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I am a direct to garment printer, owning a Brother 541 and loving it. It has paid for itself in less than 6 months. Now I need to print white. Options that I have explored are SWF Kiosk 3 or Viper, Anajet, iDot and Brother 541 Polar Bear conversion. Problem with Brother is software bugs and registration is off. Still can print only white ink on dark shirts, which would be a large part of my dark business and just wait for software to be perfected. Anajet has no distribution across the country and therefore uncertain about service, maintenance. SWF DTG seem like a good company with new white ink technology that keeps the white ink moving, under pressure and sold in liters instead of cartridges. I just learned about iDot by M&R Industries. Largest screen printer manufacturer and supplier in the world. Two years ago entered the dtg business. Brother 782 ?? is too expensive. Can't justify the purchase price. My concern is who makes the best Epson based machine, offers the best service, and is in the best financial shape so they will be around in years to come???
Please advise.
 

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I would like to hear more about this too.
I am doing my homework and considering a purchase but the way my business (a second income) would run is that a printer could sit for a couple weeks if my main source work has me running (in or out of town) all over. So I need to consider ink waste and whether the white ink hassle is worth it in the long run. I can easily see that dark shirt overprints would be popular, but can any of the machines sit for a while and then ramp up to speed for good runs for a few weeks, then sit again or do the occasional one offs? right now considering it as hobby/ slow built business in a specific niche market (film tv, theater) and not needing it as main income allows me that luxury. right now looking at brother (no white, but sounds like it has good stop and go with straight light shirts) and anajet or velocijet if I go with white underprints as they have best price. And somewhere in the back of my mind I guess there's the idea that if the white part muddles up at least I can print on lights till I get it all sorted out. Is it too early in the industry to be thinking of printing on dark shirts that cavalierly?

thanks
djl
 

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My advice is buy used or refurbished. Do not buy new especially if you are not going to devote time to print everyday or even every couple of days

You will end up damaging your machine and replacing more parts then necessary. If you do not follow the vacation settings for the printer.

People will say if you buy used then you are inheriting someone elses is problem but here is what happened to me.

We had purchased a brand new DTG Kiosk 2 and had it for over a year. We learned to self-diagnose and self-repair our printer with much help from the forums and other DTG users. We just purchased a 2nd DTG Kiosk 2 that had been sitting for a year with the ink so dried up around the head it clogged the printhead lines, capping station, and many other parts the were clogged. It tooks us less 800$ to get the printer up and running and we bought the used printer for almost the same price as what we paid for the tax on our first K2. (but this is was luck on our part)

We already knew that we were going to bag our ink from Belquette (which changed our ink lines, dampers and uses bagged ink) this was the best decision that we could have made. Less white ink problems no need for WIMS..just changing out the ink delivery system w/o having to add WIMS or Bulk Ink.

So now we have doubled our printers for less then it would have cost to buy new..we were able to save enough money to buy a 2nd heat press so we weren't fighting over one..plus many other things to double our production.
 

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Yeah, I second that Chobay (we love Belquette ;) but if you are looking for something that is going to be a 2nd income and sit around for weeks at a time the justification to buy a brand new machine just isn't there.

We just added our 2nd Kiosk and now getting busy enough to purchase a Mod-1 but not because we didn't have the capital but because its an "industrial grade printer". You need it for your business to grow not to sit around and then call and gripe because you aren't using it and you didn't follow the directions to flush it for vacation.

That is why I suggest getting a refurbished printer something that can sit for weeks at a time (with properly flushing). Won't empty your pocket book ..

How many people on here purchase large printers that they don't even use? There are many out there making investments of 10k or more for printers just sitting because they don't know how to use them or really don't need them.

Save your money.. learn on something small then go big. We feel comfortable with bagged ink to be comfortable with a MOD when we purchase it. Instead of jumping in and again going through the pains and expense of learning.
 

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Yeah, I second that Chobay (we love Belquette ;) but if you are looking for something that is going to be a 2nd income and sit around for weeks at a time the justification to buy a brand new machine just isn't there.

We just added our 2nd Kiosk and now getting busy enough to purchase a Mod-1 but not because we didn't have the capital but because its an "industrial grade printer". You need it for your business to grow not to sit around and then call and gripe because you aren't using it and you didn't follow the directions to flush it for vacation.

That is why I suggest getting a refurbished printer something that can sit for weeks at a time (with properly flushing). Won't empty your pocket book ..

How many people on here purchase large printers that they don't even use? There are many out there making investments of 10k or more for printers just sitting because they don't know how to use them or really don't need them.

Save your money.. learn on something small then go big. We feel comfortable with bagged ink to be comfortable with a MOD when we purchase it. Instead of jumping in and again going through the pains and expense of learning.
I have to agree with Carla/Pat on the refurb machine it's exactly what we did over a year ago, we knew up front what was going to be required to keep the printer going (maintenance-wise) and had the business (clients/orders) to justify buying a new machine but because of the economy and the uncertainty of never owning a DTG printer we opted for a refurb T-Jet2 from Equipment Zone.

For us it turned out to be the right choice, we had a minimal investment, a quick ROI, a proven printer that has been basically trouble free for well over a year now. Yeah it's print area is smaller then the newer machines, and yes it's slower then the newer machines, but the print quality is great, the printer has proven to be very reliable, we can flush the print head and let it sit for a week or more and never have a problem getting a good nozzle check, the print head has never been changed and we have over a year on the machine and probably close to 2700 prints on it using the bulk inks system that came on the printer from EZ.

If I could find a deal on a used printer like Pat/Carla did I would jump on it, we could at times use a second printer just to increase our capacity and decrease the time it takes to do bigger orders.

Hope this helps.
 

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Listen to Fatkatz. I also have a job that requires me to leave my machine to set for periods of time. With the bag system I can leave for 3-4 days with minimal problems. Weeks? Will be a problem. You will need to flush. Polar conversion I think would be to much trouble. I have heard of lots of registration errors. Plus expensive. Ink waste will be an issue if you leave your machine dormat for periods of time on a regular basis. You might want to consider buying a used 8 channel machine that will run 4 color and 4 white but start by running dual cmyk or double color. Then if it works change to 4 color 4 white. If that does not work then you can go back. I sell about 70% colored shirts. However the white is 80% of the dtg problems. Running a dtg with white requires a commitment to cleaning operating on a daily basis or cleaning and flushing.
 
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