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A Direct-to-Garment Deluge

(May 2009) posted on Tue May 19, 2009

The garment-inkjet floodgates are wide open, leaving many screen printers who want to boost revenues with complementary digital technology drowning in options. This article will help you wade through the crowded pool of printers.

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

The i-Dot from M&R offers a 16 x 20-in. maximum print area and an eight-color (CMYK + 4 x White) i-Pak inkset for printing on light and dark garments. It comes with a 14 x 20.5-in. (356 x 521-mm) platen, but M&R says the i-Dot can print images up to 16 x 20 in. (406 x 508 mm) on cotton, 50/50 blends, and some polyester materials. The printer features M&R’s Absolute Position Technology (APT) and i-Color RIP Software. APT uses M&R’s proprietary high-resolution servo encoder. M&R says its custom-designed firmware integrates flawlessly with i-Color RIP software. APT also includes a PLC controller, servo amplifier, and servomotor-driven linear actuator. The i-Color RIP software is engineered to recognize and preserve Adobe Photoshop channels for creating transparencies and highlights in garment graphics and calculate the need for white underbase when printing on black garments. The system comes with a PC that’s loaded with M&R’s i-Color RIP software and has been configured and tested by M&R. The printer also features laser-guided substrate placement to helps ensure correct image positioning. The start-up kit for the i-Dot printer includes eight 220-ml i-Pak ink cartridges (CMYL + 4 x White), eight i-Clean cartridges for printhead flushing, i-Prep fabric pre-treatment for dark and colored garments, i-Tack platen adhesive, and i-Clean solution for cleaning individual printheads. Additional platens are available in three sizes: 4 x 20.5, 10 x 20.5, and 16.5 x 20.5 in. (102 x 521, 254 x 521, 419 x 521 mm).



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