I have samples produced by the manufacturer of the equipment I plan to use. Using oil based ink produced the desired result however the water based ink bled on absorbent and non absorbent material. Will pretreatment prevent this problem or is there a water based ink that does not bleed when sprayed? The machine uses piezo spray heads.
This company machine has never been used to print T-shirts but has many advantages in multiple T-shirt production. Oil based product result far exceeded my expectations.
My guess is this problem was common in first use of Direct to Garment digital printers. I would appreciate any help with this problem.
They printed on coated canvas and on white cotton but I have no information on what ink they used. I want their 6 head water based unit for the flexibility. They did tell me the oil based ink had the same bleed problem on the cotton material. They have only been producing this equipment for a year and working with unrelated surfaces.
I sincerely believe they are not aware of garment printing inks. My dilemma is if I purchase this machine can I make it print t-shirts?
Pretreatment is an added step to the process that may or may not be needed. I do know the other manufacture of this equipment has not found a surface that their propitiatory produced ink will not work on without pretreatment. There is the option of purchasing their ink but they own the patent and if they decided not to sell to me that would be a bad time with orders in process to look for an alternative.
At some point bleed issues had to be a problem for digital printers so I decided to look here for at least the opinion based on experience that water based ink is available that has over come this problem.
Once I have invested in the machine there is no return policy based on ink performance. The company has proved with video and my samples that the machine will print the quality I wanted.
As I am looking for funding this issue that I just learned about is a problem that I have to be confident can be resolved.
All I will say about the machine is I will be able to print 12 t-shirts per run all the same design or 12 different designs. The sizes only need to be in quantities of three. I can print XL, L, M, and S or any other combination in a single run. The original manufacturer of the machine has 11 years of successful digital printing with his equipment and a very expensive machine. The machine I want is using the same computer software and drive components and the same supplier print head but have their own mechanical construction and multiple motor back up system for the actual printing system. The other advantage to me is they print 1440 dots per inch where the original supplier is still 420 dots per inch. My cost will be 6 times less than the original supplier.
The company has taken my TIFF file over the internet and supplied video of the picture being printed and delivered that sample to me in 4 days. They include a full year of training and maintenance from an established US service company. They also have lifetime replacement on the parts they manufacturer. I can contract with the service company after the first year.
They designed their machine for a single purpose and are unaware of other markets or ink requirements for t-shirts. The machine has extension components that would allow 36 t-shirts to print per run of 15 to 18 minutes.
That is what makes it difficult decision for me on a limited budget unless I am sure I can solve the bleed problem.
I expect it will take two years for me to be profitable while most of the members here are profitable now. It is in my own interest to make this print system work and not find a dozen or more businesses using this technology that the current equipment manufacturers are not even offering and reaching the market before me. I also want my end product to be for specialty application and for the high fashion market. The last thing I need is for these t-shirts to show up in the $14.95 price market.
I said in my first post on this forum I have a history in 1962 with early color separation for full color screen printing. These direct to garment print systems have the same problems I saw back then. From the test samples I had run on the machine I want use I know I can achieve results that will exceed what can be produced by ink jet machines producing color photographs. That is where my printing industry experience and computer photo correction abilities give me an advantage in the market place.
The machine manufacturer does not have the water based ink that t-****s require so they will not even market to the t-shirt industry. The current manufacturers of t-shirt printers are making back their research and development costs and want to keep the DTG industry just for t-shirt sized products.
While I have given a bit too much information in this thread I do not believe any fact will lead to the machine I am describing. I hope everyone understands my position on not revealing the manufacturer.
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