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Info OvErLoAd...Epson XP 15000, P400, P800, Stylus Pro 4800...or china DTF printer.....


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Hello!!! Been lurking for some time, finally joined... need some advice if you are willing...

Background,..screen printer & embroidery for 15 years. Do ALL of my own maintenance. Have printed plastisol transfers 1&2 color by the thousands. I have a vinyl cutter and have cut/pressed thousands of shirts with that also. Have tunnel dryers, heat presses, shop with good ventilation. Have kept my Epson 1400 alive for 14 years to make screen positives.

 I had been saving for a DTG printer, but with me not using it every day and many other serious issues, I don't believe the they are worth the excessive cost they ask for them just yet.  I think I should add DTF to my shop, small (less than 30) orders for screen printing are more time consuming to set up that I think DTF would be.

So, where to from here.. My initial thought was to purchase (already purchased, still in the box though) a XP 15000 and convert it to DTF. I picked the 15000 because it uses carts on the printhead & you could switch the carts to cleaning carts and cap it when not in use. I still would be screen printing so the DTF would not be used every day (at first at least). Now, I've read too much about the 15000 and if the carts leak,( which I have read that they have) they leak onto the motherboard and fry it, so maybe that would not be the best choice...

So,... I can get (I think) an new (leftover) p400 for $1500.. I have heard that is a good printer to convert? I have seen P800s for $1000ish used.. no carts on top of print head but a pressurized system with a straight shot to the print head and easy to clean? I've found an Epson Stylus Pro 4800 nearby for less than $500, would that be a good solid printer when converted???

I don't mind doing the conversion (I'll take anything apart and fix it if I have to at least once) but I do still run my screen printing & embroidery every day so too much time spent on another project could be an issue. Which leads me to my last thought... 

In the thread about converting an XP 15000, Johnson4 posted a pic of a printer (red) from China (where they all come from of course) for $1900.... he said....

                                       

                                                          "Personally, I’m going to pick one of these up, they are about $1,900 delivered without the heads. 
the time it will save me will be priceless in terms of doing the work myself, and it resolves all the problems I have with even a P series printer. It’s basically a p400 with a white ink management system, ciss tanks, air vacuum and all that crap with the roll holder and such."

"Alibaba, seems like a good machine. Epson based, so you can use any RIP and not limited to whatever they have available for them in China. it’s $1600 without shipping/head. They have two versions, one like the l1800 and one like the p400. 

"personally I’m going to swap the mainboard/head from a p400, boom. All my problems solved with a good, fast and reliable printer. After watching many videos, I don’t see any printer faster than the P series, which is the dx5/dx7 head. While i could likely replicate  everything the machine does, I just don’t have that time anymore, but it’s Epson based which is a huge plus for me, maybe not for others. "

 

                             I have found the one with the L1800 head, but cannot find the one with the p400 head though. I think this might be a viable option for me for all of the same reasons... If I could find the one with the P400 head??? 

The other (last?) option/thought is another printer I have found on AliExpress "A3 DTF Printer XP600 Printhead" with dual print heads.... Looks like the same one as the Knight 12, but for $4400 shipped not 6k shipped like the Knight 12. If this would be a good dependable printer I would consider it also. I don't mind spending money on something that is reliable and makes me money... I bought my first embroidery machine 12 years ago ( the best I could find, not the cheapest) and have only replaced ONE part in all of that time,,, because of the quality of the machine and my maintenance schedule. 

 Again, I won't be using it every day (to start), I will do the conversion myself, it that is the best way to go when taking time/money into consideration. I don't mind buying something already purpose built if it is solid and reliable.....

So, what are your opinions/ideas???

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Hello.  welcome to the journey. 
 

i want to start off with, don’t buy that red Chinese printer. It was nothing but trouble and me just being lazy. It was an R2400, which was refused to be disclosed until I received it. If it were a p400, I’d be using it right now. That’s actually the plan, convert it to a p400 when I have the time. One of those “ live and learn” lessons for me. 
 

you are correct, the 15000 just isn’t going to be ideal, the carts leak and leak into the printhead connections over time. 
 

the p400 sounds like the best thing for you. I do think $1,500 is a high price,  I’ve had this Epson refurbished one listed for $1,000 for months, so I think you could probably find a better deal, but if it works for you, I agree it’s a great printer and probably the best for your circumstances. 
 

the p800 is great too, but since it isn’t going to be used daily, it’s not ideal for your circumstances. 
 

the older model printers I stay away from, while they work, parts are hard to find, usually have some finicky problems and overall don’t offer Chipless ink solutions. Which is a big thing for me. 
 

 

from your post though, I don’t think I could really add anything because you are spot on, other than an, “I agree” and my experiences. 
 

im actually testing a similar machine to the knight 12, with two xp600 heads. 
 

a direct comparison to a p800/p400, its 3-5 sq ft an hour faster, with the prints coming out a bit grainier when looking up close, which could be me, I’m still working on it. 
 

it would require a good temperature and humidity, while the Epson doesn’t seem to mind if it’s ran in low humidity. The xp600 heads seem to very much dislike anything under 50 percent humidity. 
 

But, the p400 and the similar printer to the knight 12 with dual xp600 heads works well. One would be easier to use as needed, one would need used daily, or almost daily. 
 

I do recommend buying a printer/shaker combo, and venting it outside. It makes quick work of things. With my p400 I printed 12 sq ft an hour cmyk+w, and 30 sq ft an hour black or white only. 

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3 hours ago, Latitude42 said:

Thanks a bunch!!! I was hoping I was sort of on the right track... I think I'll go the P400 route... Does the one you have listed have the roll feed attachment? Where is it listed?

 Thanks again.

not a problem at all. 

 

None of the P400's come with a roll feed attachment that will work. the ( rather unimpressive) roll media adapter on it is for 2" core, tiny rolls of paper, like 33 feet or something. The P800 is the only one that will accept the rolls of film natively, and those are so hard to come by it's insane. 

 

Me personally, on all of my conversions( p400's and p800's)  I just 3D printed 2 brackets, drilled and tapped ( of course after looking and making sure I wouldn't damage anything) holes in the printer. Attached with bolts, added nuts to the bolts on the top side inside the printer for extra measure. 

Used an 8MM rod and 2 more 3D printed adapters to adapt the 8MM rod to the 3" core. Rolls like butter, easy to change- ugly as hell. 

 

I've done this to 4 printers now and works better than anything else I could buy/find.

 

Some people buy/make external adapters, but I always liked the roll being attached to the printer. The one that came with that red chinese printer- threw the roll holder in the trash immediately, it was such a PITA, and never worked right, aside from alignment issues. I did the same to that one with a modified bracket.

 

Real Ingenuity comes from necessity, So if it's the path you want to go down, bite the bullet and you'll figure it out I'm sure. Its not really something planning can do without it being in your face. 

 

As for my printer, I don't remember where all I've posted it. It's a sealed box Epson P400 ( Epson refurbished) printer. I've held pretty firm on the price of $1,000 Plus shipping.

 

If you can find a brand new one for a smidgen more, I'd go that route, given it still has a warranty. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Latitude42 said:

How do I contact you about the P400 you have?  Also, does the p400 have a removable waste tank like the xp 15000 or do you install an external tank? Do I need a resetter? thanks.....

The p400 needs a separate program to reset the waste tank. It’s $10, and you can reset it as many times as you want. 
 

the p400 also uses an internal waste tank, so you would need to modify it, it’s under the right side cover and run it to a waste tank bottle. 
 

you can send me a PM. 

 

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9 hours ago, Latitude42 said:

At one time you said the matte 2 sided film works best... where do you find it in a 13" roll? 

Thanks

Andy had it I believe. I don’t use it because I don’t need to. 
 

the only benefit is it’s more opaque, so those printers that have trouble recognizing the film don’t have an issue. 
 

I personally roll fed every printer I’ve used, unless testing. So worst case scenario for me was adding a sheet of paper or tape at the beginning of the film. Doing sheets like this sucked, which is where I would use double sided film. 

Edited by johnson4
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