Screen and digital printing are still at the heart of the garment printing industry, particularly with the emergence of hybrid printing methods that blend the best of both disciplines. Nonetheless, digital textile DTF printer has begun to shake things up since its introduction in 2020. Most importantly, some skeptics believe that digital printing is nearing its end. Some argue that DTF printing will transform garment printing as a whole. While we disagree with these thoughts, we do believe DTF printing will be a game changer in the future. Here are some something you need to take care about digital textile DTF printer.
Considerations for Labor
Even if you are a one-man show or rely on family members for assistance, you must calculate your labor costs and decide on your overall profit margin from sales.
Sales Time – searching for customers is a labor cost as well. It can differ depending on whether they are walk-in customers advised by prior customers or cold call customers.
Accounting Time – the amount of time you spend settling your business accounts, whether it’s generating quotations or sales orders, contacting vendors, or haggling with clients.
Shipping and handling – how will your orders be delivered to your customers? What factors should you consider when preparing to dispatch orders?
Maintenance– How frequently should you clean the printers? Will you need to perform cleaning cycles on a daily basis, or only when they haven’t been used in a while?
You must be realistic in your labor cost estimates, especially if you have a team of people assisting you in running the firm and printing clothes. When everyone is working hard in the shop, you’ll need to account for their wages as well as overhead costs like utilities.
Obtaining a Return on Investment (ROI)
If you can provide a sufficient number of prints to your clients, you will be able to return your investment rather fast. Due to the low cost of most digital textile DTF printer consumables, you can quickly adapt your business to maximize revenues without sacrificing quality or production schedules. Given the slower printing speeds of entry-level printers compared to most mid-range printers, it can be difficult to show a total ROI in a short period of time. Using numerous printers can assist reduce production time concerns, but make sure you prepare ahead of time to avoid making excessive investments. A converted Epson L1800, for example, has an estimated printing time of 10-15 minutes for a typical A4-sized transfer film.
An industrial printer, on the other hand, can generate more prints in less time while increasing profitability. In the instance of the Digital Sublistar DTF printer, a single order of 60 shirts with prints on both sides can easily yield a profit of $850.
As previously said, getting started isn’t prohibitively expensive because printers are inexpensive. True, most entry-level printers may have faults, primarily with speed and print quality. These concerns, however, can be resolved with correct setup and high-quality RIP software and inks, among other things.
Under perfect conditions, you might be able to land an entry-level position. It costs around $2,500 to $3,000 and includes a converted printer, a beginning set of DTF inks, transfer films, and hot melt powder, the AcroRip software, a cutting board, and a high-quality heat press.
For an industrial-level setup, however, you can pay upwards of $15,000 or more for a complete printing machine with various automated equipment (such as the Digital Sublistar DTF printer), such as an automatic powder shaker and heater, as well as a heat press.
In the case of DTG, an entry-level converted printer is typically recommended for people just beginning out. Mid-range printers, such as the Brother GTX Pro, can cost up to $25,000, pushing you beyond budget. A DTG starter package (including Dupont inks and pre-treatment solutions), a pre-treatment machine, a heat press, and AcroRip software, on the other hand, may cost roughly $3,200 or more for a basic starting setup.
Entry expenses for dye sublimation are equivalent to DTG. The majority of entry-level printers cost less than $1,000. When you ponder the factors in the cost of equipment and consumables – sublimation transfer paper, dye-sub inks, RIP software, a cutting device, and a dependable heat press – the entire cost may be over $3,500.
When compared to other printing technologies, screen printing still offers one of the lowest entry prices. A basic setup will include a 4-color, single-station rotary screen printer; plastisol (or similar) inks; screen emulsion; mesh screens; wooden squeegees; and a heat press. Overall, you’ll only need roughly $1,000 to cover all of this. Heat transfer vinyl is another option for low entry costs. All you need is a cutting machine, weeding tools, heat transfer vinyls, a heat press (a clothes iron works well) and pressing equipment. You can get all of that for $800 if you do your research and budget carefully.
In keeping with the preceding, consumables are less expensive than DTG printing supplies. For the price of a DTG ink bottle, you could purchase two DTF ink bottles of comparable volume – but you’re getting them twice as cheap!
You also save money by using less white ink. DTG printing uses more white ink than DTF printing, thus every penny saved in the long run can go a long way toward total savings. It is also possible to obtain inexpensive but high-quality transfer films and adhesive powder, which is far less expensive than purchasing pre-treatment liquids and equipment.
This may be DTF’s greatest major strength, putting it on level with screen printing. Working with different substrates provides you with unparalleled opportunity to broaden your customers. No difficulty with polyesters. Rayon? Perfect. Sure thing, silks. The opportunities are endless! In comparison, DTG inks only work on clothes that contain at least 50% cotton; on other substrates, you risk inks not being absorbed by the substrate or prints cracking after a wash cycle. Another rival, dye sublimation, is primarily limited to plastic substrates such as polyester. You could utilize dye sublimation on natural fiber clothes (such as cotton), but you’d have to pre-treat the garment with a polymer coating beforehand.
However, DTF’s adaptability does not stop there. You won’t even have to limit yourself to printing on clothing. Why not put your transfers on water bottles, Thermos cups, signboards, and other items? It’s simple to transfer your drawings to almost any surface, regardless of whether they’re flat or curvy (like water bottles).
To go even farther, why not save a few hundred film sheets of that design for future use? You are capable of doing so. Simply place them in a folder or other secure storage, and neatly arrange them in a drawer or cabinet for future use.Dust and other particles will not collect on your prints if they are securely preserved. Through this manner, you can reuse or even sell these prints to interested buyers in the future without issue.