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Discussion Starter #1
About to take the plunge, want to make sure of what I'm getting in to...

Right now, I think I have a market for DTG shirts. I'm see that you need to do a lot of maintenance and/or cleaning on these things. Since I don't have orders yet for this type of merchandise and I don't see an initial barrage of orders, it may not get much use at first. I figureI need a couple of days to play with it and run some tests. After that, it looks like it's empty the bottles and run cleaning solution through it until it's really needed again?

Is this the type of device that can be used 1-2 days a week, put on effectively a cleaning cycle until it's needed again, then brought back to 'normal'?
 

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I would at least do a test print each day if possible. Are you printing with white ink? If so its really important to make sure that you dont let it sit for several days at a time without running it, that would be asking for trouble and clogging.
 
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Good advice Sunny (sort of par for the course for you!).

Another option is to generate a "marketing shirt" for the direct to garment process (lots of examples of types of shirts you would print) with your company info, info like "no setup fees, no minimums, etc. and print 1 or 2 of those a day. Keeps the ink flowing, gives you incentive to give the shirts out (include one with every order you deliver) and helps you get some experience with the machine.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good info, thanks! I'm looking at buying the Kiosk that does the white ink as part of a package with a bigger embroidery machine that does sequins. Might as well jump in with both feet, right? :D

I think initially I will not use the white ink and just print on white shirts until we get used to operating the Kiosk. I was hoping I could load up the white ink for a weekend, print some test shirts and experiment a bit, then clean it all out somewhat leave it until the next weekend. If it doesn't sit for days with the white ink in it, I'm hoping it won't be a problem? We're home based so it probably won't get used every day, I'm just trying to figure out how to keep it working properly yet not burn through a ton of ink that just gets wasted. Good suggestion on the promo shirts Don!
 

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Is there a list of recommended spare parts I should keep around? (just incase)
I would suggest the following:

1 Spare Printhead
1 Capping Station
1 Pump Assembly
1 set (7) Dampers
1 set of wipers (2 part)
2 encoder strips
2 encoder strip springs

Secondary list, though not as critical

1 Head cable assembly
1 Ink harness

These items would account for 90%+ of the parts we sell during any given month. All said and done should cost less than $800 if you buy them all (sort of like an emergency kit for your embroidery machine or a spare for your car).

Hope this helps!
 

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Another thing I did when I first got my machine, was to print a shirt I knew would sell each day. Since my husband is a fire fighter, I just printed a some type of fire fighter shirt each day. His friends at work loved them and I had constant small sales :)
 

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Unless you have money to spare, I would never have $800 of spare parts sitting on my shelf. With FedEx and UPS Air you can get any part you need overnight. Some of these parts you won't use for several months if ever, besides the print head! Save your money and buy as needed.

Serenity now! Serenity now!
 

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For me the only parts I do keep on hand are a spare printhead, dampers, wiper and encoder strip. In 1 1/2 years I have had to replace my printhead one time, dampers I have probably went thru about 8 or 9, and one wiper. I have not had to replace encoder strip yet :) I am not sure on the kiosk II as its different then the HM1, but those are the only parts I have went thru.
 
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How about printing a few Tagless label on your inventory stock each day. I'm guessing this is possible with the Kiosk printers.

My printer should be arriving before the end of the year so my mind is overflowing with all the information from this site. (Love it!)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Interesting idea Plech! Thanks!

I'm probably going to put the order in next week once the loan is approved. Then again, it's a secure loan so it BETTER be approved :)

Sales rep said about 2 weeks from receipt of contract and check to delivery. Now we're just trying to figure out how to get a 350 pound embroidery machine into the basement as well as where we are going to put everything. Should be an interesting start to the new year ;)
 

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Unless you have money to spare, I would never have $800 of spare parts sitting on my shelf. With FedEx and UPS Air you can get any part you need overnight. Some of these parts you won't use for several months if ever, besides the print head! Save your money and buy as needed.
I would beg to differ. If these parts are ordered with the machine there is no change to the freight charge. Overnight shipping of just around to Somerset NJ is in the area of $40-50, an immediate savings of at least 5%, more if you have more than one overnight shipment.

I was asked what parts I would suggest and I will stick with my list. Do you have to have these parts? No. Would having these parts greatly reduce the need for overnight shipping and lost time while down waiting for a part overnight? Yes. The parts listed are consumables of the machine, they do have a finite lifetime and will need to be replaced at some time. Proper maintenance will prolong the life of all of these parts, but, they will eventually wear our or become unuseable. I doubt that most folks wait until they have a flat, then pay to get towed to the tire store, then buy a spare. The choice is definitely yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Point well taken Don, thanks!

Would an extra set of bottles and hoses be recommended for leaving the machine running with cleaning fluid or is that handled some another way? Just trying to think what I might need before I order the machine and go for training on it...
 

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I would be keeping those spare parts as well. If you do have say a capping ststion not sealing or sucking properly which could be either a capping station o r a pump assembly this left could leed to a head being clogged. So parts on hand not only stops alot of down time but as the old saying goes a stich in time saves nine. I carry a few of each which is a bit over board but you never know. I find when replacing a capping station I also replace the pump assembly, the wiper blade and encoder. I do all this as a 3 month plan along with a new print head and never have any down time at all. We do alot of printing and our printers run on average any where form 8 -16 hours per day every day and after 3 months our print heads have done alot of prints are are just starting to leak a bit. Now you imagine if I whre to wait for these parts if i have a $14 pump assemble problem. Thats only 2 T shirt prints profit which is 5 mins lost of work and fix time. On the other hand i could pay overnight express and loose a day of down time a loss of over 1k and the cost of courier etc. I think i would rather be printing than waiting for a part to arrive.
As for printing 2 times per week. I do not recomend this. The more you print the better the machine will go and the less it will cost you per print. As others have suggested above do a few different desings up and sell them as market T shirts. Do up early Christmas and Birthday presents and you will learn alot on the way. If you do a good job and look after your customers with good friendly service you will get busy very quickly. Peole do talk and if you give someone a good print they will tell others and so on. Good luck and I hope you do well out of it all.
 

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don i would like to buy the hm 1 but i'm based in mumbai, india is there an office here that i can get in touch with.

what to know the maintance and where to get the ink from.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just wanted to say thanks again for all the great info, we ordered the machine on Wednesday. We purchased a package with the DTG, embroidery software and an embroidery machine. Can't wait until the truck shows up :)
 
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