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What Should i do! buy or diy.


Ezanity
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Hi all.i live in the UK and am very new to all this stuff so ill tell you what i want to do with it incase im not understanding what dtg-dgf and whatever all the different names are.lol

i want to be able to print direct to any item. slate, wood plastic etc and it will likely be different heights and i don't really want to have a slow process of manually adjusting it when i change to different materials. 

i do see that there are some here on this site but the conversion of usa to gbp and shipping etc will make it too expensive to buy one directly so if i go this route id need to diy. The only concerning thing is that im ok with diy stuff but cutting up a £800-1000 printer is a worry.

as an example of costing, the printer with adjustable bed and just a set of inks costs $4694.98(no software etc) which on a conversion is £3421.70 and that's not including any customs / delivery fees. 

i have seen this printer on amazon for £2859.00

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B087JPXNCL/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A3B1VG3K7MA8HC&psc=1

i would like to be paying less but i don't know if that's possible.

I'm not sure what printer the link above uses but i can guaranty it wont be the p600 and prob one of the not so good units so i just dont know if its worth it.please any help would be great.

there is a Epson SureColor SC-P600 printer on ebay that claims to be in good condition but not used in 14 months for a lot less on bids but would it be worth me going for something like that cause when i read stuff like that ,it always makes me feel like they know its not working and just saying that to encourage more bids. are print heads expensive for the p600?

 

Also on a side question.-- so lets say i wanna print to 2 phone cases,how do i know where it will need to be placed on the bed so it matches up correctly.(or if you know any good videos that will teach me the basics of uv flat bed that will be great) 

 

Thanks all

 

dom

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Take anything I say as a grain of salt because I've only been involved in this stuff for a couple months and am still learning a lot of things.

DTG won't be any good for you. DTG stands for direct to garment, as in it is for printing on clothing/fabric and you will not be able to use DTG on anything else because the ink won't stick.

I have no experience using DTF on anything aside from clothing. I do not know if it will stick on the items you want to produce but you could try buying some DTF adhesive powder to see how it reacts with the item under 320 degrees F. You will need a heat press to test this out. If a thin layer of powder sticks on the items and don't get damaged under that temperature, I think it would work. I personally cure my powder by placing it in a 325 degree convection oven for 12 seconds and then heat press it to the garment for 15 seconds at 320.

Regarding whether you should DIY or buy a prebuilt, it seems there is no definite correct answer. I went the prebuilt route and bought 2 DTF P600 printers because I have a business to run that was bleeding cash every day due to excess costs and poor quality outsourcing to a print on demand company. When you are getting thousands in sales on a daily basis, time is money. So it wasn't a good time for me to tinker for many weeks going DIY. Since then, I purchased a used P600 to tear down and educate myself. I learn something new every time I work with my printer and I understand so much more now. That is why I bought prebuilt.

The argument for doing DIY is also very valid. No matter what, you will need to learn how these printers work. You will run into problems no matter what and you will have to solve them. Going DIY, I'd expect you to have a better understanding of the printer and an easier progression of problem solving. And you will save money.

If colors aren't important to you on wood, I would recommend looking into engraving instead. Although I haven't messed with it, it seems very cost effective if you buy a laser engraver and attach it to a 3D printer such as an Ender 3 Pro.

 

Edit:

Also, if you are just starting out and aren't producing much, I would recommend paying a print on demand company to produce the items for you. You may also want to look into sublimation for phone cases.

Edited by elliotiscool
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For hard objects, like wood, phone cases glass etc try sublimation. Permanent, high quality and the setup can be had for about $200 plus a heat press/sublimation 3D press.

DTG works on cotton things, DTF polymer is used in many settings, including polyester but isn’t really good for hard substrates because it isn’t scratch resistant at all. You can also use this powder with sublimation to sublimate on cotton, and varies other media’s. The issue is, everything needs to withstand those temperatures. 
 

You could also use a UV printer for hard substrates. If you want to go cheap, try vinyl on all of those products, or even water slide paper with a laser printer. Using clear water slide paper and a white toner printer works too. 
 

all in all, I would look into each and every aspect you are considering before spending cash. Most videos and people don’t discuss the downfall to each of them, and must be researched well. 
 

Good luck

Edited by johnson4
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