – price per cartridge is $300.00 for 500 cc.* This means that you are paying $0.60 a cc.* This means the white underbase would be $5.40.* (Total print cost would be $7.10.)
2.****** Medium Volume – price per cartridge is $225.00 for 500 cc when you purchase a 10 pack of cartridges.* This means you are paying $0.45 a cc.* This means the white underbase would cost $4.05.* (Total print cost would be $5.45.)
3.****** High Volume – you are paying $0.36 a cc.* This means the white underbase would cost $3.24.* (Total print cost would be $4.64.)
*
So not sure where you came up with the $9.00 print cost based on the numbers you posted.* In fact, my cost would be half of what you posted.* There are also a couple of different ways where you can cut the down the amount of ink you use.* You should contact your distributor for how to do this.
*
The next thing that you need to consider is how much comparable ink you would be putting down on a shirt using another inkset.* From someone that has experience printing with Dupont ink using Epson-based printers in the past for several years, I can tell you that the hand on the Brother GT CMYK+W prints is less than with the Dupont ink.* Part of the reason is because Brother uses less ink than compared to the Epson-based printers.* So try to imagine how thick the print would feel like if you printed it with an Epson-based printer.* If you want to post the artwork in the same size / resolution that you printed, someone can tell you exactly how much ink would be used using their RIP.
*
In the end, there are definitely trade-offs with every dtg printer.* I choose to go with a better hand, improved washability and faster production speed - so I was willing to pay more cost per print, However at bulk ink pricing it is cheaper to print with my 782, than on my Epson based machines.

Zilla
 

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So, the GT-728 is $55,000 or more. If it's true that dark shirts are, on average, $3/shirt, it seems priced way above the competition.

I know it's a different ink, but it seems Brother is like US pharmaceutical companies...charging us for their development costs.

Am I off base?
a better question to ask yourself is if you buy the machine can you make a profit & how quick. if you cant make a profit dont buy it. ofcourse people dont buy it for the cost, but the roi.
 

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Thank you! Good data and a good experienced conclusion.

I wonder how many cc's the same design would "take" on the Bro and the Epson Printers?

In the end, there are definitely trade-offs with every dtg printer.* I choose to go with a better hand, improved washability and faster production speed - so I was willing to pay more cost per print, However at bulk ink pricing it is cheaper to print with my 782, than on my Epson based machines.

Zilla
 

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I'm talking generally.

Even if the Brother uses less ink than the Epson Machines for the same design, I find it hard to Imagine that it costs less to operate the Brother at $300/500ml (or $225) vs $160/500ml.

Having some experienced cc numbers from the rip from both machines would reveal the percentages...
 

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I posted this in the 782 diary. It costs less to print the same design on the 782. The Epson printers use twice as much ink.
Bottom line...

I know the quality of the Brother 782 prints are to my liking as I've been having my new designs printed on a 782 for almost a year..., and the washability is good enough, even tho they've only last 6 months of weekly washing (24 washes)

Bottom line...
Is the Brother 782 CHEAPER to operate over a Epson Based Machine even when you include:

1.The $20 per day Ink Maintenance Cost.
2. The $35 extra per day cost of the 4 year lease on $52k vs the $17K Lease on say a Mod-1
3. Speed of Print and Curing...
4. Reliability / Ease of Use
 

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In our case we were seriously considering the GT782 and was following Printzilla's diary because he was one of the few to have owned a 782 and an epson based printer. He provided valuable info comparing and contrasting both types of printers, in the end we purchased the MOD1 because it fit our type of business better. We are a retail company that doesn't handle many wholesale orders and probably could not take advantage of the bulk ink price reduction right now.

One thing I really like about the MOD1 is it's print quality and wider color gamut. We print alot of designs which have large areas of solid color, with our GT541 banding was common depending on the color. Sometimes we would double print some designs just to cover up the banding issue. This can use alot of ink and really increase cost. As a recent test I sent the same 12" x 14" job to both printers, the MOD1 used about .60 worth of ink, double pass 1440x720, the GT541 used about $1.10 single pass. The MOD1's print due to the double pass looked deeper, colors more saturated than the Brother one, both were pretreated with fastcolor.

Also, I just had a customer wanting big purple text on a white shirt. Now with our new printer I am not so worried about reproducing great purples or pinks. I can see us slowly getting to the point where we hardly turn on our GT541 anymore to print light color shirts.

I know dark colored garments is another story and there are others here more suited to answering your questions. But is print quality, higher resolution and wider color gamut more important to you than washfastness, stretchability and ink cost? For us it was the former versus the latter because we handle mostly retail.

I will say this, I'm really glad and grateful we purchased our Brother machine when we did, it was by far the easiest machine to use and learn. It helped us grow to a point where we could move into a retail shop, learn enough about digital garment printing to take the next step and purchase a white ink machine.

Finally, the MOD1 gives us great flexibility in the future by not tying us down with the 55,000 price tag. We are hopeful we can pay our machine off quickly and then decide to either get another MOD1, a Brother or whatever is the next generation printer.
 

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I own, not lease my equipment. It does not cost me $20 a day to maintain my printer. Even if it did, if I was doing 200 shirts a day, that is only a dime a shirt, hardly a deal breaker. If I was doing 20, it would be $1 a shirt, still not that difficult to accept when you consider all of the advantages.

I don't know if it's cheaper, as I am rarely interested in cheap. I am interested in things like value, long lasting, dependable, excellent end product, longevity, ease of use, support, etc.....

After owning nearly every brand, I choose to go with the Brother 782 when all facts were considered.

That is my bottom line.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
The Epson printers use twice as much ink.
Where does that number come from? Cafe Press uses Epson direct to garment printing systems. (I do not know about Zazzle.) I cannot imagine their print costs are 2x what they should be.
 

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The number comes directly out of the two RIP's that Cafe Preess uses....the Brother, and the iProof.

It is not always exactly twice as much, but it is in that neighborhood depending on design.
 

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Taken from my diary post turns out it is soemtimes way more than twice as much.

Ok here are some examples of the same file printed at the same size on the 782 as well as my Epson based DTG with Dupont bagged inks at Belquette liter pricing. Print was done on green shirt with black ink. Brother white settings of 3,1. Epson white ink layer slider set at default of 50 in RIP, and ink output levels of 100 on all three white channels, and all cmyk channels.

Great Dane Graphics exploding baseball design @ 12x12 90%+ coverage:

Epson - 9.02ml of white ink @ .28 per ml = $2.52 1.55ml of cmyk @.28ml = $0.43 Total = $2.95

Brother - 4.19ml of white ink @ .45 per ml = $1.88 .78ml of cmyk @.60ml = $0.47 Total = $2.66

Hmmmmm rather interesting. The dupont ink is much cheaper, but uses waaaay more. Once we factor in waste however, the Brother becomes more expensive.

The Negative Camber car design was provided by http://www.graphicdisorder.com A big thanks to them for allowing me to share this.

This file was printed @ 12"x14" on a black shirt, with no black ink from either printer. Same settings as previous example.

Epson - white ink 5.87ml or $1.64 cmyk ink 1.86ml or $0.52 Total = $2.16

Brother - white ink 2.31ml or $1.04 cmyk ink .35ml or $0.21 Total = $1.25

The big difference in the Brother CMYK price is its use of the white in low volume to create the grays, were the Epson mixes CMYK to accomplish the greys.
 
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