Roland DG Corporation has unveiled a new direct-to-film (DTF) desktop printer aimed at small and medium-sized garment decorators.

Part of Roland’s VersaStudio series, the new BN-20D DTF is positioned as an “affordable” inkjet printer of film for transferring CMYK colours plus white onto fabric for vibrant graphics with fine details, photographic reproduction and high-quality contrast.

After printing designs onto a special film, powder is applied and it is then thermally melted, eliminating the need for labour-intensive heat transfer methods such as cutting the outline of illustrations, removing waste from unnecessary areas and retouching.

The BN-20D is equipped with the same high-definition print head used in Roland DG’s large-format inkjet printers for high-quality colour output.

The machine can transfer onto both light and dark fabrics including polyester, cotton polyester, denim, nylon, rayon and others as well as cotton.

An automated cutting function also makes it possible for the BN-20D to produce logo and other graphic designs using glitter and metallic colour vinyl, which is difficult with standard inkjet printing.

The ink is compliant with Oeko-Tex, an international standard that guarantees the safety of garment decoration, making it safe for use on clothing for children and pets. Roland DG expects this accreditation to be confirmed in February.

The printer chassis is based on the popular BN-20 series, which has sold more than 20,000 units, ensuring high reliability and stable output. It comes with a comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty and optional maintenance contract.

It also comes with VersaWorks 6 professional RIP software with comprehensive Roland Color System and Pantone colour libraries for high-quality printing with easy-to-use, intuitive controls.

Tony Miller, president of Roland DG’s global sales and marketing division, said: “DTF transfer is a new solution that has only been around a few years but has the potential to revolutionise the apparel business.

“We believe that improvements in printers, powders and films will continue to rapidly advance as customer needs increase.

“By introducing this DTF transfer solution under the VersaStudio brand, we hope that more and more customers will realise new creative and profitable business opportunities with ease.”

The VersaStudio BN-20D has been launched globally but no plans have been announced for making it available in the UK or the rest of Europe.