Digital printers have advanced significantly. We now have printers that can print photo-realistic images on both flat and curved surfaces, which is a significant advancement from the first small digital printer in black and white that was mass-produced in the 1960s.
These take the form of Direct to Film (DTF), UV DTF, and ultraviolet (UV) DTF printers, which are currently regarded as the industry standard. However, there are already too many distinct kinds of printers on the market. What distinguishes these three, then? And what distinguishes them from one another?
You can get all the information you require regarding UV, DTF, and UV DTF printers in this post, which will also assist you in deciding which one you require for your company.
An overview of the development of UV, DTF, and UV DTF printers
Over the past few decades, the requirements for industrial printers have dramatically increased. Most customers’ needs today, including high performance and printing on hard surfaces, cannot be met by conventional printers. UV printing was created to satisfy these demands and close any gaps left by conventional printers.
Special inks are used in UV printing, which dries almost instantly when exposed to ultraviolet light. The substrate (usually paper) passes through a UV printer and is inked while it is still wet. The ink dries as a result of the substrate being exposed to UV light right away. There is absolutely no possibility of ink diffusion or leakage during the procedure. As a result, the printed image and text have sharp, clear details.
UV printers accelerated and streamlined the printing procedure, enabling companies to eventually satisfy the rising demand for their goods. Simultaneously, UV printers offered textured effects that are not possible with conventional printers. UV printers were able to produce brilliant colors and exceptional gloss, matte, texture, and 3D models on a variety of materials, including pens, smartphone covers, and USB sticks.
UV printers had drawbacks despite being able to satisfy customers’ shifting needs. For instance, UV printers struggle to print a design precisely on an object whose surface is uneven or slanted.
Phone Case with UV Printing
DTF printers were developed by printer makers as a solution to these issues. Instead of printing directly on an object’s surface as UV printers do, DTF printers let you print on a polyester (PET) film first.
Following the printing of your design on PET film, the film needs to be adherent-powdered and heated-pressed. You can use the heat press to transfer your pattern from the film to a material after pre-treating the film. This makes it possible to print graphics on items with uneven or irregular surfaces. Printing on leather and textiles is a popular application for DTF printers.
Printing on Film using UV DTF
DTF printers, on the contrary hand, need an adhesive powder, heat, and a heat press machine to transfer your pattern to an object.
Press Heat Into Fabric
Additionally, only leather and textiles respond best to DTF printing, with most other materials responding better to UV DTF printing.
primary uses for UV, DTF, and UV DTF printers
Printing with DTF on PET film
DTF printers do, however, have several drawbacks. The prints made by DTF printers lack brightness when compared to those made by UV printers. In addition, UV printers performed much better on a wider variety of substrates even though DTF printers generated good prints on leather and textile materials.
Manufacturers of printers were forced to create a printer that integrated the best elements of UV and DTF printers. As a result, UV DTF printers were created. A design is originally printed onto a PET film by a UV DTF printer using UV ink and UV exposure (called A Film). The graphic of A Film must then be printed onto a second PET film using a laminator (B Film). After that, all that is required is for you to briefly press the laminated PET film against the item with your fingers before peeling it off like a sticker. Heat pressing is not necessary. UV DTF printing can correctly print colorful, high-quality images on nearly all surfaces in this manner.
The differences between UV DTF printers and UV printers
UV printers and UV DTF printers both use UV heating technology and UV ink, which is a similarity. As a result, both printers can generate prints that are of a high enough caliber.
UV printers work directly on an object’s surface, which is where they differ. The UV printer might not deliver adequate results when printing on an object with a sloped surface.
On the other side, you can print the pattern on a PET film first with UV DTF printers. Unlike UV printers, this enables you to print designs on nearly any kind of material or surface.
The differences between UV DTF printers and DTF printers
Similarities between UV DTF printers and DTF printers: Both DTF and UV DTF printers call for the design to initially be printed on a PET film before being transferred to the item.
Differences: UV DTF printers use a different type of ink than DTF printers use. Unlike DTF printers, UV DTF printers employ UV ink.
Although each of these calls for the design to be transferred from a film to an artifact, the transferring procedures are distinct. As previously indicated, UV DTF printing necessitates using a separate laminating machine to laminate the film. The transfer is then completed by merely pressing the film with your fingertips and tearing off the film’s cover. You need not need to pre-heat the film, in contrast to utilizing a DTF printer. During lengthy operations, this can save you hours.