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From past 2-3 Months I'm planning to build a DTG for myself.
All of a sudden I'm seeing the DTF going viral maybe because of the lower investment cost. I feel the DTF would be much easier for printing on multiple apparels without a need of changing platens. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

I am confused whether to go for DTG or DTF

Please help me with some of the many questions I have in this topic:

1. Cost per print of DTG and DTF?
2. Maintenance cost of both?
3. Which gives the better print quality?

 

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1 hour ago, Chetan B said:

From past 2-3 Months I'm planning to build a DTG for myself.
All of a sudden I'm seeing the DTF going viral maybe because of the lower investment cost. I feel the DTF would be much easier for printing on multiple apparels without a need of changing platens. Do correct me if I'm wrong.

I am confused whether to go for DTG or DTF

Please help me with some of the many questions I have in this topic:

1. Cost per print of DTG and DTF?
2. Maintenance cost of both?
3. Which gives the better print quality?

 

1. about the same, DTF uses much less ink( about 1/3rd for me, plus the ink is almost half the cost of DTG ink at the moment)  no pre-treatment. But to offset that, your spending money now on film and powder. depending on your print size and film cost, DTF may be a bit more expensive. Time wise, they take about the same amount of time. 

2. about the same, you really only shake the cartridges, print with it, and clean the capping station/print-head with a foam swab either way.

3. DTG offers next to no hand feel, DTF can be thin or thick, soft or plastic-y depending on how you press it. 

 

The end result is kind of like a plastisol transfer. It's definitely a heavier hand. I know my customers have come to expect a certain quality from me using Screen-printing and DTG. If I switched to DTF, I'd get a ton of complaints. People try to get away from the thick, heavy, prone to peeling aspect of things. I continuously get contacted about how awesome it is that I don't use vinyl, and have actually gotten quite a bit of business from word of mouth over it. I'm not saying DTF peels, I'm simply saying at the end user level, it's obviously a " heat pressed" print, and people generally associate that with the price point and overall quality. 

Do the transfer right, lightly powdered, and proper ink levels and it can come out very soft and smooth as well. The larger the print, the more noticeable it will be though. I have managed to do a few that are hardly discernible from each other compared to DTG.

Imagine it like this: For DTG you have a print that soaks into the fabric for the most part, but the ink layer is super thin, flexible. The pre-treatment washes away afterwards.

Screenprinting, you push the ink into the fabric, and leave a small deposit on top, again a very thin layer of flexible ink, but depending on how you do it, can be extremely thick or thin as well, it's up to you. I make mine as thin as possible, and it comes out very well. 

DTF is using the same aspect, if it were only ink, like the above two methods, it would be as equally as soft. However, your basically adding plastic to the wet ink in a layer on the back. Then that plastic is pressed into the shirt as an adhesive. So now, instead of the ink adhering itself like the other two methods, it now has a layer of plastic under it.

At the moment, there is no way around this plastic, and you can feel it. how to manage to apply that, makes a huge difference. 

 

In short, Screen printing is the cheapest, DTG is the most versatile, DTF is the easiest. The quality of each reflect that. Some people will love it, some people will hate it, some people will sink thousands into it and decide to use something else just like everything else new that pops up in this market. In the last almost 5 years, I have seen at least 4 new " WOW"  products come along and disappear. 

 

If you are looking for a reputable way to start a business and want to maintain a quality product, you will not solely use DTF transfers. It's great for an addition to DTG/Screen-printing. You can absolutely use it for that purpose though, that is up to you. But to compare them in this aspect, based on how easy it is to maintain, and the cost, isn't the only thing you need to think about.

The BEST way for anyone to decide if they should use which method, Get samples of DTG, samples of DTF, Samples of Screenprinted materials. Compare them all, ask your friends blindly which they like, and which they would pay money for before putting potentially thousands of dollars into something that might end up as a bust in your eyes. At the end of the day, only you are responsible for what you spend your money on. 

Edited by johnson4
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7 hours ago, Chetan B said:

One more doubt.

Is it possible to try DTF using DTG ink?

 

Thanks

You can try, absolutely. But the pretreatment on the DTF sheets don’t work with DTG inks. 

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Let me shed some light, I sell DTG and DTF printers

MOST IMPORTANT, and I'll discuss this later:  POLYESTER cannot be done on DTG effectively, with DTF, yes!

1.  Cost per print / I have strong knowledge of Brother and Kornit.  Kornit printers use approx 65 cents to $1.25 depending on the model of printer; ALL other printers, Brother, Epson, et al, their cost per print is anywhere 2-5x more in ink and pretreatment
DTF, the cost per square meter (approx 12 shirt fronts) is LESS THAN $3 - or approx 33 cents per shirt!!!
2.  Maintenance:  all use water based inks, so you have to clean more than maintain - look for a printer with RECIRCULATING white 
3.  Print quality - DTF without a doubt because you are printing on a solid media.  DTG prints directly on ot the pretreat of the shirt.
With DTG, the ink never prints ON the shirt, it prints ON the pretreat - Kornit pretreat is wet, all others are sprayed on, then they need heat sealed

Neither DTG or DTF is like standard plastisol screen printing. DTG has a softer feel than plastisol.  DTF has a standard transfer feel, but the print quality is the best.
DTF does not peel if applied properly.  DTF has its place in the industry.  My wife's business, they run 4 Kornit printers, but for their staff shirts, they applied a DTF transfer.
DTF, as DTG is best for MULTI color designs - where DTF excels is in production.  I can print on the LOW end 15 meters per hour, or 180 shirt transfers.  I have actually printed 20 meters per hour, or 240 shirt transfers.  Kornit's fastest printer can do that, but its over $800,000, Brother can print 40 pieces per hour on their new printer, but you still have prep.

PROCESS
DTG:  heat shirt, pretreat shirt, heat set pretreat, let cool, print design, heat set
DTF:  print film, add powder, heat set, apply to shirt - we have an AUTO machine that does all that for you
What do you need for DTG?  Printer, heat press, pretreat machine or hand sprayer (not consistent)
What do you need for DTF?  Printer and Powder/Heater unit, heat press

UNLESS YOU AREdyeing a garment or screen printing discharge or water based inks, NEVER is ink "pushed into a garment."
ALL process sit on top of the garment - the adherent dictates the feel
Plastisol is petroleum based and it IS the adherent - they add color to plastisol - under 320F it only needs 45 seconds to cure
DTG and DTF are water based inks that SIT ON TOP of the pretreat
- DTG adheres to the cured pretreat - in this option, the pretreat seals the shirt so the ink cannot get lost in the fibers
- DTF uses a film impregnated with PET for release and the powder applied is the adherent - you can vary the powder amount for different levels of feel
The pretreat on a Kornit is wet when the ink is applied, on all other DTG units you have to cure the pretreat before you print on top of it.

Our DTF printer applies the powder evenly - just like you cannot evenly apply pretreat for DTG by hand, you cannot apply powder for DTF by hand.

ENTERING THE MARKET
1.  I would first start by buying transfers from a reputable reseller - plastisol transfers are incredible today, but I have customers selling DTF transfers, again from MULTI color designs.  Build your business, get to understand what your customers want before buying equipment
Best for long runs, as the more you print, the less the print costs you due to set up
2.  Screen printing - messy, dirty and expensive to enter, manuals start at $10,000 and autos start around $55,000+
There are many items you need for this venture:  presses, dryers, wash out stations, screen reclaiming, dark rooms, etc.
Best for shorter runs or multi color designs
3.  DTG - great process, I was in this at its inception, you can enter market for as low as $14,000 for a reputable printer; you will need a way to apply your pretreat, either manually or by a machine.  You cannot be consistent doing it manually.  And, you will need a heat press
4.  DTF - in my opinion, best thing for start ups.  All you need is printer, powder applicator and heat press.  
Our auto system is only $15,000
Best for multi color designs and short or long runs

POLYESTER
DTG cannot print effectively on poly as the pretreat only adheres to cotton / so, if you have a 50/50 t-shirt, the pretreat can only stick to half of the garment
It will wash off
DTF, since you printing on a film, the powder applied will adhere to 100% poly and this is great for performance gear

Rick
 

 

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I feel this post is a giant advertisement for yourself, and I disagree with most of your statements. 

I have screen printed for 6+ years, used DTG for around 3 years and DTF for about 6 months. Your figures are incorrect and an opinion of yourself. For the most part,  I have experience that several things you have said are NOT TRUE. 
 

all you are doing is trying to convince others of your “marketing” convictions to try and sway opinions by throwing in a few well known facts, mixed with lies. 

anyone reading this post, again this is one persons opinion(who mind you is looking for financial benefits). I highly recommended taking this post with a grain of salt, doing your own research and not falling for the traps. 
 

I’m not going to argue on key points here, it’s a waste of my time and anyone else who will be reading it. If you are truly interested in the truth, do your own research people. All three methods are great, but come with their own downfalls. You can do many things this post says you can’t. Personally, I utilize all three methods, when it’s appropriate. No “ single” method is best. 
 

good luck and happy printing!

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11 minutes ago, johnson4 said:

I feel this post is a giant advertisement for yourself, and I disagree with most of your statements. 

I have screen printed for 6+ years, used DTG for around 3 years and DTF for about 6 months. Your figures are incorrect and an opinion of yourself. For the most part,  I have experience that several things you have said are NOT TRUE. 
 

all you are doing is trying to convince others of your “marketing” convictions to try and sway opinions by throwing in a few well known facts, mixed with lies. 

anyone reading this post, again this is one persons opinion(who mind you is looking for financial benefits). I highly recommended taking this post with a grain of salt, doing your own research and not falling for the traps. 
 

I’m not going to argue on key points here, it’s a waste of my time and anyone else who will be reading it. If you are truly interested in the truth, do your own research people. All three methods are great, but come with their own downfalls. You can do many things this post says you can’t. Personally, I utilize all three methods, when it’s appropriate. No “ single” method is best. 
 

good luck and happy printing!

Preach!! :)

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1 hour ago, WDeBlase said:

Ok lets at least poke the bear. He said you can not apply powder for dtf by hand.  Um......most people are.

Yea, a couple things he said, I do daily, and have for quite awhile.  Some of his statements on the three processes, are incorrect. Some things are spot on.  It's probably one of those people who try to make a " Cash Grab" on the next "Hot Seller" in the industry, exactly what I warn people about. If your going to get advice from someone, it shouldn't be the same someone trying to sell you something, unless it's AFTER the fact, as in customer service. It honestly sounds like a car salesman, trying to sell a 16 year old on why a 2003 dodge neon is a high end sports car, just no one knows it yet and he's offering him the deal of a lifetime because it has a " hood scoop". 

 Andy for example, Is upfront, and tells you both ways. "You can do it yourself, I'll help you with what I have provided, or you can purchase it outright, Whatever works for you" type of thing. In the end, if your not going to be paying a technician for repairs, you should know the " in's and out's" of your machines anyway. Everything needs maintenance, everything breaks, eventually. So learn it at the time it breaks, or beforehand, the wrong decision will definitely come back to haunt you. alongside going with the " cheapest". Something I have learned about the " cheapest" is it's cheap for a reason. More than likely quality, or support. Sometimes both, which at the end of the day is definitely worth a few bucks. A well establish self respecting business wouldn't do what this person did, is what I'm saying, so the trustworthy score plummets. 

my favorite part, is the part about the DTF powder though. All of these automated systems do exactly the same thing your hand does. It trickles powder onto the film, or " reloading" the powder in various ways, typically by dropping small random amounts, but in the end it all accomplish the same thing.There is a bellow, or U shape in the film, the powder sits in the bottom of that U and the film rolls through it, with the weight of the powder holding the film down in that U shape. As the film comes up from the film roller pulling it, a couple plastic ( or whatever) fingers smack the back of the film as it goes up, and then it proceeds to go under what I just basically call a " temperature controlled flash dryer". After that, it's just a take up roller rolling the film up for you to cut later. 

If you can find ONE outright lie so quickly, there are many more hidden in the details. All in all, I'd hope it would be obvious to people, But it is what it is. Right now, a TON of people are tearing the walls down trying to get into the " supplier" side of this new " system" so they can make some money and will say/do anything to get a piece of that pie. Just like consumers are trying to " get in early" so they be the first on top offering the product. Specifically with everything going on in the world today and with some people having money to burn, at home. Hopefully these people are still asleep, since they stayed up all night buying the TV offerings at 3am. "BUT WAIT, WE WILL INCLUDE 2 FOR THE PRICE OF ONE IF YOU CALL NOW".  At least, those are the type of people that I would imagine that would prospect from a business that would say/do something like this guy/gal above did at the tune of $15,000. 

 

Personally, I'm going to stick with someone who didn't just hit the market looking for a cash grab, someone who is well experienced with printers and the overall " process". Someone who will stand behind what they sell, and someone who takes the time to test what they sell. After all, Your investment is practically worthless if your supplier disappears and you need support. Even then, 2nd hand, it's value will plummet if you ever decided to sell it if the " manufacturer" just disappears. You want someone that will still be here once the " craze" has gone. Andy has on multiple occasions helped me out for NO monetary gain, including changes he may have made to his products that would fix a particular issue, even years later. To this day, I'm sure I annoy him with my questions, and yet, I always get a prompt, honest, informative, and courteous response. That alone, is worth choosing a supplier over. The best part is, I can even DIY a machine and get that kind of support. Basically, someone who looks out for the little guy, not LOOKS FOR the little guy. The great part is, I'm just some random guy, wasting my time typing all this out, because this is how well this business has treated me, being a random person looking to get into adding on to my business. 

 

All I'm saying is, 

 

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

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10 hours ago, johnson4 said:

Yea, a couple things he said, I do daily, and have for quite awhile.  Some of his statements on the three processes, are incorrect. Some things are spot on.  It's probably one of those people who try to make a " Cash Grab" on the next "Hot Seller" in the industry, exactly what I warn people about. If your going to get advice from someone, it shouldn't be the same someone trying to sell you something, unless it's AFTER the fact, as in customer service. It honestly sounds like a car salesman, trying to sell a 16 year old on why a 2003 dodge neon is a high end sports car, just no one knows it yet and he's offering him the deal of a lifetime because it has a " hood scoop". 

 Andy for example, Is upfront, and tells you both ways. "You can do it yourself, I'll help you with what I have provided, or you can purchase it outright, Whatever works for you" type of thing. In the end, if your not going to be paying a technician for repairs, you should know the " in's and out's" of your machines anyway. Everything needs maintenance, everything breaks, eventually. So learn it at the time it breaks, or beforehand, the wrong decision will definitely come back to haunt you. alongside going with the " cheapest". Something I have learned about the " cheapest" is it's cheap for a reason. More than likely quality, or support. Sometimes both, which at the end of the day is definitely worth a few bucks. A well establish self respecting business wouldn't do what this person did, is what I'm saying, so the trustworthy score plummets. 

my favorite part, is the part about the DTF powder though. All of these automated systems do exactly the same thing your hand does. It trickles powder onto the film, or " reloading" the powder in various ways, typically by dropping small random amounts, but in the end it all accomplish the same thing.There is a bellow, or U shape in the film, the powder sits in the bottom of that U and the film rolls through it, with the weight of the powder holding the film down in that U shape. As the film comes up from the film roller pulling it, a couple plastic ( or whatever) fingers smack the back of the film as it goes up, and then it proceeds to go under what I just basically call a " temperature controlled flash dryer". After that, it's just a take up roller rolling the film up for you to cut later. 

If you can find ONE outright lie so quickly, there are many more hidden in the details. All in all, I'd hope it would be obvious to people, But it is what it is. Right now, a TON of people are tearing the walls down trying to get into the " supplier" side of this new " system" so they can make some money and will say/do anything to get a piece of that pie. Just like consumers are trying to " get in early" so they be the first on top offering the product. Specifically with everything going on in the world today and with some people having money to burn, at home. Hopefully these people are still asleep, since they stayed up all night buying the TV offerings at 3am. "BUT WAIT, WE WILL INCLUDE 2 FOR THE PRICE OF ONE IF YOU CALL NOW".  At least, those are the type of people that I would imagine that would prospect from a business that would say/do something like this guy/gal above did at the tune of $15,000. 

 

Personally, I'm going to stick with someone who didn't just hit the market looking for a cash grab, someone who is well experienced with printers and the overall " process". Someone who will stand behind what they sell, and someone who takes the time to test what they sell. After all, Your investment is practically worthless if your supplier disappears and you need support. Even then, 2nd hand, it's value will plummet if you ever decided to sell it if the " manufacturer" just disappears. You want someone that will still be here once the " craze" has gone. Andy has on multiple occasions helped me out for NO monetary gain, including changes he may have made to his products that would fix a particular issue, even years later. To this day, I'm sure I annoy him with my questions, and yet, I always get a prompt, honest, informative, and courteous response. That alone, is worth choosing a supplier over. The best part is, I can even DIY a machine and get that kind of support. Basically, someone who looks out for the little guy, not LOOKS FOR the little guy. The great part is, I'm just some random guy, wasting my time typing all this out, because this is how well this business has treated me, being a random person looking to get into adding on to my business. 

 

All I'm saying is, 

 

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Great post Johnson4.

 

You have been a huge help to me. I have also talked to a few other people in dtf. And by other people I mean people who don't sell printers. Most of the people I have talked to have been great. They will answer questions as best they can. And the typical answers sound like this " I do this step, this way, but others do it differently" Because there are more ways to do each step.

 

You can choose from a few printers, then there are those people who ask everyday if you can convert some random model printer.

Convert yourself or buy it from someone already converted

You then can choose which ink to use. Although most are probably the same with a different label.

Then which type of film, sheets or rolls, and size.

Powder, fine, medium or black

Then how are you going to cure the powder and ink? Oven, griddle, flash dryer, conveyor, heat press, or heat gun.

Then apply to a shirt, then choose only press it once, do a 2nd press and with parchment or butcher paper or a rubber press pad.

 

Everyone will need help with at least 1 step even after you do as much research as you can.

 

I really hope this industry doesn't grow to much more to include more and more suppliers. They seem to spread some of the worst information. Some are great, some are confused, and some believe their own BS.

 

Current ramble finished.......

 

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1 hour ago, WDeBlase said:

Great post Johnson4.

 

You have been a huge help to me. I have also talked to a few other people in dtf. And by other people I mean people who don't sell printers. Most of the people I have talked to have been great. They will answer questions as best they can. And the typical answers sound like this " I do this step, this way, but others do it differently" Because there are more ways to do each step.

 

You can choose from a few printers, then there are those people who ask everyday if you can convert some random model printer.

Convert yourself or buy it from someone already converted

You then can choose which ink to use. Although most are probably the same with a different label.

Then which type of film, sheets or rolls, and size.

Powder, fine, medium or black

Then how are you going to cure the powder and ink? Oven, griddle, flash dryer, conveyor, heat press, or heat gun.

Then apply to a shirt, then choose only press it once, do a 2nd press and with parchment or butcher paper or a rubber press pad.

 

Everyone will need help with at least 1 step even after you do as much research as you can.

 

I really hope this industry doesn't grow to much more to include more and more suppliers. They seem to spread some of the worst information. Some are great, some are confused, and some believe their own BS.

 

Current ramble finished.......

 

I appreciate that and you are absolutely right. Me, and many others are more than happy to offer what we know to the end of our skill set. Why? Because it’s awesome helping people and keeping those “ misinformed businesses” at bay, more than likely those helping as well fell into that roll at some point of being “ had”. I know I have, and it sucks losing hard earned money. We all started out new once, and if you put in any type of effort, me personally, I’m willing to help in anyway I can. I am wrong sometimes, as anyone could be. But I’m open minded and always verify what anyone says before spouting it myself or shooting it down. 
 

the hard part isn’t even producing the stuff, it’s selling it, in my opinion. 
 

how are you liking DTF? 

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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

I appreciate that and you are absolutely right. Me, and many others are more than happy to offer what we know to the end of our skill set. Why? Because it’s awesome helping people and keeping those “ misinformed businesses” at bay, more than likely those helping as well fell into that roll at some point of being “ had”. I know I have, and it sucks losing hard earned money. We all started out new once, and if you put in any type of effort, me personally, I’m willing to help in anyway I can. I am wrong sometimes, as anyone could be. But I’m open minded and always verify what anyone says before spouting it myself or shooting it down. 
 

the hard part isn’t even producing the stuff, it’s selling it, in my opinion. 
 

how are you liking DTF? 

Its only ok, since i haven't completed a shirt yet. Defiantly has the chance to be a hell of a lot better than white toner printing. Printing, and using ek print are totally fine now. I was able to talk to someone and she sent me videos of her ek print screens so i could set it up.  I have printed about 20-25 films. I am currently working on curing the powder correctly.

I'm using a flash dryer. Also last night i started letting the films dry for 15 min after printing, then i do a one pass on the powder. I put powder on one side of the film all the way across then slide to the other, but i don't go back across the film.

I noticed that when powder was applyed after it printed, it was getting clumpy and lumpy. Had to flick off a ton. Then was having issues with how long they took to cure.

Now i am tring to lower the temp and get the right timing down. I am still getting some small bubbles. And i don't know if that will hurt the print.

bubbles are near the word eagle, thats also the side of the film that i slip under the flash dryer first and it goes farther under it.

138576226_151756426542995_5674847043530880494_n.jpg

138357123_123681259596189_6848173368832432511_n.jpg

138613612_402015784424587_6451177281545643537_n.jpg

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I haven’t had bubbles occur before, it could mean too much ink. As it’s trying to evaporate too quickly as it’s trapped, causing that maybe. either that or too high of a temperature. 
 

the medium powder with one” swoosh “ across is the best method I agree. The TPU is affected by temperature and humidity. Keep it sealed. the stuff I received needed ran through a “ strainer” to get the clumps out. After that it’s been fine. I know I can’t use the fine powder at all, it sticks all over the place and too much. I realized that’s probably what the black TPU is for, so you don’t have to worry about white prints and excess powder showing up on black/dark shirts. 
 

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On 1/11/2021 at 11:51 AM, johnson4 said:

I feel this post is a giant advertisement for yourself, and I disagree with most of your statements. 

I have screen printed for 6+ years, used DTG for around 3 years and DTF for about 6 months. Your figures are incorrect and an opinion of yourself. For the most part,  I have experience that several things you have said are NOT TRUE. 
 

all you are doing is trying to convince others of your “marketing” convictions to try and sway opinions by throwing in a few well known facts, mixed with lies. 

anyone reading this post, again this is one persons opinion(who mind you is looking for financial benefits). I highly recommended taking this post with a grain of salt, doing your own research and not falling for the traps. 
 

I’m not going to argue on key points here, it’s a waste of my time and anyone else who will be reading it. If you are truly interested in the truth, do your own research people. All three methods are great, but come with their own downfalls. You can do many things this post says you can’t. Personally, I utilize all three methods, when it’s appropriate. No “ single” method is best. 
 

good luck and happy printing!

I'm not trying to sell anything here
I've been around the industry 30 years and I feel I know my stuff pretty well

Instead of insulting me, lets discuss with what you disagree with - as you mentioned, these are my opinions
As a matter of fact, I suggested people entering the market start with transfers - not buy equipmentj

Sorry if I offended you, not my intention

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19 hours ago, WDeBlase said:

Ok lets at least poke the bear. He said you can not apply powder for dtf by hand.  Um......most people are.

I did NOT say you cannot apply powder by hand
If that's what you got from that I apologize - we do it everyday, its just tougher to get it even manually
And, our auto system brushes the film so you don't have misguided powder on the sheet and not on the image

Again, guys, not pontificating, just shedding my knowledge of the last 30 years

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How do I get the powder to NOT stick on the transfer film except on the ink/printed design?  I’m running into where I can’t get all the excess powder off the film because I am sprinkling by hand but when I try to dump off excess powder some sticks randomly to the transfer film and this will show up on any colored tshirt besides white of course.

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Don't sprinkle. Put some on the film and roll it off the other side over the print. 
 

too much ink can cause this, or if the powder is too fine. Medium works good for me. Screenprint powder doesn’t work at all, it’s too fine and sticks to everything. 
 

as others have said, you can also let it air dry for 10-15 minutes as well before powdering. 
 

I set my printer to use as little ink as possible and still get the colors I need. Anything more than that and you get the film “wicking” the ink carrier around the edges. Most prints I’ve seen floating around have too much ink on them, at least for what I need to do to get an easy powder. 

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 Random note in the bubbles. If your curing from the backside( powder side) your sealing the print before the ink is completely dry. If you melt the powder and create that barrier/seal, and the ink still needs to evaporate some, it’s probably where the small bubbles come from. 
 

probably why some of these big machines cure from the ink up( front of film/from the bottom) instead of solely on the backside.

 

so for example, if you had a heat press with both heated platens or was able to cure from the bottom, it would probably stop. Personally, with a flash dryer on a spinning base, I don’t encounter the issue. My method slowly heats up the platens, and is only under the flash dryer for a second or so every few seconds until it slows down and cured the powder. 

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On 1/15/2021 at 6:22 PM, johnson4 said:

 Random note in the bubbles. If your curing from the backside( powder side) your sealing the print before the ink is completely dry. If you melt the powder and create that barrier/seal, and the ink still needs to evaporate some, it’s probably where the small bubbles come from.

Regarding the bubbles, I have seen that even the small DTF-printers offered from China sometimes has a built in heating system. At first I didn´t understand the function of these built in heatsystems but regarding your discussion above it may start to make sense.

I guess the function of these Chinese built in heating systems helps to evaporates some of the moisture in the ink once it comes out of the printer by warming up the whole plate where the print rests once it comes out of the printer.

To accomplish this on a DIY-basis maybe one can think in the terms of a 2-3 mm aluminium sheet and a car seat heat pad solution.

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On 1/15/2021 at 5:58 PM, Kuipersh said:

How do I get the powder to NOT stick on the transfer film except on the ink/printed design?  I’m running into where I can’t get all the excess powder off the film because I am sprinkling by hand but when I try to dump off excess powder some sticks randomly to the transfer film and this will show up on any colored tshirt besides white of course.

Kuipersh, I run a screenprint shop in south of Sweden where I mainly produce plastisol printed heat transfers. In that process one applies the powder adhessive the same way on the wet ink as one does with DTF-printed heat transfers. Occasionally I ran in to the same problem having a hard time removing excess powder off the film, mainly in the whinter time. During whinter, when the temperature gets below 0 degrees celsius the air gets wery dry and increases static electricity. The build up of static electricity is 9 times out of 10 the source of the problem you´re describing

To reduce this problem I have grounded all my equipment and built an humidifiersolution that keeps the relative humidity in my print shop in the range of 60-70%. To have a controlled relative humidity is also preferred in an area where one works with ink jet printers and waterbased inks. It prevents the printheads from clogging as fast as they do in an area with dry air.

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5 hours ago, Lasse said:

Regarding the bubbles, I have seen that even the small DTF-printers offered from China sometimes has a built in heating system. At first I didn´t understand the function of these built in heatsystems but regarding your discussion above it may start to make sense.

I guess the function of these Chinese built in heating systems helps to evaporates some of the moisture in the ink once it comes out of the printer by warming up the whole plate where the print rests once it comes out of the printer.

To accomplish this on a DIY-basis maybe one can think in the terms of a 2-3 mm aluminium sheet and a car seat heat pad solution.

I think so too. You see reports of waiting 10-15 minutes to powder after printing, a heated plate as it comes out, depending on the temp, would probably fix that issue. If your sealing the only escape for evaporation, it’s going to form bubbles, but does that actually adversely affect the transfer quality? 

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5 hours ago, Lasse said:

Kuipersh, I run a screenprint shop in south of Sweden where I mainly produce plastisol printed heat transfers. In that process one applies the powder adhessive the same way on the wet ink as one does with DTF-printed heat transfers. Occasionally I ran in to the same problem having a hard time removing excess powder off the film, mainly in the whinter time. During whinter, when the temperature gets below 0 degrees celsius the air gets wery dry and increases static electricity. The build up of static electricity is 9 times out of 10 the source of the problem you´re describing

To reduce this problem I have grounded all my equipment and built an humidifiersolution that keeps the relative humidity in my print shop in the range of 60-70%. To have a controlled relative humidity is also preferred in an area where one works with ink jet printers and waterbased inks. It prevents the printheads from clogging as fast as they do in an area with dry air.

Interestingly I’ve had the opposite effect with humidity. The more humidity, the more clumping I get over time. The spec sheets for the powder generally says to keep it sealed as it makes it clump, which I do experience in a high humidity environment. I have no idea if that is affected short term in its use though.  
 

the static makes sense, which is probably why it sticks to the sheet without ink sometimes. I’ll have to try that if I find it an issue, thanks.

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17 hours ago, johnson4 said:

Interestingly I’ve had the opposite effect with humidity. The more humidity, the more clumping I get over time. The spec sheets for the powder generally says to keep it sealed as it makes it clump, which I do experience in a high humidity environment. I have no idea if that is affected short term in its use though.  
 

the static makes sense, which is probably why it sticks to the sheet without ink sometimes. I’ll have to try that if I find it an issue, thanks.

If static electricity is the problem one normaly get a specific kind of pattern on the sheet. I don´t think one will get the same kind of pattern when high humidity is the cause of the problem.

I´ll attach a short videoclip to visualize how it looks when static electricity is the problem. And yes, one can also see how I apply the powder..;)

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5 hours ago, Lasse said:

If static electricity is the problem one normaly get a specific kind of pattern on the sheet. I don´t think one will get the same kind of pattern when high humidity is the cause of the problem.

I´ll attach a short videoclip to visualize how it looks when static electricity is the problem. And yes, one can also see how I apply the powder..;)

I see, makes total sense. Thank you for posting that. If you don’t mind me asking, what is that your using to apply the powder? 

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