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Curing or INK Problems...


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have you tried your waste tank resetter yet? 

Maint Tank Resetter showed up today.  I was leaving for work and the package was on the porch.  I'll be trying it out later tonight.

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1 hour ago, JTS said:

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?

A few drops like I mentioned to you is okay, and good. But full on wet capping- terrible. It sucked the ink/fluid into the carts when i filled the capping station. Basically, as long as the fluid is suspended within the capping sponge, that works great. 

On DTG printers, I would completely fill the capping station, or " wet cap" them. It removes all the air out so is less likely to clog. Can't do that on this one.

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1 hour ago, JTS said:

Maint Tank Resetter showed up today.  I was leaving for work and the package was on the porch.  I'll be trying it out later tonight.

I'm sure it'll be fine, Mine worked great on both aftermarket and OEM chips. 

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I tried the resetter on the OG tank that was "full".  I put the resetter to the chip.  The led blinked red a few times the turned green.  I'm assuming that means it was reset.  I didn't install it.  Waiting for the other tank to "fill".

I've been filling the ink carts while still installed.  Doesn't seem like it can cause a problem.  Any negatives to doing that?

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I can officially say the maint tank resetter works.  I just installed the tank I reset the other day and it worked without a problem.  I reset the after market tank from Amazon when I pulled it and the resetter went to green light, which means it successfully reset.

No if I can just get this printer banding issue resolved I'd be good to go..

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/29/2021 at 12:13 PM, JTS said:

I can officially say the maint tank resetter works.  I just installed the tank I reset the other day and it worked without a problem.  I reset the after market tank from Amazon when I pulled it and the resetter went to green light, which means it successfully reset.

No if I can just get this printer banding issue resolved I'd be good to go..

How has this printer been doing for you so far? I've been reading all the posts on this forum trying to prepare myself to get into this mess lol

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I just ran into a problem yesterday.  Was printing fine, then red and white channels started printing very light.  Now I'm getting massive banding.  Installed and ran my cleaning carts through a bunch of head cleaning cycles.  Had to leave for an event, so I'll re-install ink carts and see if that fixes it.

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On 5/15/2021 at 10:04 AM, JTS said:

I just ran into a problem yesterday.  Was printing fine, then red and white channels started printing very light.  Now I'm getting massive banding.  Installed and ran my cleaning carts through a bunch of head cleaning cycles.  Had to leave for an event, so I'll re-install ink carts and see if that fixes it.

Please keep us updated. Issues like this have been my nightmare for the past 10 years, which is why I switched over to White Toner Printing, but the headache and cost of that is even worse. Trying everything I can do make sure I avoid problems when I get the DTF set up.

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Update:

After leaving the cleaning carts in for a couple days and running a couple print head cleaning cycles per day, I put in filled a new set of carts and installed them.  That seemed to do the trick I was back up and running with good prints.  I may have just had a normal clog.  DTF printing is still new so I may have paniced.  Either way I'm back up and running.  Having a set of cleaning carts is a must IMO.  It's a nice fallback if you run into weird printing issues.  I've done the cleaning cart purge a couple times when printing went kind of wacky and both times I was good to go after a good cleaning cart  cycle.

One thing to note, is I've always had minimal banding in my blue channel. Nothing terrible and the average person would most likely never recognize it.  When I press the transfers with my textured silicone cover sheet, it blends everything nicely.  Curious if anyone else has and minimal banding issues.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just curious when you cure your prints (powder melt) so you still feel a little grit on the back of the transfer or is it smoother with more of a rubbery feel?  I am curing at 350 deg for 2 min on a heat press that is hovered using silicone squares in corners to keep platen close and level.  At that temp/time I get the smoother finish than when I cured at 320 for 2 min.  I am wondering because I am getting some ink crock (ink will rub off) on larger, heavier ink load prints.  If I run it through my conveyor dryer after I press it on the shirt it fixes the problem (thank goodness!) I am going to try a longer cure time on the heat press and see if that helps but just curious to see what others are doing. 

Johnson4 thanks for your comments on ink load ... I may be using too much white on my prints. 

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39 minutes ago, BIG3 said:

Just curious when you cure your prints (powder melt) so you still feel a little grit on the back of the transfer or is it smoother with more of a rubbery feel?  I am curing at 350 deg for 2 min on a heat press that is hovered using silicone squares in corners to keep platen close and level.  At that temp/time I get the smoother finish than when I cured at 320 for 2 min.  I am wondering because I am getting some ink crock (ink will rub off) on larger, heavier ink load prints.  If I run it through my conveyor dryer after I press it on the shirt it fixes the problem (thank goodness!) I am going to try a longer cure time on the heat press and see if that helps but just curious to see what others are doing. 

Johnson4 thanks for your comments on ink load ... I may be using too much white on my prints. 

I use 350 on my diy machine, cures the powder clear, and a smooth rubbery finish, takes roughly 1.5 minutes when it contact with the press( film sits on it). If it has powder I turn it up until it doesn’t, sometimes that’s lower, depending on the ambient temperature. Andys mini shaker I run at 220-226, depending on the ambient temperature. 
 

not a problem. 

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7 hours ago, BIG3 said:

Just curious when you cure your prints (powder melt) so you still feel a little grit on the back of the transfer or is it smoother with more of a rubbery feel?  I am curing at 350 deg for 2 min on a heat press that is hovered using silicone squares in corners to keep platen close and level.  At that temp/time I get the smoother finish than when I cured at 320 for 2 min.  I am wondering because I am getting some ink crock (ink will rub off) on larger, heavier ink load prints.  If I run it through my conveyor dryer after I press it on the shirt it fixes the problem (thank goodness!) I am going to try a longer cure time on the heat press and see if that helps but just curious to see what others are doing. 

Johnson4 thanks for your comments on ink load ... I may be using too much white on my prints. 

I also want to point out the ambient temperature has a TON to do with it. Both machines ( one with a direct fan, one with an indirect fan) temperatures vary by at least 20-25 degrees depending on the temperature and humidity in the air. All-in-all though, even if it is a bit powdery, it still works fine if you are transferring it to a garment. I want mine clear because I hate the mess when I stack them, some of the powder " falls" off, however during washing it didn't seem to affect anything. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I get terrible cure results in my oven with temps over 225 fahrenheit, no matter what the time frame.  Longer times at lower temps works better for me.

I cure at 225 fahenheit for 3 minutes.

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4 hours ago, JTS said:

I get terrible cure results in my oven with temps over 225 fahrenheit, no matter what the time frame.  Longer times at lower temps works better for me.

I cure at 225 fahenheit for 3 minutes.

I'm not exactly sure how hot my flash dryer gets (I think over 500 degrees) but when I use it to cure prints and while the platen is hot, my prints cure in 30 seconds and look great. I think a lot has to do with the distance of the heating element as well.

When my platen is cold, it takes about 1 minute.

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Even though I have a good process down and my shirts are coming out great, I'm still new to this and started with only a heat press and a pretty nice convection oven left over from another business I has.  I learn something every time I do a job.  I have a small setup in my basement and cure in my garage.  At this point I'm just making all the sale I can and will update equipment as needed.  I see a better curing alternative as the next needed piece of equipment.

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I'm not kidding at all, buy a cheap $200 heat press, take it apart and put the top on the bottom removing the bottom platen and making it the top platen. You can use some thin sheet metal and make it like a " box" around the heated portion, slide your film in at 300-325 degrees and it will cure in around a minute. they make presses that go all the way up to 20x24, but they get expensive. a 15x15 should be plenty though. I've ran my machine like that for months now, thousands of prints, and it cures better than anything else I have tried, the most consistent too. 

 

Either that or Buy the $500 one they sell on Aliexpress that does the same thing. Personally, I have tried the flash dryer, the Auto mini machine, and this heat press method. The heat press works the best, because it is a solid, consistent heat. I'll be modifying my Auto mini machine to have a thick plate instead of the thin metal so it will hold some heat and create an even heating environment so it will also cure from both sides. Not that it is a problem, but I'm very "specific' with what I want and see how to make that happen with this other machine.

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Still trying to dial my curing process.  I have tested at temps ranging from 260 to 350 deg F for 2-5 min.  We settled at 290f for 5 min using a 16x20 heat press hovering at 1/4 inch above film.  I get just a little bit of powder grit on the back but it is mostly smooth and has that rubber feeling. At this time and temp I get a good press at 330f for 15 sec.  Warm peel after about 12 seconds.  Pressure is at about 70 psi (7 on stahls press).  Everything looks good but sometimes we get complaints about imprints sticking to themselves on shirts when they are washed.  We have just seen it on the white ink mainly but we are trying to figure out what causes this.  We have been able to wash shirts and have seen this sticking together problem, but most of the time it will separate from itself and be just fine.  If it goes through a tumble dryer like that we have seen it stick together and destroy the imprint ... just not every time.  We have some shirts that have gone through 20+ washes and look just fine.  We buy ink, film and powder from DTFSuperstore.com (not the kodak or USA ink)

Failed-white-dtf.JPG

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24 minutes ago, BIG3 said:

Still trying to dial my curing process.  I have tested at temps ranging from 260 to 350 deg F for 2-5 min.  We settled at 290f for 5 min using a 16x20 heat press hovering at 1/4 inch above film.  I get just a little bit of powder grit on the back but it is mostly smooth and has that rubber feeling. At this time and temp I get a good press at 330f for 15 sec.  Warm peel after about 12 seconds.  Pressure is at about 70 psi (7 on stahls press).  Everything looks good but sometimes we get complaints about imprints sticking to themselves on shirts when they are washed.  We have just seen it on the white ink mainly but we are trying to figure out what causes this.  We have been able to wash shirts and have seen this sticking together problem, but most of the time it will separate from itself and be just fine.  If it goes through a tumble dryer like that we have seen it stick together and destroy the imprint ... just not every time.  We have some shirts that have gone through 20+ washes and look just fine.  We buy ink, film and powder from DTFSuperstore.com (not the kodak or USA ink)

Failed-white-dtf.JPG

I haven’t had this problem, but might be a curing problem. When the ink is cured, it leaves behind an oily residue. Say I print 200 transfers on an auto cure machine, at least a cap full comes out in the evaporation that isn’t water. It gets everywhere and sucks, but I just wipe it off the fan/curing unit.
 

might not be fully curing the ink, I haven’t experienced this issue. If you see “ steam” or smoke come from the shirt when you press, it’s probably not cured all the way. 

Edited by johnson4
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We do see some steam but we have 50% humidity in our shop right now. We do a pre-press on the shirt but the transfers are sitting back there too so maybe they are absorbing moisture?  I just grabbed a transfer that has been sitting in the back for a few days and rubbed the glue side of it and there is some sort of liquid or oil on it.  I don't see that on a freshly cured film.  

I just printed a fresh transfer and cut it in half and cured the other half of it again ... for a total of 10 min @290f.  I will press them together and do a wash test and see if I get a similar result.  I will leave another one out overnight do some more testing tomorrow and see if the humidity has anything to do with it.

Thanks for the input!

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1 hour ago, BIG3 said:

We do see some steam but we have 50% humidity in our shop right now. We do a pre-press on the shirt but the transfers are sitting back there too so maybe they are absorbing moisture?  I just grabbed a transfer that has been sitting in the back for a few days and rubbed the glue side of it and there is some sort of liquid or oil on it.  I don't see that on a freshly cured film.  

I just printed a fresh transfer and cut it in half and cured the other half of it again ... for a total of 10 min @290f.  I will press them together and do a wash test and see if I get a similar result.  I will leave another one out overnight do some more testing tomorrow and see if the humidity has anything to do with it.

Thanks for the input!

Not a problem. 

Personally I don't think it is the humidity, rather the ink not curing all the way. That "oily" substance on it after it sits is probably the ink not being cured. I've noticed that too on under cured prints. my situation as well has high humidity, around the same as yours, slightly less. Testing it like you said should let you know if it is being under cured though. With direct contact with the heating element, it takes mine about 2 minutes to fully cure at 300ish degrees. I gave up on hover curing after 5 minutes not cutting it at 375, I use a clam press so one side is closer than the other to the film. 

 

Edited by johnson4
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In the screen printing world we would know if our plastisol transfer was cured properly if we could peel it of the backer in one piece easily.  I just tested the one I did for 5min @290 hover and it comes off in clumps. 

I took your suggestion and flipped the heat press platen over and did some testing and it looks like 255f at 3 min works good for me.  Any hotter and I get burn marks or bubbles on areas that have black ink.  I will be building an enclosure for it and exhausting the vapor, It is getting out much more moisture out this way.  Wash test was good and had no problems.  Going to do a few more tests and see how it goes.  

Thanks again for being a huge help in steering me in the right direction.  DTF is awesome and is going to be a big game changer for us if we get it right!  So grateful for people like you that are willing to share information and help!

 

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55 minutes ago, BIG3 said:

In the screen printing world we would know if our plastisol transfer was cured properly if we could peel it of the backer in one piece easily.  I just tested the one I did for 5min @290 hover and it comes off in clumps. 

I took your suggestion and flipped the heat press platen over and did some testing and it looks like 255f at 3 min works good for me.  Any hotter and I get burn marks or bubbles on areas that have black ink.  I will be building an enclosure for it and exhausting the vapor, It is getting out much more moisture out this way.  Wash test was good and had no problems.  Going to do a few more tests and see how it goes.  

Thanks again for being a huge help in steering me in the right direction.  DTF is awesome and is going to be a big game changer for us if we get it right!  So grateful for people like you that are willing to share information and help!

 

I’m glad it could help, Yea the transfer should peel off like a Plastisol one, it’ll rip easier because it’s thinner, but the same concept, didn’t even think of that.  I use a bit thicker film and a bit more ink than most, I agree 300 is a little hot, but it works in a hurry :) 

Edited by johnson4
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/17/2021 at 11:43 PM, JTS said:

Update:

After leaving the cleaning carts in for a couple days and running a couple print head cleaning cycles per day, I put in filled a new set of carts and installed them.  That seemed to do the trick I was back up and running with good prints.  I may have just had a normal clog.  DTF printing is still new so I may have paniced.  Either way I'm back up and running.  Having a set of cleaning carts is a must IMO.  It's a nice fallback if you run into weird printing issues.  I've done the cleaning cart purge a couple times when printing went kind of wacky and both times I was good to go after a good cleaning cart  cycle.

One thing to note, is I've always had minimal banding in my blue channel. Nothing terrible and the average person would most likely never recognize it.  When I press the transfers with my textured silicone cover sheet, it blends everything nicely.  Curious if anyone else has and minimal banding issues.

When you say “cleaning carts” what’s does that refer to? New to the DTF world. 

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