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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

Mimaki
Mimaki currently offers two systems for digital direct-to-garment printing. The GP-604 uses a 2 x CMYK pigmented inkset and images onto light-colored 100% cotton apparel at resolutions up to 720 dpi. It features a platen heater—a device Mimaki says raises garment temperature before printing to brighten colors. Also standard is a backlit LCD panel display that shows printing configurations during operation. The GP-604 offers bi-directional printing and supports a maximum print area of 16.5 x 24 in. (419 x 610 mm) and maximum printhead height of 5.7 in. (145 mm). A laser dot measures the printing area, and an LED sensor adjusts printhead height. Mimaki’s Raster Link GP software is included. It provides on-screen preview, support for various image-file formats, zoom/rotate/mirror functions, print-position adjustment, and batch printing for layouts of multiple data items. Connectivity options include IEEE-1284 and IEEE-1394.

The GP-604D (pictured) shares many of the 604’s features, such as print size and head height, imaging resolution, RIP software, and connectivity. The primary difference is its ability to image onto light and dark garments. The GP-604D uses CMYK inks and a discharge fluid that removes the color of an organically dyed T-shirt. The discharged areas on the garment can then be imaged with a full-color design. Alternatively, the print on a dark garment can be made with the discharge fluid alone. Mimaki specifies a daily maintenance routine for the 604D that involves replacing the cleaning liquid and discharge liquid remaining in the printer at the beginning and end of the printer’s work day.



MS Printing Solutions
MS Printing Solutions offers four direct-to-garment inkjet printers. The MS ZERO supports a printing area of 12 x 32 x 1 in. (305 x 813 x 25 mm), imaging resolutions up to 5760 dpi, up to eight colors, and print speeds up to 30 T-shirts/hr. It uses water-based inks and offers uni- and bi-directional printing. The MS ONE supports a printing area of 17 x 36 x 4 in. (2972 x 914 x 51 mm), imaging resolutions up to 2880 dpi, up to eight colors, and print speeds up to 60 T-shirts/hr. It uses water-based inks and offers uni- and bi-directional printing.


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