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Curing or INK Problems...


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Printer: Epson XP-15000
RIP: EKPRINT
INK: DTF SuperStore
Film: A3 DTF SuperStore
Powder: Medium DTF SuperStore (The good stuff, not the budget pack)
 

Everything is going great on the print end.  My prints look great.  But when I cure them I get pitting in the colored ink only, not the white.  If put it up to the light I see a billion tiny pinholes.  After printing if I hold it up to the light, it's solid.  I'm using a countertop oven to cure, set at 325.  If I leave it in for 30 seconds or under, it doesn't cure enough but no pitting.  Over 30 seconds to a minute, it cures good, but get pitting. I have the oven set to "Bake" which give heat from top and bottom and I'm placing the film directly on the rack, not using a pan. It also looks like the powder might be burning and it happens more to sections with large print areas.  I also notice the print will easily come off the film.  I feel I may be curing too hot, but from everything I read, the numbers I'm using are at or below what other are using.

I'm running a test now with the graphic print area upped to 125% from 100%. 

Edited by JTS
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Have you verified, the temperature? I'm willing to bet it exceeds the 325 that it is set at, Probably, the 325 is the " air" temperature. Not the heating element temperature, it's more than likely " on and off" type of thing, 

Cure too fast, and it will cure "mid evaporation" causing them bubbles. 

Do you "Pre-heat" to maybe, 350 or so, then put it in so the coils aren't "on" constantly, rather, just cycling. might help.

Someone said something about using a griddle too.

 

Personally, Curing from the bottom like this will allow the ink to dry first, then melt the powder, also might slow down how fast it's curing.

Edited by johnson4
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The 125% was too much ink.  Didn't cause any problems, but I could just tell it was too much.  Both color and underwrite set to 100% seems to be the best settings.  Going to experiment with lower and lower cure Temps till I find what works.  This has to be an issue with too high of heat.

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2 hours ago, JTS said:

The 125% was too much ink.  Didn't cause any problems, but I could just tell it was too much.  Both color and underwrite set to 100% seems to be the best settings.  Going to experiment with lower and lower cure Temps till I find what works.  This has to be an issue with too high of heat.

Are those ink settings for underbasing, stand alone, or both? 

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Posted (edited)

I pirnted without underbasing to see what the ink looked like along.  125% reg color wasn't too bad alone, but when underbase was added it was too much.  Seemed to start mixing with the white.

Here's a breakdown of my opinion, based on my current experience level.  I always use white underbase. when making a transfer.

What looks like too much ink:
"White Underbase"\settings\"White Base Ink Color"\Density=125%
"Ink Settings"\"Ink Densigy=125%
Both set to Ink Level 1
or
"White Underbase"\settings\"White Base Ink Color"\Density=125%
"Ink Settings"\"Ink Densigy=100%
Both set to Ink Level 1
or
"White Underbase"\settings\"White Base Ink Color"\Density=100%
"Ink Settings"\"Ink Densigy=125%
Both set to Ink Level 1

 

What looks like just the right amount of ink:
"White Underbase"\settings\"White Base Ink Color"\Density=100%
"Ink Settings"\"Ink Densigy=100%
Both set to Ink Level 1

Edited by JTS
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Looks good, I’ll probably have the xp-15000 on the mini shaker tomorrow after some modifications, I’ll try them out myself. I usually don’t under-base unless I have to, I never do a solid ( transparency ) unless it’s a full blown color imagine without black ink. 
 

have you tried your waste tank resetter yet? 

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I thought the white underbase was a must for DTF...?  I must have misunderstood.  Every tutorial I've seen has them printing white underbase  Also all the transfers I've purchased have had white underbase. I print on a lot of black shirts, so I guess it can't hurt to have a white layer in between.  How do you decide when to use a white underbase?

Quote

have you tried your waste tank resetter yet? 

I won't have the resetter until next week. I bought 2 aftermarket maint boxes just in case until I get the resetter.  On my second maint box now.  I'm hopping to get the curing figured out tonight.  That's the only think keeping from getting back to selling shirts.

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15 minutes ago, JTS said:

I thought the white underbase was a must for DTF...?  I must have misunderstood.  Every tutorial I've seen has them printing white underbase  Also all the transfers I've purchased have had white underbase. I print on a lot of black shirts, so I guess it can't hurt to have a white layer in between.  How do you decide when to use a white underbase?

I won't have the resetter until next week. I bought 2 aftermarket maint boxes just in case until I get the resetter.  On my second maint box now.  I'm hopping to get the curing figured out tonight.  That's the only think keeping from getting back to selling shirts.

Right. For the underbase, it’s never needed under black, it actually makes it look worse in my opinion. I used content based, so it prints white under the lighter colors where it needs it, and of course the white in the design. On a black shirt, it wouldn’t hurt at all. It’s just my preference, it works however you want. The less ink, the better the hand feel. 
 

ekprint can also “ knockout” colors. On a black shirt, you can just knockout the black in the design and boom, same thing. 

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Right. For the underbase, it’s never needed under black, it actually makes it look worse in my opinion. I used content based, so it prints white under the lighter colors where it needs it, and of course the white in the design. On a black shirt, it wouldn’t hurt at all. It’s just my preference, it works however you want. The less ink, the better the hand feel. 

I just watched closely as it printed.  The colored ink looks like it prints transparent and the black and white more solid. Is that the way it's supposed to be?  I'm guessing the white is what make the transparent colored ink opaque.  Either that, or my colored ink isn't too thin...

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44 minutes ago, JTS said:

I just watched closely as it printed.  The colored ink looks like it prints transparent and the black and white more solid. Is that the way it's supposed to be?  I'm guessing the white is what make the transparent colored ink opaque.  Either that, or my colored ink isn't too thin...

That’s right, the CMY needs white under it, powder won’t stick to it well either. Black only, white only, or cmy with white behind it.  

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I dropped white underlay down to 50% density.  Prints and cure look much better.  After pressing white and colors lost their pop.  So 50% must be too low.  Will give 75% a go tomorrow.

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53 minutes ago, JTS said:

Out of curiosity, what are you using as your determination that the color is too high?  Is there a certain negative result you are getting?

Just a combination of things, I use the same film/ink combo so I know what it should look like from previous rolls I’ve printed. 
 

I make sure the cmyk isn’t bubbled up at all,  and when it’s pressed it should feel like almost nothing, as in, not raised up off the shirt. I do my white a bit thick, since all white prints have a heavy hand, it adds to the quality of the feel and opacity on dark shirts. When doing both, the cmyk layer should be very thin, at least for me. With both cmyk+white it should still not look bubbled up coming out of the printer. It should never look “ wet” or runny. If you print it and can pick it up immediately and shake it hard and the ink move, too much ink.
 

I do not print white ink behind the black ink, it’s redundant and makes it look/feel worse. I even print my darker colors without a white under base, If the design is a solid cyan, or something darker like that, it’s not needed. Overall, I only print white with “ content based” so I don’t waste ink, and add to the hand feel/ supplies usage. If I must use transparency, it’s very rare. 
 

keep in mind I’ve been messing with this for over 6 months now. 
 

 

Edited by johnson4
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When you say 

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  • I make sure the cmyk isn’t bubbled up at all
  •  

When you say "bubbled up" do you mean seeing the different layer height of the ink?

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31 minutes ago, JTS said:

When you say 

When you say "bubbled up" do you mean seeing the different layer height of the ink?

My cmyk prints, when wet, look completely flat. If it’s bubbled up at all, or rounded looking, it’s too much ink. With both, cmyk+w there is a smidgen of difference, but hardly. 
 

for example, the CMY portion with white over it, will look the same height as the black. So when printing an underbase, it’ll come out pretty even. The black may even stick up a smidgen more. 
 

it’s really hard to explain. 

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I totally get it.  Now that I'm playing around with color density, my prints look like what I thought they would.  I had waaay too much ink previously.

But that's kind of where I'm at.  Up to this point is was getting all the setup, supplies and just getting to the point I know my way around the printer and RIP software.  Now I'm finally to the fun part :).  It's amazing what minor tweaks can do.  All I really need to get to now is thinner prints but with the color still "popping".  My first legit print looked awesome.  Great color and solid transfer.  But it was pretty thick.  I just printed on with25% less ink, and I think the colors will pop just like the thick one, but be a more reasonable thickness on the shirt.

Going into it, I was thinking the thicker the better on the white, to get good pop in the color.  I was wrong.  This ink can be seriously tweaked.

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5 minutes ago, JTS said:

I totally get it.  Now that I'm playing around with color density, my prints look like what I thought they would.  I had waaay too much ink previously.

But that's kind of where I'm at.  Up to this point is was getting all the setup, supplies and just getting to the point I know my way around the printer and RIP software.  Now I'm finally to the fun part :).  It's amazing what minor tweaks can do.  All I really need to get to now is thinner prints but with the color still "popping".  My first legit print looked awesome.  Great color and solid transfer.  But it was pretty thick.  I just printed on with25% less ink, and I think the colors will pop just like the thick one, but be a more reasonable thickness on the shirt.

Going into it, I was thinking the thicker the better on the white, to get good pop in the color.  I was wrong.  This ink can be seriously tweaked.

I'm glad your loving it. right off the bat my white mixed with my CMYK when I started. That's when I realized how little ink you actually need to lay down. before powdering, I can see right through most of my prints ( obviously not white). I started with the P800, Since I had so many of them, so it was like dumping white ink all over the place, lol. 

Seems bonkers that Epson or some other OEM company didn't pick this stuff up sooner, I guess it's hard to compete with though, price wise. I've been saving up for the ORIC 24" printer, but seeing how large that thing is, and how well this mini shaker works, I'll probably be sticking to 2 of these smaller units. 

Did you figure out how you were going to end up curing them?

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Did you figure out how you were going to end up curing them?

Ya.  I totally forgot I had a nice Oster tabletop convection oven from when I closed my arcade. I baby any equipment I buy, so it's in like new condition.  I kept the box, so when I closed the arcade, I just gave it a quick clean and packed it away.  On Friday I stopped at Walmart on the way home from work to get an oven.  I was pissed they didn't have the one I wanted.  Then I remembered I had that one in storage.  Glad I did.  Saved me from spending another $100.  Below is a link to the one I have.  I like it better than the one I was going to buy.  For the amount of shirts I currently sell and give away for promos, it will work great.  I'll use it until I need to upgrade to a better system.  It has a digital timer, so it's simple to time the cure.

https://www.amazon.com/Oster-Countertop-Convection-Stainless-TSSTTVDGXL-SHP/dp/B00OXSR486/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=oster+convection+oven&qid=1619460389&sr=8-3

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After dropping white underlay to 75% and color to 90%, my prints and cure are now as I originally expected.

I'm pretty sure the powder was mixing completely with the thick ink and curing all together.

My prints after cure are solid now when put to the light.  My cures are constantly good as well.  The heavy ink settings were my problem all along.

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Looks nice, Can almost fit 13x19 in there!

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I have to chop off a couple inches from my A3 sheets, but I can live with that for now.  I'll upgrade as needed.  I already had this and it works great.

 

 

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1 hour ago, JTS said:

 

Yea, I read the dimensions on that one and it's pretty big. Glad your all up and good now, By the way, I don't recommend wet capping the xp-15000, unless it's with cleaning solution installed instead of ink. I had previously recommended wet capping, but I ran into some issues with it with this specific printer. 

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By wet capping, you mean putting drops of solution in the cap sponge before turning off?  What problem does that cause. lol, I've been doing that before I turn off every night...

I've been meaning to ask, how often do you run a cycle of cartridges with just cleaning solution to flush the printhead?

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