Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '19

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80 A dding direct-to-garment (DTG) printing to a shop's lineup can seem intimidating if it's an entirely new technol- ogy. However, bringing DTG onboard can also open a whole other world of possibilities for a shop that might be typically running shirts on the automatic press, or decorating garments with heat- printed letters and numbers. Like any discipline and technology, though, bringing on DTG requires some research and preparation. Good to know Before shopping around for a DTG printer, decorators should be aware of some critical elements and misconceptions about the process. One of the biggest myths, Pete Bolsini, Same Day Tees, contends is "that you press a button and print," he says. Despite it being a more modern technology with Direct-to-Substrate Print, Ship, Repeat Essentials for getting involved with DTG printing By Michael Clark FACT BOX: Estimated cost of entry: Entry level DTG Printers can range between $10,000 to $25,000. Plan on another $5,000 to $7,000 for a pretreater and heat press, and you're looking at anywhere between $15,000 to $32,000. Basic equipment needs: Printer, pre- treatment machine or spray gun, heat press, RIP software. Shop space required: You don't need a whole lot of space for just a printer, heat press and pretreater. But you should also take into account storage space for blank shirts, samples, supplies and plenty of room for your team to move about. And - as always - keep growth in mind. Time needed to become proficient: Most new users will be printing shirts the first few days they have the DTG printer, but like any new decorating process, questions and challenges will come up. (Stats provided by Brother International) Michael Clark is the associate editor of Printware and Sign & Digital Graphics maga- zines. S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 (Image courtesy Anajet) Shops can charge a higher price for the highly- detailed images printed on DTG printers. (Image courtesy ColDesi)

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