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A Guide to Garment Inkjet Printers

(February 2010) posted on Mon Jan 25, 2010

The garment-inkjet landscape is changing. Use this source list to keep up with the latest systems on the market.

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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 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 (CMYK + 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).

Makki USA
Makki USA says its VersaJet is the only direct-to-garment inkjet printer that’s capable of seamlessly bringing together traditional screen and digital printing. Makki’s Integrated Printing Technology (IPT) allows a garment to be screen printed with white ink or discharge base, then loaded onto the VersaJet for CMYK printing, and then back to a screen press for special-effects printing. Users can load the VersaJet with two inksets simultaneously. The Topaz RIP drives the system.

The Makki Twister (pictured) is an automated digital and screen-printing system. It’s available in six-, eight-, and 12-station configurations to which users can add up to two additional screens to integrate special-effects screen printing in register. Makki says the Twister 12, which uses dual printheads, provides print speeds up to 160 dark garments/hr, including up to two screen-printed special effects.


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