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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has nobody ever wondered why if making your own cheap DTG machine is that simple, there aren't dozens of small businesses already out there, offering them for sale?
 

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Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

I dont think the point of this was to make something that is a professional product to sell, its like any other type of hobby thing, kind of like building a go cart :) For the fun of seeing you can do it and what you can accomplish. It really needs to be taken in the spirit and context it was started with.
 

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Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Call me Mister Cynical BobbieLee, but with 98,000 plus people having read [that] thread, it is probably the thought of having a DTG for little more money than a regular inkjet printer, that has stimulated this level of interest.

I experiment with things myself all the time and wouldn't discourage anyone from exploring every possible option. Following off one of the threads on here, I even found someone actually selling heat presses made from wood. What I am asking, is why lower priced DTG printers are not available commercially at the moment, if they are apparently quite simple to build?
 

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Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

Call me Mister Cynical BobbieLee, but with 98,000 plus people having read this thread, it is probably the thought of having a DTG for little more money than a regular inkjet printer, that has stimulated this level of interest.

I experiment with things myself all the time and wouldn't discourage anyone from exploring every possible option. Following off one of the threads on here, I even found someone actually selling heat presses made from wood. What I am asking, is why lower priced DTG printers are not available commercially at the moment, if they are apparently quite simple to build?
I think you already answered your own question.
Because to build a more reliable / repeatable DTG machine requires mechanical and possibly software engineering skills.

I don't think there was ever a claim anywhere on this thread that stated the DIY DTG machines (which were demonstrated) are comparable to a higher end machine like a T-Jet, Kiosk, Flexi, Kornit, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

I don't think there was ever a claim anywhere on this thread that stated the DIY DTG machines (which were demonstrated) are comparable to a higher end machine like a T-Jet, Kiosk, Flexi, Kornit, etc.
I am not specifically relating just to this thread Adam, but to the whole concept of getting a working DTG for very little money. A lot of people reading this thread might wrongly assume that it is a practical proposition to have a machine they can use commercially, whereas the reality is, that would be unlikely.

There are quite a few videos on You Tube showing DIY and 'alternative' DTG machines. One of these feautures a machine in an oriental sweatshop. For those who have seen the video, I am referring to the one where the printed tee is taken out of the machine then subjected to detergent and a scrubbing brush. In that type of financial environment, it is likely that the machine is a serious attempt at a commercial machine, rather than a project.

I am certain that if a proper engineering business with all the necessary expertise could offer a reliable conversion of existing inkjet machines, the products would already be out there on sale. Projects are fine on their own, but if it encourages people to tear a perfectly good printer to pieces, with the hope of getting a lower cost working DTG printer out of it, then it truly is giving the wrong impression.
 

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Re: Made my own DTG Printer for $150

I am not specifically relating just to this thread Adam, but to the whole concept of getting a working DTG for very little money. A lot of people reading this thread might wrongly assume that it is a practical proposition to have a machine they can use commercially, whereas the reality is, that would be unlikely.

There are quite a few videos on You Tube showing DIY and 'alternative' DTG machines. One of these feautures a machine in an oriental sweatshop. For those who have seen the video, I am referring to the one where the printed tee is taken out of the machine then subjected to detergent and a scrubbing brush. In that type of financial environment, it is likely that the machine is a serious attempt at a commercial machine, rather than a project.

I am certain that if a proper engineering business with all the necessary expertise could offer a reliable conversion of existing inkjet machines, the products would already be out there on sale. Projects are fine on their own, but if it encourages people to tear a perfectly good printer to pieces, with the hope of getting a lower cost working DTG printer out of it, then it truly is giving the wrong impression.
The truth is that there are several people already using their DIY DTG machines to print and sell shirts, so that is using it for a commercial purpose.
Just to reiterate, noone said the machines will be as good as a higher end machine, its a DIY project for those on a limited budget who have more time than money on their hands. I don't believe it's misleading at all. Nowhere did anyone say its really easy and simple.
 

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This is an interesting discussion.

DIY machine would not be easy for me to build, but for some people they are.

Many of the commercial printers were essentially garage projects in the beginning- and once functional-then the real fun began! The appearance had to be altered to appear professional, parts had to be manufactured to give exact consistency in appearance and performance, a warranty and support package had to be added, tech support team assembled, manual written, testing done, marketing costs paid, distribution team assembled, larger scale production costs ( meaning comitting capital to purchase parts in advance of sales), facilities for larger scale production obtained and equipped, and then of course a reasonable profit margin.

I once figured in a thread here the comparison between bringing a tomato to market and a dtg printer to market. Based on that comparison,for the early printers, if the company actually provided all above mentioned services well- I think the current prices of printers would have been reasonable. Unfortunately for customers, folks who found it easy to build a printer ( or contract to have a printer built), did not always find it easy to create a successful, ethical, professionally run business of essential services, sales and support.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The whole point of me bringing this subject up in the first place, was not to 'have a poke' at the people making their own DIY DTG printers, but simply asking the question why nobody has brought out a kit to convert inkjets to cheap DTG machines, or even offer finished machines for sale?

I am sure I lot of people on here would be very happy to purchase a lower cost DTG machine, even if it didn't have all the 'bells and whistles' of a more expensive machine.
 

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I have thought about selling them myself but you have to appreciate it takes around 2 days to fully convert/test a R1800, for those two days work i would want at least $1200 (less for a 1290, 1160 etc.....) i also wouldnt put a guarantee on it, yes it would/should work no problem BUT......... it would also have to be picked up by the buyer as there is no way you could post it in bits and expect them to reassemble.
 

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I have no clue how things are outside the U.S., but there are some legal issues (i.e. product liability,...) that would also need to be considered. Anyone thinking about this, should contact an insurance agent and/or an attorney. Each state has different laws and the liability can be far reaching. Just want to make sure that there is the proper protection in case something goes bad.
 

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i would imagine there are all sorts of hoops to jump through to do one officaly, im only talking about a sold as seen no warranty at all type of thing (similar type of risk to buying blind from china), some email support yes but that would be it, before anyone jumps down my throat this is all hypothetical i havent actualy sold anything to anybody and im not totally convinced i would want to.
 

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i would imagine there are all sorts of hoops to jump through to do one officaly, im only talking about a sold as seen no warranty at all type of thing (similar type of risk to buying blind from china), some email support yes but that would be it, before anyone jumps down my throat this is all hypothetical i havent actualy sold anything to anybody and im not totally convinced i would want to.
I think it could be a cool idea-since you would be spelling out in advance what would be included and what would not. I think alot of people would have been happy had they paid lots less for their printers without support- similar to buying used.
 

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There are legal ramifications to selling these printers. You cannot modify a patented product and then sell it as your own. You must obtain the prior permission of the manufacturer. Epson is very aggressive in defending their patents.

Modifying these printers for your own use is not a problem. It's when you try to sell them commercially that it becomes an issue. And while Epson might not notice your sales, don't be so sure that some of the DTG Printer manufacturers wont. They are paying Epson big $ to license that technology. I'm sure their sales at going to take a hit if our DYI projects take off even further.
 

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I am not aware of any dtg manufacturer that is paying for a license to a patent to Epson other than maybe for the ink chips on the new printers (but that is an fee associated by U.S. Customs when an ink chip is attached the empty cartridge). There are these two patents that are specifically for dtg printers though:
1. Digital Imaging Systems Patent - United States Patent: 6095628
2. Kornit DOG Patent - United States Patent: 7134749

I am not sure which dtg manufacturers pay for a license for any patent. Of course Epson has patents on several parts of their printer, but I am not sure if any dtg manufacturers pay for the use of these patents. MasterMind is pretty close to Epson, so there might be something that has not been publicized.

There are just a lot of legal things to think about when you start any business.

Mark
 

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According to the Epson rep I contacted Today currently their are no licences issued by epson for the use of their printers for DTG purposes. This brings up the question are there any of the DTG's that are not reverse engineered Epsons
 

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The whole point of me bringing this subject up in the first place, was not to 'have a poke' at the people making their own DIY DTG printers, but simply asking the question why nobody has brought out a kit to convert inkjets to cheap DTG machines, or even offer finished machines for sale?

I am sure I lot of people on here would be very happy to purchase a lower cost DTG machine, even if it didn't have all the 'bells and whistles' of a more expensive machine.
If you're not having a poke at us, then I'm not sure what exactly you're getting at. There are several things left to tackle on the DIY DTG machines such as raising lowering the print bed / platen. Everyone that has a working DIY DTG approached it differently, and would like to make it better. Some of us are using wood, others are using metal. I think as time goes on and more people join in the project then maybe we'll agree on some type of standard for building components on the machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am not on about enthusiastic amateurs working on a project, good luck to them if they get a cheap DTG working. I am asking why commercial enterprises with trained engineers and production facilities, haven't picked up on the fact that there is blatantly a huge demand for a lower cost, lower featured DTG machines.

It is only a matter of time before the Chinese enter the DTG machine supply arena, as they have done with other areas. I would rather see a Western manufacturer offer a more cost effective alternative, rather than the 'floodgates be opened'.

I am looking at this topic purely in a financial context, with no disrespect to anyone.
 

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I am not on about enthusiastic amateurs working on a project, good luck to them if they get a cheap DTG working. I am asking why commercial enterprises with trained engineers and production facilities, haven't picked up on the fact that there is blatantly a huge demand for a lower cost, lower featured DTG machines.

It is only a matter of time before the Chinese enter the DTG machine supply arena, as they have done with other areas. I would rather see a Western manufacturer offer a more cost effective alternative, rather than the 'floodgates be opened'.

I am looking at this topic purely in a financial context, with no disrespect to anyone.
I don't know why US companies havent but the Chinese have. Perhaps you could send out a few letters to some Engineering firms and let us know?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I probably won't have to Adam. Four years ago I went to China on business. I was expecting third world shanty towns. What I was actually greeted with, was modern cities and modern factories with up date manufacturing facilities.

One of the businesses over there produces heat presses and has been established over forty years. About two months ago I had a newsletter from them, stating that they are developing their own DTG machine, which they are planning to target the instant print shops with?
 
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