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Hey guys! First post here and I just thought I'd ask everyone's opinion. 

Im looking to build onto an Epson P400 to complement my custom hat business. I keep getting asked questions for custom shirts and I feel like I'm really leaving money on the table when I turn them away. Ive tried Transfers after transfers but always got a cheap look and feel. I've tried screen printed plastisol transfers but customer service sucked and it takes forever and sublimation is very limited. I e looked into screen printing myself but I don't have pluming or the space in my garage work area. BUT I have space I could put a DTF printer! 

So my shirt orders are going to be anywhere from 1-100 in quantity and probably a lot of single colors.  Not looking to mass produce prints but I do want to be able to get those jobs for my existing customers. 

So, what products would you recommend or wish you would have gone with before you started?

I can find the P400 pretty easy online so that's why I want to go with it and from what I read it can print fast. What about brand of film or a film roll, ink, adhesive powder, curing oven and the best rip software. 

Thanks guys! Any info is much appreciated!!

 

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2 hours ago, MiguelH said:

Hey guys! First post here and I just thought I'd ask everyone's opinion. 

Im looking to build onto an Epson P400 to complement my custom hat business. I keep getting asked questions for custom shirts and I feel like I'm really leaving money on the table when I turn them away. Ive tried Transfers after transfers but always got a cheap look and feel. I've tried screen printed plastisol transfers but customer service sucked and it takes forever and sublimation is very limited. I e looked into screen printing myself but I don't have pluming or the space in my garage work area. BUT I have space I could put a DTF printer! 

So my shirt orders are going to be anywhere from 1-100 in quantity and probably a lot of single colors.  Not looking to mass produce prints but I do want to be able to get those jobs for my existing customers. 

So, what products would you recommend or wish you would have gone with before you started?

I can find the P400 pretty easy online so that's why I want to go with it and from what I read it can print fast. What about brand of film or a film roll, ink, adhesive powder, curing oven and the best rip software. 

Thanks guys! Any info is much appreciated!!

 

I Used the DTFsuperstore inks and supplies on my P400. I ran it for 6 months. I can't say how many prints, it didn't keep count. BUT It was $55,000 Gross ( not profit) worth of transfers before it broke, Which wasn't the printhead, it still worked. Error code 73H, whatever that is. 

for the P400, I roll printed with it, with 17ML carts ( the bigger ones) I could get 35 CMYK+W per set, OR 35 WHITE ONLY AND 35 BLACK ONLY per set. I just had a few prefilled sets and swapped them out, much easier and error proof than a CISS. 

Something to keep in mind, The P400 I ran, When ran 10 hours a day, I needed to add a fan. the heatsink is exposed on the back, so I noticed out the plastic and added a fan to cool it off, otherwise it kept throwing fits after a few hours of constant printing. I would normally print around 100-200 12x12 prints a day, and it printed them about 35 an hour single color, 18 or so CMYK+W. 

I had to use USB connection, because again, after a few hours the WIFI module would overheat and disconnect. 

so The Fan AND USB fixed my issues with it roll printing. 

 

For single color, It's a no brainer and a great choice. you can knock out 100 prints ( with a mini shaker) in less than 2.5 hours, Manually powder and curing them, I have no idea on a " time" but I'd assume around 4 hours. 

 

It's a simple conversion, great printer, I know I pushed it too hard, VERY often and it did fine. Nothing I really wished I would have known, it all came out as I had expected. It's a 15 minutes conversion plus making a roll media adapter for it to fit the film. 

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@johnson4 thank you! I've been lurking here trying to read as much info as I can and I see you're the go to guy. 

Is DTF superstore located in the US? 

As far as software I was thinking Pixel Moshpit for art rasterizing in Photoshop and acroRip to send over to the P400. 

What do you suggest?

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2 hours ago, MiguelH said:

@johnson4 thank you! I've been lurking here trying to read as much info as I can and I see you're the go to guy. 

Is DTF superstore located in the US? 

As far as software I was thinking Pixel Moshpit for art rasterizing in Photoshop and acroRip to send over to the P400. 

What do you suggest?

No problem.
 

They are located in Arizona. The people who own opendtg also own DTFsuperstore, he started the DTF portion at the end of 2020. very reputable in my book, honest guy with good service. 

 

as for software, I’ve used acro (9.X) Cadlink and EKprint. 

Ekprint is what I mainly use for one color designs, it prints and processes very fast. Basic and easy to use. I open 6 windows per printer. 2 white only, 2 black only, 2 cmykw ( presets I made). So technically it’s 6 instances of the program. As one job is loaded and printed, ( which varies in the design, but always under 10 seconds) I switch the the other window and start working there instead of standing around. I print bulk one offs, so this is ideal for me. Ekprint is locked to that very specific printer model and PC. 
 

Cadlink is my 2nd choice, because it does offer a lot of features, but more importantly it prints great colors- but a bit slower than EKprint. The large amount of options can make it overwhelming at first, alot of things to “ fine tune” sometimes. I still don’t know my way around it perfectly, but I do think it’s a bit more options than is needed for a RIP. You can’t open it twice, but you can PAY to add additional ports for more printers to run at once. License Can be swapped to a new PC easily. 

Acro is my last choice, for the SOLE reason of how slow it processes each print. It has decent all around features and works well, I just never used it much because it can take over a 2 minutes sometimes to process a print job before sending it. You can’t open it more than once, so I’m standing and waiting. 9 can be found for “ free” lots of places. I haven’t tried 10 or the newer versions because I’m told they don’t process any faster. That’s my dealbreaker with acro. 
 

so if that isn’t an issue, acro is good, versatile and prints decent colors. Easy to add a color profile if needed. For one color designs, it wouldn’t have an issue. If you print a bunch of the same designs over and over, it’s not so bad. Me personally, I print 100 different designs daily. 
 

RIPS features really are determined by your needs, so EKprint might not be ideal for you. It is the most expensive of the 3. 

 

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Long post ahead...

I personally have had massive headaches with both of my P400s. Used DTF Superstore inks as my first set of inks in both. 
 

My main issue was that after exactly 1 month of use on both, I began to get clogs every 5-10 prints. Running head cleans cleared it up according to the nozzle checks, but then 5-10 prints later, once again clogs. To this day I haven’t figured out why this happens. 

I consistently ran maintenance on these, not missing 1 day:

- Cleaned the wiper blade, capping station and the nipples above the printhead at the end of every print day

- Used cleaning cartridges at the end of the print day and flushed all of the think out (ink flush and then a head clean...maybe I needed to do more? I have no idea)

- printed and kept the printer daily at a controlled 55% humidity

The only thing I didn’t do daily which a lot of people don’t recommend is cleaning under the printhead with a cloth/paper towel because it could scratch the surface of the printhead, but I began doing it after I continued to have problems but it didn’t seem to make a difference. 
 

Yesterday, I finally decided to take the printhead out and apart to see what could be going on. First, there was a ton of dried ink around the printhead (I don’t see how this could have caused issues though..it’s not like it was obstructing the nozzles on the printhead.) Second, the manifold seemed to have ink still in it even when running the cleaning cartridges at the end of every day. So the inks were not getting flushed out completely. But still, there are people, like @johnson4I believe, that don’t even run cleaning cartridges every day, so I’m just clueless how they don’t have these issues while I did on both of my P400s, while I was at least clearing out MOST of the inks every single day. It’s extremely frustrating that I haven’t figured this out after almost 8 months.  

After taking the printhead out, I did what most say is a bad idea to do: did the waterfall thing to clear out clogs. After putting the printhead back in, most clogs are gone but I still see some broken lines on the nozzle checks. We’ll see if that clears up and if the clog every 5-10 print thing happens now.

I got my hands on a P800 and I’m hoping I don’t have these problems, but I am paranoid as hell to start using it after the issues I’ve had with the P400. 


@MiguelH Please keep us updated on how it goes for you. I’m really curious if you run into this clog issue. I don’t see too many people with a P400 to ask. 

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4 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Long post ahead...

I personally have had massive headaches with both of my P400s. Used DTF Superstore inks as my first set of inks in both. 
 

My main issue was that after exactly 1 month of use on both, I began to get clogs every 5-10 prints. Running head cleans cleared it up according to the nozzle checks, but then 5-10 prints later, once again clogs. To this day I haven’t figured out why this happens. 

I consistently ran maintenance on these, not missing 1 day:

- Cleaned the wiper blade, capping station and the nipples above the printhead at the end of every print day

- Used cleaning cartridges at the end of the print day and flushed all of the think out (ink flush and then a head clean...maybe I needed to do more? I have no idea)

- printed and kept the printer daily at a controlled 55% humidity

The only thing I didn’t do daily which a lot of people don’t recommend is cleaning under the printhead with a cloth/paper towel because it could scratch the surface of the printhead, but I began doing it after I continued to have problems but it didn’t seem to make a difference. 
 

Yesterday, I finally decided to take the printhead out and apart to see what could be going on. First, there was a ton of dried ink around the printhead (I don’t see how this could have caused issues though..it’s not like it was obstructing the nozzles on the printhead.) Second, the manifold seemed to have ink still in it even when running the cleaning cartridges at the end of every day. So the inks were not getting flushed out completely. But still, there are people, like @johnson4I believe, that don’t even run cleaning cartridges every day, so I’m just clueless how they don’t have these issues while I did on both of my P400s, while I was at least clearing out MOST of the inks every single day. It’s extremely frustrating that I haven’t figured this out after almost 8 months.  

After taking the printhead out, I did what most say is a bad idea to do: did the waterfall thing to clear out clogs. After putting the printhead back in, most clogs are gone but I still see some broken lines on the nozzle checks. We’ll see if that clears up and if the clog every 5-10 print thing happens now.

I got my hands on a P800 and I’m hoping I don’t have these problems, but I am paranoid as hell to start using it after the issues I’ve had with the P400. 


@MiguelH Please keep us updated on how it goes for you. I’m really curious if you run into this clog issue. I don’t see too many people with a P400 to ask. 

With the p400’s I ran them as a pair, one had much more use than the other. That one, as I’ve said had about 5,000 12x12 prints on it before it died, and it didn’t really die, it just has issues I will discuss below. It’s my fault.  I used my cleaning solution and cleaned the wiper to like new condition everyday before doing a head clean, and the cap top. Shake the ink, that’s it. same thing I do in every printer I own. I do not flush it with cleaning solution everyday, it takes like 3-4 cleanings to get the ink out, you never get it all out without soaking/cleaning over a period of time. 
 

so I was experiencing clogging on one p400 and not the other, after about 5000 12x12 prints( successful prints, not test/ mess up prints). I did everything I could to figure it out and just left it alone because I couldn’t.

 

I revisited it the other day after it sat for a few months and within minutes I found my problem. The CSIC board had come loose( where the chip reader is and the part that the carts clip in to). So, all the carts were not being sealed onto the printhead well, allowing air to go in. Fixed that, and even though it sat uncapped for several months I still have flow coming out of all channels. I need to also replace the black mat( the borderless printing ink pad) because it has white ink on it, causing issues with the PW sensor I think. BUT I did find why it died, and that was the CSIC board not holding the carts down and sealed to the printhead. 
 

the other p400 also sat the same amount of time. I switched to two p800’s when that happened. I loaded OEM inks in that p400 and have been printing canvas photos with it without an issue at all. Of course I have to use an output tray with it, because I removed the rollers. 
 

so I don’t think it’s the printer, at least from my perspective. Some exterior reason is causing the issues. If you have ink build up on your head, your wiper can’t cleanly and smoothly wipe the surface of the head, and it’s possibly dragging tiny bits of dried ink over the head surface. One head strike can cause permanent damage, or do nothing at all. 
 

my main principles I follow: 

1. make sure the wiper is 100% clean every morning before a head clean. I mean, it should be black front/back and under the ridge where it wipes. I use my cleaning solution that melts away dried ink to make it easier. 

2. make sure there isn’t any buildup on the head. I usually don’t, unless I’ve had a head strike. 
 

3. add 1/4 to 1/2 cleaning solution to the cap top. It flushes and cleans the lines a bit to keep them from clogging, and makes the printhead wet, so a nice smooth “ sealed” wipe can occur. 
 

4. make sure the nipple area is clean, there are 4 tiny holes per “ nipple”. The rest needs cleaned manually. 
 

5. If I am cleaning it with solution, I do it well. Normally I leave the ink loaded. But if I want to let it sit or for whatever reason, I clean the shit out of everything, the nipples, wiper, cap top, then I run a cleaning set of carts 1/2 to 90% empty with cleans, clean the stuff one more time and then let it sit.

 

random note: The p400 waste ink lines need to be in a U shape. If it just runs down, it creates a suction and pulls from the head, pulling air into it and or draining the cap and carts. So I made a U shape in the hose so it was higher than the capping station before dropping into the waste bottle. If not, I always had issues. 
 

For the p800’s, basically the same, shake carts daily, clean wiper/cap really well before I start for the day and add solution to the cap top before I do the first head clean of the day. 
I don’t even clean when I am done for the day. I do all that in the morning before I print again. 
 

the p800’s haven’t given me a single issue with the 80ML carts. The larger carts without filters I did have issues with. 

 

the p800 DTG that I had experienced failure, in a way. It sat for months and worked fine, uncleaned kept in the floor. Set it up where I can use it and had it working without an issue. Didn’t use it again for 2-3 months. No ink flowing, clogged capping station lines, bad dampers. Replaced those and good to go again, even though it was shooting out gelled ink from the head, then nothing.

 

I think the p800 is the best printer for DTF, because it has a straight shot ink path, and an actual pressurized ink system. 
 

good luck, sucks to hear the p400s aren’t working out for you. Hopefully the p800 works better for you, I haven’t had any problems with either unless self inflicted. 

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5 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Long post ahead...

I personally have had massive headaches with both of my P400s. Used DTF Superstore inks as my first set of inks in both. 
 

My main issue was that after exactly 1 month of use on both, I began to get clogs every 5-10 prints. Running head cleans cleared it up according to the nozzle checks, but then 5-10 prints later, once again clogs. To this day I haven’t figured out why this happens. 

I consistently ran maintenance on these, not missing 1 day:

- Cleaned the wiper blade, capping station and the nipples above the printhead at the end of every print day

- Used cleaning cartridges at the end of the print day and flushed all of the think out (ink flush and then a head clean...maybe I needed to do more? I have no idea)

- printed and kept the printer daily at a controlled 55% humidity

The only thing I didn’t do daily which a lot of people don’t recommend is cleaning under the printhead with a cloth/paper towel because it could scratch the surface of the printhead, but I began doing it after I continued to have problems but it didn’t seem to make a difference. 
 

Yesterday, I finally decided to take the printhead out and apart to see what could be going on. First, there was a ton of dried ink around the printhead (I don’t see how this could have caused issues though..it’s not like it was obstructing the nozzles on the printhead.) Second, the manifold seemed to have ink still in it even when running the cleaning cartridges at the end of every day. So the inks were not getting flushed out completely. But still, there are people, like @johnson4I believe, that don’t even run cleaning cartridges every day, so I’m just clueless how they don’t have these issues while I did on both of my P400s, while I was at least clearing out MOST of the inks every single day. It’s extremely frustrating that I haven’t figured this out after almost 8 months.  

After taking the printhead out, I did what most say is a bad idea to do: did the waterfall thing to clear out clogs. After putting the printhead back in, most clogs are gone but I still see some broken lines on the nozzle checks. We’ll see if that clears up and if the clog every 5-10 print thing happens now.

I got my hands on a P800 and I’m hoping I don’t have these problems, but I am paranoid as hell to start using it after the issues I’ve had with the P400. 


@MiguelH Please keep us updated on how it goes for you. I’m really curious if you run into this clog issue. I don’t see too many people with a P400 to ask. 

You most likely have dried ink inside of black part of printhead. Which you can remove and seperately flush. Then flush printhead if necessary.

Keeping wiper blade, cap sealing and under printhead clean; prevents Air leakage and clogs. It is more important than you think.

Under same conditions p800 would result the same but it have pressurized system so it can remove those clogs. But if you clog p800 and open it with head cleaning too many times it will damage your printhead in long run. So i would suggest same as p400 for maintaince.

Edited by anum11
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1 minute ago, anum11 said:

You most likely have dried ink inside of black part of printhead. Which you can remove and seperately flush. Then flush printhead if necessary.

Keeping wiper blade, cap sealing and under printhead clean; prevents Air leakage and clogs. It is more important than you think.

Under same conditions p800 would result the same but it have pressurized system so it can remove those clogs. But if you clog p800 and open it with head cleaning too many times it will damage your printhead in long run. So i would suggest same as p400 for maintaince.

Totally agree. 

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14 minutes ago, anum11 said:

Keeping wiper blade, cap sealing and under printhead clean; prevents Air leakage and clogs. It is more important than you think.

Well that’s what I said in my post...that I made sure to clean it daily not missing 1 day. So why would I have any of these issues if I am doing that maintenance daily?

The buildup that I saw was on the edges of the printhead...the aluminum metal thing surrounding the head. I never had headstrikes (that I was aware of) so I’m not sure how that ink even got there. Could this build up really somehow get in the way of the printer printing? Remember...when I do a head clean, the clogs are gone so the blade and capping station seem to be doing their job. The clogs just come back a few prints later. 

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1 hour ago, johnson4 said:

my main principles I follow: 

1. make sure the wiper is 100% clean every morning before a head clean. I mean, it should be black front/back and under the ridge where it wipes. I use my cleaning solution that melts away dried ink to make it easier. 

- Absolutely. This is something I did EVERY day...when the printer randomly did those little mini cleanings after 20ish prints, and each time between the final ink flush and the head clean I ran with my maintenance carts.

2. make sure there isn’t any buildup on the head. I usually don’t, unless I’ve had a head strike. 

- The only buildup I saw when I took the printhead out was along the metal frame that secures the printhead to the manifold. I don't know how it got there because I never had any head strikes. But either way, if running a head clean gets rid of the clogs, doesn't it mean the capping station and the wiper blade is working and there is no obstruction on the printhead? If so, why the F do the clogs keep coming back even though the nozzle check and first print after a clean looks perfect. This is what's driving me insane.
 

3. add 1/4 to 1/2 cleaning solution to the cap top. It flushes and cleans the lines a bit to keep them from clogging, and makes the printhead wet, so a nice smooth “ sealed” wipe can occur. 

- I did this daily, but sometimes I came in the next morning and the cleaning carts I used emptied out. I think this has to do with the U thing you mentioned on your post.
 

4. make sure the nipple area is clean, there are 4 tiny holes per “ nipple”. The rest needs cleaned manually. 

- With my first P400, I didn't pay attention to this. I didn't even use cleaning carts. I thought this was my biggest issue so on my second P400, I began cleaning them as my nightly maintenance along with using the cleaning carts. I would have bet my balls that this was my issue, but I would have lost my balls I guess because I literally began having the same problems on my second P400 exactly 1 month in just like my first one.
 

5. If I am cleaning it with  solution, I do it well. Normally I leave the ink loaded. But if I want to let it sit or for whatever reason, I clean the shit out of everything, the nipples, wiper, cap top, then I run a cleaning set of carts 1/2 to 90% empty with cleans, clean the stuff one more time and then let it sit.

- That's the thing...I see many people not using the cleaning carts at the end of the day but most of these people have a different printer so I thought maybe the P400 is a bit sensitive. So I did exactly what you're saying (again, with cleaning carts though) DAILY. I didn'r tun them to 90% empty. It looks like 1 ink flush and 1 regular clean got them to 50% empty.

 

random note: The p400 waste ink lines need to be in a U shape. If it just runs down, it creates a suction and pulls from the head, pulling air into it and or draining the cap and carts. So I made a U shape in the hose so it was higher than the capping station before dropping into the waste bottle. If not, I always had issues. 

I was going to ask if THIS could be my issue because most of the mornings when I come in, at least 1 cartridge has been emptied out and I never knew why. But this isn't a part of the printing process so I can't imagine this would be my reocurring clogs? I'm having a tough time picturing how you have that U shape. Is it basically like this?: https://imgur.com/QA1lTvI

I'm telling you guys....I am very dedicated to anything I try to learn, spending years if I have to to learn something. But these printers might be the first thing I ever have given up on lol. A year doing everything, trying different methods of cleaning/maintaining but I still have the SAME problems? It just blows my mind.

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17 minutes ago, Mdrake2016 said:

I'm telling you guys....I am very dedicated to anything I try to learn, spending years if I have to to learn something. But these printers might be the first thing I ever have given up on lol. A year doing everything, trying different methods of cleaning/maintaining but I still have the SAME problems? It just blows my mind.

Yea, I know what you mean. The reason it keeps getting said is because there really isn’t any other reason for the problems. I’m not a wizard or anything, so all I can say is what I do and it has worked, and what didn’t work. 

 

Do you have some photos of your cleaned wiper/capping station, and the nozzles with the ink carts out? What cleaning solution are you using? 
 

like me, for example. I swore it was the ink on my first p400. After walking away and coming back, it was my fault, and I overlooked it and overthought everything else out. I mean, I spent forever filtering ink, testing things, replacing printheads, and all it was, was the carts not sealing perfectly. 
 

certain cleaners can eat away at the non stick components of the head, causing clogged nozzles after a few prints, I mean the amount of variables is endless, so going back to scratch isn’t a bad idea, it’s what I had to do. 
 

if you have some photos, maybe it would benefit the problem solving aspect. 

Edited by johnson4
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1 hour ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Well that’s what I said in my post...that I made sure to clean it daily not missing 1 day. So why would I have any of these issues if I am doing that maintenance daily?

The buildup that I saw was on the edges of the printhead...the aluminum metal thing surrounding the head. I never had headstrikes (that I was aware of) so I’m not sure how that ink even got there. Could this build up really somehow get in the way of the printer printing? Remember...when I do a head clean, the clogs are gone so the blade and capping station seem to be doing their job. The clogs just come back a few prints later. 

1. Cleaning it daily helps, but is it being done correctly? Not questioning your ability, but it is a meaningful question. Different times, different cleaners, I mean it’s a huge variable. I’ve seen “ clean” be a caked up wiper before. 
 

2. that build up on the metal bracket, yes it’s bad. It means the wiper isn’t able to do its job. It could also indicate a cleaner has damaged the non stick coating. If a nozzle has deflection, or clogging, it accumulates on the surface, causing excessive build up. Making a clean wiper essentially useless. 
 

3. When testing and making my own cleaner, ( because of  various reasons) I ran into this issue. I used a stronger cleaner and let it soak too long, and it ate the non stick surface away. If you wipe the head with cleaner and it doesn’t immediately bead up, then that’s what the ink will do to. 
 

I had a printer that did this, DTG, when making my cleaner. Originally it was to remove a clog. The cleaner caused the ink to stick to the head, and do what you described. It worked fine for a few prints, then needed a head clean, with ink buildup on the head. With DTG, I have the privilege of watching it in action from the underside. As ink would spray out, it would also accumulate on the surface. On a normal head, it didn’t accumulate. While the head worked, I damaged it with strong cleaner. 
 

does any of that sound like something that may have happened? 

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When I say “ making a cleaner” I mean I used store bought ( for this purpose) cleaners sold specifically for this application, then modified its formula to work better without harming my printhead. 

 

My DIY cleaner 100% uses chemicals made for DTG/DTF, it just has additives and is diluted. In pure form, it will destroy the surface of a head in 15 minutes, causing symptoms like you describe. However, diluted with additives, it can sit wet capped for 6 months+ without evaporating or damaging the head. Both versions will clean up dried DTF/DTG inks and is “ lubricating” to make things seal better, and wipe better. 
 

so, it’s possible a cleaner caused the damage too, maybe even early on. 

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I want to confirm Epson p400 error 73 is the PW sensor. 
 

I removed the foam pad and painted it black, now the original p400 that “ failed” is now working again. 
 

1. CSIC broke ( lifted 1/4 inch) and allowed air in the head from poorly seated carts. 
 

2. borderless pad had white ink on it, throwing error code 73. Removed pad and painted the metal black. 
 

this happened after 5,000 sq ft of printing. Let’s see how much more I can get. 
 

so it’s alive again!!!!

Edited by johnson4
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15 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

Well that’s what I said in my post...that I made sure to clean it daily not missing 1 day. So why would I have any of these issues if I am doing that maintenance daily?

The buildup that I saw was on the edges of the printhead...the aluminum metal thing surrounding the head. I never had headstrikes (that I was aware of) so I’m not sure how that ink even got there. Could this build up really somehow get in the way of the printer printing? Remember...when I do a head clean, the clogs are gone so the blade and capping station seem to be doing their job. The clogs just come back a few prints later. 

it causes your wiper not work well. it happens slowly every time you do head cleaning. It is normal, it is because of our dtg/dtf ink.

Edited by anum11
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5 hours ago, anum11 said:

it causes your wiper not work well. it happens slowly every time you do head cleaning. It is normal, it is because of our dtg/dtf ink.

I check under there once a week, with DTF, I haven’t cleaned them under the head routinely at all, maybe I’ve cleaned them twice in 6 months because it didn’t need it. I usually don’t have any build up unless it’s had a head strike or I print with clogged nozzles. I do use glycerin in my cleaning solution, which is also in the ink, maybe it helps, I don’t know. 
 

the DTG machines are a different story, I cleaned those daily because they always had some sort of build up after printing 20-30 shirts. If I didn’t clean them daily, I would experience things like OP described. Don’t know why, but cleaning it daily was easy since it’s exposed so I left it at that. 

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On 1/17/2022 at 11:32 AM, johnson4 said:

1. Cleaning it daily helps, but is it being done correctly? Not questioning your ability, but it is a meaningful question. Different times, different cleaners, I mean it’s a huge variable. I’ve seen “ clean” be a caked up wiper before. 
 

2. that build up on the metal bracket, yes it’s bad. It means the wiper isn’t able to do its job. It could also indicate a cleaner has damaged the non stick coating. If a nozzle has deflection, or clogging, it accumulates on the surface, causing excessive build up. Making a clean wiper essentially useless. 
 

3. When testing and making my own cleaner, ( because of  various reasons) I ran into this issue. I used a stronger cleaner and let it soak too long, and it ate the non stick surface away. If you wipe the head with cleaner and it doesn’t immediately bead up, then that’s what the ink will do to. 
 

I had a printer that did this, DTG, when making my cleaner. Originally it was to remove a clog. The cleaner caused the ink to stick to the head, and do what you described. It worked fine for a few prints, then needed a head clean, with ink buildup on the head. With DTG, I have the privilege of watching it in action from the underside. As ink would spray out, it would also accumulate on the surface. On a normal head, it didn’t accumulate. While the head worked, I damaged it with strong cleaner. 
 

does any of that sound like something that may have happened? 

The cleaning part I can confidently say I am doing 100% properly. The video you posted here:

 

I cleaned even WAY more thoroughly than you did there just to make sure I wasn't screwing anything up. I always makee sure to clean the wiper blade to the point that it looked brand new, and also soak the capping station and get as much cleaner out of it as possible, where the sponges looked as white as it could possibly get. I spent about 15 minutes cleaning it all every night. The only thing I didn't do was clean under the printhead. When that first P400 began having the problem I'm describing, I got the second P400 and decided to try using the cleaning carts at the end of the day. Typically what I did with this second P400 when I finished printing was this:

1. Remove the ink cartridges and clean the nipples with cleaner - I used the Firebird cleaning solution because DTF Superstore was out.

2. Put the cleaning carts in, clean the wiper blade and capping station edges as much as possible.

3. Run an ink charge and while the pump was pulling the ink through the capping station, inject cleaning solution to clear up the sponges.

4. Once the ink charge was done, I'd clean the wiper blade and the capping station edges again. Then I'd run a Normal head clean. Again while this was done, I'd inject cleaning solution while the pump was pulling the ink.

5. Once that clean was done, I'd clean the wiper blade and capping station edges one last time, and then put a few drops of cleaning solution on each sponge. Then let the printhead park on it, leaving the printer on until I come in the next day.

 

One thing I noticed with both of the P400s I had was it was the Orange channel that kept getting these recurring clogs.

Also, after doing the ink flush and clean above, I noticed the bottom part of the wiper blade always had some ink on it. Even after doing an ink flush and 2 strong cleanings. Maybe it's just the gravity and the cleaning fluid mixed with the inks causing it to fall to the bottom (since this wiper blade folds in)? I don't know. I was never sure if this meant that the wiper blade was doing it's job properly or not.
 

So the question I still have and can't figure out is how it's possible that a cleaning would clear up a clog, perfect nozzle check but then 5 prints later, clog comes right back. I mean if the nozzle check showed no clogs, and the first few prints were perfect, doesn't that mean the wiper blade and the capping station cleaned it properly? Could it be some dried ink inside the printhead that is grabbing onto new ink flowing through and causing a clog (like an icycle I guess....water flows but overtime the icycle becomes larger)?
 

Today, I took apart the printhead once again....ran cleaner through everything. Here is a picture showing the nozzle checks and describing what I did both times after taking the printhead out: W7Z3rj2.jpeg


I will take pictures of the wiper blade/capping station tomorrow or Monday. I didn't see your post about that until now and I'm no longer by the printer for the day.

 

Edited by Mdrake2016
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4 hours ago, Mdrake2016 said:

The cleaning part I can confidently say I am doing 100% properly. The video you posted here:

 

I cleaned even WAY more thoroughly than you did there just to make sure I wasn't screwing anything up. I always makee sure to clean the wiper blade to the point that it looked brand new, and also soak the capping station and get as much cleaner out of it as possible, where the sponges looked as white as it could possibly get. I spent about 15 minutes cleaning it all every night. The only thing I didn't do was clean under the printhead. When that first P400 began having the problem I'm describing, I got the second P400 and decided to try using the cleaning carts at the end of the day. Typically what I did with this second P400 when I finished printing was this:

1. Remove the ink cartridges and clean the nipples with cleaner - I used the Firebird cleaning solution because DTF Superstore was out.

2. Put the cleaning carts in, clean the wiper blade and capping station edges as much as possible.

3. Run an ink charge and while the pump was pulling the ink through the capping station, inject cleaning solution to clear up the sponges.

4. Once the ink charge was done, I'd clean the wiper blade and the capping station edges again. Then I'd run a Normal head clean. Again while this was done, I'd inject cleaning solution while the pump was pulling the ink.

5. Once that clean was done, I'd clean the wiper blade and capping station edges one last time, and then put a few drops of cleaning solution on each sponge. Then let the printhead park on it, leaving the printer on until I come in the next day.

 

One thing I noticed with both of the P400s I had was it was the Orange channel that kept getting these recurring clogs.

Also, after doing the ink flush and clean above, I noticed the bottom part of the wiper blade always had some ink on it. Even after doing an ink flush and 2 strong cleanings. Maybe it's just the gravity and the cleaning fluid mixed with the inks causing it to fall to the bottom (since this wiper blade folds in)? I don't know. I was never sure if this meant that the wiper blade was doing it's job properly or not.
 

So the question I still have and can't figure out is how it's possible that a cleaning would clear up a clog, perfect nozzle check but then 5 prints later, clog comes right back. I mean if the nozzle check showed no clogs, and the first few prints were perfect, doesn't that mean the wiper blade and the capping station cleaned it properly? Could it be some dried ink inside the printhead that is grabbing onto new ink flowing through and causing a clog (like an icycle I guess....water flows but overtime the icycle becomes larger)?
 

Today, I took apart the printhead once again....ran cleaner through everything. Here is a picture showing the nozzle checks and describing what I did both times after taking the printhead out: W7Z3rj2.jpeg


I will take pictures of the wiper blade/capping station tomorrow or Monday. I didn't see your post about that until now and I'm no longer by the printer for the day.

 

That’s pretty much spot on for about as serious as you can get with cleaning. I’m pretty “relaxed” on mine in comparison.  So, you could knock that off the list in my opinion. 
 

 

The issue you are describing to me seriously still sounds like the issues I had. Is it possible you have air getting into your head/carts? I had good checks, bad prints and that’s what caused it for me. The CSIC board had raised up, which I did not see until months later, making an imperfect seal. That’s the part the carts are held in there by. Could be a defective cartridge or maybe a cracked manifold ( unlikely). 
 

Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of challenges like this. I don’t know if I was right, but anytime I had to manually do anything to a printhead to make it work, it was nothing but trouble from there on out. Following the same principles you have, I would get good results followed by bad results over and over. I had researched thoroughly how these printheads work and had assumed the piezo nozzles had just become weak, I don’t really know, but I know I wasted more time and money trying to figure it out than it was ever worth. 
 

that’s when I found the Epson p800’s refurbished from Epson for $200 after selling the Oem ink, so I had a field day buying up $200 printheads and left it at that eventually. This was on the DTG p600’s I ran for years, the p800 head worked in them so it worked out. It’s the same principle though, minus the ink system. 
 

 

im not saying to give up, but I’m just saying there are only so many variables, and if you checked them all- I’m out of ideas. 

 

I will run through everything in my mind, likely things you know or checked, but in that off chance it may help: 

1. the capping station, If you can wet cap and the cleaner doesn’t drain out, and if the wiper looks firm and not warped, it’s likely fine since you clean it well. 
 

2. bad cartridges/ bad seal on the printhead.

3. Build up on the head can absolutely cause issues. It’s like everything is clean, just to wipe your clean hands with a crusty towel. That dried ink can clog nozzles if it gets lose in anyway, especially those small peices. 
 

4. in my opinion the most important part- head strikes. The film has that pre treatment on it, and a head strike getting that crap in the head can cause instant coagulation, even if you get it out, that nozzle could have issues. 
 

5. the way I understand it all works is piezo crystals get shot with a voltage, which in turn creates a suction, kind of like a pump going up and down. The Ink cools these things as it passes through. If you have a clog and try printing and no ink passes through, it overheats and causes it to become weak, or not function at all. Small things like maybe one print likely won’t hurt it, but running it for any length of time can weaken or disable it, from what I understand. So this suction is what pulls the ink in, along with the gravity fed nature of the p400, weak suction, poor flow. Can work great for a nozzle check, it’s just a simple on/off. When printing though, it’s weak and gives out. This is my understanding of how it works. 
 

6. bad ink, but that would be across all channels of that color, or show serious buildup on the screen filter in the cartridge long before issues occur, from my belief and experience. 
 

7. temperature and humidity isn’t an issue, as long as it’s not insane. That cap should seal the head shut, period. If you wet cap, it has liquid on both sides that can’t evaporate or let air touch the head to dry it out, UNLESS you are actively printing, which could cause clogging to occur mid print, depending on how dry your air is. 
 

 

 

that’s pretty much it on the p400 that I am aware of. So in my opinion something was overlooked, or just damaged. Those are really the only two options from my point of view. 
 

I fortunately was able to revive mine, it literally had DTF inks sitting in it uncapped for months because the printer wouldn’t cap it back and I didn’t care, I was fed up with it. I was shocked to see the original head work, after being exposed to air for months with DTF inks still in the head, so it makes me believe they are more resilient than I originally believed. 
 

where are you, if you don’t mind me asking. It’s worth a shot in the dark if you want to try, the only difference I’m seeing between us is the cleaning solution, I am more than happy to send you some to see if it helps at all, if you would like. 

Edited by johnson4
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Your printhead somehow have a clog needs to be pulled back at Orange channel if that is only one with problem.

Why it is happening?

Some dirt or bas ink clog could have gone into there and mixed with ink so it cannot leave now. What you must do is, put printhead on solution and pull solution back. Then remove black part where catridges sits, clean it by pumping liquid in that part, reassamble. This should work if it is only one channel. If it keeps happening on all channels your ink is bad. But what you should do is same plus replace catridges or all ciss system and use better inks.

 

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