DTG Printer FAQ
Questions and Answers about Printing with Direct to Garment Printers
The following were taken from one or more of our live online demonstrations of the DTG M2. If you don’t see YOUR question here, please choose the chat button in the bottom right of your screen or click here to ask your question via email.
How well does the VIper 2 handle soft edges and opacities on graphics, my Brother DTG doesn't do that well?
All of the DTG brand direct to garment printers do an amazing job with opacity and edges. Unlike your current printer, the Viper2 and M2 use our RipPro C6 software, and that does a great job with complex, variable density and “fade to black”. No worries – you’ll get great prints.
How does the printer work when clients design the shirts online, is there a way to sync the printer with an online software?
Using a software package like Deconetwork to run an online designer/ecommerce website for custom t-shirts is a great idea. The customer designs the shirt online, then it outputs a .png file for you to bring into your Rip software and print to your direct to garment printer.
I have heard of other several machines have to have humidity or is it better to have a nice cool room temperature..?
Temperate is rarely and issue with any direct to garment printer, but humidity is very important. If you live in an arid climate, you may want to purchase an inexpensive hydrometer and humidifier. Normally the case only for places like AZ, NM, NV, etc.
What is the difference in maintenance between the two direct to garment printers?
It’s virtually identical between the M2 and Viper2. There is some increased maintenance of the WIMS system on the M2, and on the Viper2 you will need to agitate the white cartridges daily. But that’s all included in Training.
What are the biggest differences between the M2 and Viper2?
– Viper2 will fit through a standard doorway! Great for home office or small offices
– Viper2 uses cartridge inks, M2 uses bulk ink making ink cost on the M2 slightly less.
– Print size is almost exactly the same
– The M2 is appropriate if you will be printing more than one shift every day, for example, as it’s built for higher volumes
– Both come with training, support
– Both print on up to FOUR shirts at once!
What temperature to treat canvas and what temperature do you recommend to cure it?
Your heat press will normally be set to about 340F to do t-shirts. Since you’re only hovering over a canvas print, and that’s only to shorten the drying time, you can leave it there.
Will the M2 print on ceramic tile?
Yes, as long as it’s not glazed or finished in any way, and so will the Viper2.
I am in the UK and would like to start an online T shirt business. Would the M2 be a good machine to begin with that will last at least a few years?
The M2 will last for YEARS if you take care of it properly. There’s actually still a market for our much older models that are still producing custom tees every day.
How many colors does it hold?
All of our DTG printers use CYMK inks. That’s Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black as well as White ink.
Will it work with a Mac?
No. But you can produce all your graphics on your Mac and use an inexpensive PC as a kind of “print server” if you’d like.
So the DTG printers plugin into the computer via USB and require windows drivers?
Yes, there is a direct USB connection from your PC to the DTG printer. All of the drivers and software come with the equipment.
What is the print area and print speed differences between the models?
Print speed is virtually identical.. and so is print area!
Machine M2 Print Area 17.7” x 24”
Machine Viper2 Print Area 16.5” x 24”
Can you print on hats?
Yes, you CAN print on hats. It just requires a special hat platen. Most decorated caps though, are done with an embroidery machine like the Avance 1501C, which is what we recommend.
How many t-shirts you can print before printer run out of ink?
That’s like asking how much paint you’ll need to paint your house! The answer is that it depends on many factors; how big is the image, how much ink does it use, etc. The Canvas we printed during our live online demonstration today used just $.25 worth of ink.
The print quality is much better than Brother. (Can you say that on camera?)
Yes! You can definitely say that on camera. The DTG brand has the best image quality on the market.
How long does a print on canvas take to dry?
A printed T-shirt takes about 3 min. in the heat press. A canvas takes 10 to 20 minutes depending on where you are.
Do you have to pretreat for white ink?
Yes. You’re going to use white ink to print on dark garments, and that pretreat process prepares the material to accept the ink. You’ll end up with a much better looking, and longer lasting print with pretreat.
All of the prints I have seen seem extremely vibrant. Is there the "worn" look prints possible?
Sure! The printer reproduces YOUR artwork, so just create a distressed graphic. Alternatively, you could experiment with printing on pre-distressed garments.
Can we see the heat press process?
Here is a link to a YouTube playlist that will take you through the entire process.
Can you do pretreat, print and cure in the same room?
If you are using a sprayer to pretreat your shirts it’s best to do it in a different room than you print and cure. If you’re using a pretreatment machine, then the same room is fine. Here’s a link to our favorite pretreat machine, the SpiderMini.
Do you use different pretreat for 50/50?
Yes. The white pretreatment is specifically for printing on natural fibers like the canvas and a cotton T-shirt.
How much is total set of ink?
Here’s one that includes pretreat as well. It’s just over $415.
Do you sell the post treatment?
Post treatment is available here.
What makes your printers better than Brother or some of the other DTG printers on the market?
We’ve done several good comparisons depending on the DTG model. In general that answer is always print quality, interface time because we can do up to 4 shirts at once it’s much more profitable, training and support; there’s no other company that offers the amount of training and options that we do. Of course, our people are the BEST!
What are the queue properties for canvas?
This is more of a technical question. One of our technicians can send you the settings if you already have our current RIP software and a DTG brand printer.
We are looking to know how much time is enough for the curing of different substrates?
We recommend curing 100% cotton shirts for 3 min. 20 sec. There’s such a variety of other materials, weights and blends out there that if you want to try something different it will just take a little testing on your par.
If I want to print white text on black shirt: how often do I have to repeat the printing?
You do NOT have to repeat printing to get a more vibrant image. Just pretreat it properly and print – one time, every time.
OK how many t-shirt you can print with those 1000 dollars in ink?
You really MUST have a specific image in mind to answer that question. You can visit our ROI page here to see a sample, with all the costs involved.
How are you able to beat them (Brother) on the ink prices so dramatically?
Brother inks should actually be LESS expensive because they manufacture their own ink. No idea why it’s not!
What file format does the program (RipPro) deal with best?
“Best” is pretty subjective, but if you can produce a .psd file you’re in great shape. But .tif files, etc work well too.
Can you show us a demonstration on how to print on caps, you have me very interested.
We don’t typically print on caps internally. Frankly, the VAST majority of our customers print on t shirts, with a few exceptions printing on wood, canvas, pillow cases, etc.
What is the typical maintenance requirements for these printers?
There is a very simple maintenance schedule that is printed right on every machine. AND it’s covered thoroughly in our training videos on YouTube.
What is the entry level model that allows printing on dark material?
All of our products print on darks!
What are the dimensions of the printers? Weight?
The M2 is 50″ L x 38.6″ W x 21.7″ H, 212lbs.
The Viper2 is 50″ L x 31.29″ W x 18.89″ H, 167lbs. (It will fit through a standard doorway.)
Would these print on wood?
Yes, as long as it’s unfinished wood. It looks GREAT.
How far in advance can you pretreat your garments?
If stored properly, up to 3 weeks