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Hello All!

My name is Andria, and I am JUST beginning the process of DTF printing.  I've done Sublimation for years, and I actually purchased an XP-15000 (because no where on earth could I find the ET!!!) as well as a CISS System w/Ink.  Nothing has been set up yet.  I want to know EXACTLY what I'm doing before I risk screwing up this printer.  My question is this:   I have been reading the forum and have seen conversations about CISS over refillable carts, and that refillable is better if I'm not printing everyday.  SO, can I simply disconnect the lines from the empty chipless carts and use those, or do I need to purchase an entirely different sort of cart?  Kinda pissed because I'm seeing posts of ppl paying very little for their printer, and cart/CISS setup - I paid $124 from InkXPro for the CISS Sublimation package with small bottles of ink.   I'm about two a weeks past the 30-days-to-return this system, so, I'm thinking why just shelf the stuff and buy new carts if not necessary.  Thanks in advance to everyone!

~Andria

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I'm a little confused at what you're asking. You say the CISS you bought came with sublimation inks, you can't use those for DTF printing you need DTF ink and I'd recommend Kingdom DTF or here DTFSuperStore, DTFSuperStore is cheaper on both product and shipping.

Don't worry about the cost a good CISS system shipped in the US is about that. You only find them real cheap on Aliexpress, but then you're waiting almost a month with no support, or very little, and if you need to return its a PITA.

You always need refillable carts for this printer. I've been using it for about a month and right off the bat it prints DTF beautifully! You'll need one set of carts for ink and one set of carts for cleaning solution. So if you're not printing everyday that means nothing. I need to know when you do print how many prints will you be making? I started with the standard refillable carts and had a few large printing jobs to do and refilling the carts, especially the white, every 3rd print as a major pain.

I bought the CISS from Vibrant Ink with the built in dampers and I'm told they work better, but mine didn't work until I set the ink tanks on top of the printer which if you don't have the dampers will flood your printer.

So respond with my questions and I should be able to help you out further. Also, what RIP are you using?

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6 hours ago, Andria said:

Hello All!

My name is Andria, and I am JUST beginning the process of DTF printing.  I've done Sublimation for years, and I actually purchased an XP-15000 (because no where on earth could I find the ET!!!) as well as a CISS System w/Ink.  Nothing has been set up yet. 
 

I’ve heard nothing but problems from the ET, so likely a good thing. It’s not really an ideal printer for DTF, at least long term. 

I want to know EXACTLY what I'm doing before I risk screwing up this printer.  My question is this:   I have been reading the forum and have seen conversations about CISS over refillable carts, and that refillable is better if I'm not printing everyday.  SO, can I simply disconnect the lines from the empty chipless carts and use those, or do I need to purchase an entirely different sort of cart? 
 

it’s ideal to buy dampers and install them in-line. You can buy the cartridges and everything you need to make your CISS overseas with express shipping that takes about a week from ordering to delivery, little less than half with extra cartridges.

Me personally, I bought a generic ciss on eBay for $20 delivered, installed the dampers which cost about $10 in the US, connected my 15000 carts to it ( since they are the same as normal cartridges). Boom, CISS for about $35 in less than 7 days depending on what you paid for your refillable carts. I did this while I waited on my overseas order, which came before my eBay order coincidently.  
 

as for pulling the lines, simply put you’ll need several extra sets of carts. They are $5 from aliexpress a set, for example if you buy 5 sets without chips it’s about $25 and $25 shipping to have them delivered in 5-7 days with air shipping. I’d recommend that route, it’s cheaper.  You’ll need to replace the carts every so often, you can’t leave them sit for more than a few days to a week.  even then the ink will separate in the sponge and require time consuming cleaning or you’ll face ink flow issues. At less than $1 a cartridge I just replaced mine when I didn’t print for more than 2-5 days and about once a month regardless for the white. I used cleaner carts to flush the printer and used cartridges that were not filled, just “ moist” for long term, when I didn’t it would leak and shorted it out after a couple weeks. 

Kinda pissed because I'm seeing posts of ppl paying very little for their printer, and cart/CISS setup - I paid $124 from InkXPro for the CISS Sublimation package with small bottles of ink.   I'm about two a weeks past the 30-days-to-return this system, so, I'm thinking why just shelf the stuff and buy new carts if not necessary.  Thanks in advance to everyone!

It happens, in my opinion I always think of the purchase and consider before buying. I hate the idea of a seller being out of shipping cost and product because I changed my mind, so I am certain in what I do before I do it. With DTF, like 90 percent of what I have purchased has been different than I expected in some way. Even $5,000 purchases. That’s why most places are “ as-is” no returns, like vibrant vibes ink. Her, Jason, Veronica, bri, all work together in some way and have this type of return policy for all their products for a reason. Ive seen dozens of people buy the 15000 just to watch it die, I recommend doing your research or you’ll find yourself in a loop of wasting cash. 
 

 The whole 15000 bundle, including RIP can be as cheap as $500 with a bit of research and patience for an entry level setup with a ciss. None of that means anything if you don’t take the time to really know and understand what you are doing. 
 

it’s a learning experience, even if you know exactly what you are doing. It’ll cost you money but you’ll learn and that’s the point. You’ve learned the first step, which is not to overpay for something because it was easy or wasn’t cross referenced. Almost always, it’s cheaper to deal with it yourself if you are going the DIY route. Everyone is a reseller that you are buying from. It may seem easy at first, but keeping a printer running long term and learning the “ ins and outs” takes time and mistakes. 
 

I wish you the best of luck. 
 

 

 

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Thanks to both of you for responding, so, I'll try to explain this all a bit better.  First, I should say, I am nowhere near ready to start really doing business - I want things working in a way I am satisfied with AND comfortable with before I start trying to sell my work - let alone taking custom orders.   I started out doing Sublimation. I had a little Epson 2720 and I had purchased a $500 roll of EasySubli so that I could print to all substrates.  Amen - sort of.  I found myself getting gorgeous prints, but they were offset incorrectly and  I was convinced it was the Epson (it was actually a setting in my Silhouette software when using print and cut, but anyway...), so I quickly sold it off and invested in a Sawgrass SG500.  The Print Manager software helped, but the quality of the prints could not compare to that of the Epson - not to mention the price of the ink carts for a Sawgrass.  I went round and round with Sawgrass Tech support and still wasn't happy.  So, then I start reading all the raves about the ET-15000 for sublimation...I knew from many years ago how inexpensive sub ink is (for Epson) and I had previously (about 10 years ago) owned an Epson converted to CISS,  so I know how to use the system and I knew that move would alleviate the cost of those outrageous SG carts.  I searched and searched and could not find the ET-15000 - and if I did find one, they sellers were gouging for over a thousand dollars.  But then I found the XP, and knowing it is photo quality, I decided I was going to set it up on a CISS and use IT for Sublimation and sell the Sawgrass. (The SG has been used like 5 times since I bought it in March.)   Everything still sitting unopened, I started reading up and watching videos about DTF.  I was amazed and decided I wanted to learn it, at least for my soft lines, and I could still sublimate on mugs, etc.   So, I've kept the Sawgrass. (I wouldn't have had any idea where to get an entire XP bundle w/software for $500!!!)  I paid more than that just for the printer and I've been buying everything a little at a time.  The only thing I don't have right now is the RIP software, because I can't afford it right now - I think the cheapest I have found is $395 and I am coming up to rent week, so it's going to be another few weeks.  But as I've been watching more videos about using the XP for DTF, I am seeing some people using the CISS system, and others using refillable carts. (I'm trying to figure out if they are using chipless carts or not?)  Yes, the CISS system I purchased for the XP came with Sublimation Ink - I do know that I cannot use this INK for DTF - but I would think the CISS system itself is the same either way - it came with six empty CHIPLESS carts and it all came assembled - just need to convert the printer and it's ready to go.  What I was trying to find out is if there is any reason I would not be able to simply use the carts (without the CISS connected) so that I would not have to worry about storing a lot of ink right now and I could fill them as needed.  I read somewhere that I could take out the DTF carts and cap them when I was not actively printing and put in the reg carts to protect the print heads. I don't know if that's true.   I had no idea about what a "damper" was until now - you guys wrote it, I read about it. Now, I know.   I'll order the dampers and load up on empty carts.  I purchased an entire bundle of Calca 1L bottles of Ink (and an extra bottle of white ink), a roll of film and 11lbs of white powder (I don't know if I need 11 lbs, but that's how the bundle came....lol.)  (When does one use/need black powder?).   You both have been a great help!  I guess the million dollar question now would be:  What would you recommend as the cheapest and easiest to use RIP software?  I've been reading about them all, but as I said, can't really afford any of them YET, but it would be nice to know what you might think would be good for a noob. 

Thanks again to both of you!!

 

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On 6/24/2022 at 7:52 PM, johnson4 said:

 The whole 15000 bundle, including RIP can be as cheap as $500 with a bit of research and patience for an entry level setup with a ciss. None of that means anything if you don’t take the time to really know and understand what you are doing. 
 

it’s a learning experience, even if you know exactly what you are doing. It’ll cost you money but you’ll learn and that’s the point.

@Andria Unfortunately, even after you've done much research on DTF on the XP15000, and made good decisions from so much conflicting advice out there (e.g. CISS or carts because of white circulation, 3rd party carts or OEM carts because of leaks, cleaning routines and methods, ammonia/no ammonia, curing methods, best RIP...), and even after learning by experience and mistakes, some XP15000's, and I imagine ultimately all of them, will just not cooperate in trying to accomplish the DTF task that it was NOT designed for.  At least that has been my experience.

Insufficient knowledge, human errors, string of bad luck, or futile endeavor with the wrong machine? Take your pick, any one of these can bring you down.

I occasionally participate in some of the many DTF XP15000 facebook groups that Johnson4 refers to (and am familiar with the names he mentioned), they try to be helpful.  But I'm truly sorry to report that the popularity of the XP15000 for DTF is based primarily on the lowest cost of entry, not successful experiences, and in many ways the disciples are a herd of lemmings following each other off a cliff. And I'm one of them.

I really hate to sound negative, but a lot of people are wasting time and money fighting a merciless stubborn machine, and the machine is winning.  Just a fair warning.

Oh, btw, you'll definitely need a RIP. 

Edited by TeedUp
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2 hours ago, Andria said:

Thanks to both of you for responding, so, I'll try to explain this all a bit better.  First, I should say, I am nowhere near ready to start really doing business - I want things working in a way I am satisfied with AND comfortable with before I start trying to sell my work - let alone taking custom orders.   I started out doing Sublimation. I had a little Epson 2720 and I had purchased a $500 roll of EasySubli so that I could print to all substrates.  Amen - sort of.  I found myself getting gorgeous prints, but they were offset incorrectly and  I was convinced it was the Epson (it was actually a setting in my Silhouette software when using print and cut, but anyway...), so I quickly sold it off and invested in a Sawgrass SG500.  The Print Manager software helped, but the quality of the prints could not compare to that of the Epson - not to mention the price of the ink carts for a Sawgrass.  I went round and round with Sawgrass Tech support and still wasn't happy.  So, then I start reading all the raves about the ET-15000 for sublimation...I knew from many years ago how inexpensive sub ink is (for Epson) and I had previously (about 10 years ago) owned an Epson converted to CISS,  so I know how to use the system and I knew that move would alleviate the cost of those outrageous SG carts.  I searched and searched and could not find the ET-15000 - and if I did find one, they sellers were gouging for over a thousand dollars.  But then I found the XP, and knowing it is photo quality, I decided I was going to set it up on a CISS and use IT for Sublimation and sell the Sawgrass. (The SG has been used like 5 times since I bought it in March.)   Everything still sitting unopened, I started reading up and watching videos about DTF.  I was amazed and decided I wanted to learn it, at least for my soft lines, and I could still sublimate on mugs, etc.   So, I've kept the Sawgrass. (I wouldn't have had any idea where to get an entire XP bundle w/software for $500!!!)  I paid more than that just for the printer and I've been buying everything a little at a time.  The only thing I don't have right now is the RIP software, because I can't afford it right now - I think the cheapest I have found is $395 and I am coming up to rent week, so it's going to be another few weeks.  But as I've been watching more videos about using the XP for DTF, I am seeing some people using the CISS system, and others using refillable carts. (I'm trying to figure out if they are using chipless carts or not?)  Yes, the CISS system I purchased for the XP came with Sublimation Ink - I do know that I cannot use this INK for DTF - but I would think the CISS system itself is the same either way - it came with six empty CHIPLESS carts and it all came assembled - just need to convert the printer and it's ready to go.  What I was trying to find out is if there is any reason I would not be able to simply use the carts (without the CISS connected) so that I would not have to worry about storing a lot of ink right now and I could fill them as needed.  I read somewhere that I could take out the DTF carts and cap them when I was not actively printing and put in the reg carts to protect the print heads. I don't know if that's true.   I had no idea about what a "damper" was until now - you guys wrote it, I read about it. Now, I know.   I'll order the dampers and load up on empty carts.  I purchased an entire bundle of Calca 1L bottles of Ink (and an extra bottle of white ink), a roll of film and 11lbs of white powder (I don't know if I need 11 lbs, but that's how the bundle came....lol.)  (When does one use/need black powder?).   You both have been a great help!  I guess the million dollar question now would be:  What would you recommend as the cheapest and easiest to use RIP software?  I've been reading about them all, but as I said, can't really afford any of them YET, but it would be nice to know what you might think would be good for a noob. 

Thanks again to both of you!!

 

As for the carts and using the OEM to protect the head, that would work well. The issue is white ink settles, It has TiO2 pigment in the ink and must be shaken often. Sitting in a cartridge, it's unlike any other ink. Sublimation is dye ink, while this ink has tiny particles of solids that make up the color. Those solids will settle, stick to each other, and cause problems if it sits too long without shaking, use, and overall care. 

 

As for the chipless carts, I haven't ran my 15000 for a year or so, but last time I checked that did not exist. You had cartridges with one time use chips, meaning when they read empty, you can't print anymore. You CAN however load chipless firmware on the printer so you don't need any chips at all on the cartridges. This is the best and most economical way to go. 

 

As for the bundle I mentioned, I paid $300 for my printer from Epson, Paid $60 for Acro 10.5 used, add in chipless and starter supplies like inks, cartridges, etc. I know that was about a year ago mixed with price increases and shortages- so my $500 may not be current. I don't however pay over retail for anything so I play the waiting game most of the time. 

 

I have never heard of those inks, so I am not certain on their quality. You don't need black powder, it was a gimmick from the start. See, with any new " system" or " technology" there are always going to be people out to take your money. I feel sawgrass is one of those, alongside several other OEM's ( using modified printers) basically making you do all the work, pay for all the supplies, point the issue at you with no real resolution at the end of the day and they make all the profit. I went through every available technique, less than half were legitimate in their claims and cost me alot of money, which I fought to get back most of the time. 

 

As for " cheapest and easiest" something I learned on this forum years ago from another member, you only get one of those things. I would personally add your time is worth something as well. If you are looking for basic and easy, cadlink is the way to go. It's basically a push button operation with full on support. It's also $400 though, which is pretty cheap coming down from its original $1,300ish price for DTF printers. It has come along way and in my opinion, the best place to start. 

 

There are others but mainly it's Acrorip( now called DTGRIP), Ekprint, Cadlink. Both acro and EK are great for more advanced users allowing everything to be fined tuned to perfection, which takes alot of time, money in wasted materials and experience learning. Cadlink, well it works well enough to start with and does very well from the get-go, but lacks features for the more advanced users for calibrating the prints. ( as of now anyway, I'm patiently waiting now for over 6 months). 

 

If you wanted cheapest, you can find Acro used for around $65 delivered. Sometimes Cadlink, but not as often. If you want upfront support and someone to help you from the RIP, Cadlink is the only way and very in your face with calling you and remote connections to your PC to help. 

 

I think the best step is to understand the differences between what you currently do and what you are looking to do, mainly the inks and maintenance. If not, you'll quickly destory the printer, from previous contact with people and with current contact with people. No it's not difficult, it's just specific. 

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Ok so all good info.

1. I like CADLink and with multiple printers CADLink right off that bat prints on the XP-15000 pretty dam accurately to what's on my screen, my screen is calibrated by a SpyderPro (not necessary, but if someone says what I just did on an uncalibrated screen that means nothing.).

2. Some people have trouble with the XP-15000 some do not. I did and didn't. My first one broke with a bad paper sensor after a couple weeks and about 100+, almost, full page DTF prints. Epson warrantied it, plus I bought it through Staples with a 4 year complete warranty for $54. Includes spills and drops so they can't say anything about how I'm using it. So what I'm trying to say is I got AMAZING results right off the bat with this printer, but for a business application I don't think it'll hold up. I have an Epson 3880 and P800 waiting in the wings if this new XP-15000 goes bad. So far printing amazing.

2b. For the XP-15000 conversion is easy, lots of tutorials out there and on this forum. Remove front rollers, Install a level correct height outfeed table, install chipless software from 2manuals.com, get refillable chipless carts for cleaning solution, get a CISS system (refillable carts will work to get your started but if you're doing any amount of printing you'll need to refill them, especially the white, quite often, like every 3rd print. Its a pain. Get a maintenance tank chip resetter, remove cover for maintenance tank and modify the maintenance tank (some people drill holes and such, but I don't modify a printer that's new so I can warranty it. So I just remove the packing from the tank drill a hole in front of the tank and attached a hose barb and hose and a snapple bottle.). Get a RIP and you're good to go.

2c. For storage you can take out the CISS carts and put the whole thing, tank and all, inside a large Ziploc bag. You should do this with any cart, with bottom caps on of course. But I wouldn't put the stock ink carts in the printer, you should sell them and make some money back. Epson DOES NOT USE STARTER CARTS, other companies do, but Epson doesn't. These are FULL STOCK CARTS. The problem is when you start a printer for the first time it uses quite a bit of ink to prime the system and then people think they are less capacity than the new ones you buy on their own. I would buy a set, they're pretty cheap off Amazon, of refillable carts and use those with cleaning fluid. So if you're shutting down for more than a couple days, remove your CISS or Refillable carts with ink them, cap them, put them in a sealable plastic bag, put in your cleaner carts, run a couple head cleanings and print a nozzle check. Do this until your nozzle check is clear. Your printer can stay like this for ever. Mind you most of this info was from Johnson4, thanks again for all the help.

2d. For the CISS you may or may not need dampers. The CISS has been without dampers until recently for the XP-15000. If you already have without or want to add them that's ok too. Also if you have to wait to afford something always do your research but check Aliexpress. Very cheap, but can take some time as it's directly from China. Most of the time it's only a few weeks. So for the damper CISS i have I had to put it on the printer by the rear feed to get it to work, gravity and fluid dynamics and all. Or maybe I didn't have it primed correctly, but it works for me so I'm leaving it there. Maybe I'll move it down where the instructions say it should be and try it again now that I know it prints. With no dampers you'll want to keep it on the same surface as the printer so it doesn't siphon and flood the printer. Make sure at the end of the say or even a long lunch to plug up the CISS Tank.

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