36 Questions about DTG Printers Answered

Real questions from our Live Online DTG Printer Demonstration in November

ColDesi has sold hundreds of direct to garment printers to people both starting a new custom t-shirt business and professionals that want to add faster, higher quality printed t-shirts to a screen printing business.

We now host at least one live online video demonstration of our flagship M2 garment printer very month to give our prospective customers as close to a hand on demonstration as possible. We take questions Live and answer all of them that come in either during the session or by email afterward. These are the results! People just like you getting the answers they need about the M2, ColDesi, printing t-shirts and getting into the custom apparel business in general.

In addition to the Live Demonstrations, our new Facebook Group: Custom Apparel StartUps, is a great place to talk about the business of apparel decorating. You’ll find people in the custom t-shirt business, embroidery business, bling and even vinyl and signage all discussing ways to start and ways to increase business for everyone. Just choose this link or the graphic below to Join.

Your Questions Answered

How long will the pre-treatment last…   Can you pre-treat shirts in advance?

  • Absolutely, you can pretreat garments in advance. We recommend 3 weeks but have actually had shirts pretreated for months and still gotten good results. The hardest part is keeping pretreated shirts clean and dust free until you need them.


Can you print on 70/30 garments?

  • Yes, depending on the garment of course and if you’re asking about cotton/poly blends. You should avoid printing on any clothing with odor blockers or any kind of stain resistant technology though. We use water based inks and those are MADE to repel water!


What would happen if there is a wrinkle in the shirt when you printed?

  • It would end up just like when you put a wrinkled piece of paper through a regular printer – it comes out wrinkled!


What advantages does the DTG M2 have over cartridge-based printers?

  • The M2’s bulk ink system has several advantages:
    • The WIMS system circulates the white ink automatically. In cartridges systems they actually recommend you remove the cartridge several times a day and shake it up.
    • Less waste, particularly in comparison to some of the newest cartridge systems.
  • The M2 itself also has a CLEAR advantage; the multiple plate system. All of the cartridge systems on the market will only let you print on 1 garment at a time, the M2 will print on up to 4.


Does the print heads clog if no activity for a while?

  • If you never use the printer, the heads will eventually clog. But the WIMS and good maintenance make this very rare.


What is the process of pre-treat?

  • Check out the video below, it’s just one of our many, many videos!’


Do you have to use the C6 software, or do any rip software’s communicate with the printer?

  • Use RipPro C6. It comes with the new DTG printers and is made specifically for them.


Would you ever need to pretreat a light color shirt?

  • We recommend that you do pretreat light garments. That way, you’ll get better color fastness, croc fastness and the image will wash better and last longer.


How many washings with you be able to get per garment? Does the ink crack over time?

  • How long your DTG printed shirt lasts depends on several things:
      • i.    The quality of the shirt
      • ii.    How well you pretreated it
      • iii.    How you wash it

Normally the print will last JUST AS LONG at the t-shirt itself.


Do you sell the pre-treatment solutions as well?

  • All of the inks and pretreatments are sold by Colman and Company. They also sell embroidery, rhinestone and spangle supplies.


How long can the machine sit without running?

  • If you want to leave it for more than a few days then we suggest a system flush. Then you can leave it for as long as you’d like.


When bootstrapping a t-shirt startup which printer would be best to start off with? M2 or Viper? or…?

  • The M2. It’s more expensive, but also faster and a more current model.


Do you have a problem with the print heads clogging?

  • Nope, we do our daily maintenance, so no issues.


What settings work best for underbase application on a black shirt? Mine is very light even on the strong setting.

  • There’s some artistry here and balancing the amount of ink you want to spend on each image. There are presets right in the RIP, but lots of adjustments you can play with too.


Would this machine be good for large runs?

  • Yes, depending on what you mean by “large”. When you used DTG, there’s no setup cost, no screen storage costs, etc, but it will take several minutes to print a shirt. How much time do you have? At some pint, it makes more sense to partner with a screen printing shop.


What material do you have to pretreat?

  • We pretreat everything except for some wood products.


About how many full-color Shirts can you get before you have to refill?

  • The amount of ink you use depends on the image you’re printing, the size, the colors, the underbase settings, and more, so there’s no way to say definitively. BUT there is a specific image used for an example in our ROI article here.


Can you print 4 different designs at once?

  • Yep


Can you dry the prints in a dryer or do you “have” to use an iron?

  • You need to use a professional heat press. A dryer won’t cause the fibers in the shirt to lay down for the best quality print.


How long and cost for pre-treatment per shirt?

  • Pretreatment takes under a minute. Cost is negligible.


The ink doesn’t bleed to the back of the shirt?

  • Nope.


Does the software give you an ink cost estimate?

  • Yes. When you set up the software you put in your ink costs and it will estimate how much each design will cost to print.


What’s shipping cost average? Is there any difficult assembly required?

  • Shipping is usually around $500, but there are a number of variables.
  • Nothing difficult in the assembly. It comes put together and crated up.


How long will it take to print the four shirts?

  • Depends on the design!


Can the rip resiz the image or is that something you need to do in Photoshop?

  • Yes, you can easily resize in the RIP


Can you print black and white shirts at the same time?

  • No


What training comes with your system?

  • You can visit us in Tampa or NJ for a training class.
  • You can take our live online training.. which is awesome
  • You can go through self-paced training
  • All of the above for as long as you own the machine.
image of platens available for the M2.

The range of the M2 is one of the largest in the industry


How many platen come with the machines?

  • You get 2 adult platens.


Do you have any maintenance training? Will you or do you have maintenance videos on the WEB?

  • Maintenance is covered well in your machine training.
  • We have about 400+ videos on the web and the best support website in the industry: www.support.coldes.com


What is the mean time to failure of your product?

  • That almost always depends on the user, the maintenance and the environment. There are still DTG Kiosks out there working find after a years and years. Just like a car.


Would we need a humidifer in AZ?

  • Yes please.


Does the software give a time estimate?

  • No, just ink cost


Is online training the only thing I can use in the midwest? I have an M&R I-image to print on direct screens, and they don’t help much with technical problems, so I am forced to “figure it out” when it comes to repairs or problems? How do you guys help that?

  • Seriously great training, on site if you’d like or in Florida if you’re cold.
  • This is a comment from one of the other participants in the Live Online Demonstration:


“I own a m2 and can say that your in house training is awesome. Also Bills tech support is awesome” 


How bad is the price on parts like dampers and heads? It seems parts will not be readily available around me?

  • Parts ship from our warehouse in Tampa and we keep a great inventory on DTG parts. Normally, we can send them the same day and as long as UPS will deliver next day to you, that’s how fast you can get them.


How long after order of machine does it take to get to your customer?

  • It depends on where you are, of course, but normally within 10 days if we have it in stock.


If something does happen major like a circuit board going out do you send out tech or teach me?

  • 99% of the time either one of our techs can walk you through it or you can just reference one of our great videos.


Now that you’ve seen what others want to know about the DTG M2 from ColDesi, what questions do YOU have? Call us now or chose one of the links at the top of the page to stay in the know about DTG and ColDesi!