The apparel decorating industry has always been dynamic, especially in today's world of personalized styles, which are becoming more and more diverse. At the same time, e-commerce is booming, and on-demand apparel printing is breaking new ground. DTF printing has become one of the most versatile technologies in the apparel printing industry, with incredible color vibrancy and ultimate versatility in fabric application. Choosing the right DTF printer can get the printing business you've invested in or running a garment printing store off to a great start and is an important factor in driving the success of your printing business. In this article we will discuss how to choose the right DTF printer for your printing business.
DTF printing, also known as direct-to-film printing, is a heat transfer process. Its operation process is very simple and easy for novices to follow. All you need to do is to print the design on the DTF transfer film through a DTF printer, sprinkle DTF polyamide powder on it, and then heat dry it to get a "heat transfer sticker". You can transfer this "sticker" to your clothes immediately, or save it for later printing. This is a great way for manufacturers to reduce inventory costs.
The DTF printing process has been on the rise since its inception. It can perfectly reproduce the color of the pattern on all kinds of color substrates and is suitable for printing on all kinds of fabrics. Cotton, polyester, canvas, denim, knitted fabrics ...... can all use DTF printing. Compared with traditional printing processes, DTF printing has obvious production advantages: easy operation, short preparation cycle, fast production speed, high efficiency, and reliable output quality. Whether you need mass production in peak season or personalization in the off-season, DTF printers can handle it with ease.
Before investing in a DTF printer, you need to consider the following 5 aspects:
- Market and business needs
- Compare popular printer models and performance
- Necessary consumables and software
- Compare prices and services available from suppliers
- Other equipment that may be required
Analyze the market demand and consider the type of prints and materials you will be producing.
Before you start your business, you first need to analyze the market situation in your area, understand the needs of the users, and then estimate the needs of the business you are going to start. For example, if you want to start a customized clothing business, then you need to take into account the fabrics and materials that you might be dealing with for your clothing. Different materials such as cotton, polyester, canvas, denim, and leather ...... have different properties that will affect the quality and durability of the prints. Consider the type of prints you want to produce, analyze their market share, and thus anticipate your production scale, in the next step narrow down your choices by knowing the capacity and features of the printer.
Compare printer specifications, configurations, rates, resolutions, etc.
Choosing the right DTF printer for your business involves comparing the features and performance of different printer models to match your printing needs.
The first is the model, and here you can differentiate them by print size.
Self-employed small businesses that may be relatively limited in terms of space and cost can opt for DTF printers with 330mm and 450mm print widths. They have enough capacity for most of the personalization businesses such as custom t-shirts, hoodies, hats, canvas bags, and so on.
Small and medium-sized enterprises with certain production scales can consider 600mm printing width DTF printers for quick response and timely delivery when handling bulk orders.
For professional garment printers with large-scale production, we recommend industrial-grade DTF printers with 1200mm printing width, which helps efficient mass production and ensures reliable quality.
Next is performance. Understanding the configuration of some important components is the key to considering the performance of the printer.
The print head is one of the important parts of the DTF printer. The type and number of printheads determine the printing resolution and speed of the machine. Currently, printers in the market commonly use EPSON print heads, because of their good performance and stability, which can meet the production needs of DTF printing with high resolution, durability, and fast printing.
The mainboard is another important component. The printer's mainboard is responsible for coordinating the operation of hardware and software, which receives instructions from the computer to control the printer's functions. Currently recommended is the Hoson Main Board, which is relatively more functional in terms of data transmission, image processing, compatibility, and so on.
The third is to consider the scalability and upgradability of the printer to adapt to future business development and changing needs. Some printers may have upgrade options to add features or improve performance. For example, if you plan to handle more specialized color images in your future business, the need for a DTF printer with multi-color output should also be included in your consideration. Printers that add fluorescent, light, or spot-color output can render a wider range of color gamut for highly saturated, subtle colors and smooth gradient color designs.
Consider also the RIP software, DTF film, DTF ink, and DTF powder that can be matched to the machine.
RIP software is responsible for converting digital image files into a format that the printer can recognize. It also manages the color information in the digital image, controls the printing process, and manages the ink supply system. Currently, DTF printers have certain requirements for software configuration, the connected computer system should meet Win7 or above and need a Gigabit network, which can be adapted to Maintop version 6.1 or above or Photoprint version 19 or above RIP software. The specific installation and operation procedures of this software, when you buy the corresponding DTF printer, you can ask the sales staff for the relevant operation manual.
To accomplish high-quality printing or to realize efficient and high-quality production, it is also crucial to choose high-quality DTF consumables. On the one hand, the use of quality consumables is a kind of protection for the printer, which is more conducive to the success of printing and guarantees stable printing quality; on the other hand, it can also avoid the waste of materials and control the production cost.
Choose reliable products and brands.
There is currently no fixed price range for DTF printers in the market and different brands have different pricing strategies. You need to be reminded that comparing prices should also take into account the quality of the product and the warranty that comes with it. If the price of a particular device is significantly much lower than other products of the same model in the market, the quality of the parts or materials used in the product may be lower. This may lead to malfunctions that will end up costing you more in the long run. Therefore, you should try to choose a well-known brand and communicate fully with the supplier to find out whether it can provide perfect technical support and after-sales service.
Match with your printer.
There is no doubt that DTF printing requires more than just a DTF printer from pattern design to product completion, so you also need to consider whether other equipment is compatible with your DTF printer and whether they are compatible in terms of production capacity. For example, if you choose a 600mm wide DTF printer because you need to process bulk orders, but if just having a manual press may not allow you to deliver quickly, then additional equipment extensions need to be considered.
In conclusion, it is essential to consider as many factors as possible before starting a new business. If you need further help, we'd be happy to advise you on choosing the best DTF printer for your business. Just contact us to get started!