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Discussion Starter #1
I read several threads that were not so kind to the TJet or digital printing in general.

I have a Fast T-jet2 as my only printing machine. Before the T-jet I was printing on transfer paper.

My average order size is 100 to 500 shirts. Usually double sided and usually white or ash colored shirts.

Like any new technology, the T-jet has its problems. With that said, I was able to pay off my machine in 4 months.

The biggest mistake I made when I started using the T-jet was not knowing how to clean the machine and how often. I can now run 100 or 200 shirts without problems as long as I clean the machine as I go. If you do not clean the machine every time you use it you will have problems. I use alcohol swabs for most of the cleaning.

The support for the T-jet is very good. Most of the problems I have encountered are posted on their website. The manual is very detailed also. Live tech support is also very helpful.

I would recommend this machine and this technology for someone who does not have the space or experience to jump into screen printing.

Also, I had only Microsoft Publisher experience when I got my T-jet. It wasn't that difficult to learn the Fast Artist software.
 

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Hi Bob, welcome to the T-Shirt Forums!

I read several threads that were not so kind to the TJet or digital printing in general.
I don't think the past posts were about not being "kind", they were just real world experiences posted from people who have used the machine. Some people will think it fits their needs perfectly, others will find that another machine or another printing method will work better for them.

Thanks for contributing to the forums by sharing your personal experience with it! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think the quality of the print is very good. The biggest selling point I have is that there is no sticky feel on the shirt. I am in FL where we sweat every day.

The few times I had problems was from screen printers that wanted me to print shirts with 8 or more colors. They had 6 station machines and could not screen the image.

The screen printers did not like the quality of the shirts. The criticism was the brightness of the print verses a screen print.
 

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I think the quality of the print is very good.
I've seen some prints from the fast tjet2 (2 passes) that were very good. I've also seen some that weren't so good.

Some folks will love the process and some won't. I think the best thing for someone interested in that machine (or any large investment equipment purchase) is to see it in action in person (like at a tradeshow environement).

A few posts with positive or negative experiences in a forum shouldn't be enough for a large purchase like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would take it a step further.

I have gone to a few user meetings where some of the people were very upset after purchasing the T-Jet.

Most of the people that were dissatisfied bought the machine after a quick demo.
I would ask for some hands on experience and bring some sample graphics.

Most of the complaints came from people that do not have computer experience.
The T-Jet requires alot more maintenance than a desktop printer. It is also alot more difficult to set up and get working than a small desktop printer.
 

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I would ask for some hands on experience and bring some sample graphics.
That's a good idea as well. Getting hands on experience will be able to let you know first hand if it's something you can work with with your skill level and job demographics.

Most of the complaints came from people that do not have computer experience.
I haven't noticed this myself. I've read complaints from people that were very tech/computer savvy.
 

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Most of the complaints came from people that do not have computer experience. The T-Jet requires alot more maintenance than a desktop printer. It is also alot more difficult to set up and get working than a small desktop printer.
This is not a true statement. I owned a t-jet and know others that have owned it and all have "a very good" technical background. I think the fact excuses are made for "malfunctioning machines" as being the "user's fault" has filtered down to people who haven't experienced problems thinking "everyone" who has issues don't clean their machines.

I've said so much in other posts about my experiences I won't repeat it only to say "Not everyone" that has a machine that have problems is due to "them not cleaning it" or "are not technically incline".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I sure not every user has had the same experiences I have had. How many of them spend 8 hours a day using their machine? How often do you use yours?

I can only speak for my experiences. My T-Jet is a good machine that will absolutely break down if I don't clean it often.

When I started using it and was printing a few shirts I would clean it once a month.
 

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Angela I don’t feel that you have a good grasp on the T-jet and think your comments are just plain wrong, I spent a week helping the t-jet tech support and know FOR A FACT bob is right, you can try and argue this but reading a few web post doesn’t make up for experience
 

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Chris, Angela owned a T-Jet lot longer then your 1 week working for T-jet support so I think her comments are right on.

Bob, how about some real world production numbers with your T-jet?
How many shirts per hour (print & cure) with full size (13") & full color can you do?
What is your ink cost per shirt?
Thanks,

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The last job I did this week was a 4 color 12X12 on back, 5x4 pocket that was 4 colors on front and a sleeve print on the right arm that was 2 colors.

It was 135 shirts, long sleeve ash color.

The backs took awhile. About 3 minutes per shirt. The fronts took about a minute per shirt. The sleeves took about 2 minutes per shirt.

I print all backs then all fronts then all sleeves.

Estimated ink cost per shirt for 3 separate prints was 70 cents. The shirts cost about $3.80 each and I sold them for $12.50 small to XL, $13.50 for XXL and $14.50 for XXXL.

I have 1 customer that I have printed over 4,000 shirts front and back. Another customer has ordered 2,000 shirts. A couple others that I have printed 800 or 900 shirts for. My average order size is about 300 prints per order. I average about $4.00 priofit per shirt. I can print about 125 shirts per day double sided or 250 per day single sided.

I have an order on Monday I am picking up for 1000 white shirts.

I have a temple that I print a 15 color design on the front that takes about 4 minutes per shirt.

Hopefully this information helps.
 

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csquared said:
Angela I don’t feel that you have a good grasp on the T-jet and think your comments are just plain wrong, I spent a week helping the t-jet tech support and know FOR A FACT bob is right, you can try and argue this but reading a few web post doesn’t make up for experience
Actually I have a better grasp on printers/computers than most. Having worked "as a technical support" person for years, fixed my own pc's, etc. I think i have a good grasp on what "is a good" process and/or not for doing something. Sure some "do have problems" due to not keeping their machines cleans.

Others have just experience flat out problems with the machine because it was "never meant" to print on t-shirts and so Problems will surface that "where not known before. To lump every incident as "something the user did" is defintely "not true".

This statement Chris made in the original post...

The T-Jet requires alot more maintenance than a desktop printer. It is also alot more difficult to set up and get working than a small desktop printer
Sorry, the "T-jet" is a desktop printer. It's an epson 2200 desktop printer "that was modified" to print on a t-shirt. It was "not manufacturered" to operate as a "t-shirt printer". So i continue to say "problems" will arise that were not common just printing on "paper". Sure they have to clean the machine "more often" because t-shirts gives off "more fibers" than a piece of paper. However, ever problem experienced is "not" because the machine wasn't cleaned.

For example;

- A clogged ink head due to using white ink "can happen" whether a machine is "cleaned" spotless on not. (white ink has chemicals that will slowly harm the printheads) this is not a problem of the user it's just something that will occur. It this the customer's fault?

- Ink dripping on the shirts is not necessarily caused because someone "didn't clean" the printer (it could be a faulty bulk ink system).

I could go on but I think you get the point.
 

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I understand that the printer is extremely temperamental. There is still one thing I don't get though: if the problem is the printer and not user error, why can some people get good results, while others can't? Are the printers manufactured inconsistently? Does local temperature/humidity, etc. make enough difference to cause some people problems (and others not)? Is it just a matter of some people having varying standards on what constitutes good results?

Unless there are external factors such as those, then if some people get good results and some people don't the problem must come down to user error (which is not to say it isn't due to an external factor, but so far no-one has labelled what that could be).
 

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Solmu said:
I understand that the printer is extremely temperamental. There is still one thing I don't get though: if the problem is the printer and not user error, why can some people get good results, while others can't? Are the printers manufactured inconsistently?.
The printers when they were first sold only could print on white or light colors and people had fewer problems. I would say then if someone had an issue you could deem it "user related" provided they kept their machine clean.

However, the problems really started when "white ink" was released.

Anyway, the simplest thing to say is that "the chemicals" in the white ink can slowly wear down the printheads so problems "arising" from person to person could be due to this. Or... there are times people get what's called "ink starvation" the ink is not flowing/going through the tubes of the bulk ink system like it should.

Is this a user error or because they didn't clean their machine "NO".

Recently they released a "new bulk ink system" that is supposed to solve a lot of the issues people are having with ink drips, ink starvation, and to help with laying down more white ink and in a more efficient way.

So why can one successfully print while someone else can't? The problems could vary but i think this post is very enlightening;

http://www.inkjetgarmentprinters.com/forums/viewtopic.php?highlight=bulk+ink+system&t=2260

Shortly after the person posted the above message on both usscreen's board and on the board i gave the link to this was posted.

http://boards.screenprinters.net/viewthread/90/255890

Many people are saying "this has helped" tremendously with the issues they have had.

So... if in fact the new bulk ink system solves a lot of the issues people have been having then one can deem it was related to the bulk ink system.

So one person may have had a "bulk ink system" that works fine using white ink and someone else had a bulk ink system that was operating faulty.

Unless there are external factors such as those, then if some people get good results and some people don't the problem must come down to user error (which is not to say it isn't due to an external factor, but so far no-one has labelled what that could be).
The external factors are that these Desktop Printers modified to be used as DTG Machines are being used in a "New Way" therefore not all issues related to using them as a DTG Printer are known. Just the problem coming to light about the bulk ink system shows this. They've also released a "fan" to help reduce the fibers getting into the machine so this will cut down on some of the cleaning but one has to "pay" for that piece of equipment if they want it.

One could go on and guess at all possible senerios but simply put my original statement or post was related to "not everyone" having problems with their machine can be labeled as "user error" or "they didn't clean their machine.

Finally...

Atmgi: I am not attacking you. You points on how you care for your machine, etc. are definitely important and should be practiced and I agree will cut down an a lot of issues.

I just chimed in to say not everyone having problem is related to them "Not being experienced" technically and/or have not cleaned their machines.
 

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Lewis I was thinking the same thing myself. There are over 2,000 t-jets sold and if you were to add up all the competitors together they dont even come close to that number so they must be doing something right at us screen. Temp and environment do have something to do with how the system performs but that goes with screen printing also.

If angela would read through my post she would know that I do not believe that the machine is never at fault but i do believe that most of the fault is human error, and in your case your problems are TYPICAL of human error,, if you get paint drops you have a dirty encoder strip.

printmonkey I own a t-jet and you would be hard to find anyone that has as much technical knowledge about DTG printing. So if you think Angela has more experience than my owning the machine, helping the tech support and working the SGIA show for the t-jet than so be it.

Angela if you really think DTG machines are "just desktop printers" you are disillusioned, these machines only use parts from the Epson system and are much more than that they quite a few more mechanics than your average desktop printer. They perform a different task and there for should be looked at as something else.

Angela I never said you were not computer savvy but honestly it takes more than fixing a "home computer" to understand the complexity of these machines. my 13 year old cousin can fix a home computer, that doesn’t mean he can fix a dtg machine.
 

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Csquare I have more experince than just fixing a "home computer". I have worked in the field of computers, I majored in it, etc. etc. I did not see a need to rattle off my "entire history" with computers, etc. the mere mention of what i did was to let the original poster know I was not a "newbie with printers.

I don't have a desire to debate the DTG Printer industry with you or anyone else. I am merely stating what I have found.

Your experience may be different but that doesn't mean I know any less than you. I've owned a t-jet for a long period of time too and I have used almost every type of "digital process" to do t-shirts. I even help start a digital forum back in 2001 that's now 2000+ member strong and help test a variety of possible senarios for doing t-shirts before it became obvious using "Archival Inks" were the way to go for that time period as laser printers were not there yet. Fast forward til today and there is a lot of ways to do t-shirts that last, are effective, etc.

Again, I see no need to rattle off all my accomplishments as they are long. I was merely giving a "minor" detail about my skill level showing I was not a newbie. I've been doing t-shirts in some form or another for a veerrry long time (even before 2001) is all i'll say.

So all this to say I also have experience from a "user standpoint" also. I'm well rounded but I don't claim to know it all. I do know that tech support departments in a lot of companies will quickly use the excuse "its your fault" to get around accepting blame for faulty equipment. Not saying the t-jet people are doing that but it's done everyday. I get tired of seeing people blamed when i know it's not always the case. This may anger some me saying this but it's the truth.

In conclusion: we can agree to disagree and I respect your opinion. :)
 

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DTG printing I think is the next generation of T-shirt sales in general. DTG printers are going through tech advances almost continuously. I know Angela has owned and operated a T-Jet. Sold the unit and bought another brand DTG system for whatever reason but I am sure it was well founded. Obviously she isnt stupid and or doesnt understand the technology. At $15,000 Plus an investment do you not think she does her homework? I think we should take in all the info...bad and good and listen for a bit. I dont own the machine...some have great success some dont. Some folks have problems with transfers some dont. Some folks dont understand plotters and the files associated with cutting vinyl...some do. Its an open forum for ideas and experiences. I think that DTG has a bit to go before its perfected but thats my opinion.
 
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