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P400 conversion


davekk
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I managed to find a P400 which I ordered immediately. Does this model also require removing the pizza wheels and if so, can it be done just with pliers?

How about the waste ink? Do you recommend modification or a spare waste ink tank + adjustment program?

 

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6 hours ago, davekk said:

I managed to find a P400 which I ordered immediately. Does this model also require removing the pizza wheels and if so, can it be done just with pliers?

How about the waste ink? Do you recommend modification or a spare waste ink tank + adjustment program?

 

Any printer, will need modified. Pizza Rollers- waste tank re routing- reset program- ink cartridges- Chipless firmware- rip software- 

 

expect at least spending 20 hours modifying, learning and test printing. Roughly $700-$1000 above the cost of the printer for all modifications and supplies as well ( excluding a heat press/curing oven). , plan on wasting at least $100 of that making mistakes and testing. 
 

the rip software alone is at least $400, that isn’t garbage or illegal. 

Edited by johnson4
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2 hours ago, johnson4 said:

Any printer, will need modified. Pizza Rollers- waste tank re routing- reset program- ink cartridges- Chipless firmware- rip software- 

 

expect at least spending 20 hours modifying, learning and test printing. Roughly $700-$1000 above the cost of the printer for all modifications and supplies as well ( excluding a heat press/curing oven). , plan on wasting at least $100 of that making mistakes and testing. 
 

the rip software alone is at least $400, that isn’t garbage or illegal. 

Hi,

How many P400’s do you have for DTF? Do you recommend a powder shaker oven?

I’m thinking about ordering 4, you think that’s overkill? My wife and I own a custom T-shirt retail business with a storefront.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016F3Q4WS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_9S06CTXMHFM6QYPNHR80

Thanks,

Jim

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7 minutes ago, thevinylhippie said:

^ That’s the seller I just bought from on Amazon. 

I run two, and keep a spare unit plus parts. Each one produces about 35 prints an hour with a mini shaker. So I get about 70 prints an hour with two units. Basic 13x17 prints. 

they don’t make them anymore- at all, they killed the p400 series out, so I grab them when I can if they are cheap enough. I think that’s a good price on them. The printhead alone is $1,000 each for the p400. 
 

 

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Ok. I have all the stuff except the inks. They're stuck somewhere in the customs.

First mistake made now and it was a huge one. Cost me a few hundred $ which isnt the end of the world but the real downside is that it is so difficult to find this model nowadays. Hopefully the printhead didn't die.

I turned on the printer (P400) and didn't realize this was a US version and meant for lower voltage input.

I still have the XP-15000 sitting which was my backup. Guess I'll have to practice with that then.

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20 hours ago, davekk said:

Ok. I have all the stuff except the inks. They're stuck somewhere in the customs.

First mistake made now and it was a huge one. Cost me a few hundred $ which isnt the end of the world but the real downside is that it is so difficult to find this model nowadays. Hopefully the printhead didn't die.

I turned on the printer (P400) and didn't realize this was a US version and meant for lower voltage input.

I still have the XP-15000 sitting which was my backup. Guess I'll have to practice with that then.

Ouch.. .. I saw a couple of P400 without print heads being sold on Ebay UK for very cheap.. ... may be you need part swap from those.. Good Luck .. 

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46 minutes ago, davekk said:

Thanks for the tip. Ordered one.

I have never done what You did before, so I have no idea the extent of the damage. I do know shorting the 3V rail destroys almost all the 3V sensors, 

hopefully the printhead is okay, I don’t know how Much stuff is there, but here the p400 is about $1,000. You can buy the printhead from Epson for about $500. I also run the R2400, and the R2000 is basically the same if you can find those models cheaper as well. 

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On 8/21/2021 at 4:42 PM, johnson4 said:

I have never done what You did before, so I have no idea the extent of the damage. I do know shorting the 3V rail destroys almost all the 3V sensors, 

hopefully the printhead is okay, I don’t know how Much stuff is there, but here the p400 is about $1,000. You can buy the printhead from Epson for about $500. I also run the R2400, and the R2000 is basically the same if you can find those models cheaper as well. 

Yes thanks for the information. I've been looking for those models also but theyre so old that no one has them anymore. There is one 3880 that I could buy but I think only the models with cartridges on top of the printhead would be suitable for me as I cannot commit to printing every day.

I'll let you know if the printhead swap from the damaged device succeeds.

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51 minutes ago, davekk said:

Yes thanks for the information. I've been looking for those models also but theyre so old that no one has them anymore. There is one 3880 that I could buy but I think only the models with cartridges on top of the printhead would be suitable for me as I cannot commit to printing every day.

I'll let you know if the printhead swap from the damaged device succeeds.

I look on eBay daily, I purchased an R1800 for $75 delivered, and an R2400 for $100 delivered both in the same week. Both are fully functional, after some minor cleaning. I used the R1800 for the printhead and tossed the rest, and keeping the R2400 as a spare printer for the Chinese printer I bought( based on the R2400). Any other way, and I was looking at $800-$1000 for a new DX5 printhead for the Chinese converted printer- which wasn’t an option to me. 
 

just takes a little bit of persistence looking at the right time, for me anyway. 
 

i agree, I love the models with the cartridges on the head, even though I’ve converted mine to a bulk ink system with white ink management, it’s still much easier and much more efficient than doing it to a different type of printer. Even still, loading cleaning cartridges is a breeze.  You also need to consider the availability of Chipless firmware, which somehow the R2400 printer I have has. 
 

hopefully it turns out alright for you, but In the end, we’ve all done something like this to some degree. ( made a mistake that costs us). 
 

good luck!

Edited by johnson4
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  • 8 months later...
1 hour ago, jmojo said:

Regarding pizza (star) wheel removal on the P400.... are there any instructions, diagrams, videos of the best way to do this?  I was unable to find any. Thank you.

Nope, just pop them out. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hi very new to this but I’m about to purchase a p400 (new) without the printer head. Would you happen to know what head I’d need to purchase to convert the printer to dtf printer? 

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2 hours ago, dtftex said:

Hi very new to this but I’m about to purchase a p400 (new) without the printer head. Would you happen to know what head I’d need to purchase to convert the printer to dtf printer? 

Waste of money, the head itself is $1,000, unless purchased by Epson ( for $600) which is limited one per serial number. If someone harvested the head they likely used that serial already so you would be stuck at the 1,000 cost for the head alone, plus possibly damaging the entire unit installing it. 
 

 Not to mention it’s not easy on that model to do without damaging the CSIC holder. 
 

the new head would need aligned as well more than likely. 
 

 

id opt for another purchase. For example, I’m selling my new unopened Epson p400 that is Epson refurbished for $800 locally. Possibly still under the original warranty, I don’t remember. My point is it’s very likely not worth it with your description. 
 


 

 

Edited by johnson4
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On 4/26/2022 at 12:15 PM, jmojo said:

Regarding pizza (star) wheel removal on the P400.... are there any instructions, diagrams, videos of the best way to do this?  I was unable to find any. Thank you.

I haven't found any information on this I'm almost ready to rip it off can anyone help?

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For enough. I appreciate that info. For someone who is just starting out, what printer do you recommend I get? Like you’ve said the p400 is hard to find.  I know I’m gonna need to switch the head regardless of the printer  so I can convert it; but what printer should I get then? I’m trying to be mindful of cost for now and eventually get a more expensive one after I’ve made some cash, and if the need is there. I’m pretty big on spending what I’ve made instead of paying out of pocket upfront (minus the initial cost of the first printer). Basically I am going to use it to print sporadically but I want to be able to print high quality images like photos Ive added for example. Any info is very much appreciated.

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2 hours ago, dtftex said:

For enough. I appreciate that info. For someone who is just starting out, what printer do you recommend I get? Like you’ve said the p400 is hard to find.  I know I’m gonna need to switch the head regardless of the printer  so I can convert it; but what printer should I get then? I’m trying to be mindful of cost for now and eventually get a more expensive one after I’ve made some cash, and if the need is there. I’m pretty big on spending what I’ve made instead of paying out of pocket upfront (minus the initial cost of the first printer). Basically I am going to use it to print sporadically but I want to be able to print high quality images like photos Ive added for example. Any info is very much appreciated.

F80EDF95-36AB-4991-BC00-206066A56BDC.jpeg

5BCAB4CB-F7AA-40C1-AC3B-5364145E42D1.jpeg

The problem is your a bit late to the game so most compatible printers are gone, as well as the deals. 
 

all compatible models have been discontinued and are hard to find except:

xp-15000

some 6 color ecotank printers

epson p-5000

epson P-6000

 

the xp-15000 printer is a pain to start  on, generally just not ideal. It’s good to learn with though. Know you’ll break it within 60 days no matter how prepared you are. 
 

i don’t recommend eco tanks at all, waste of $600 in my opinion. Yeah you can make them work, but it’s rather impossible to maintain consistency. They are designed for dye based ink, not white pigment ink that needs mixed daily. 
 

then you get into rather expensive printers, but the p-5000/p-6000 seem to work well, again, after you’ve had some experience. 
 

none of it is as easy as it looks. Sure you’ll get some good prints at first. 2-3 months in though, that’s where experience comes in handy. 
 

I personally think for intermittent use the p400 is ideal. For almost daily use the P800 has been the most reliable I’ve used in the two years of printing DTF. 
 

the 5000 seems good as well, removing a lot of headaches with features the other printers don’t have. 
 

All in all though In my opinion roll printing and a shaker is a basic necessity for consistent sellable prints. People buying DTF want consistency, which sheet printing and hand powdering rarely offers. 
 

if I could go back in time and save all the money I’ve wasted up until this point learning from mistakes and finding out why different aspects are a deal breaker on these models, I’d have just purchased a 24” printer from Andy. They are $14,000 now for the entire setup, less printhead warranty and PC ( let’s face it, paying for 3 new printheads and a PC upfront honestly doesn’t make sense, just buy 3 new printheads and a PC externally if and when you need them). 
 

seems like ALOT of dough upfront, but after a million “ micro purchases” to make a system yourself plus the time and learning experience, it’s actually cheaper. 
 

I’ve tried ordering from China, every single time there is always some bullshit associated with it you have to deal with financially and time wise, I don’t care how smart you go about it or if you think chargebacks work. It’s a literal game of luck. 
 

 

let me put it to you this way, I went down this road years ago. The path you are considering. The exact path actually. Paying for the costs with profits, that was my business moto.  Absolutely dip your toes in with a cheap printer to learn and see if it’s what you want is a must in my opinion. 
 

but leave it there, you’ll break it, don’t get sucked in when you feel “ shorted” and want to keep trying. With most things this business model works great, but with DTF you are left with massive, I mean MASSIVE amounts of time taken and little to show for it. You’ll end up with hundreds of purchases that have no resell value. 
 

had I purchased one of these $14,000 setups from the get go, I’d have saved over $20,000 in the last 2 years. Make a little money, spend it to grow. Over and over. You end up with a bunch of low quality broken crap that you wish you wouldn’t have purchased and started with something that you go can grow into, instead of replacing every time you turn around. 
 

if you want to make money at selling transfers, your looking at a minimum of $3,000 to start, being cheap as hell. Sheet printing is only good for testing or in house use.  After a couple months, you might make $5,000-$6,000 on that setup which you will then now have outgrown. People want 25-50 12”x12” transfers printed and shipped in 24 hours. You can’t do that or you’ll have a dissatisfied customer, so your turning down orders or overall unable to complete them. If you don’t, someone else will then you’ve lost a customer. Get one tiny issue with your setup at all, your whole operation is down. Bulbs, motors, printheads, capping stations, bad inks, bad ICC settings or ink percentages, bad adhesive layer it goes on and on. All it takes is one mistake to destroy what you’ve built.

With a DIY pieced together system, it happens almost daily. I know, I’ve been doing it for two years. 
 

so take that $5,000-$6,000 and reinvest it again, upgrading to meet demand. Now you have a useless previous system with no value because it has suffered from failures that require forced modifications. People don’t buy used or broken equipment unless it’s a full on actual unit like the 24” Printers.

 

 Now you are at ground zero again, broke but with a better setup. Do it again, and again, and again. Finding yourself going nuts trying to keep up with the “ small” things that add up to the whole unit.
 

eventually you’ll turn around and find $20,000 worth of junk behind you and no running printers, with next to no money to show for it because it all went into “ learning and growing”. Something as simple as one bad batch of ink can destroy an entire printer, not just the printhead on an Epson printer. 
 

 

OR you could start off with a small sheet printer to find out if it’s what you want to do. The first week, any new printer will offer great results. After that, it’s downhill until you learn from your mistakes. 
 

 go “ all-in” if you decide your up to the task and want to dedicate your time to the process. Buy a $15,000 setup and grow into the printer, not the other way around. Worst case, it will hold at least 50% of its value if the business venture fails. You’ll need to print and sell/ship roughly  7,500 12”X12” prints to break even. If you need a new printhead or replacements parts, add 500 12”x12” prints per instance. 
 

thats break even. Add the time to print 8000 12”x12” transfers and your looking at 380 hours of printing alone plus maintenance. 
 

after that, you’ll have met your profit area and can make $15,000 in every 7,500 12”x12” prints. This is assuming nothing breaks. 
 

this is with the going/basic profit rate per foot, given you can meet daily demand consistently while offering decent quality and color accuracy while using good supplies with no down time. Usually this requires to keep backup parts on hand, maybe even a whole extra unit. Anything else, and someone else will take your sales.

 

it’s highly profitable if you play your cards right, or it can consume your life and keep you making micro purchases running a conversion slowly. Spending all your profit almost weekly to keep running. 
 

 

 

all that said, the xp-15000 works great to test with, run a few prints and learn the importance of maintenance. Maybe sell some low volume prints for a couple weeks or months. After that, I’d go with a full 24” setup that is warranted and comes with support. 
 

I know how the above sounds, but it’s the truth, even doing everything right, even spending months researching. 
 

no one likes spending money they don’t have, and with this stuff comes at a serious downfall. To sell transfers and make money, you need consistency, speed, and a lot of time. Something conversions don’t traditionally offer. 
 

i wish you luck, but the above is my full on opinion based on my losses and gains. I know it’ll be taken with a grain of salt because you’ll do it differently, but I just wanted to put it out there. It’s well worth putting the money in upfront. 
 


 

Speed, consistency, reliability. If one of those is not there, someone else will do it for you. 
 

 

Edited by johnson4
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I appreciate all of that honest info. This may not be for me then as I don’t think I have the time. I mean I know it takes time but my wife and I just moved into a new house and a newborn is on the way. I will keep what you have said in mind as I decide in my next steps, thank you for your feedback.

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9 hours ago, dtftex said:

I appreciate all of that honest info. This may not be for me then as I don’t think I have the time. I mean I know it takes time but my wife and I just moved into a new house and a newborn is on the way. I will keep what you have said in mind as I decide in my next steps, thank you for your feedback.

No worries. I was in your shoes 6-7 years ago. 
 

good luck with whatever you decide, it’s never easy but it’s always worth the extra effort. 

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It is very possible to clog 24” printers printhead in a short amount of time if you dont know what you are doing. Seen 10 diffirent person. Start small learn the basics, if you are going to earn money then incest on a big one.

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2 hours ago, anum11 said:

It is very possible to clog 24” printers printhead in a short amount of time if you dont know what you are doing. Seen 10 diffirent person. Start small learn the basics, if you are going to earn money then incest on a big one.

Totally agree, short but sweet version. 

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