The markets for DTG printers are growing, thanks to changes in apparel retailing, new inks, better RIPs, easier-to-use printers, and ready-to-print DTG garments.
According to Epson Senior Product Manager Tim Check, screen-printing companies can acquire several Epson DTG printers for less than the cost of a single industrial-grade model that costs more than $100,000. If the multiple printers are efficiently arranged (e.g., in a circular pod), a single operator could be loading, unloading, and heat pressing a steady stream of printed garments. Using multiple printers also reduces the need to stop DTG production if a single printer requires repair.
While the inkset of the SureColor F2100 is unchanged from its predecessor, Epson added variable-drop printing and a Highlight White print mode to improve the image quality and color gamut. The Highlight White mode achieves bright-white output by applying a second coat of white ink only in areas of the image that are intended to be white. This highlight white layer is applied simultaneously with the color ink pass on a dark garment, improving print speeds by up to 35 percent.
In Epson’s Garment Creator software, users can estimate and control ink costs by determining how much ink is applied to achieve the desired results. Other print modes let operators choose a faster print speed if the T-shirt design doesn’t require the brightest possible colors (e.g., retro-look shirts).
The SureColor F2100 also includes a triple-filtration system to keep clumps of white ink from causing nozzle clogs. An onboard air filter keeps dust and airborne fibers from a garment-printing environment from landing on shirts or affecting the printhead. The SureColor F2100 can print on garments ranging from 100-percent cotton to 50/50 fabric blends.
Epson’s new SureColor F2100 machine is positioned as a cost-effective way to enter the DTG arena or expand a current operation. Variable-drop printing, Highlight White print mode, and a triple-filtration system to prevent nozzle clogs are a handful of features available in the newest SureColor model. Courtesy of Epson.
Kornit’s high-production industrial DTG printers are targeted to e-commerce sellers of decorated garments looking to scale up production. Well-financed, highly automated companies can enter the garment-decorating business without knowing anything about screen printing.
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