Check this DTF Printer Guide Near You

Too many instruction manuals torturing your mind? 

Follow this ultimate guide and check which important part you’ve neglected the whole time!

14 minutes read                        Share:

Written by PROCOLORED - Published on Dec 13, 2023

14 minutes read    Share:

Written by PROCOLORED - Published on Dec 13, 2023

 Written by PROCOLORED - Published on Dec 13, 2023

Share:

14 minutes read


PASSAGE SUMMARY

1. Instruction for pre-print preparation
        1.1 nozzle checking
       1.2 print head cleaning
2. Instruction for printing operation
       2.1 printing - optional ink/ film types and effect showcases
       2.2 spreading powder - optional powder types/ machine
       2.3 curing/drying
       2.4 heat pressing
       2.5 peeling off
3. Instruction for after-print care
       3.1 printer maintenance
       3.2 clothes washing method


1. Instruction for pre-print preparation

( get to know more by clicking underlined texts )

Nozzle checking is an essential first step before our everyday printing tasks. By checking the test chart given by the nozzle checking, we get to know whether the nozzles and inks are working perfectly or not.

Normally the test chart includes all the ink colors of the printer and might report below results:

- clear and complete lines : nozzles in good condition

- incomplete lines with gaps : nozzles are clogged, print head cleaning needed

 1.2 Print head cleaning

Incomplete lines on test chart means the nozzles might be clogged and further print head cleaning is needed.

Print head cleaning is a maintenance activity performed on printer. During the cleaning process, the printer will automatically detect and try its best to remove any accumulated dried ink, dust or other ink residues, thus lower the possibility of nozzle clogging.

It’s important to note that depending on the severity of the clogging, multiple cleaning cycles may be required to fully unclog the print head. An extra nozzle checking and test chart are needed after every print head cleaning, so that we can better follow the actual clogging situation.

( get to know more by clicking underlined texts )

Consumables needed: DTF films, DTF inks, adhesive powder

Machines needed: DTF printer, curing/drying oven, heat press machine

Optional machine: powder shaking and drying two-in-one machine

Workflow: printing-spreading powder-curing/drying-heat pressing-peeling off

(if the print doesn't stand firmly on fabric, we recommend to do a second heat pressing)

2.1 printing - optional ink/film types and effect showcases

Printing session is about transcribing the image into a specific file that can communicate with the printer. Before starting this session, do remember to resize your picture to suit different printable sizes of different DTF printers.

Normally Procolored DTF only provides DTF inks and ordinary films by default, yet users can still combine DTF printer with other consumables to achieve different printing effects, detailed as below.

breathable DTF print - 
special white ink, fine powder, software setting needed
Different from ordinary DTF printings, breathable DTF print is a kind of ultra-thin print that can only be achieved while printing in special software curve value and working with breathable white ink and fine powder. Compared to ordinary DTF print, breathable one presents below features:
- lighter color and less saturated
- easier to get cracked to achieve vintage or timeworn style
- much more breathable, especially suitable for summer T-shirts

four optional film types and showcases

Besides roll film/sheet film provided by default, there are also other special films (only in roll version so far) on sale to meet your different creation needs.
  • glitter
  • chameleon
  • luminous
  • gilt veil

glitter transfer roll film

As its name indicates, there are lots of sparkling glitter particles set within this kind of film. Applying this film will make your printings more eye-catching and outstanding.

$308.00

chameleon transfer roll film

This kind of film will reflect bluish and purplish sheen under the light and that’s why it gets this name. Printed on this film, the printing would be more striking with pearlescent effect.

$322.00

luminous/fluorescent transfer roll film

On the printable side of this film, there is a layer of fluorescent coating in light green. After being printed on clothes, the coating will be activated by UV rays from UV lights or sunshine on days, absorbing the light and achieve the luminous effect at nights.

$350.00

gilt veil transfer roll film

This kind of film covers a thin layer of golden powder which makes the finished printings shining. Unlike glitter film, of which the shining color varies from the base printing color, printings applied on gilt veil film are always shining in a golden-hued tone.

$294.00

2.2 spreading powder - optional powder types/ machine

After the finish of printing, the ink on film is still fluid and needed further treatment to dry it. The first thing to do is to spread adhesive powder evenly on it. This session can be done with manual operation or by specific machine.
Normally Procolored only provides medium adhesive powder by default (see below for further information) ; about spreading powder machine, actually we call it powder shaking and drying all-in-one machine, is an optional choice to users (see 2.3 to know more about this machine).

optional powder types
Normally there are 3 kinds of adhesive powders that can be used for DTF printers - fine, medium and coarse.
- fine adhesive powder: 80 mesh with a particle size below 170 micron; often used in breathable DTF printing that feels softer
- medium adhesive powder: 150 mesh with a particle size below 200 micron; default film provided by Procolored DTF printer; strives a balance between strength and softness
- coarse adhesive powder: 200 mesh with a particle size below 250 micron; often used on rough textures like school bags or caps; can make decoration print adhered onto the uneven surfaces, providing a stronger bond

After spreading the powder on the back of prints, the next important session is curing/drying the print via drying oven. Proper heating temperature 130℃ and heating time 180s are essential to the quality of finished product. During the drying process, adhesive powder will melt down and the moisture of the inks will dry up.
Two things to notice here: 
- first, watch out the hot working pad of the drying oven while fetching the dried-up print, use a suction cup instead;
- second, better wear mask while doing large amount of printing work to protect yourself from the oily ink moisture.

Powder shaking and drying all-in-one machine

This machine combines 2.2 spreading powder session (powder shaking) and 2.3 curing/drying session together and set people free from manual operations. 
Sale Off
Máquina de agitación y secado de polvo Procolor para impresora DTF (2022 NUEVO)
$3,085.00
Sale Off
Máquina todo en uno para agitación y secado de polvo Procolored para impresora DTF
$3,085.00

Heat pressing is the processing of transferring the print from film to fabric. During this process, a heat pressing machine is needed.
The machine will first be used to preheat the fabric and keep the fabric flat by removing its puckering, we recommend preheat temperature to 135℃-145℃ and timer to 10s-15s; then be used to process the print transfer, with recommended heat press temperature to 145℃ and timer to 45 seconds to ensure the thorough print adsorption on fabric.
Besides ordinary heat press machine, there’s a smaller, lighter and much more portable heat press machine on sale in Procolored store. We highly recommend users with small business to purchase this one instead.

2.5 peeling off

After applying the print on fabric, we have to wait till the print cools down and then slowly peel the film off. Peeling off in slow motion helps guarantee the integrity of print.

3. Instruction for after-print care

( get to know more by clicking underlined texts )

Regular printer maintenance will efficiently prevent the clogging issue and maintain the high printing quality. Swabs, lint-free cloth, alcohol, spare waste ink container are needed during general maintenance, normally following below steps:

Step 1: do the print head cleaning and move the print head to middle
Step 2: clean the encoder stripe and encode disc to ensure the accuracy of the printer
Step 3: clean the splashed ink inside the printer
Step 4: clean Ink around the waste ink pump and the wiper
Step 5: move print head to middle again
Step 6: clean Ink around the bottom of print head
Optional step 7: use a moisturizing device to prevent print head clogging while on vacation