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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OKs I'm in no high spirits.

I'll put my background up so , even in danger of seeming Off-Topic, you'll understand where I come from in my criticism.

After 13 years of working with laser transfer technology, I've been considering a faster way of printing, so I'm about to commit to dtg. In laser technology there are no worries in machine quality, you lease a machine for 5 years and the machine has a 5 year warranty, so even that there might be downtime there is no actual repair costs, end the lease price comes to be between 4000 and 6000$, paper ranging from 10 to 25 c. But color fidelity is unpredictable, and blues and vivid reds suffer in the transfer process. TO the point, I'v been researching DTG and I thought I would sample one of each, A Proprietary Kornit, The well praised Brother and an Epson conversion, in this case the HM1.

The Kornit: I have to say, that even costing 4 times as much as any other single platen DTG, it Blew my mind in color quality, and Feel. After the Demo I have to say that the stronger points in the kornit were the auto-treatment and evenness of the print, the colors where superb and on whites luminosity spectacular. From the Demo I would've probably bought this machine, but there where some points that threw me off. They had a 2 panel air dryer 9 feet long and the shirts kept coming wet after multiple passes ( 4 counted), and in all that moving back and forth the shirt some ink peeled off. They recommended a 15 feet long 3 panel dryer, but that is impractical for the space I have. That seriously is my only complaint on the demo.* BUT * and it's a big BUT, even though money matters if this was a trouble free machine I would buy it tomorrow, but some unhappy costumers are making a big point of unreliability , and distributors in countries where they have two, one or none machines I would think do not have lot of pull. Also I forgot to ask what is the warranty on the machine, at least I would think 15.000 t-shirts is about a right amount, before it should start having hiccups, 80.000€ is a lot of dough for a car that will only look nice. some pictures attached

Lights




Darks



Peeling


Brother: This machine had me expecting too much I guess, I heard how resistant it is like a quiet man, no complaining just working, but I guess a 4 year old DTG had to have it's minuses and it did. I don't know if at the demo they where not prepared or they show the machines to non-critical buyers but I saw a very poor print quality and banding ( that as a long time ink-jet printer, I seriously loathe). And the colors, well , quiet, too quiet. pictures enclosed





HM1: Although I've heard a variety of opinions I was expecting something better, and something worst. I thought the machine was going to be well built and it is but it has this hacked look all over it, but the print quality is nice, although in Darks I was disappointed with the result ( loots of in-thread white gaps), the light garments where very nice almost as nice as the kornit, for a fraction of the cost. The big BUT in this machine is it's speed, SLOWWWWWW, BUt maybe I could think about doing lights for starters and have double CMYK, that could help in speed and color, and still cheaper than the brother. some pictures so you can decide.

Lights


Darks





a Comparison of the HM1 vs the brother in light garments



May pledge to this forum is as usual HELP ME!!! I have it pretty well thought trough, I could go with plenty different machines but this three are as good and in some cases better than any other.

So users of the kornit, is this machine that faulty? of course people who complain make more noise than the rest, but the kornit user family is not that big!, I mean how many kornits are out there , and how many 932? 30 50 100? so it leaves me wondering if this is just a very nice attempt at a production machine where the clients will always have to pay the bill for R&D? or 2 out of many have been having problems, and have reached a dead point out of desperation.

Brother Users, Is this the quality you can get? I know 600x600 is not a lot, but enough for grandma to enjoy her niece on a shirt, what a bout people who care about color fidelity, like advertisement, I could not sell them this t-shirts and expect them to come back any time soon. I don't know why the machine at the distributors workshop was banding ( I saw a low indicator on cyan, but he assured me that was not it, the t-shirt was faulty according to him, and I know banding when I see it). and although he could increase the output to 4 (he was working max at 2), wouldn't that increase your ink costs times 4? maybe I'm confused so any insight would be appreciated.

HM1 owners: are the gaps in the black shirt common? I could stand the thicker feel of the HM1 compared to the kornit, but the gaps are not acceptable. Maybe the demoing person didn't care but my clients certainly would, I DO. And is it possible to increase the speed of light garment printing if you replace the white ink with a double set of color inks?.

Thank's for your time.
 

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Man the brother was pretty bad but brightness can be adjusted. However it is than downtime for the end user US.

I bought a DTG thinking man this thing is gonna be badass but I was right about the first part and machine was being second part alot.

Alot of tinkering from image to image uh such a pain
I was gonna change mine to a brother but I didn't know that runs at only 600dpi. Only benefit to it is the add ons it has.

I got doubts at moment they will ever have the perfect machine because if they did, everyone would be buying DTG printing to make big bucks.

As an investment, I think it was a descent one because I have made most of many back on my machine in a short time but was a pain to do so.

I hope improvements will be made in this young industry to make it a more reliable in color,machine and service business.

Best in luck to you in finding you shining star :)
 

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I can only speak for what I know and the brother prints nicer than your photo. But I can only say is go to SGIA.
 

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I am a Brother owner. I have taken my photo file to the trade show for prints on all the printers. My observations are as follows:

Kornit - First we had to take our file to a person who specializes in converting the colors???? Then the image was printed. The colors were VERY diluted. When we asked why we were told that you would have to play with the colors to get them right. I was not happy with this for such an expensive machine (even if I could afford it)

HM1 - Personally, we had a machine that printed on black shirts. After pretreating, putting down the white underbase and printing the color layer twice - the time cost was prohibitive. We did use the machine eventually for white shirts only - then later returned it. I have no personal experience with the HM1, but colors always look more vibrant on the white underbase - I believe because they are no longer absorbed into the fabric, but sitting on top of the underbase.

Brother - I currently own this one so maybe I am biased. I love this machine. No, I do not tolerate banding. If I see it, we clean the print head (by pushing a button and waiting a minute) and go on. You do not 4 x the cost by bumping the vibrancy. We do occasionally do a double print thru the driver, which puts down about 1-1/2 times the ink. Also, we bought Poster Print which is a print program designed to work with the Brother. It makes the dark blues, purples and other difficult colors come out properly. We print mostly photographs and the colors need to be correct without time on trial and error. When I print a photograph, I simply print it. No adjusting colors, processing, converting. or anything.

Good luck!
 

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As far as the HM1, if the pretreatment is not done properly on the shirt, the white will not lay down properly. That will be the case with any printer that prints white ink. I myself have no problems getting full coverage with the white ink on my machine. The problem with these types of comparisons is that you would need to have the same shirts, pretreated the same way, and the same file adjustments to get an accurate comparison. I could have gotten much better results then that with my printer, but that is the thing, it depends on the machine operator and how well they know how to adjust the image to get the best quality as well as speed thru the rip program. My hm1 is actually pretty fast so my only thought on that is they way they ripped the file, as that will have a big effect on speed thru the rip program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks' for all the replies so far.

to GPI: I have no chance of going to SGIA, and it would not make any sense since the distributor in my country is ONE and that is who I have to deal with. I would love to see some pictures of a better brother printed t-shirt.

akaratemom: thanks' for the input very valuable. I'm not really concerned with rips (been working with them a long time), although i thought if the lack of rip, made the brother suffer from color fidelity, but as you point out may be there are some programs out there that might help, but I wish that is something the distributor knew. as for the colors in the HM1, straight to white with no under-base still looks more vibrant than the brother and more even, and I'm pretty sure is due to the rip or lack of it in this case.

sunnydayz: Thank you, I've ended up associating you with the voice of the HM1. Your input is very important. I could not have treated the shirts the same because the kornit autotreats the shirt and the brother does not need any. but as for light colors is the same file and same type of shirt, so a comparison should be possible, I'm sure I could squeeze a lot more juice from this machine, but buying a machine expecting to run it better than the demo guy seems awkward. Also yes speed and ripping go hand by hand but the machine is not as fast as the other two I've tested. I have one question, I'm I right in thinking that I Could run two CMYK's and no white in this machine?


to jim55912: Overkill? mmm I don't know but I can assure you dot sizes are visible in my sample, so there still some distance to go before reaching overkill. I loved the machine that everyone trumps as a workhorse but it's quality is that of the epson printers back 8 years ago. and CMYK process create colors by placing dots next to each other so color distortion is easier with smaller resolution.

I would love if some of you could post some pictures and prove me wrong in my assumptions, because I'll end up buying one of this three but I want a balanced decision. Thanks' again to all.
 

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Anything over 300dpi is definitely overkill. You wont see much (if any) diffrence between an 600dpi artwork and 300dpi. heck, we even print webbased 72dpi images people send us and it still turns out good.

600dpi would just make your RIP and computer stress like crazy for nothing.
 

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Akaratemom, where can I get more info on Poster Print?
I print cars mostly and people really like photos to be the same color as their car. Poster Print has really helped us with that and saved a LOT of time tweaking the difficult colors.

I was able to get a free 30 trial. At the end I had to have it.

I live in Southern California. I got mine from:

Paul Ketchen

Screen Printers Resource

Digital Product Manager

2320 E. Orangethorpe Ave. Suite C

Anahiem, CA 92806

Phone 714.441.1155 Fax 714.441.1196

Cell 858.344.1735

Email: [email protected]



I also spoke to the maker - Ergo Soft.
Eduardo Vargas

Technical Sales & Support

email: [email protected]

ErgoSoft US LLC

High Fidelity Inkjet RIPs

visit us at: ErgoSoft - High Fidelity RIP Software - Digital Print

T. 603-882-0248

F. 703-783-6201

M. 603-493-3711


AIM. ErgosoftEddie

Skype. Evargas82
 

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I make dryers for Kornit and sell kornit in UK. You should not be put off by the dryer too much. With the spray on a Kornit machine on dark shirts you need alot of hot air to cure but our dryers will cure in one pass. The smallest dryer has a 2 meter oven and 1 meter belt width and is 3.6 meters in total length. Standard dark shirts will require about 5 mins at 165 degrees C to cure.
 

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apples and oranges, I'm not talking about the source resolution of the image, we are talking about the quantity of dots per inch a printer can lay, and let me tell you 72/300/600/1440 make a difference ( in fact I have never seen a 72 printer) I'm not trying to bully brother for the resolution but it is in fact poor. a 600 dpi resolution printer will cover an area with that many droplets of bigger dimensions and to create a color that is a mixture of different droplets the bigger the color drop, the less continuos this seems, noise appears. I know people are so overwhelmed wit having a photo on a shirt that they might overlook color noise, but if I had the chance I'd rather want something without this issue, or find a way around it, poster print? maybe , I'll look in to it.

self-explanatory photo attached

[MEDIA]http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/2596/dpium8.jpg[/MEDIA]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I make dryers for Kornit and sell kornit in UK. You should not be put off by the dryer too much. With the spray on a Kornit machine on dark shirts you need alot of hot air to cure but our dryers will cure in one pass. The smallest dryer has a 2 meter oven and 1 meter belt width and is 3.6 meters in total length. Standard dark shirts will require about 5 mins at 165 degrees C to cure.
thank you for the info, in fact the dryier used in the demo would spit the shirt in less than 2 min, so still plenty wet, the demoer kept saying that the belt wasn't the right one but waht you see sometimes is what you understand. Do you know if there is a non-belt dryer,overhead, that does the job? thanks

Wow do all your customers come in with a magnifine glass to look at a $15.00 t-shirt,beauty is in the eye of the buyer.
1st It's called a THREAD COUNTER, 2nd I don't sell t-shirts in dollars, 3rd My costumers might want to complain about grainy pictures if I serve them some, would not be the first time. So here I post for solutions and help, and probably to help others in their informed decisions, not to be told that costumers are happy with lesser quality products because they don't know better. just my .02 c
 

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As far as the HM1 you can definately run it dual cmyk. Alot of people buy them that way that dont want to deal with the white ink.
 
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Let's keep this professional folks. Remember we're all here to help and not everyone is from the US :)

Hopefully to reinforce the fact that other machines (HM1/Brother) can produce better prints, the operators here on the forums who own those machine can take some photos of some great prints they've made with their machine and post them in this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Please excuse my ignorance,my customers pay their bills in dollars and in turn I pay my bills in dollars. I guess I better get a thread counter and toss my brother in the garbage and pull out my T-Jet2 out of the can.
you are excused. And not flaming or anything but why get so edgy, I mean, this printer is a good printer but some people believe resolution beyond 600 does not matter so I tried to show that yes there is a difference, a visible one, the thread counter was for enhanced detail, but you can see the noise at plain sight. (girl in blue picture, first post). So here I am evaluating the strenghts and weakneses of this machines, to drop 15000+ euros at least, and you expect me not to look at it closely?.

You are happy with your brother? well that's what I want to hear, strenghts of the machines, and how much better than what I have seen, they can be.

thanks
 

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I do agree that the dpi does make a difference. On the ink coverage, the higher the dpi, the more ink it is going to lay. The lowest dpi I print at is 720 x 720 which works great and has great coverage. If I were to print at lower dpi, I would be laying less ink, therefore getting less coverage. I have tried printing at a lower dpi and the coverage is just not there.
 
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