Direct to Garment printing problems.
I am going to try and summarize some of the problems which do occur with DTG printing.
Purchasing a DTG Printer
One big problem is purchasing a machine which is designed for hobbyists. I won’t name them but you can figure out who they are by the price. There are distributors and manufacturers who are trying to crash the DTG market by offering a machine which looks competitive because of the low price.
One thing never believe is the amount of production you can get from a lower priced machine. It just isn’t there. When you see the demo the trick is for the sales rep to print a simple left chest design on a white tee. It looks great and you are sucked in by the productivity.
Not included in the demo is that fact that there is a pre treatment process which has to be done before printing the garment. The pre-treatment consists of spraying a pre-treatment on the shirt and then heat pressing it to prepare it for printing. Generally the demo will have all the shirts pretreated before to evade the fact that there is a process which takes time before actual printing. you should contact NWCustom Apparel if you have any serious questions.
Curing and finishing
Once the shirt is printed the design has to be cured. You can do this with a heat press machine or a dryer used for curing screen printed tees. This is all a part of the production cycle.
When you are told 50 pieces per hour don’t believe it. It just won’t happen for the lower priced machines.
You must pay for production
If you want production you must consider spending around $500,000.00 for two top of the line DTG printers. (never buy one) This will get you a machine which pre-treats and prints in one cycle. All that’s left to do is run the shirt through a dryer. Productivity with this machine will give you a 40-60 production for left chest white tees. This is a license to print money.
I will continue to update my thoughts on DTG and this is just a brief summary of my feelings.