Whether you’re creating personalised designs on cotton, sports motifs on polyester or even corporate logos on leather, there is a DTG printer (and ancillary equipment) that is capable of producing profitable full-colour prints with minimum fuss in a matter of minutes. We review the latest developments in this fast-paced sector of the garment and textile decoration market
Vastex International has introduced the “world’s smallest conveyor dryer”, the LittleRed X1D, which is suitable for use with prints output from Anajet, Brother, Epson, Polyprint and other DuPont-based DTG printing systems, depending on model size and image saturation.
The new compact dryer measures 46 x 122cm, (the dimensions of its conveyor belt), and is said to be the first dryer with a heater that spans the entire belt width.
Vastex says the dryer can cure up to 27 garments DTG-printed with digital white ink per hour, as well as screen-printed garments at rates up to 81 pieces per hour for water-based ink or discharge, and 162 per hour for plastisols. Mark Vasilantone, president of Vastex, comments: “This is an extremely dense machine engineered to meet the space, budget and performance needs of DTG shops using the most popular inkjets on the market.” The dryer is also typically employed to dry the pretreatment, relegating the heat press to flattening of raised fibres prior to printing with a one-second ‘touch’ per garment, he adds.
BT-12 DTG Printer
New for 2019, the BT-12 direct-to-garment printer from Roland DG offers a compact and user-friendly DTG option that will print directly onto cotton up to the size of an A4 print.
Roland says the BT-12 is a perfect entry-level printer as it can be operated in a small space and doesn’t demand a high level of expertise from the user. “It’s so user-friendly, it’s possible to start customising T-shirts or tote bags within an hour of installation.”
Kai Perry, Roland’s application engineer, adds: “It’s fast, it’s really easy to use and the print quality is unbelievable. You don’t even need RIP software; the interface is the same as an oce printer. If you buy it, you won’t be able to stop playing with it!” Every BT-12 unit is also sold with an Original Warranty, which covers the user against the most common faults and technical issues.
Resolute DTG: Ricoh Ri 1000 & Viper Maxx
Resolute DTG describes its ‘green button’ DTG printing systems as a collection of products working in harmony to help reduce labour costs, while improving throughput. These products include the new Ricoh Ri 1000, which counts the ability to perform a high proportion of its own maintenance with little intervention required from its operator amongst its key selling points. “We have also taken the smoke and mirrors away from the pre-treatment process by introducing the only pre-treatment machine capable of spraying a user-defined area,” says Resolute.
The Viper Maxx pre-treatment machine works like a three-axis printer, using a spray nozzle instead of a print head, so it can place the solution in a “very accurate area with no waste or overspray”. It can also perform automatic maintenance to avoid the nozzle drying up, to help reduce the operator time required with other systems. “The quality of its pre-treatment on garments, including hoodies, is the best we have seen to date,” adds Resolute, “but the icing on the cake is its barcode scanning, which allows integration into workflow systems”.
Aeoon Technologies: Kyo Link Series
Launched at Itma 2019, the new Kyo Link Series has been developed for decorators wanting to invest in automated processes for a more efficient workflow. “The Kyo Link connects complex front-end interfaces with even more challenging back-end processes to offer a seamless connectivity to decorators and customers,” notes Aeoon Technologies. With a fast-moving society and the trend going to same-day-deliveries, the textile industry needs digital DTG printers that have an efficient device communication, which allows for smooth and fast human-machine interaction, adds the company.
The Kyo Link Series is said to print on a variety of different materials, such as cotton and polyester, and is designed to give decorators a simplified workflow process and visualisation options for each print queue, via a beamer system for high-precision positioning.
Avalanche Poly Pro
Kornit Digital’s latest direct-to-garment-system, the Avalanche Poly Pro, has been specifically developed for printing on polyester.
The system is based on a new ink set, including a new polyester enhancer, which is designed to enable garments to be cured at a significantly lower temperature than with the company’s standard ink sets. “That way,’ says the company, “dye migration becomes a thing of the past”.
Kornit says the new Avalanche offers great print quality on polyester garments, promising users “crisp prints with an opaque and contoured white, as well as photorealistic images”. The company adds that its Poly Pro technology is the first clean, digital, industrial way to print on polyester, and to avoid the typical shortfalls of common processes. “It produces short runs economically, it works on both dark and white polyester and it avoids manual, labour-intensive process steps.”
YES: G4, M and QM-Series
DTG Europe says its latest G4 direct-to-garment printer is incredibly fast, able to print full-colour, vibrant designs onto a white garment in only 28 seconds. “The G4 DTG was developed to be the most affordable DTG printer in its market segment, combining high speed, superb quality and ease of use all in one compact single-platen machine. “It’s the perfect machine for start-ups, or small businesses looking to expand, allowing you to maximise your production and profit potential with incredibly low cost per print, whilst saving you time, money and increasing your capacity to print more, faster and for much less,” says the company.
The G4 has up to 1,200dpi colour print resolution and four high speed Ricoh piezo print heads that promise “ultra-sharp results”. It also features automated ink cleaning to maintain optimal performance, as well as a magnetic quick-change platen designed to speed up production. “Whether a novice or experienced user, you’ll have the machine set up and ready in minutes,” adds DTG Europe, pointing to the G4’s intuitive large 7” colour touchscreen display.
The high-speed, 10/100 base-T Ethernet and USB file transfer capabilities are designed to ensure that transferring designs is fast and straightforward. DTG Europe’s new generation of multi-bed, industrial printers – the M2, M6 and QM-series – are designed for medium- to large-scale production. Each machine features flexible platen arrangements, large ink reserves and a WIMS (white ink management system), which is said to help prevent head clogging, reduce maintenance downtime considerably and make it easier than ever to upscale your production. The DTG QM-8, for example, can produce 1,700+ prints on white T-shirts in only eight hours, adds the company.