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For a while now I've been hearing interesting bits and peices about this new wonder machine that was out and about. What I heard was that it was able to print onto a t-shirt the same way an inkjet printed onto paper. It was, in effect, a t-shirt printer. A stand alone unit that made screens, emulsions, squeegies, and everything else we as screen printers are used to, obsolete.

Tonight I decided to do a bit more reasearch, and found that there are only two companies that offer high quality printers of this type. Here are the links:

The Brother printer:
http://www.brother-usa.com/garmentprinters/GP_detail.aspx

The Fast T-Jet (ProHV model) printer:
http://www.americanscreensupply.com/index.php?action=item&id=4&prevaction=category&previd=1&prevstart=0

Very, very interesting. Does anybody else see this as being the next technological breakthrough for screenprinting? Will it eventually make screen printing as we know it now obsolete? I think it definietely has that potential. Look at that Fast T-Jet...that thing is a monster. True, prices are extremely high, inks are absurd, but just imagine how much easier it would be to use.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts / comments / opinions / speculation. And if you have one of these, let us know! I'd really like to hear from an early adopter.

I hear that one of these babies will be at the upcoming ISS show, so hopefully I'll be able to see it in action.
 

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I'd have to see the quality of the prints. The fact it can't print on dark shirts (meaning it has no white ink) means it certainly can't be any sort of "real" screenprinting equivalent.
 

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monkeylantern said:
The fact it can't print on dark shirts (meaning it has no white ink) means it certainly can't be any sort of "real" screenprinting equivalent.
Actually, they have developed white ink for the T-Jet.

http://www.screenprinters.net/product.php?pid=tjetwhite

It's not cheap or perfect, but it's a start.

As for the original question... I fear that it might one day make screenprinting obsolete, but speaking as someone who is looking at getting into screenprinting I hope it doesn't.
 

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I have seen the quality of this direct printed t-shirts and even as a person that prefers screen printed items, I'd have to say the quality is pretty darn good.

I've even seen some black shirts printed with the technology and although the colors aren't as true as with screen printed, it was pretty good.

The machine costs are huge and it's not easy to get a good print, but it does look like something to watch out for.
 

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Wow. If white is now possible, then this technology will be great in a few years once the prices have dropped. Not too low though... else we may all be out of business :)
 

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If you go to http://screenprinters.net, you can actually request a free sample shirt printed by one of these machines, even a dark sample. I myself am going to request on to see how they look.

I'd say that in a while (5-10 years) this could be the new prevailing technology. But then, I think we would still need screenprinting to do special effects inks, and custom applications. So I don't really consider these machines as making our business obsolete or anything...just...upgrading.
 
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