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A DTG Printer is an inkjet printer that was either built from the ground up or modified from an existing inkjet printer that is used to print on t-shirts. DTG printers are a very popular form of t-shirt printing in today's world because of how easy and fast it can be to print a full-color image onto a custom t-shirt. There are several Major companies that have started to enter the dtg market recently, including known companies such as Epson and Richol. Other Larger companies like Brother, have been in the dtg market since the start of this technology.
To Print on Black shirts, you will need a pretreatment so that the white ink can lay down on the shirt and then the CMYK will lay down on top of the white ink. There is a long list of items that you can print on such as canvas, t-shirts, totes, socks, wood, hats, shoes, onesies, tanks, bags, hoodies, etc.
DTG Pretreatment Companies
The bigger companies usually have their own brand of pretreatment for their inks but it does not mean that you need to use only that brand. One of our DTG printers uses Dupont ink but we like to use Firebird Pretreatment. We also use Firebird pretreatment with our Brother DTG. Some pretreatments stain more and make it possible to print on 100% polyester. Some pretreatments have better washability than others. Some produce more vibrant prints than others.
Above I've listed some of the better-known places where to buy a dtg printer. Some manufacturers such as Brother usually do not sell directly to you. They have distributors that will sell you the printers. I believe the same with Epson. So if you are looking for an Epson f2100 then you will want to check out Equipment Zone. If you want the new Richol ri 2000 then you will want to check out Richol. Axiom America is where you can buy Brother printers the new Brother GTXPRO and Brother gt 381 but they also sell Epson Printers also.
This is something that is always brought up. What is the best dtg printer? Well, that depends on your budget and shop space. Are you working out of a home office or a warehouse? How much can you afford to spend on a DTG printer? Take a look at our post about What is the best DTG Printer? We provide comparisons and a lot of valuable information.
Dtg printer ink is expensive. Well, it is expensive when you compare it to Plastisol Ink. Although the prices of DTG ink have dropped some it is still not cheap. As you can see Brothers ink is the most expensive for CMYK Prices. This is the price broken down from buying cartridges because I have not seen Brother or Epson sell by the liter. Only Cartridges and 55-gallon barrels. Except with DuPont. I can currently purchase a 1 liter for that price without the cartridges. Some Dtg Printing companies use DuPont ink and mark the price up so it may cost you more depending on where you buy it from.
There are a lot of different places to buy ink but the brother pass store is good for brother dtg inks and DTG Mart has the cheap Dupont ink.
When you are printing with a dtg printer most of them need a RIP Software that processes your image to be printed onto your shirt. Some printers like Brother DTG don't need a RIP but still offer their own free software. Brothers Free software works with brothers GT and GTX it's called Graphics Lab. Another Software that works with Brother printers and Epson printers is The Cadlink Digital Factory Software. We recently wrote a review on it. Eukon Ek Print is a great software that was used on printers like the Anajet Sprint and other DIY Printers and Spectra DTG printers. Kothari RIP seems to be another popular rip software but I personally have no experience in using it.
Well, that pretty much sums it up. The Direct to garment printer is definitely here to stay and is only gaining more attention. The ease of use seems to be attractive.
If there is anything else that you would like to know about Dtg printers please make sure to ask us in the comments below.