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View Full Version : Thinking about getting a DTG printer



svugraphics
07-18-2012, 04:28 PM
Hello,
Im new here on the forum, but we have been pondering on getting a DTG printer or going to screen printing. Currently we are using a Roland VS-540 and doing shirts with iron-on transfer material. In your guys opinions, which is the better route and which company makes the best and most reliable product. We have talked to people from Brother and they almost have us talked into a GraffiTee, but looking to get more peoples opinions.

:thankyou:

svugraphics
07-20-2012, 03:11 PM
bump, looking for some opinions

Mosh
07-20-2012, 03:37 PM
If you get a DTG printer be sure to tell your customers to NOT WASH them or the ink will wash out. Heard many horror stories about them...of course the people selling them will dispute it, but I have first hand experience with it.

WildWestDesigns
07-20-2012, 03:46 PM
If you get a DTG printer be sure to tell your customers to NOT WASH them or the ink will wash out. Heard many horror stories about them...of course the people selling them will dispute it, but I have first hand experience with it.


If you wash them inside out (like you are supposed to do with shirts even before they are decorated) that helps. Also the type of detergent you use as well. Some of them are more "caustic" to colors then others. Curing process will also have an affect on this as well.

About the only apparel decorating that washing isn't going to affect (unless you use bleach or the more "caustic" detergents) is sublimation. Even then though you do have washing instructions (usually because of the garment itself more then because of the inks used).

I can promise you, you wouldn't want me to go without washing my shirts on a regular basis.

Coloradosigns
07-20-2012, 03:48 PM
dtg printers suck. Their prints never hold up.

jhanson
07-20-2012, 05:30 PM
I've seen Kornit and Brother DTG printed shirts that hold up to washing fairly well. I imagine the ink plays a big role in the washability.

As for the hundreds of Epson based DTG machines out there (looking at you, Anajet and Sawgrass)... I wouldn't touch one with a ten meter pole.

g&eprinting
07-20-2012, 05:40 PM
We are looking at an anajet mp5 or mp10 for production and a neoflex for quality and extra print area.

Still looking though for the past year and not too comfortable yet.

wildside
07-20-2012, 05:48 PM
we had an Anajet, sold it for a loss last year, thing caused me more headaches than anything, always fighting it to get good color which never really happened, losing the money on it in the sale made my blood pressure drop:toasting:

customer service was massively lackin........ anyway, not trying to bash them, as actually i have been wearing some shirts off that machine for about 3 years now that still look pretty good.

i would outsource them, no matter what, the cost of the machine and the ability of the machine are not insync, i still think the idea of what it can do is still way ahead of the actual technology in place

outsourcing puts that pressure on others to worry about

briankb
07-20-2012, 05:50 PM
I've had good experience just using a printer with pigmant ink and contour cutting it then applying with heat press. They have a decent hand (feel) and stand up to a lot of washing.

I got samples from Anajet last year and wasn't impressed. The machines are so overpriced. I don't see how you could make a profit unless you are doing a lot of 1-off's at a premium price per day (mall, special events, ect..). You could spend $10-15k for some decent Brown Mnf screen printing equipment (http://brownmfg.net/) and find someone to run it. The costs will be as low as possible and your production run shirts will last until the shirt is destroyed.

If the DTG was $5-8k maybe... but $20k+ seems insane.

rjssigns
07-20-2012, 06:06 PM
Wasn't someone on this forum using his UV flatbed to do them? He said he was printing on anything he could stuff under the head. Door mats, shirts, etc... Said the door mats held up pretty well IIRC

Farmboy
07-20-2012, 06:12 PM
You might be better off asking this question on a screen printing board. There are a few good ones out there. As a side note I would not recommend Brown. I don't own one, but the reviews are not very good. Do your homework.

trimguy
07-20-2012, 06:16 PM
We have a brother 541 light garment printer. prints hold up great!. Saving for the new Grafittee dark garment printer

john1
07-20-2012, 06:17 PM
I have a vendor that uses a Brother printer and it works great. No complaints.

briankb
07-20-2012, 06:20 PM
@farmboy

What's the issue with Brown (equip,service)? Who would you recommend?

WCSign
07-20-2012, 08:28 PM
I purchased 2 printed DTG tees from a local company.. one white, one black.. (they have a brother printer)

the workmanship was nothing special, simple designs.. and I washed the crap outta them.. AND dried them... the white shirt faded a bit... after maybe 6 washes.. its been like 10 times now.. inks still there, just faded in. It looks kinda like it was printed discharge

originally I thought the ink on the black shirt was kinda thick, but after the washes and drys its feeling nice

I did not turn them inside out


AND

I have recieved 2 samples direct from belquette... they are out of this world.. of course they are going to be premium, because they were printed at belquette in the top conditions available. When I start washing these, ill let you guys know how they turn out..

I think that there is still a huge negative connotation about DTG because its new and the technology sucked, plus so many people were doing it so crappy.. kinda like heat transfers.. they are pretty mint nowadays, but I remember they used to peel off

WCSign
07-20-2012, 08:31 PM
figured id add some NON heresay to the thread lol
if you guys want pics lemme know

Sooner Printing
07-20-2012, 08:51 PM
belquette is outstanding! thats what all our short run shirts are done on..Anything of 24 shirts we screen print

jhanson
07-20-2012, 09:20 PM
I think we can pretty much blame Scott Fresner (US Screen) for the bad rap that DTG has taken. He took half-arsed modified Epson printers, put crappy ink in them, and sold the hell out of them.

I'm surprised he even was able to sell the company to Hirsch.

WCSign
07-21-2012, 12:49 AM
belquette is outstanding! thats what all our short run shirts are done on..Anything of 24 shirts we screen print


glad to hear.. I hate the fact that there are no local sales or service reps, but I love the fact that you can just disassmble the head and ship it..

they were cool on the phone... how are they post sale??

can you post pics of any of your work? have any suggestions on day to day usage? how does the initial treatment procedure work?

Im approved to get one, but we are setting up a huge screenprinting operation right now, so I was waiting until thats running smoothly to get the DTG, maybe October or so

Thanks for any info.. I havent ran across anyone who has one, except on older posts in T-shirt forums

Sooner Printing
07-21-2012, 01:50 AM
Pretreating is done with a Wagner sprayer.. Unless you have another 5k to spend on a pretreat machine.. Service is great... Cleaning is easy.. Use windex to clean lines out..only really complaint is the cost of white ink..it's good for small runs or runs where artwork changes frequently.. 0h and you will want to buy 2 heat presses..only having one heat press slows production for sure

Typestries
07-21-2012, 05:58 AM
I have a customer with a few kornit machines. While kornit may not be in the same price or quality class as a desktop dtg, I can firsthand say the prints on it last. I hooked a friend up with him on 4c+white gildan UC shirts for staff. It's a small food place, and the staff shirts get washed and dried there everyday. Well over 200 washes and still looking good. I was skeptical, to say I'm impressed is an understatement with all of the DTG horror stories out there.

Farmboy
07-21-2012, 07:28 AM
@farmboy

What's the issue with Brown (equip,service)? Who would you recommend?

Again let me say I have never printed on a Brown, so all I have is second hand info. Over the years I've heard everything from they don't hold registration to terrible service. They may have a place in the market, possibly their numbering press. I would recommend looking at M&R and Jennings. If you're looking for used make sure to look the press over well. Make sure the color arms are tight in the registration guides, if it's an all heads down press be sure all heads line up and that it rotates freely. Manual presses are pretty strait forward beast, but some shops abuse the pi$$ out of them, so check it over.

signage
07-21-2012, 08:15 AM
If you are using a DTG that prints with the Dupont ink and the curing is done correctly they will last. Now when printing on dark/black shirts a pretreat machine will greatly improve the lasting of the print. One of the main system of the white printing is the pretreatment and once it is dialed in and done consistently the prints will hold up as good as screen printing.

DazzaBling
07-28-2012, 08:27 PM
#1 NeoFlex purchase both solvent and textile print heads more versatile for your business
#2 Mod-1 if you just want to do t-shirts

both have excellent reputations and excellent customer service..

NeoFlex placed 3-4 of their owners in the top 10 of the DTG Royale Printing Competition NeoFlex taking championship. I toured with the "Tiger" team to several shows and I consider them the best in the business. I have personally worked with Belquette and their ink is great and has done wonders with our printers. You need patience..lots of patience.

WCSign
07-29-2012, 02:56 AM
update.. washed my... wait, well my girlfriend washed and dried the belquette shirts.. her comment "the black one feels really smooth"

wash and dry #1 was a success

#2 is coming soon

g&eprinting
07-29-2012, 03:18 AM
Examples I recieved from All American Neoflex.

binki
07-29-2012, 10:26 AM
DTG printing has come a long way since it first came out. It can be profitable but it is often very frustrating and slow. We still have our machine from over 5 years ago and it still runs but we don't push it.

Our biggest seller for shirts is to women with rhinestones and glitter vinyl. Follow that by cut vinyl. We have 2 cutters that never stop running on apparel vinyl.

For photo prints on short runs DTG wins out though. Pre-treatment is the key for both light and dark garments. Done right it will hold up as well as screen printing.

WildWestDesigns
07-29-2012, 10:36 AM
Our biggest seller for shirts is to women with rhinestones and glitter vinyl. Follow that by cut vinyl. We have 2 cutters that never stop running on apparel vinyl.


Rhinestones with embroidery seem to do the best with the people that I get locally. I've never had a request for glitter vinyl.

The trend that I'm getting is that most people want multi decoration on shirts when you get those premium orders in. Typically short run orders, but they are also fun to do as well. Although sometimes they can be a little much. One order I had embroidery, rhinestones and sequins on shirts.

WCSign
09-01-2012, 10:39 PM
Here are some pics of the belquette shirts after more than 6 brutal wash and dry cycles, ZERO special treatment was given.. they were done high heat NOT inside out (mostly with towels or denim)

http://www.signs101.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79969&stc=1&d=1346553488

http://www.signs101.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79970&stc=1&d=1346553488

http://www.signs101.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79971&stc=1&d=1346553488

http://www.signs101.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=79972&stc=1&d=1346553488

kico-abaco
09-02-2012, 05:10 PM
we use DTG Azon TexPro for last 6 months and I can say that prints are great, hold up long just like screenprinted and never had any problem.
White printing can be little tricky with dtg machines but you would experience 0% problems if you follow maintenance procedures.

Farmboy
09-02-2012, 06:26 PM
You may also want to take into account what your future plans are. If your going after the small order market then a DTG might suit you well, but if you want larger orders from schools, business and leagues I would recommend screen print. As with everything in the apparel market, they both have their place.

WildWestDesigns
09-02-2012, 06:44 PM
You may also want to take into account what your future plans are. If your going after the small order market then a DTG might suit you well, but if you want larger orders from schools, business and leagues I would recommend screen print. As with everything in the apparel market, they both have their place.

I would add in embroidery in those larger orders as well. That's when digitizing costs can spread out over the entire order. Back of jackets that schools sometimes get run into a couple of hundred dollars just for digitizing alone (yes digitizing does get that high even in today's times).

advadv
01-22-2013, 05:08 PM
I was in the same situation. Have the same Roland 540, doing lots of business with lots of customers. Offering DTG seemed like a natural. Same art, same work flow. All of my customers were excited about being able to buy shirts from us. We made the significant investments into an Anajet mPower5. Now, almost 60 days into this machine, we have yet to print a salable shirt, have spent countless hours on the phone with tech support, and are in the process of replacing the machine one part at a time. I still like the business model, just be careful of which company you decide to trust for your investment.

tradeup
01-23-2013, 01:21 AM
If you are not going to be printing several shirts a day -Stay away- The maintenance sucks and they clog fast.

If you are absolutely ready to get into it but unsure. Buy used and test the waters. That way you can resell and not lose as much money.

RTR services dot com sells bank repo and off lease units. They have a T-jet with bulk ink for 2000.00 and I deal with them all of the time. They accept offers. Probably get it for 1200.00 I bought 2 for 1250 ea. DTG HM1C they have several locations I go to the O'Fallon mo branch. If its listed more than a month they are more willing to deal. And they will pallet for shipping.

Mine I bought figured out it wasn't best for my needs and sold on ebay and made money one did 1700.00 one did 2000.00 and I got a 16x20 heat press Geo knight for free.

advadv
01-23-2013, 04:33 PM
Yeah... we clearly made a mistake with this Anajet printer. They blew me off again today, printer still down. In a bad situation where we can't (won't) sell a printer that is not working properly. I could print several shirts a day if we could get the printer working, but 60 days into it, we cannot reliable print anything. We have 200 shirt blanks on the shelve ready to print and give away to our clients to market the service. Still excited about the business model, just went with the wrong company and now cannot find a way out.

Thundergirl
05-20-2013, 11:07 PM
I have an Anajet MP10 printer for sale. It retails for $38,000 but we are asking $25,000 OBO. It has printed well sometimes, other times we're on the phone with tech replacing parts or trouble shooting. We were sold a ready to go workhorse that turned out to be a high maintenance, finicky piece of equipment we no longer have the patience for. By maintenance I mean regular daily maintenance (not a big deal) AND regularly replacing parts or trying new parts they have improved (not what we signed up for). It is a machine that is a work in progress. Tech is helpful, and very nice, but it is not the great solution to garment printing we were sold. Expect to give it a lot of time and attention to get any kind of results. The shirts we printed have held up reasonably well, I have washed and dried the ones we made for our own use and they are still fine. If you have researched it, and still believe DTG printing is for you, this machine is a great savings over new. Ours is able to be demonstrated if you wanted to come to our facility in Joplin, MO. Call Jeff at 417-782-7291 if interested!

binki
06-02-2013, 10:39 AM
We have a couple hundred shirts to do on DTG this week. I don't look forward to it, it is just too slow. But, we do make money with it. I will be starting this afternoon pretreating 100 shirts on both sides and then start running them. Pretty much a dedicated job so I won't be able to do anything else during that time.

mark galoob
06-03-2013, 08:14 AM
Yeah, it's always interesting to me to see these samples printed dtg and they don't put older samples up or don't compare to other screen printed samples w same art same age of print. I guarantee screen print will win hands own every time. Is dtg a great idea...of course it is the business model is there. Problem is the tech is not. We had a brother for 3 yrs. used it every week and very few problems w it. Yes they are heavy duty and worked every time I turned it on to use it. The prints were the prob. They were fine after a few washes but after awhile they would fade. I finally sold machine after I became embarresed seeing my customers older shirts we did for them. Broke even on whole setup thank goodness. One of these days tech will catch up but it's not today

Mark galoob