Tag Archives: dtg rip software

How to Print on Wood Using DTG (Direct to Garment) Printing

NOTE: This article comes from KatanaDTG.

Printing on wood is fun and easy with most direct to garment printers.  As long as you have the ability to adequately adjust the z-axis height (the relative distance between the print head and the substrate), the process is relatively simple!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Blank wood panels (the ones we used are available from Hobby Lobby and other craft stores)
  • Masking tape or painters tape
  • White gesso or water based primer
  • Paint brush
  • Acrylic finishing spray to protect the printed image

STEP ONE: Wipe down each piece of wood to remove residual sawdust and other debris.

STEP TWO: Mask the outside edges of the wood with tape.

Using a low-tack masking tape, tear off small pieces and work your way around the border of the wood.  This allows you to preserve the outer bark layer, which enhances the final appearance of the printed wood.  If you are using pieces of wood without bark, you can simply tape around the outside edges to prevent runoff from the primer layer or overspray from the printing process.

STEP THREE: Coat the wood in some sort of water based primer or white gesso.

The gesso (or primer) allows the inks to adhere properly to the wood, creating a beautiful print.  You can use any sort of white water based primer, white gesso (a common painting product artists use to coat their canvas prior to painting), or even a clear gesso if you want more of the wood grain to show through.  For this example, we used a Bob Ross brand white gesso, available from Hobby Lobby and other craft supply stores.  Allow the primer coat to fully dry, prior to moving on to the next step.

STEP FOUR: Measure the wood (we’re gonna gloss right over the myriad of joke opportunities) and set the general size of the artwork in the RIP.

Measure the width and height of each piece of wood, prior to attempting to print.  Set the width / height to ensure the printed image will cover the entire piece of wood.  This step can take some practice, as you want to ensure all critical parts of the image are printed within the boundaries of the odd-shaped wood – make sure you select each piece based on its general compatibility with the desired artwork.

STEP FIVE: Print a test image for alignment.

Tape a piece of paper (or paper towel, in our case) to the platen, lower the ink volume significantly to reduce potential bleeding, then print a test print directly on the paper.  Once the image is printed, tape the wood in the desired location, directly on top of the test print – make sure you adjust the z-axis at this point, to accommodate the thickness of the wood (once again, glossing right past that).

STEP SIX: Print your image!

SOME NOTES FOR ADJUSTING YOUR PRINT SETTINGS: We used Kothari RIP on a Katana PRO printer, so we made a series of specific adjustments to get the best results on each piece of wood:

  • Printed in high resolution, 1440 x 1440 mode

  • Changed to uni-directional printing rather than bi-directional, allowing for more flexibility on the print head height

  • Lowered the color volume to 35% to prevent bleeding

  • Added a 300 ms delay between each scan line pass, allowing more time for ink to dry

Once your image has been printed, you can remove the masking tape from around the edges of the wood – your incredible wood print is nearly done, at this point!

FINAL STEP: Apply a clear acrylic top coat to protect the printed image.

You can use almost any type of clear acrylic spray coat for this step – the point is to seal in the image, since we don’t actually heat set the ink at any point.  You can purchase various types of sealants at any art or craft store, or swing by your local hardware store and purchase a can of clear acrylic spray.

HAPPY PRINTING!
BE CREATIVE!

DTGPS Color Chart – Adobe RGB Color Profile

Use this awesome color chart to determine your full range of RGB printing range with your respective direct to garment printer.  Keep in mind, this image is profiled using the “Adobe RGB (1998)” color profile in Photoshop – if you wish to reproduce these colors in your artwork, please ensure you have converted your working color space to match the same profile.

NOTE: Within your RIP settings, you need to ensure you are actually taking the input profile into consideration.  If you have set your color management to discard embedded profiles, you will not be able to achieve the full range of colors.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE COLOR CHART

Introducing new LOWER pricing for Kothari RIP!

We are excited to announce new LOWER pricing for all version of Kothari RIP for DTG!  Starting immediately, the base price for the Epson r3000 / p600 version has been reduced from $1,295 to $995!

All other driver prices have been adjusted accordingly – this means that the cost for the Epson F2000 version has gone from $1,395 to the new price of $1,195.

For information on purchasing your copy of Kothari RIP, click here!

Kothari RIP is by far the top RIP in the Direct to Garment printing industry, revolutionizing the print quality and efficiency across a broad range of printer platforms and brands.  Most people don’t realize how critical the RIP is to the overall output quality limitations you will face when printing on garments…  Make no mistake about it – the RIP is the brains of the whole operation, and a great RIP can easily turn an old, outdated DTG printer into a top quality printing beast!

You don’t have to take our word for it – ask around and go see what real users are doing in the field, and find out how Kothari has changed their printing business in a big way.  Visit the Kothari Users Facebook page today, to interact with real users from around the world.

Things NOT to Do As a Brand New DTG user!

Direct to Garment printing can be exciting and rewarding, but from time to time we tend to get a little ahead of ourselves when it comes to diving in, head first.  While the process of DTG is nowhere near as complicated and fickle as it was only a few short years ago, it is still absolutely important to understand the critical learning curve you will experience as a new user in the field.

In order to ensure the greatest chances of overall success, and to avoid stumbling right out of the gate, we encourage you to consider these following bits of advice if you are currently expecting (or have recently received) your new DTG printing hardware.

STUFF NEW USERS SHOULD GENERALLY AVOID

  1. Booking jobs before your equipment arrives – You must understand there will be a (sometimes) long and difficult learning curve to overcome when you first start out with Direct to Garment printing.  If your machine has not even arrived yet and you are already under the gun to deliver orders to waiting clients, the stress of setup and initial training will become practically overwhelming.  We fully understand the excitement of new print processes coming into your shop, but working your way through the learning curve is going to be far more palatable if you don’t have clients breathing down your neck in the process.
  2. Refilling your own ink bags or cartridges – Refilling your own bags or cartridges can be a truly cost-saving measure, which may yield substantial savings on ink in the long run.  However, the process is fickle and requires careful control of a number of variables – at this early stage in the game, your time is better spent learning the fundamentals of your hardware as it was meant to be run, and understanding the complexity of the RIP and pretreatment processes.  In an effort to save a few bucks on your first few ink refills, you may inadvertently introduce air bubbles or contaminants into the lines which could potentially compromise the entire system.  Additionally, the manual process can be time consuming and messy, quickly negating any short-term effects.  In the beginning, stick to using the bags and cartridges filled by professionals, and work your way toward a more complex process.  You’ll thank us, later.
  3. Attempting to print complex garments – Some folks receive their DTG equipment and immediately attempt to print on long sleeves, sweatpants, blended materials and all manner of complicated garments.  Without establishing a base line standard, it is nearly impossible to gauge the true performance and quality of your machine while introducing so many different variables at such an early stage of the game.  In the beginning, stick with  high quality ringspun cotton garments with a proven track record, and work your way out from there.  In some cases, new users will spend countless hours, days and weeks trying to figure out why they can’t get a decent print, only to finally discover that the blended material they are trying to use is not properly accepting the ink or the sweatpant legs are too complicated to keep level….  Once you have a solid understanding of the basics, then you can flex your true creativity by printing on complicated garment styles and locations.
  4. Altering default printing environments without proper understanding – Understanding how your manufacturer intended the hardware to interact with their respective RIP choice is critical – too often, users jump to the conclusion that they  must be using the wrong print settings without ever exploring other variables (such as their PT process, selected garment type, etc).  This can cause new users to dive into the RIP with the intention of “making it work”, but they often create a ripple-effect of consequences which prevent them from getting back to the intended quality point.  The first step is always to ensure the basic fundamentals are in place for high quality DTG printing, then as you begin to understand the various levels of RIP control you can dive in a little deeper and truly go wild!
  5. … We will add more as they come to mind.

Being an overzealous new user can seem exciting for a moment, but may cause you to stumble on some of the most basic of fundamentals – and make no mistake about it, Direct to Garment printing is all about the fundamentals!

Of course, this is merely a simplified list and there are many more things to avoid, as a new user in the field of Direct to Garment printing.  Feel free to offer any suggestions and tips in the comments below, and we will be sure to add some of the best ones to our list!

NOTE: You must be logged in to DTG Print Solutions in order to leave a comment.

How to optimize images for DTG printing – Basic Levels and Saturation Adjust

This video shows the basic steps to optimize most standard images for Direct to Garment printing. Prior to printing any image, you should check to ensure that the color values are rich and saturated, or that they match the expected output you are looking to achieve in the final print.

You do not need to be a Photoshop expert to get the most out of your artwork!  The general guidelines set forth in this video are easy to wrap your head around, and involve minimal steps….  However, the results you can achieve are absolutely noticeable and profound.

The process of fine tuning artwork is not an exact science, but you can certainly get the best possible print quality out of any image by following these basic guidelines.  Keep in mind this process is relevant regardless of which printer hardware you are using, what RIP you are running or which ink set you prefer!  ALL DTG setups can benefit from this basic knowledge.

Increasing White Underbase Under Black Ink – Kothari RIP with Epson F2000 DTG Printer

Traditionally speaking, printing white ink under black ink has been relatively undesirable.  In traditional screen printing, black ink is rarely given an underbase when printing on most garments.  Likewise, omitting the white ink underbase from the black ink in your Direct to Garment (DTG) print can yield a far more dynamic print, with greater depth and character.

However, the inherent ink chemistry of some DTG ink sets is relatively restrictive, in the sense that the CMYK inks do not adhere well directly to the pretreat – in these cases, it becomes necessary to add a small amount of white ink under any CMYK print (including black ink prints) to ensure optimal wash fastness.  The most notable case of this has been with the inks associated with the Epson F2000 DTG printer.

Some users have expressed an interest in learning how to increase the amount of white ink underbase generated beneath black ink, when printing with their Epson F2000 DTG Printer using the Kothari Print Pro RIP.  This simple graphic shows how simple this really is!

Minimum-White-Under-Dark-Media-in-F2000

For those unfamiliar with manipulating white ink TRC curves, we will add instructions in the coming days to access this feature.

Kothari RIP Now Available for the Epson f2000 from DTG Print Solutions!

Kothari RIP for DTG printing has long been one of the most well respected and awarded RIP software on the market – thousands of end users have made the switch after seeing what a huge difference the proper RIP software has on the final output quality.  Kothari RIP has been at the top of every major print competition, across a broad range of DTG printers – the results speak for themselves, and we invite anyone to try comparing Kothari with any other RIP to see the difference, first hand.

After much anticipation, DTG Print Solutions is now officially able to offer the powerful Kothari RIP for the Epson f2000 DTG printer!  However, that isn’t the only platform we support – check out this partial list of printer models which can all benefit from the Kothari RIP:

  • Epson r1800/r1900
  • Epson r2000/r2200
  • Epson r3000
  • Epson p600
  • Epson PRO 4800/4880
  • Epson PRO 7800/7880
  • Epson f2000 !!!
  • DTG M2
  • … and MANY MORE!

Contact us today to find out how we can help step up your DTG game with this powerful piece of software!

request_info

Belquette Mod1 DTG Printer – User Reviews

The Mod1 is Belquette’s second foray into the DTG market, following the PRO series Flexi-Jet.  Based on a modified Epson r1800/r1900 print engine, this A3 style printer is quick, boasting a range of high tech features and an innovative appearance and construction.  The ability to independently control either of the z-axis motors for maximum control is a huge plus, but some might find the auto laser level to be somewhat restrictive.

The Mod1 boasts a modular design for quick and easy print module swaps, as well as a bagged ink system for bulk convenience.

Print Size: 13″ x 19″(x 6″ Z-axis height)

Rate your DTG printer! The New Consumer Reports for the DTG Industry…

Have  you been involved in DTG printing for some length of time, and want to provide your feedback for a specific DTG printer model?  We have now introduced the new Product Reviews function for DTG Print Solutions, allowing for full length, in-depth equipment reviews as well as associated follow-up rankings by the general community!

Once a review has been placed, any logged-in user can add a Comment (complete with their unique rankings for each of the provided categories) and the total product review will reflect the subsequent ratings calculation.  By adding your rating, you are contributing to a global community of DTG users with the intention of providing valuable insight and information for any potential buyers.

ratings-screencap-640w

Whether your particular experience was good or bad, your feedback can help other users make a more informed decision in this process.  Be honest about your experiences and include any comments which could provide potentially useful information for someone contemplating the purchase of a particular piece of equipment.

Don’t see your particular printer listed?  Consider being the first to review your DTG printer (or equipment accessory) by contacting us at info@dtgprintsolutions.com – we would love to receive additional feedback from the general community, regarding DTG printers we have not been able to personally review!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRODUCT REVIEWS

OR APPLY TO SUBMIT A BRAND NEW PRODUCT REVIEW

Buy and Sell DTG Printers and Accessories in the NEW Community Marketplace!

We are working hard to improve DTG Print Solutions, with the intentions of providing the best tips, tricks and resources for the DTG printing industry.  With this in mind, we have created an area on our website called the Community Marketplace, which we hope to build into the premier marketplace for used (and possibly new) DTG printers, pretreat machines, supplies and lots more!

buy-or-sellHOW DOES IT WORK?

Anyone with a used DTG printer, accessory or assorted supplies can post ads in the Community Marketplace.  The system works similar to the popular Craigslist platform in terms of self-moderation and management; you create your own ads, upload photos and a detailed description of what you are selling, then post the ad – buyers contact you directly (you can mask your e-mail address when posting) and all transactions are handled privately.

SELL YOUR DTG PRINTER!

Guidelines for Posting Ads:

  1. Neoflex Printer in ActionBe Honest and Transparent – Don’t Skimp on the Descriptions: Make sure you describe what your are selling honestly and accurately.  Describe the condition of the equipment, and don’t leave out any flaws or broken parts.  Buyers of used DTG printers often understand what they are looking for, and any information they can get about what might need replacing will not only allow them to make an informed buying decision that is compatible with their specific business model, but also help ensure a more successful and enjoyable experience for both parties.  Any ads with false or misleading information will be removed.
  2. Be Tidy: Please be sure you delete your ad once your equipment is sold.  This will prevent a bunch of follow up leads trying to contact you after your printer has been sold, and it will allow potential buyers to focus on the most current and relevant listings.
  3. Use High Quality Photos: Small, grainy photos don’t show anything and do little to help enable a more informed decision for the buyer.  Make sure all photos are of decent size and quality, and try to highlight the important aspects of whatever you are selling.  Photos sell products, so please take this step seriously.
  4. Offer Your Buyers a Great Deal: We all know the used  DTG printer market is tough – these products tend to lose value quickly in this industry and it breaks our heart to take a major loss after (often) such a short period of time.  However, make sure you are pricing your equipment realistically, understanding that the main reason most people buy used is to save money.  Offer your potential buyers a great bargain and your listing won’t last long – the better the bargain, the faster your stuff will sell!  Also don’t forget to describe any additional supplies, equipment or replacement parts you are including in your listing (if any).

BUY A DTG PRINTER!

For buyers, this will create a concentrated supply of options to make the buying process easier, while hopefully providing for the best possible deals and the fastest way to compare printers and accessories!  Keep the following points in mind, when considering used equipment:

  1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!  DTG printing is not easy, whether you buy new or used.  Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into and find out everything you can about your potential purchase.  Ask about any parts that might need replacing and ask why the user is selling their equipment (don’t necessarily take it at face value when they say “they machine is great, I just don’t have the clients to support it”).  Go online and research any brand or model prior to making a decision, and whenever possible, try to see the machine printing in person, before you make any commitments!  This is a major decision, so take your time and be smart about the process.  Caveat Emptor (“buyer beware”).
  2. Try to See the Equipment in Action, Prior to Purchasing: Although this was mentioned above, it merits repeating.  Nothing will tell you more than actually watching a machine print, while evaluating the actual print speeds, ink costs, output quality, etc (preferably with artwork of your own choosing).  If there are any major issues, or if it takes a long time to finally get a decent print, you can understand these before you actually take the printer home.  Many people tend to remove the ink from their machines, once they decide they don’t want to do DTG printing anymore – it isn’t always feasible to ask them to re-ink their machine, but someone who wants to make the sale and who is supremely confident with the condition of the printer should be able to accommodate such a request…  After all, this is usually not a small purchase.
  3. Any Deals Made are Strictly Between the Buyer and the Seller: DTG Print Solutions is not involved in any way with any specific transaction, and we do not warrant or guarantee anything that is bought or sold through the Community Marketplace!  Just like Craigslist, we provide an open marketplace for users to buy and sell, and it is up to you to do so responsibly.  Unlike Craigslist, we provide a highly targeted stream of traffic and a very refined type of products and equipment, tailored specifically to this industry!

 

CAN I POST AN AD FOR FREE?

Absolutely!  The basic ad model is always free, which includes one photo and a short (200 characters) description of what you are selling.  However, we also offer additional ad models which allow for more photos and considerably longer descriptions, which would effectively improve your response ratio to any given ad.  Photos sell products!  Take a look at our various listing options, below:

marketplace-ad-prices

NOTE: In lieu of paying directly for your ad listings (for premium style ads), you can also purchase Credit Packs which can then be used to pay for your ads.  Credits remain on your account until you decide to use them, and packs are available for bulk sellers for as low as .50 per credit!  This means your cost for each listing would be half of what you see in the image above!  Click here to learn view Credit Pack options.

 

DOES IT HAVE TO BE USED EQUIPMENT?

No!  You can post ads for new equipment and supplies as well.

 

CAN MANUFACTURERS AND SUPPLIERS POST ADS?

Sure!  In fact, we encourage it.  However, unless you provide some sort of special offer, package deal or discount to incentive potential buyers to purchase new (rather than used), you might find it difficult to compete against the great deals on used equipment.

 

HOW DO PEOPLE FIND THE COMMUNITY MARKETPLACE ADS?

We have dedicated an entire portion of the website to the Community Marketplace, which visitors to our website can access by clicking the new link at the top of any page:

menu-bar-link

Additionally, we have integrated widgets into various portions of the website, which will constantly showing random and Featured ads while users are browsing the DTG Print Solutions website – viewers can even search listings with our powerful search interface, from any page on the site!

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Our website is a niche specialty site, focusing on a very specific portion of the market – our readers are exactly the people you are looking for to sell your used DTG printer to!  With over 20,000 page views in the last 30 days, we continue to grow our traffic to give you the greatest possibly exposure.  Remember, our viewers are highly targeted to this niche, so with your participation we can build the Community Marketplace to a thriving equipment listing in a short period of time.

 

bonus-free-creditsFor a limited time only, we are offering a FREE 30-Day “Enhanced” Listing credit to anyone with a new or used DTG printer to sell!  To receive your free credit, simply send an e-mail to info@dtgprintsolutions.com with your website account name and we will apply your credit within 24 hours!

Please make sure you have created an account on DTG Print Solutions (see link, below) and include your account name in the e-mail so we know where to apply your free credits!  Remember this offer is only for a limited time, so take advantage today and let us help you sell your printer!

Not currently a member of DTG Print Solutions?  Sign up today, for FREE!

 

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