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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We recently purchased a GT-541...
and I'm finding the ink costs are leaning towards the VERY FREAKING EXPENSIVE side.

We were told that it's basically $0.01 per CC of ink...
so a design that's 2.54cc would be $2.54 USD.

That's quite expensive for ONE (14"x16") print...
we're talking a 2 color (Black and Orange) design at 300dpi,
and only using a "Vivid" setting of "1".

Does that sound right, or am I missing something?
$2.50 for a 2-color print?


 

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2.54 CC * $.01 per CC = $.025

We recently purchased a GT-541...
and I'm finding the ink costs are leaning towards the VERY FREAKING EXPENSIVE side.

We were told that it's basically $0.01 per CC of ink...
so a design that's 2.54cc would be $2.54 USD.

That's quite expensive for ONE (14"x16") print...
we're talking a 2 color (Black and Orange) design at 300dpi,
and only using a "Vivid" setting of "1".

Does that sound right, or am I missing something?
$2.50 for a 2-color print?


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2.54 CC * $.01 per CC = $.025
Micro CC's?
What's the decimal term? :)

I was doing a little more math this morning...
at $350 for 500CC (big cartridge), I think it works out to about $0.70 per full CC.

So in a best case scenario...
2.54 CC should work out to about $1.78 USD

A little better... but still a lot more expensive than other methods...
even a 2 color plastisol heat transfer would be less than $1

Food for thought...
 

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Jackson,

Your math is correct that the cost per a CC for the color inks is $0.70. Although I have seen a couple of designs reach the 2.0 cc mark (usually large comic book type prints), most of the designs are less than 1.0 cc per a print. Even the built in color chart on the GT-541 is around 1.25 cc of ink. There are definitely markets that require more ink (i.e. down by me in Orlando you see some large full front prints on NASCAR related apparel) and people increase the cost to offset this.

Brother does something unique from the other dtg manufacturers / distributors in that they sell their white ink for less than the color ink. The benefit from a GT users standpoint is that the white ink consumption is 4 to 5 times that of color. So you are able to save money on the ink you use the most of when printing on darks. This is why their cost per a print on a dark garment with the Brother is typically the same or cheaper (depending on how you buy your white ink) than the other printers. But printing on darks is not something that can be done with the GT-541 printer.

There are definitely times when using another decorating technique is more profitable if you have the time (i.e. time for production and shipping) and basic (low # of colors) artwork. One of the challenges that a lot of dtg owners struggle with when they get into dtg printing is they still try to print the same things that have been traditionally screen printed. Depending on the format of the artwork, you can typically make some quick changes to it to enhance it to the point where the customer would not get a comparable quote from a screen printer. Below are examples of the same design concept, but one was designed as a basic one color screen print and the other was designed for dtg printing to illustrate this point.

Best wishes during your research,

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Although I have seen a couple of designs reach the 2.0 cc mark (usually large comic book type prints), most of the designs are less than 1.0 cc per a print.
That's not really what we're seeing at 14"x16"...
almost everything hovers around 2cc or more for multi-color.

The only designs we managed to get down to 1cc were 11"x12" and only use Black ink...
smaller size, and only one color.

I just responded to you in another thread regarding ink costs...
I think you're heavily underestimating "actual costs" on these forums.

DTG is still cheaper than screenprinting (low quantity)...
but implying that most DTG designs only cost about $1 is kinda misleading.

You should expect $2 to be your average cost per print...
and that's using 150dpi as your base resolution (acceptable, but not 'premium' quality),
300 dpi will add at least $0.50 to the cost.

Ink costs are bearable... but generally, the consumables pricing from Brother is just offensive...
they have no issues charging a 5000% markup... it should be illegal to gouge like that.
 

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We printed over 20'000 images with our GT-541 and the average ink volume is around 1 cc/image, which is $0.70/image if you use the large 500 cc cartridges. That's a fact!

Yes, there are some large, 2-3 cc images but they are definitely NOT the average images in our business.

I just finished a project 10 minutes ago:

20 shirts, $12.29 each+tax, invoice = $263.00
Ink usage: 0.21 cc/image x 20 = 4.2cc = $2.94 total ink cost for 20 shirts.

OK, this is the other end of the spectrum, but it shows that the average 1cc/image ($0.70 image) in long run is true.
 

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Jackson,

Don't believe what I am saying. Call Brother up and ask to speak with one of their in-house sales reps. Brother is the only printer that I am aware of that has an internal log on the printers. It tracks everything. They can tell you based on all the logs they could pull for a year's worth of printing what the average size and ink consumption is.

Again, your market might be completely different based off of the customers you are going after. That is fine and maybe dtg printing for you has a completely different breakeven point than someone else. All this could be absolutely true. I am speaking about what I have seen based on talking with and personally visiting with GT owners in all different parts of the USA - not one specific area or target market.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Again, your market might be completely different based off of the customers you are going after.
My market is the same as this guys:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/brother/t180025.html

Retail t-shirts... not Print Shop...
churches and little league teams aren't nearly as critical about their final product...
but when you sell art to retail, it's MUCH more competitive.

Printing 10" x 10" images don't really fly anymore... it looks poor/cheap/small...
if you guys petitioned that side of the industry you would find VERY different numbers.

I keep forgetting this forum has been taken over by Mom/Pop printers...
it used to be filled with retail t-shirt artists... but when Screenprinters.net went offline, everyone migrated over here.

And man, is it ever hard to get information on retail business here now...
there really needs to be a sub-forum distinguishing these business models,
because they don't coincide at all.
 

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Printing 10" x 10" images don't really fly anymore... it looks poor/cheap/small...
if you guys petitioned that side of the industry you would find VERY different numbers.
I just came back from SoCal in late January (ISS Long Beach Show) and spoke to several apparel designers / printers that said the trend of large oversized prints is dramatically decreasing. If you look at the prints sold through retailers, you don't see as many of the Affliction style prints. But again, these designers / printers have their own business plan and target markets that can vary just like the difference between mom-n-pops versus retail shops.

I also followed/participated the discussions at screenprinters.net back in the day and actual like it here better. There were a lot of loud or more visible people there that had a chilling effect on new people getting into the industry that would post. This tends to be more of a welcoming environment. But that is my perception.

Mark
 

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I think what Jackson is saying is that he is checking each design as he goes and that the designs he prints tend to be on the large side.

Further, if he is trying to keep the margins based on actual per job costs then he can't use average cost per print.
 

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Sorry, it was my impression based on other posts that Jackson was doing research on different dtg printers. Did not see the part that he just purchased a GT-541 printer. I encourage people to understand their ink costs and create their designs in a way that minimizes the ink usage. (That would the other conversation as to when to print black ink or not.)

I also think it is important to understand that a 1-2 color design for screen printing is typically going to have a cheaper cost per a print at a specific # of shirts. Changing the artwork to get the full advantages that dtg printing has to offer is important if someone wants to maximize their investment in get the ROI. The same exact principle can be said for digitally printing chloroplast signs versus screen printing them. There are pros and cons to each decorating technique.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Changing the artwork to get the full advantages that dtg printing has to offer is important if someone wants to maximize their investment in get the ROI
Thanks Mark, that's the golden nugget... makes a lot of sense...
why print a solid black box, when you can print that same size box in rainbow colors... for the SAME PRICE!!

We've been trying to minimize the color usage to save ink costs...
but the reality is that it's all about IMAGE SIZE/DENSITY... not colors.

Size (and white space) is EVERYTHING... while the number of Colors is almost entirely insignificant to cost.
That concept really goes against the grain of the traditional print industry.

Interesting.

P.S. IMHO, Affliction-style was finished the second it hit the shopping centers...
I was referring more towards online custom art shirts like Imaginary Foundation, Design by Humans, etc.
Clothing you CAN'T buy anywhere else, except that specific website.

That stuff ain't going out of style...
mainly because it can't be copied and marketed-to-death. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think what Jackson is saying is that he is checking each design as he goes and that the designs he prints tend to be on the large side.
Exactly, but even more than that...
we actually USE a 14" x 16" template to create our (custom) designs!

So OUR average size is 14" x 16"...
and that makes for fairly expensive prints, every time.

Point being...
custom t-shirt artists REALLY need to beware the "industry standard" line...
they're not talking about YOUR industry.
 

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I keep forgetting this forum has been taken over by Mom/Pop printers...
it used to be filled with retail t-shirt artists... but when Screenprinters.net went offline, everyone migrated over here.
The forum is visited by retail t-shirt artists, screen printers, high production shops, designers and a wide range of enthusiasts in the t-shirt industry. It really depends on what threads and sections of the forum you're reading :)
 

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custom t-shirt artists REALLY need to beware the "industry standard" line...
they're not talking about YOUR industry.
This has been the line since the begining. Most of us that read these forums or that have used inkjet for other puposes...understand it, don't like it, but it is common langauage and it's logical that any new person who wants to invest is going to ask...so....the manufacturers have that "average" line waiting for them. More ink/more time cost more money, It's all pretty logical:rolleyes:

Jackson, a 14x16 print takes quite a while to print. If you were to hazard a guess at what the time is worth and how many shirts per hour you could print, do you think that the machine time(and labor) is more expensive than the ink?
 

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Dude wtf are you printing, I am doing race car shirts, 14 by 16 multi color, 3/4 coverage and was 2.34cc at a level 10 ha.

I even did image 10 by 12 pretty much black square and was 1.7cc, you got some guzzler designs or you cc counter is off.

$350 for 500cc Ha I will PM you, you are getting screwed a bit
 
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