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Discussion Starter #1
Is white ink truly a user issue or machine. I believe different. Opinions please.
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

what kind of machine... screenprint or DTG...
DTG can do white by having white inks and screenprint just needs a screen to print white...
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

Is white ink truly a user issue or machine. I believe different. Opinions please.
This statement is a little vague and confusing. :confused: Can you elaborate? Are you asking if the problems encountered with white ink on a DTG printer are because of the machine or because people don't know how to operate it?
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

Is white ink truly a user issue or machine. I believe different. Opinions please.
My opinion is that it's a user issue having to do with the PROPER pretreatment application, and proper drying.
It's also an issue with the ink itself. White ink is thicker, and most machine mfgs are pushing this thicker ink thru print heads that were not designed to utilize this type of ink. Therefore, maintenance issues increase as a result of white ink clogging print heads, so most assume it's a machine issue, but really, it's not the print head's fault, but the manufacturers building & selling systems (machine, pretreatment, software) that are not quite perfected YET. Remember, the machine is only as good as the company building it. This is an industry that is still evolving and growing and learning about itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Re: Is White Ink?

We are considering buying another white ink machine again, as the first one was returned. I had been studying and watching as time went by to see how white ink has matured. I hear all to often that the white ink is commonly user error and that I can understand due to the pretreatment process and the learning how to underbase etc. But once you learn all that which isn't that hard, just need sometime to practice, does it still become a user issue anymore if the machine is still acting up even when all the right variables are in place?

First I must say I am a very bit fan of DTG. My analysis though concluded that once all the variables are worked out how come the white ink machines still have a many of issues. For example I went visit 2 people, one had a jumbo and claimed to have no issues with white and the other had an anajet and also claimed to have no issues with white because they have figured out the variables involved.

The funny thing is the jumbo person printed 4 shirts for on me on 4 different shirts I left the person andon 1 out of 4 was acceptable but still questionable and the the out 3 were bad as if there was ink starvation.

The anajet person printed in front of me and there was issues from the initial powering ON.
Then I actually saw it print and it looked like Sh*t. I gave the person the benefit of a doubt as I often believe when the pressure is on when things happen so I left the artwork for him to do on his own time. Well it still looked very bad.

So I wanted to hear other peoples thoughts before I open my wallet again.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Is White Ink?

My opinion is that it's a user issue having to do with the PROPER pretreatment application, and proper drying.
It's also an issue with the ink itself. White ink is thicker, and most machine mfgs are pushing this thicker ink thru print heads that were not designed to utilize this type of ink. Therefore, maintenance issues increase as a result of white ink clogging print heads, so most assume it's a machine issue, but really, it's not the print head's fault, but the manufacturers building & selling systems (machine, pretreatment, software) that are not quite perfected YET. Remember, the machine is only as good as the company building it. This is an industry that is still evolving and growing and learning about itself.
Thanks this kind of response is actually what i was lookingn for. I'd give a thanks FDSales but I can't find the thank you hyperlink .
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

I would definetely say that the white ink issues are 99% user error. As long as you take care of the machine and learn what settings work best in your rip program and the proper pretreatment process, they can print awesome results. I do think once you have all of the variables worked out they can print flawlessly, mine does :) It sounds like the people who printed samples for you did not have the variables worked out maybe ;)
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

I'm a big fan of DTG also; having been in the screen-print business for 23 years, I find it quite appealing that this industry allows us to do with a table top machine what it takes 6-8 screens or more to do using traditional screen-printing. Yes, there are those out there that have mastered the "art" of DTG printing, but there are a lot more out there that are still having inconsistent results, or giving up on dark shirts altogether. Some are user issues, some machine issues (machines that simply are not constructed well, and keep having problems), some are software issues, and some of it is the white ink itself. As I said, this industry is still maturing, and has a few years to go before the entire process (machine, ink, pretreatment, software) are all perfected. Once that happens, then you will see this industry explode, much like the embroidery industry did with the introduction of home & portable embroidery machines. Then everyone will be purchasing these systems, and that will drive the prices of the systems down somewhat, but unfortunately, will also drive down the prices of what you can sell your finished product for also. But that's still, in my opinion, 2-5 years away.
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

I have a t-jet blazer pro and print a lot of black shirts. Our black shirts come out as good or better than light shirts. Our waste is also less than 1% and we only send out shirts we feel a customer would preceive as good as screen printed.
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

I have a t-jet blazer pro and print a lot of black shirts.
How long does it take your Blazer to print a full size image on dark shirts. I've heard that it's somewhat slow on the Blazer, almost 8 minutes? This this correct? Also, have you calculated your ink costs on black shirts?
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

It takes roughly 15-20 minutes to print 3 full black shirt designs. We are printing at the highest resolutions.

Our shirts are large back prints with a small pocket print on the front. Last month we calculated that we put around $3 worth of white ink on each shirt. I didn't keep track of the color inks but we go through alot less of that so we figure maybe $1 - $1.50 per shirt.

I'm concerned with print quality and machine reliability more than speed so this machine works great. Waste is less than 1% and all of them have been operator error.

The loading of 3 shirts at a time seems to be a huge help with efficiency. While the 3 shirts are printing you can prep artwork and shirts for the next 3. The machine runs more time per hour this way.
 

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Re: Is White Ink?

We had been screen printers long before adding DTG.

I have yet to see white ink print like a screen print. We still screen all of our dark shirts.
 
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