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Discussion Starter #1
I doubt any hack-a-day hardware hack style instructions exist for this... yet.

But I've read that a couple of the ($10k+) entry level DTG printers out there are possibly based on EPSON 2200 guts.... so I would think that a modification of this nature would be possible for those who are hardware savvy.

For those of you have used these DTG printers suspected to be based on Epson 2200's... do they show up as a Epson 2200?.... do they have any special drivers? Or are they using the original Epson 2200 drivers?

Would original Epson 2200 UltraChrome (pigment) ink be sufficient to print DTG? Or would a special blend be required?


Another thing I wonder about is since this Epson 2200 uses 7 individual colored ink catridiges... I wonder if it would be possible to use one of these colors (like "light black") for a white pigment base. I'm sure something like that would require custom drivers to be written though.



I've got a friend who has made many bizarre hardware hacks & who is into electronics in general. I'll ask him about this and see what he says.




WARNING: I'm sure that any experimentation along these lines would probably void your epson printer warranty.
 

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Atari said:
WARNING: I'm sure that any experimentation along these lines would probably void your epson printer warranty.
Just probably? :)

I had wondered the same thing before, but haven't seen any writeups on the topic (yet).
 

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Solmu said:
Just probably? :)

I had wondered the same thing before, but haven't seen any writeups on the topic (yet).

I think something as simple as planting the idea into the minds of the people tht hang out & are linked to on Hack-A-Day.com would get the ball rolling in a good direction.


I've been thinking about it a bit more....

it would probably be mostly just about changing the mechanics of the paper feed mechanisim. You can probably use the existing paper feed sensors.... just hack them into your custom garment based conveyor feed mechansim. The conveyor would also have to be capable of moving at the same speed as the original paper feeder.

You would also need to setup a bulk CIS, and find a supplier for Ink and pre-treatment chemicals that would work for the job. This may require a lot of expiermentation if ink from the usual aftermarket suppliers won't work. But they should, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This sort of gets me thinking... the large direct-to-garment printers that are capable of doing 2,4, or more T-Shirts simultaneously .... I wonder if these are just modified plotter printers??

Hmm...there may be something to this ;)
 

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At the moment, I believe the only 2 companies that make a machine that is not based on an already existing inkjet printer are Brother and Kornit.

As far as I know, everything else is based on inkjet printers, mostly Epson. We have a new one coming out in August that is based on the 4800 and 2 months after that one based on a 24" printer and 2 months later, one based on a 44" printer. Why not already use the technology available instead of starting from scratch. When using existing technology, your costs are lower than starting with nothing. That's why Brother's machine sells for $20,000 whereas most of the other Epson based printers are lower than that.
 

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Why would the 2200 need to be DTG. If you could figure the white ink/color profiles out you could print dark garments with the less exspensive lights inkjet transfer paper. Anyone who prints injet transfers prefers these way over the heavy cracky sheets of rubber opaqe for darks. Added bonus "no weeding"
 

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I am interested in the idea of in-shop DTG printing, and it does make sense to me that printing to the substrate - rather than to a transfer, trimming and then heat-pressing it onto the substrate as we now are - would be simpler and faster. The prices do have to work, and the quality has to be good. The Epson printer technology is already advanced, so retrofitting also makes sense. We are currently using heat transfers (milford Iron-All) printed on a 2200, and also having certain designs screen-printed by a professional service.
Our aim is to have high volume sales, and I am meeting with some sales reps this week. When the sales pick up, I will need to either farm out the printing or have a fast, reliable, consistent way to do it myself. That is what I am hoping for as DTG technology improves.
I did just visit the DTG printing site, and look forward to seeing what your new products (and prices) will be.
 

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One main issue I see with printing to a transfer and then the shirt is, once again, added cost. The printers based on the 4800 was printing full size images with high quality at under $0.25 per print. Now on darks, that is a different story, you do have to pretreat then print white along with color on top, so the costs are more, but still less than doing it the transfer method.

As Printchic stated, washability is a factor. The inks and pretreatment we are working with surpass anything on the market today, so when they are released, it will be a good thing. This industry is moving digital and those that embrace it, will just add to their abilities. (Notice, I said add, not replace)
 

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Here's a thought for 2200 hackers. Buy 2 Epson 2200 printers. Load the 1st with the white ink in place of the black. Seperate your art into:
1)All white elements (convert this file into 100% black and print onto transfer paper for lights out of printer 1 using convert to greyscale setting.)
2)All color elements (reload the transfer into printer 2 and print this file on top of the white ink using full color setting.)
The last steps would be to trim excess hand using a cutter, and press to shirt. The costs would be 2 Epson2200/$1080. 1 Roland SX12/$650. 1"white"
ink cartridge $??can't seem to find a price on this?? Guess around $2000. for everything. Less if you already own 1/2200 or a cutter.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe with DTG you still have to press the shirt to cure the ink. Might as well throw a transfer on top of it while you have it in the press.
You now have your 1 off or sample done. As long as you have to press the shirt anyway, order plastisol transfers to do the order.
 

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This is my first post here so I say Hello to everybody.

In this moment, on the marker are a few solution to print directly to the tshirts (and more). Some solutions have already developd print to dark tshirt using a white substrate (white ink). Aparently, they develop own or in-house solutions.

I mention here:
http://www.screenprinters.net/product.php?pid=tjetstandard - Fast T-Jet (white and dark tshirt)
http://www.screenprintsupply.com/main.php (or http://www.ddmcompany.com/) - Flexi Jet (white and dark tshirt)
http://www.direct2shirt.com/Direct2Shirt%20Products,%20Supplies%20and%20Training.htm - Brother GT-541 (white tshirt only)

The first two systems (Fast T-jet and Flexi Jet) are based on a Epson 4800 jet printer.
http://www.epson.co.uk/products/inkjet_printers/Stylus_PRO_4800.htm

The solution is a modified Epson 4800 printer:
1. a loading solution for tshirt;
2. modified head print for tshirt;
3. a white ink for the base substrate for printing dark tshirts;
4. a software solutions (that basicly do what StitchShoppe write before, without change the printer); :rolleyes:
5. a modify driver for Windows.

What is new at this product is the white ink, the rest of modification are already present on the market in other solutions:
1. the printer already have a feeding system but this is changed with a powerfull one to have enough power to move the tshirt and the support of the tshirt;
2. probably use a similar print head (or using the same technology) like the head of mesh printers that works on a textile fabric;
4. on the market ar a lot of cheap graphic software.
5. driver already exista but nead some modifications.

A little team that have the white ink can do "at home" a functional system but I'm sure that the guy that make the white ink will not give you the ink :). A chemistry expert can tell how the pigmented ink for jet printer/plotter/mesh printer are made.

The price of at least 15000 $/Euro is very very big - the hardware probably cost about 3000$ (1800$ the printer, 1200$ head + feeding system, the printer already have a bulk ink system included), the diference is the price paid for the research and for profit too :p
 

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The Fast T-Jet is based on an Epson 2200.

1. Fast T-Jet - Load Shirt with Hoop
Flexi-Jet - Place shirt directly on platen

2. The print heads are not modified on either printer, they use the original Epson heads.

The software for these machines are written specifically for each machine.

As for the pricing, you'd be surprised as to what has to go into these, especially the Flexi-Jet. With that system, you get a whole lot more for the same price as the T-Jet. It's a much better value.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
StitchShoppe said:
Here's a thought for 2200 hackers. Buy 2 Epson 2200 printers. Load the 1st with the white ink in place of the black. Seperate your art into:....
I think the big problem with that might be registration between the two machines. When you pick that T-shirt up and move it to the other machine, I think you're going to have a problem :p
 

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DTG Printing said:
The Fast T-Jet is based on an Epson 2200.

1. Fast T-Jet - Load Shirt with Hoop
Flexi-Jet - Place shirt directly on platen

2. The print heads are not modified on either printer, they use the original Epson heads.

The software for these machines are written specifically for each machine.

As for the pricing, you'd be surprised as to what has to go into these, especially the Flexi-Jet. With that system, you get a whole lot more for the same price as the T-Jet. It's a much better value.
The Flexi definitely appears to be a better value if they are both the same price. Especially considering the Flexi is based on the 4800.

I'm starting to think about making something off of a 7600 or 9600 (2 at a time?).

I need to research the hardware more.
 

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DTG Printing said:
The Fast T-Jet is based on an Epson 2200.
Probably you are right.

DTG Printing said:
2. The print heads are not modified on either printer, they use the original Epson heads.
Are you sure? I don't see a real one but I think that the originaly head can have some problem with the tshirt's fabric - it can plug with the fiber from the tshirt's fabric even the tshirt is pressed before printing.

The packet of Flexi-Jet look interesting indeed but it remain expensive ;)
 

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One problem you will have with the larger more professional machines, starting with the 4000 series is, you won't be able to lay down enough ink for a good portion of your jobs.

The 2200 is a machine that you can open up the inkflow by writing software to tell it to do it. The 4000 series and above are professional printers. They have encoded in their firmware limitations. You won't be able to open up the inkflow for white printing with these limitations. I know some companies were able to get a firmware upgrade to open up the flow of ink. It makes a big difference.

This firmware upgrade was hard to get and was not for the general public.
 

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Atari said:
I think the big problem with that might be registration between the two machines. When you pick that T-shirt up and move it to the other machine, I think you're going to have a problem :p
I've been misqouted before, but this is not a shirt you are moving between printers, it is a piece of transfer paper. Sometimes it is good to read past the 1st paragraph.:p I have already double printed transfer paper with no registration problems at all out of my 2/1280's.
Basically I'm just trying to introduce a viable, cost effective alternative that an average joe could use to print white ink without having to get a degree in engineering to rebuild the whole printer.
I'm thinking that all I would need to do is buy a bottle of bulk white, and a second bulk feeder for my second 1280. Basically the only hi-tech stuff I would need to do is read the instructions and were it says fill the black tank with black, fill it with white.
 

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What kind of white ink and paper do you want to use?
Is a company in Canada that try for a few years to develop a technology based on toner (white and colored) and two prints on the same paper.
 

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tartorul said:
What kind of white ink and paper do you want to use?
I want to be able to use the regular inkjet for lights paper, to print dark shirts. I hate those thick rubbery opaque papers you have to use now.:( As for the Ink I guess I would need to research DTG's as some of them say they can print to less poreus substrates than tees. I'm not sure if 'print to tee only ink' would have the proper consistancy. Thats why I'm here, If you have questions the guys/gals here are the best!
 
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