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Hi,

I'm new to this forum. Looking to invest in a DTG printer. This will be out of the home and small runs and small jobs for the most part. Probably will want to print on white and darks. I'm very familiar with traditional screen printing and I was a graphic designer in my past. DTG is new to me and I've been out of the graphic design business for 20 years. I'm seeing some older postings but this technology is changing weekly it appears so I'm attempting to get the latest and most updated info.

1) What is a good start up (dependable) printer for home use and small runs? A good heat press that is reputable would also be needed I imagine to set the ink.

2) I'm not familiar with inkjet DTG printing to any extent. Is it dependably applied and able to endure washings like traditional screen printing? Does it hold up with the garment when done correctly?

Any information or upcoming DTG printers/technology ideas would be welcome. I'm coming in ground level and I'm seeing a lot of positives and negatives on different printers which in many ways makes it confusing. One guy says he loves the HM1 while another guy says it sucks.

Some of you may know of new DTG equipment about to be introduced to the market and maybe I should hold off a few months? Not sure. I'm not interested in spending a fortune, maybe up to 15K since it's just a start up and a supplement income business.

Thanks. Look forward to all of your insights

Jeff
 

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Jeff-

15K is very reasonable..but I can save you alot more especially starting up in a home based business

Here is what you need to look into

-used/refurbished DTG Kiosk2 or T-Jet2 (fraternal twins) $4k-$7K
~~ w/ RIP V.O4 software not sure actual cost if not included
-preferably a newer Digital Knight DK20 with auto-pop-up $1200
-in conversion...seriously any ink you get from these first ad's throw away immediately..
-Wagner Spray gun if not included $60-70
Here are some for sale

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/tf-classifieds/t126869.html (I don't know the history but it has a majority of everything you need)

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/tf-classifieds/t127025.html (same here don't know history)

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/tf-classifieds/t125497.html

(this would be your best buy because after you receive any other used printer this is what you need to do to achieve the best results)


I know Adam and we eventually converted to this system and seriously tripled our business. We start in our home with a brand new K2 and lost money everyday after the switch we added a 2nd one and moved into a shop with 5 months of having this system.

You don't need WIMS (Waste Investment Money System or Bulk Ink (nothing against Bulk Ink just never wanted it)

read my posts , Printzilla and Adam "Tahoe" Tomahawk..this what we are doing and its working for us..
 

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Jeff, See below......

Hi,

I'm new to this forum. Looking to invest in a DTG printer. This will be out of the home and small runs and small jobs for the most part. Probably will want to print on white and darks. I'm very familiar with traditional screen printing and I was a graphic designer in my past. DTG is new to me and I've been out of the graphic design business for 20 years. I'm seeing some older postings but this technology is changing weekly it appears so I'm attempting to get the latest and most updated info.

1) What is a good start up (dependable) printer for home use and small runs? A good heat press that is reputable would also be needed I imagine to set the ink. I would recomend looking at positive and negative through this group and use the info to ask the right questions of the people you may plan on buying from. If you were very familliar with inkjet, I would say you may be able to get a used unit, but since you are new, expect and budget to pay more for training and more service as you are going through the learning curve. I've had an Anajet for the last 3+ years and it was a great fit for me. Your location may help you to deside on getting a more local provider. Most of the Major MFGs have good machines and training. Some machine are more advanced, and others are tried and true.

2) I'm not familiar with inkjet DTG printing to any extent. Is it dependably applied and able to endure washings like traditional screen printing? Does it hold up with the garment when done correctly? If you are familiar with 4 color process in screenprint, you may already understand enough to get a good start. If you are thinking in terms of spot colors.....learn that CMYK is a totally different animal. It's very cool to take an idea direct to a t-shirt, but you will never get the "athletic" or spot color look from CMYK on a t-shirt. White ink is a new thing to inkjet, so expect to spend a lot of time and money perfecting "it". If you can follow instuctions and take steps to conquer your variables, The process is very dependable in producing high resolution artwork in shirts that are marketable. If you plan on doing this "at home" make sure you know that in order to have the printer profitable, you have to feed it enough work to keep the ink moving. Idle printers cost wasted ink and clogged printheads.

Any information or upcoming DTG printers/technology ideas would be welcome. I'm coming in ground level and I'm seeing a lot of positives and negatives on different printers which in many ways makes it confusing. One guy says he loves the HM1 while another guy says it sucks. It boils down to understanding the process. Most people who become unsatified either lacked the committment, didn't have the capacity or didn't do enough homework to make a good choice in the begining. It's the same whether you by screening equipment or an embroidery machine.....8 out of 10 people may fail

Some of you may know of new DTG equipment about to be introduced to the market and maybe I should hold off a few months? People have been saying this for years. I would still take your time, to go to shows, get printing done by existing "wholesalers" and vendors using your artwork. If it does what you expect, and you think you can make a plan to make your money back in 24-36 months, then jump in at that point. Stuff is improving all the time, but there are people out there that have 4 and 5 year old machine that are doing better than people with new ones. The technology is simple....the operators are the ones that make it work.

Not sure. I'm not interested in spending a fortune, maybe up to 15K since it's just a start up and a supplement income business.

Thanks. Look forward to all of your insights

Jeff
 

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What fatkat said. But some have had problems getting enough white with only 3 channels. I have both 3 and 4 channels machines. A tjet2 and tjet3. I have to turn down the white on the tjet3. U can find a tjet 3 for under 3k but unless you want to tinker everyday stay a way. The tjet2 is a workhorse and same as the kiosk. Use the bagged ink system to reduce hassles. If u got the money u can look at velocity jet and mod1. But i never see these used. RIP software is around 800-900$. But u have to have it. Multirip gp is great with good support. Ek rip just added support for the 2200 based machine (tjet2 and kiosk). Ez artist is the new fast artist. U must have a rip.
 

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Bring a file and ask that they print it. Realize the files they demo are tweeked perfect. Like buying a car. Great idea I know there is one in atlanta in sep.
 

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The technology is simple....the operators are the ones that make it work.

Nf
basically that's what it boils down.. you will have to separate the screen print and DTG businesses...

You are not going to be able to price the shirts the same.

Ink costs
Pretreat costs

So going out and purchasing a brand new 15k printer and you will get frustrated because you won't make the money back fast enough..you are not gonna be happy camper.

I can not compete with any screen printers in my area.. You can't print on 50/50 darks shirts with screen print results

Guess what.. you want 25 different colors on one shirt I can do it ..but its gonna cost you.
not because I want to overcharge it because i am gonna charge because it quality.

I don't agree with the trade shows visit because the bigger machines are what they are gonna want to sell you. Being home based the smaller and the better.

Where are you located??? find someone first off "happy" with their Kiosk..there is so much negativity trust me I had my share..but I throw away my ink delivery system and couldn't tell you how happy we are.

check this post out...

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/direct-garment-dtg-inkjet-printing/t126346.html

save your money for your learning curve and upgrading your print software.. and basically being able to still pay the bills in case you have a slow month
 

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You don't need to go to any shows. I have been printing with DTG's longer than 99.999999999% of people on the planet, and that includes the people selling them at shows.

Take it from me, I know what I speak of.......whatever you do, make sure the system you buy will work with the belquette bagged inks. If you start with that, the rest can be learned much easier. I'm not saying that other machines don't work (I have had six different brands over the years) it's just less frustration with bagged degassed ink.

If new interests you, then go with the Mod 1. If used then a Kiosk like FatKatz suggested. Feel free to PM me if you would like more info.

Zilla
 

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Jeff-

15K is very reasonable..but I can save you alot more especially starting up in a home based business

Here is what you need to look into

-used/refurbished DTG Kiosk2 or T-Jet2 (fraternal twins) $4k-$7K
~~ w/ RIP V.O4 software not sure actual cost if not included
-preferably a newer Digital Knight DK20 with auto-pop-up $1200
-in conversion...seriously any ink you get from these first ad's throw away immediately..
-Wagner Spray gun if not included $60-70
Here are some for sale

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/tf-classifieds/t126869.html (I don't know the history but it has a majority of everything you need)

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/tf-classifieds/t127025.html (same here don't know history)

http://www.t-shirtforums.com/tf-classifieds/t125497.html

(this would be your best buy because after you receive any other used printer this is what you need to do to achieve the best results)

I know Adam and we eventually converted to this system and seriously tripled our business. We start in our home with a brand new K2 and lost money everyday after the switch we added a 2nd one and moved into a shop with 5 months of having this system.

You don't need WIMS (Waste Investment Money System or Bulk Ink (nothing against Bulk Ink just never wanted it)

read my posts , Printzilla and Adam "Tahoe" Tomahawk..this what we are doing and its working for us..
What is the cost to take a unit like this and convert to the bag system from belquette? do they do or is it an end user upgrade/conversion job?

Thanks
 

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What is the cost to take a unit like this and convert to the bag system from belquette? do they do or is it an end user upgrade/conversion job?

Thanks
it depends on your current setup... what kind of printer do you have?? do you have the bulk ink system? no this is something you need to do yourself..

this is a conversion kit ~you are not adding anything more than what you needed in the first place..

I consider it an upgrade even though all I changed was my ink lines, dampers and added a cable chain that's about it. So if you machine is due for this since K2 and Tjet's need to change all this over time..basically you are doing it maybe sooner or at the right time.

Here is my current set-up..we added the lab jack with a metal sign that I currently had bolted to the side. But you can do whatever you want as long as the bags lay flat.

Marc- do you have pics??
 

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No white ink unit, was looking at ms one, mod 1 and velocijet, also thinking about getting 2 of the refurbished t jets from EZ for redundancy and to increase my white shirt output, just happened to be looking at one of the printers you listed and when I read about the conversion to the bagged ink I thought I would ask how much something like that was and if it required a tech or was a user upgrade. I have a brother gt-541 and have been trying to add a dark garment unit for a few months but everythim I think i have made up my mind I read something else or think about other options. i have studied this to no end and just can't pull the trigger, have buyers remorse and have not even bought yet.

the 3rd link you showed with the bag upgrade, what is a fair market price on a unit like that, he did not have a price listed but said to make offer, what is the going rate for a used unit like that?

Thanks
 

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Ok as fatkat says just bag it! no you do not need to go to a trade show. But as long as you understand that half of what you here is bs. It is a great place to see a lot of different options. I would not buy there. But it can provide an education across the dtg spectrum. Every bit of knowledge helps. If taken with a grain of salt. I would not spend a lot of money but if one is close!
 

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the 3rd link you showed with the bag upgrade, what is a fair market price on a unit like that, he did not have a price listed but said to make offer, what is the going rate for a used unit like that?

Thanks
I would think between 6-8k, depending on how many platens, how much ink, when some of the user replaceable parts were serviced (capping station, wiper blade, etc.....).

Where are you located?
 

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the 3rd link you showed with the bag upgrade, what is a fair market price on a unit like that, he did not have a price listed but said to make offer, what is the going rate for a used unit like that?

Thanks
I am not sure... he has 2 kiosks and a Mod right now. All of them are bagged..so you know it works if he keeps using them.

PM he is on the forums all the time..he may even get on this one I will shoot him the link.
 

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...This will be out of the home and small runs and small jobs for the most part. Probably will want to print on white and darks...

1) What is a good start up (dependable) printer for home use and small runs? ...
The equipment is sensitive to temperature and humidity as well as dust.

Low volume will tend to = problems. These machines like to run so they need to run daily or you need to mothball them while not in use.

The white ink needs near daily agitation.

Buy an extra or 2 of everything that can break as well as supplies, including but not limited to:
  • encoding strip
  • capping station
  • wiper
  • print head
  • ribbon cable
  • carriage
  • cleaning carts
  • cleaning towels (lint free)
  • cleaning fluid
Even the smallest of these things take up a fair amount of room and are heavy.
 

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The white ink needs near daily agitation.

With the bags, a good shake is enough


  • encoding strip
  • capping station
  • wiper-comes with capping station @ dtginks.com
  • print head
  • ribbon cable
  • carriage
  • buy all parts at Welcome to DTGInks.com best prices
  • cleaning carts
  • cleaning towels (lint free) (Viva paper towels are the best)
  • cleaning fluid (Windex w/ammonia) full strength or diluted with distilled water
 

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A kiosk just popped up on the for sale. Sounds like its been taken care of. Stored with cleaning fluid etc.
 

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Another good place to buy OEM parts for the Kiosk such as print head and other parts is Compass Micro. Their print head is cheaper than the link above. Not by much though. For the Kiosk 2 just search F138040 for the print head.
 

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The equipment is sensitive to temperature and humidity as well as dust.
While true with the right ink delivery system and a little TLC it's not as big a deal as one might think.

Low volume will tend to = problems. These machines like to run so they need to run daily or you need to mothball them while not in use.
I have to disagree, low volume is exactly what DTG printers are all about (unless you own a Kornit), with the proper maintenance and prep most of the printers are happy and produce wonderful prints. I will agree the more often you can run the machine the better but if you flush the print head you can go a long time between prints with no problems.

The white ink needs near daily agitation.
Yeah...maybe, depends, if our printer is sitting we might do it every day or every third day...really it's a 30 sec deal not like you have to stand there for 20 min shaking the bottles.

Buy an extra or 2 of everything that can break as well as supplies, including but not limited to:
  • encoding strip
  • capping station
  • wiper
  • print head
  • ribbon cable
  • carriage
  • cleaning carts
  • cleaning towels (lint free)
  • cleaning fluid
Even the smallest of these things take up a fair amount of room and are heavy.
We are now at 14 or 15 months owning our DTG, it came with a couple extra encoder strips, we are still using the original, the capping station has been changed once and is about due to be changed again, the print head is original (thousands of prints!) we have never had to change anything but our capping station, and this is with the EZ bulk ink system.

Like a lot of folks I never expected any DTG to be plug and play, we are meticulous about keeping everything as clean as possible, I keep the print head flushed out if it's going to sit for more than a couple days, and really the amount of time it takes to do what is required is IMHO very minimal.

JMHO...your mileage might be different.
 
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