July '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 4 5 1) DTF printer (or a compatible DTG printer) with basic software 2) A shaker/curing oven machine with appropriate fume extraction/filtration 3) Heat press 4) PET film 5) Hot melt adhesive powder 6) Personal protective equipment like a respirator for working with the powder 7) Specially formulated DTF inks 8) Shipping, installation, and training on the machine 9) And, potentially, additional processing software and com- puter equipment "With proper training, new buyers could expect to be up and comfortably running in less than a week," says Alley. As far as the initial investment, Fischer says to start with the printer and go from there, depending on your expected produc- tion capacity. He adds, "Once you determine that, you simply compare pricing, output, technical support, OEM viability and history etc., then weigh those options to determine the correct fit." SPACE & EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS Before a shop decides to make the investment, there are some space and equipment requirements to keep in mind to ensure success. "If you're in California, for example, everyone would say the 'cost per square foot.' What size is that machinery and how much real estate will it take up in my business?" poses Breazeale. "How much money can I make with that square footage in my place?" In California and many other locations with tight spaces, busi- ness owners count every square foot in their shop. With space considerations in mind, Breazeale believes DTF should be a good profit for shops that get into it. DTF equipment, including the printer and the shaker/curing oven unit, as well as included processing software allows exist- ing or startup businesses to employ this technology in relatively small spaces, according to Alley. "e footprint of DTF equipment varies depending upon the maximum size of images to be produced," Alley explains. For the most part, he says printers print graphics from 12-14" and large- format printers provide a maximum width of 24" for images. e footprint of the printers can vary from 3.5' × 8' up to 5'×

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