Hey Rob, I have been thinking about the problem with the table return and it can be done by using a switch with release mechanism. I would be glad to help with the design. It all depends on how your dtg is setup.
The general concept is to have a controller circuit that returns the carriage to the home position. This can be done with a circuit that has two sensing switches. One at the home or start position and one at the end position. When the carriage is pushed out by the printer (paper eject). This circuit then senses the eject switch and turn on a relay that power a motor and a gear release mechanism. After sensing the second switch it then drops the power to the relay hence stopping the return motor and reengaging the gear mechanism. The gear mechanism could be a spring release mechanism that moves an engaging gear that meshes with the carriage movement gear and the motor that drives it. There are a few circuits I can think of that will do this (flip-flop circuits) that toggles power to the relay. The design will depend on how your dtg is setup.
I found a circuit that is perfect for the job. I will shoot it over to you.
The retraction is independent of the software. It's purely mechanical. Just like the paper eject switch tells the printer the paper is out the setup will tell the circuit that the carriage is where it should be to retract it. When the printer send back a message to the pc that there is no paper in it, the job is put on hold until the printer send a message that there is paper in the ready position (the paper sensor switch). This is the same position the the return relay re-engages the carriage.
Good news! I'm designing my dtg and will have something to show soon. I'm designing it with two stable stationary platters and a moving print mechanism on rails. I haven't decided on which printer I will use just yet but I'm thinking the 2200. I'm looking at CNC builds to get ideas.
What I mean is the table the shirt is put on will be stationary. There will be two of them about four inches apart. I'm looking at stepper motors but they are expensive. I pulled one out of an old copy machine. The markings on it is in-house so I'm not even sure what voltages it work with and what type of controller to use.
If I find myself against a rock and a hard place I will buy one. I'm also building a milling machine so I'm working on both at the same time. So I might have to buy a four axis stepper motor and controller kit and build a three axis mill.
LOL. So I can print two shirts at the same time. It would be like having two sheets of paper in the feed and selecting to print two copies of my image. The tables would be removable so I can interchange it with another and print images up to 40" long if I wanted on tube dresses and such.
A forum community dedicated to T-shirt merchants, professionals and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about graphics, commerce, dyes, prints, collections, guides, displays, styles, scales, equipment, accessories, reviews, classifieds, and more!