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Everything You Must Know about Maintaining DTF Printers

Nowadays, more and more business men choose DTF printers for their printing business for that DTF printers are cost-effective, less cost but higher profit. However, if you do not maintain DTF printers well, your printers may meet various problems like nozzle clogged, ink adhesion issues and etc. (Check this article to know better about DTF printing problems, Troubleshooting the Most Common DTF Printing Issues with DTF Printer Upkeep Guide ) So, it is important to maintain your DTF printers well.

Necessity of Maintaining DTF Printing Machine

Prevent Nozzle Clogging

As the pic shows, if the print head is not in good condition and one or more nozzles are clogged, the print head will not be able to print continuous straight lines. This will directly seriously affect the printing effect.

nozzle condition

Ensure Quality of Printing

If you do not maintain the printhead well, it may cause the white and color ink to mix and you will not get the right patterns you want. This will cause terrible final printing effect and moreover make you not finish the orders in time.  

Avoid Possible Damage to the Printers

There is a lot of dust in the air and it can enter the internal parts of the DTF printers easily. Regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent the dust from damaging the printers.

Now after understanding why you need to maintain DTF printers, you must realize the importance of maintaining them. Pay attention to maintaining them from now on. Here we will explain how to maintain DTF printer from the following 4 aspects:

DTF Machine Daily Maintenance

DTF printer linear guide

Cleaning linear rail

Rail maintenance is also an important task in the daily use of printing machines. The guide rail should be kept lubricated. Use the specially designed guide rail oil to wipe the rail every 7-10 days.

  • Use a clean cloth with a small amount of alcohol to wipe off the dirt on the guide rail.
  • Use a dust-free cloth dipped in a little oil to wipe the guide rail of the dtf printer.
  • Let the trolley run back and forth several times, the dirt inside the trolley will remain on the guide rail.
  • Repeat the above several times until there is no dirt.

Cleaning printing platform

Open the printer top cover. Use a soft brush or lint-free cloth to remove dust and dirt from the printer platform. Use special DTF cleaning fluid to clean residual ink around maintenance stations, wiper blades and nozzle plates. Keep work platform clean and no accumulated ink.

printer print platform
DTF printer printing platform
clean encoder strip
DTF printer encoder strip

Cleaning Encoder Strip

The Encoder Strip is the thin plastic strip that runs behind the Print Head. The encoder bar can read the position of the nozzle through the sensor, which can make the ink ejection more accurate, and improve the printing accuracy and printing speed. If the encoder strip is dirty or covered with ink mist or ink gets on the sensor, the sensor will not read the correct data.  So it is important to clean this strip at least weekly.
Cleaning with a lint-free cloth or 97% alcohol wipe will help remove ink mist from the sensor.

Cleaning waste ink bottle

The waste ink bottle collects the waste ink from the daily nozzle cleaning. The waste ink drain pipe is connected to the waste ink bottle. According to total printing tasks, waste ink bottles need to be regularly emptied and cleaned.

DTF printer waste ink bottle

White Ink Maintenance

White ink is the crucial part in DTF printing. It is a base coat for images on colored garments. If there is impurity in the white ink, that will cause nozzle clogging. When that happens, you can shake the ink to divide the impurities. You can also choose Sublistar’s precipitation-free DTF ink. It is of anti-precipitation, no need stirring and filtration. Except this, Sublistar’s DTF Printers are all equipped with white ink circulation system to prevent similar situation.

white ink circulation system
White ink circulation system

White Ink Circulation System

Keep the machine powered on to ensure the continuous work of the white ink circulation. The continuous circulation of white ink can effectively prevent precipitation and reduce the probability of clogging the print head. And in daliy work, it is better to adjust the white ink circulation speed to about 5-10.

Nozzle Maintenance

Epson i3200 print head
  1. Use high-quality ink. Impurities in ink of low quality will does harm to the printhead and cause blockage and poor printing effect.
  2. Prevent Air Bubble. The nozzle must fit the maintenance cap when it is reset, and try not to make too much contact with the air when not in use.
  3. Keep the nozzle cableintact and tidy. Don’t be too tortuous or too close to other cables, so as to avoid scratching and causing the cable to fall off. There should be no liquid at the connection port (it can also be fixed with a cable tie)
  4. Prevent Ink Penetration. Wrap an electrical tape around the nozzle and cable interface to seal the nozzle and cable interface to prevent ink from entering the nozzle and burning the nozzle.
  5. Be careful not to burn the nozzle. After the nozzle is installed, cleaned and maintained, the interface between the nozzle and the flat cable should be re-sealed, and the position corresponding to the flat cable should be fully inserted when inserting the flat cable, so as not to burn the nozzle.
  6. How to work when power off. During printing, if the nozzle is suddenly wiped, do not wait and deal with it in time but turn off the machine, manually move the print head to the left, and gently wipe the bottom of the nozzle with a cleaning stick. Turn on the machine, clean it. Under normal circumstances, repeat twice, the test strip will be complete. If it is not complete, soak it in the pure water for three or five minutes, then clean it, and it is basically solved.If it still doesn’t work, change the purified water to a cleaning liquid and repeat the previous steps.
  7. Print test strip before turning off the printer each time. Print a test strip to check the status of the nozzle. If it is not good, clean it in time. Shut down the machine after the test strip is complete.
  8. Work in good environment. Temperature of working environment is better in 15-30℃, humidity in 35-65℃. Keep the environment clean and avoid too much dust.

Printer Parts Maintenance

  1. Regularly check the condition of the peristaltic pump and filter, and replace them in time.
  2. The color ink filter is replaced within a two-month life cycle.
  3. The white ink filter should be replaced within half a month to one month. The replacement of the filter on time will help ensure the life of the nozzle and the printing effect.

In summary, it is like that you keep a pet at home. If you do not take good care of it, it will become ill and even die. In same way, DTF printers need to be maintained carefully to provide better service. Sublistar also filmed a YouTube video about maintaining DTF printers. This video will bring a more direct concept about daily maintenance of DTF printers.

After reading this post and watching the video, if you are still confused about how to maintain DTF printers, please send your problems directly to experts at Sublistar.  

FAQ

Do I need to maintain DTF printer everyday?

The printheads of DTF printers require daily maintenance to keep the printheads clean and remove blockages. Printer body needs weekly maintenance.

DTF white is prone to settling and it is recommended to run the print every day. If more than 3 does not work, manually shake the white ink

Use a dust-free cloth or special cleaning tools to wipe the surface of the print head.

When done correctly, direct-to-fabric (DTF) transfer can give you promotional items that look great and last for years! The key is to choose a high-quality material, choose a printing method that suits your needs, and follow proper care and maintenance practices.

Precise data lines are arranged inside the print head, which cannot be placed in water.

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