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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, i'm new here this is my 1st post and am looking for some advice. I was wanting to get into t-shirt printing and at 1st was interested in DTG printers till i saw the price of those things and found that they waste ink even if you don't use it as it goes thru cleaning cycles so i quickly ruled that out.

Then i was looking into the uninet icolor 560 printer which is way cheaper
Then i was looking into sublimation printers like the sawgrass

I know that with sublimation your kinda limited to polyester shirts and in white as well although i have seen people do it on light gray shirts as well or any very light color shirt but white is the best

Moneywise sublimation is cheaper to get started in but it has its limits and i'd rather not be limited

Then of course there's the Cricut Explore Air for iron on vinyl which would not limit you to polyester and white only shirts
but then you have to do the weeding thing which i don't want to have to do

I'll mention that i'm not looking to start a full blown business right out of the shoot, it will be more like a hobby at first then slowly turn it into a business just for some extra side cash ( a little side hustle)

any advice would be nice or if there other ways/methods that i don't know about
 

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There are limits and compromises with every decorating method. It is a matter of finding the best match for what you want to do and your own limitations in terms of space, time, money, DIY skills etc.

When I first found this site, I was looking for info an DIY DTG, and actually bought an Epson R1900 to rebuild as a DTG. Then, like you, I learned enough to think better of that idea.

I turned instead to screen printing, which I had played around with a years before.

I'm now also doing sublimation mugs and experimenting with sublimation shirts. As you mention, sublimation is inexpensive compared to other methods, but there is the need for polyester in the substrate, and considerations about color. If you decide to explore sublimation, I would suggest (and did myself) getting an Epson printer and 3rd-party sublimation ink. Sawgrass is expensive and locks you into using their software. An Epson EcoTank is probably a better way to go.

Myself, I do not like the feel and drape of high-poly garments. You can get good looking results with 65% poly / 35% cotton garments in lighter colors, such as the Heather colors of Gildan's G64000. That is still too much poly for my tastes, but might work for you (obviously somebody buys and wears these shirts).

Should also consider the nature of your art. How colorful is it? Does it have gradations of tone or solid areas of color? The laser methods have limitations around gradations and can drop lighter tones.

Compromises with them all!

You can order transfers of various types to try, which might be a smart way to explore your options before committing $ to a specific technology. But you would need a heat press, regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are limits and compromises with every decorating method. It is a matter of finding the best match for what you want to do and your own limitations in terms of space, time, money, DIY skills etc.

When I first found this site, I was looking for info an DIY DTG, and actually bought an Epson R1900 to rebuild as a DTG. Then, like you, I learned enough to think better of that idea.

I turned instead to screen printing, which I had played around with a years before.

I'm now also doing sublimation mugs and experimenting with sublimation shirts. As you mention, sublimation is inexpensive compared to other methods, but there is the need for polyester in the substrate, and considerations about color. If you decide to explore sublimation, I would suggest (and did myself) getting an Epson printer and 3rd-party sublimation ink. Sawgrass is expensive and locks you into using their software. An Epson EcoTank is probably a better way to go.

Myself, I do not like the feel and drape of high-poly garments. You can get good looking results with 65% poly / 35% cotton garments in lighter colors, such as the Heather colors of Gildan's G64000. That is still too much poly for my tastes, but might work for you (obviously somebody buys and wears these shirts).

Should also consider the nature of your art. How colorful is it? Does it have gradations of tone or solid areas of color? The laser methods have limitations around gradations and can drop lighter tones.

Compromises with them all!

You can order transfers of various types to try, which might be a smart way to explore your options before committing $ to a specific technology. But you would need a heat press, regardless.
Thanks for your reply, I did not mention heat presses as i am aware that is something i would need regardless which method i choose
 

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Welcome. Try sourcing your work out to a local screen printer for a while to see if it is right for you. It won't cost you anything and you can make some bank along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well here is what i ended up doing Just to get my feet wet and not spend too much

I bought a Cricut maker 3 and some supplies, I also got a decent heat press as no matter which method I decide on for heat transfers a heat press will be needed anyway

Found out I like it, have made some T's already just text and simple graphics using heat transfer vinyl. Have washed those shirts like 5 times so far and still look like i just made them. So durability seems good.

But i want to print and cut as well, for heat transfer, i can print on my regular inkjet using paper made for just that then cut it on the Cricut and it works fine.
But that stuff doesn't hold up well like the regular heat transfer vinyl does.

Enter the Roland BN-20A that i came across. I can get one of those with ink for $5200, i've watched a lot of their videos and really like that machine.
I know its not to fast but i know that going in and it is not a concern of mine at all. It's just gonna be like a little side hustle for me for a good while while I lean and master it.

can anyone who owns one chime in and give me honest opinions on it.
 

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Enter the Roland BN-20A that i came across. I can get one of those with ink for $5200, i've watched a lot of their videos and really like that machine.
I know its not to fast but i know that going in and it is not a concern of mine at all. It's just gonna be like a little side hustle for me for a good while while I lean and master it.

can anyone who owns one chime in and give me honest opinions on it.
you can start your bn20 info search here
 
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